My name is Angie, and I am a politically homeless conservative.
I know you’re thinking, “What does the word, conservative, really mean?” The term has been beaten up and is in the process of being redefined as populism and that’s the reason I’m writing this piece. The GOP has been hijacked and the remaining conservatives, even if we are no longer part of the GOP, must now protect the definition and principles of the movement.
This election cycle taught us that many we thought were “the base” weren’t educated about what conservatism is and those of us who do understand need to explain and defend it more clearly. Our love of liberty and freedom is part of our very nature and therefore hard for some of us to define, but there are specific tenets of conservatism and we can’t allow them to be destroyed or redefined. Even if you have chosen to vote for Trump as a last resort, you can’t shirk the responsibility of protecting conservatism as a movement and a force within the political system.
We are now entering a war of sorts and it will be hard but we must be vigilant and vocal. We are the remnant and it is now our responsibility to educate, defend, and fight. We’ll be fighting populism inside the ranks on the right as well as progressivism on the left which is why we must set ourselves apart from the Trump movement & be sure to not be painted with the brush of populism.
POPULISM IS NOT CONSERVATISM.
It just isn’t so we must start with defining the tenets of conservatism. This may be basic to some, but apparently it was not clear enough to prevent the rise of a Big Govt. Democrat Donor as the GOP nominee for President.
Next we need to define Populism. Populism is a pretty broad term politically but generally it has a leader who claims to be for the little guy and represent the interests of the common man. On the surface this sounds fine.However, it is often a cover for the leader of the movement to hide authoritarian ideals. Once the policies are put into place, it most often becomes a form of statism. With Mr. Trump’s repeated statements regarding big govt. healthcare solutions along with his authoritarian tendencies you can see why he should rightly be called a populist rather than a conservative.
Last we have to have a battle plan. A list of items that must be pointed out and called out when we see them. You can always add to your own list but here’s a basic outline to start the battle:
That is it. I’ve given you the right, the wrong, and the responsibility of the remaining. I hope to see you on the battlefield in the fight for conservatism.
We may be a bit beaten up but we are not beaten.