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.
BASE TENETS OF CONSERVATISM:
1. Reduce the size and scope of government (especially the federal govt.)Basically a return to the founding fathers ideal of local and state govt. representing the interests of its residents and being the main governing standard rather than the federal govt. running everything for everyone.
2. Protection of individual rights against the collective.
This includes everything from protecting our right to bear arms all the way to the right to life.
3. FREE ENTERPRISE.
This will be the protection of capitalism and the free markets. This does NOT include bailouts and govt. running major pieces of the free market like healthcare. It also does not include the crony capitalism that Mr. Trump has often bragged about practicing.
4. Strong National Defense.
This has varying degrees and is somewhat negotiable but we ultimately have to protect our nation and our borders from any threat to the republic. This category will be the area that includes immigration and the military; I also place veteran care in this category.
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:
1. The Borg:
Many Trump supporters (not all) have taken a page from Unite Blue and now resort to intimidation, name calling, and requesting us all to assimilate to the populist message or “be run over”. Hive mind is for the left. When you see this, point out the hypocrisy of a populist wanting to force assimilation to their movement or telling we need to be silent while raging agains SJWs who do the same on the left.
2. False Flags:
Infowars and 9/11 truthers must not be accepted as the norm. If you run into social media posts where the person uses an infowars link you must dismiss it. Yes they may be right once in a while, because even a broken clock is right 2 times a day, but we can no longer give audience to the conspiracy theories and the just plain nutty.
If your cousin is wearing a tinfoil hat you do not have to be mean to him but we can no longer pretend anything they say should be taken seriously.
3. Say NO to PPP:
Poor policy, poor character, & poor wording can not be defended just because it comes from someone who may agree with us on
a few other items. When Trump or anyone else makes a poor policy statement, or just generally acts like an awful human being we can’t sit silent and let it be ok. You have to say what is wrong and why and you must do it as often as needed. You can not let something wrong become right by silence. Wrong is still wrong and right is still right regardless of your party affiliation.
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.