That Mr. G Guy’s Blog reblogged Concerning American Conservatives by aurorawatcherak with a simple comment, “Very thoughtful post.” Sometimes I wish — well, most of the time — I could keep it simple. However, because aurorawatcherak‘s post is so thoughtful, it provokes thought, thoughts I wish to share.
For the most part I entirely agree with aurorawatcherak‘s post. Here is the exception. I do not think military spending contributes to our problems with an excessively large government. Our problem with big government arises from what we expect government to do, not from its size. Unfortunately, because our government educated me, I did not arrive at this conclusion until recently. Nevertheless, I did reach this conclusion, and I think most other Conservatives, including aurorawatcherak, will too. So long as the military serves as the protector of the People’s God-given rights its size matters only because it must be big enough to defend the People’s rights. That is, the bigger the threat the bigger the military must be.
In IS THE UNITED STATES MILITARY A SOCIALIST INSTITUTION?, I discuss the importance of the use we make of government. When you have time to read IS THE UNITED STATES MILITARY A SOCIALIST INSTITUTION?, please do. Meanwhile, I suggest you read aurorawatcherak‘s post. Like myself, I believe you will find aurorawatcherak‘s perspective interesting and informative.
I like challenges. Give me a reason to think and I will. So, when Malcolm Greenhill posed some questions to me about the American conservative movement, I went studying. I call myself a non-partisan constitutional conservative, but he got me thinking about that term “conservative.” He’s British, you see, and they view conservative differently than Americans do. But maybe, like many in the United States, my view of America’s conservative movement is a bit muddled. So, I’m unpacking my presuppositions and taking a look at it. I’m going to give an all-inclusive shout-out to the Heritage Foundation, the American Conservative, and the National Review for helping me out here.
I’m going to start by saying that the American conservative movement has not walked a straight path and has not always been true to its core principles. That doesn’t mean it’s invalid or that the principles originally laid out don’t make sense, just that sometimes practical reality muddles principles.
The central idea of American conservatism is ordered liberty. Individuals have freedom and responsibility inherent in our being and this is best realized in the context of limited government and unlimited markets. However, individuals live in communities, which immediately result in conflicting needs and wants. Individual liberty, therefore, must be ordered to work within community. (continued here)