This is directed to progressive Republicans. It is a direct response to Craig Cotora’s diary, A House Divided” The Future Of Abraham Lincoln’s Repbulican Party: Conservative or Progressive?”
For those of you who want the Republican party to become a “progressive” party, and by that I mean a party that endeavors to incrementally increase the power and reach of the government ever more, until finally we live in dependency on the government that supplies all our needs, then I submit you should join the Democrats. They already have that kind of party. So also do the Socialist Party, the Green Party, the Communist Party, and Ralph Nader. The only difference is how slowly or quickly the government would grow. Progressive Republicans might grow the government more slowly than Democrats, though you would never know that from the George W. Bush presidency, but no viable political party other than the Republicans acting “conservatively” wishes to make the government smaller, or make people more free.
Part of the problem is with the word “conservative,” which was invented in the French Revolution along with “reactionary” to put down royalists and those who disagreed with the Paris Commune. America’s revolutionaries called themselves “liberals” at the time, and the tories were the American royalists. Those who hearken back to the principles of the American revolution should be called “Liberals,” just as the American colonists were at the time. I don’t know exactly when in history it happened, but at some time the Democrats stole the word “liberal” away from those who believed in “classical liberalism.” In another nasty bit of tomfoolery, they dubbed Republicans “conservative” and “reactionary.” I believe in freedom, and progress, even more than tradition. But I do believe in tradition too. I believe that our way of life, our tradition, should change, in a measured way, and that progress is possible. But I don’t believe in willy-nilly abandonment of everything that the wisdom of our ancestors left to us in what we call our traditions, or in tradition’s replacement with a myriad of faddish new ways without any testing or deliberation. That isn’t progress. That is randomness. That is insanity.
Lincoln, who called himself a “progressive,” would never have wanted the kind of government we have today, where half of every dollar earned is seized by the government in order to better oppress (or regulate) the people and destroy the influence of Lincoln’s beloved Bible. He believed there was a valid function for government. He didn’t believe that government gave the people our rights, but as he said so eloquently in the first line he spoke at Gettysburg, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Created by a Creator as in the Declaration of Independence, not born, not cloned, not endowed with equality by the government. He realized that the implementation of the Declaration had been flawed, had been weakened by the impersonal and formalistic structure of the Constitution, and finally Lincoln was willing to proclaim aloud that an entire population of Americans had been mistreated evilly and that it was high time this evil ended in the American land.
Who wants to create a new form of slavery today? The communists, socialists, fascists, and like it or not, the progressives and Democrats do so wish, by seizing half the earnings of Americans, by preventing Americans from using the property they own, by choosing winners and losers in the economy, by trying to turn children against their parents and traditions with brainwashing in the government schools, by claiming ownership of the air and of all the radio frequencies that pass over it, by empowering a tax collection agency with extra-legal powers that presumes guilt and has the apparent right to take anyone’s property and freedom from him without trial, and millions of other ways every day. The government is oppressing people with regulation and taxation, and actually killing them with every regulation as I argue here.
Every single policy position of the conservative branch of the Republican party attempts to restore and protect individual freedoms, including free speech, life, liberty, property rights, religious rights, self defense rights etc, from government encroachment, or from other countries that would invade and enslave us if they could. The only limit to these freedoms is they must be consistent with an orderly and lawful society, and not devolve to chaos and the rule of warlords and other potentates. That is why Republicans emphasize ethics and morality, and law, because without laws and a moral center freedom is not freedom for all, but anarchy that brings unlimited license for the strongest and slavery for everyone else.
In other words, the party of Lincoln with American conservatives in the vanguard is still the anti-slavery party. Our rivals in the Democrat party are not.