Spartan Conservatism

In 1979, I officially became a conservative. I always had felt previously like I was a conservative. I was certainly not part of the leftist establishment – I hated the 1960s and mocked the ‘hippies’. And in May of 1979 I heard a speech by Republican congressman Phil Crane of Illinois outlining the basics of conservatism. As he was speaking I said to myself, “This is what I believe in.”


At the time I was living with a group of back-to-the-land lefties in Vermont. I was suspicious of their belief system and about the windmills and solar panels we had at our house, which I believed did not work. And today I know that I was right about everything. Most of those lefties have fallen into patently conservative lifestyles – never admitting it, of course – while the myth of windmills and solar panels has been debunked.


During my time in Vermont, I worked part-time for a conservative old farmer named Everett Palmer. And it was Everett’s timeless wisdom that I finally saw as my guiding light, not the intellectual claptrap of my contemporaries. I moved away after just a few years in Rural Utopia.


Having spent my entire life in New England or New York City, I certainly have been out of the popular mainstream in challenging conventional liberal wisdom. But like the Spartan warriors who trained for centuries for the one great battle at Thermopylae that was said to have saved Western civilization from the 480 BC assault of the Persians, I feel that my life of training finally is paying off, and that many of those who dismissed me over the years now might be finally seeing the logic of my beliefs. Because in a time of genuine desperation, Americans finally are seeing that it is we conservatives who always have had and always will have the answers.


Now the Republican party has unveiled its Pledge to America. This is good news. I loved Ronald Reagan and for years I was dismayed that the GOP did not stick to its agenda, particularly during the Bush era. I had asked Republicans here in Massachusetts to be more direct in confronting the corrupt Democrats. But they replied that in a state like Massachusetts, you just try to get along.


I knew this was wrong. Then when I helped in the Scott Brown victory last January when he ran strongly against Obama, I saw my years of training paying off. Finally the GOP in even Massachusetts was listening. And this November, many Bay State candidates are running strongly against the Democrats and their corruption.


The GOP Pledge says, in short that the party now plans to stick to its traditional roots of fiscal and social conservatism. This is good news. Those of us who stuck to ours finally are seeing our ideals realized. And because of Obama, we have a new ally. A new giant has awakened in America – the Tea Parties and other conservatives – who were moribund for decades but who now are never, ever going to let the our nation or the Republican party slip back into bad habits that have exacerbated the current crisis.


Today we no longer have the jobs and prosperity to cover for the Democrats’ zealous, ideology. And we continue to live in a dangerous world. And the idea that Obama is thinking out loud that we can absorb another terrorist attack is beyond the pale. This is yet another nutty statement from an unprepared and extremist president, the type of person we conservatives have been warning about for decades.


Meanwhile strikes are breaking out all over France about… get this… raising the retirement age from 60 to 62. Last Spring riots broke out in Athens after Greeks were told that the retirement age of 53(!) was no longer sustainable.


One striker quoted in a news article on Yahoo.com said:


“An increasing number of French people understand that the reforms the president is trying to impose will not solve the pensions issue,” Martine Aubry, the head of the opposition Socialist party, told journalists at the Paris march. “Pensioners will pay the price for it. And tomorrow, young people will not benefit from government-funded pensions — the only system that is fair and shows solidarity between generations.”


For this socialist, here is some basic conservative wisdom: If people continue to demand younger and younger retirements, and wish to spend more and more time collecting wealth than creating it, that does not add up. And that is the only thing to know if you want  economic solvency.


Eventually, of course, this all will come out. Because these nations simply will run out of money. Which is always the final brake on liberalism.


It is great to be part of a committed conservative movement that has not shifted with the winds, exploited political convenience and sloganeering, or done trendy things to cave in to public pressure. Even today, the Spartan culture of Ancient Greece is considered barbarian by those on the political left. Yet it was the Spartans who bravely saved Western civilization by preparing themselves year after year, decade after decade. Just as we conservatives have been doing for a long time now, getting ready for the battle of a lifetime where virtually everything is at stake.


Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can read excerpts from my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.