By: Mike of the Ornery Young Gunz
It’s always a telling feature of your opponent’s position when they have to actively misrepresent what it is you believe in order to win support for their position (even if it is as the “lesser of two evils”).
If your opponent can get you to spend more time debunking false and intellectually dishonest clams about what you believe than actually telling people what you actually believe, it can greatly benefit them strategically.
It can turn out to be a very effective tactic in miscommunication and misdirection; if you can get your opposition to spend the bulk of its energy defending against false attacks, or at the very least, frustrate them into refusing to engage you, you can control the narrative, and prevent them from getting their message out.
Progressives have done an excellent job painting their opposition in a negative light via false accusations and innuendo. In fact, anyone who has read Rules for Radicals know they wrote the handbook (and then dedicated it to the Father of Lies, Satan himself. Go figure). “Never go outside the expertise of your people…ridicule is man’s most potent weapon”; when Progressives engage Conservatives on the issues, they always fall short. The preferred tactic of the Progressive activist is one of misinformation, misdirection, and ridicule.
Is it any surprise, then, when Conservativism, the single greatest ideological threat to the political advances of Progressivism, is depicted by the Progressive media as being hateful, racist, and anti-government?
To hear the Left describe it, if Conservatives gets their way, the strong will prey on the weak, slavery will run rampant, and injustice will reign supreme. But calling Conservatives “anti-government” is about as accurate as saying “Mormons and Catholics aren’t Christian”. The philosophy of American Conservatism (which is rooted philosophically in classical liberalism) is one of small, constitutionally-limited government.
The goal of classical liberalism is to liberate individuals from the dilemma of the human condition: How do we escape chaotic tyranny of the many (anarchy) while avoiding ordered tyranny of the few (totalitarianism)? These two extremes are what make up the real Far Right and Far Left: no government or total government, respectively.
Americans know very well the challenge of this dilemma. Under King George, Americans experienced government that was too strong. Under the Articles of Confederation, Americans experienced government that was too weak. Both created issues for Americans. Both had their downsides and resulted in chaos and misery.
Informed Americans know the Constitution was an attempt to find the proper middle-ground between government that was too weak and too strong.
The Goldilocks zone of good government, if you will.
The Constitution was an attempt to uphold the ideals mentioned in the Preamble, and protect the inalienable rights spelled out in the Declaration. No serious defender of the Constitution would argue that eliminating Constitutional government is somehow preferable to over-bloated Progressive government; either scenario puts us in the unfavorable political circumstances of tyranny or anarchy.
Progressives, however, have tried to frame the debate as being one between the “compassionate”, “altruistic” Left versus the “greedy”, “selfish” Right. To hear Leftists tell it, we want smaller government because we don’t care if poor people go hungry or without work –we want to make people so desperate that they can easily be enslaved by rich and powerful elites. The irony behind this charge is that many of the “doomsday” scenarios the Left claims to fear -such as private roads or no income tax- existed for generations without the kinds of ill effects they predict. And the historical examples they can point to of America doing bad things are always examples of big government.
Slavery? Government enforced.
Trail of Tears? Thanks Government!
Breaking Treaties with the Natives? BAD GOVERNMENT! BAD!
Jim Crow? MOAR GUBMINT!
Anti-miscegenation laws? You guessed it: government!
Or my personal favorite: internment camps. Gov-gov-gov-government!
Every injustice inflicted by America as a nation, was all thanks to the government abusing or usurping power.
Yet according to the Left, those who side with the principles of Conservatism are either wealthy and powerful elites, or they are naïve and unwitting pawns who have been duped into doing the elites’ bidding. This accusation ignores the fact that studies have shown that those on the Right are more inclined to donate their time, money, and even blood than those on the Left. While many on the Left try and justify their allegiance to Progressive ideology, the reality is that history does not vindicate their position. Countless individuals have suffered, even died, under big-government regimes like the kind that the American Left are constantly promoting (perhaps one of the most memorable examples to me: 50,000 Americans poisoned by the government for drinking booze during Prohibition). And if anarchy has been less devastating, it is only because those rare moments in human history were we have experienced anarchy have rarely ever been prolonged enough to cause the sort of devastation that tyranny has brought –humans have a greater tendency to organize into formal groups and establish laws –just or no- within those groups, whereas anarchy is usually a temporary transition between a collapsed form of tyranny and the next one to replace it.
Only in America have human beings tried to break that cycle between tyranny and anarchy by forming a government that was limited in size and scope, yet large enough to maintain good peace and order.
This is ultimately what Conservatism is about: preserving the sort of government established by the Constitution and declared as good and right in the Declaration; making sure that the “supreme Law of the Land” is adequately enforced, without infringing on the rights of individuals.
As Alan Eppers once said: “Dangerous laws created by well-intentioned people today can be used by dangerous people with evil intentions tomorrow.”
And what exactly about that position can be construed as “anti-government”?