America was founded as a constitutional republic, with the core values of personal liberty, limited government, and citizen rule. The social-political movement concerned with maintaining those principals is Conservatism. We find ourselves at a time where it seems we are moving away from those principles. Soon, if we do not reverse our course, we will have moved so far from those values America will no longer be the same country. Racking up tremendous debt in the name of an ever-expanding entitlement state will eventually lead to economic ruin, as it has in parts of Europe. Our military has been systematically weakened to pay for those programs. Conservatism then, requires a strong national defense, lest we find ourselves at the mercy of forces alien to our shores. Our culture, what we consider “American” is one of the freest, most naturally generous, and tolerant in all the world. Preserving it then, is well worth the effort and sacrifice.
The whole idea of America is to be free of an overbearing, ever-present government. To be sure, some government is necessary, it needs to keep us safe, maintain law and order, allow for commerce, and insure the individual rights of its citizens. We have chosen to create a safety net for those who have contributed to our society, and those who cannot fend for themselves. The tendency now has to expand and offer subsides to those who are members of special interest groups at the expense of the more productive for control over those who accept it. Freedom though has a price, and any trade for it is not easily reversed. Conservatives see that eventually the bill comes due, as is has in parts of Europe. Allowing citizens who work the hardest, have the best ideas, and doggedly pursue their dreams to keep as much of the fruits of their labors as is possible creates opportunity to do more.
The freedom to choose one’s own path free from outside forces is not just an American virtue at the individual level, it is also a virtue in a free nation. If exposed to a threat from outside or from within, a country wishing to remain free most sometimes fight for that freedom. It is a matter of history that weakness is provocative. Russia and China, among others, actively seek out ways to take advantage of the militarily or economically weak. Opportunism is also the way for non-nation actors and is expressed as terrorism. Conservatism insists upon a level of military might that allows us not just to defend ourselves, but contributes the mutual support of us and our allies.
America is a country of immigrants. The promise of greater freedom and liberty has always served as a beacon to people abroad. Persons with the fortitude and courage enough to leave their native lands for the chance to make a better life and who choose to adopt our culture in exchange, usually make America the better for it. If they come but choose not to make that social compact, they create a divide between themselves and other Americans that ultimately serves neither side. The strength of any nation comes from unity of values and purpose among its citizens. American citizenship should not be offered cheaply, it should coveted enough that those seeking it are willing to earn it.
Our country is unique in the history of the world for its founding. It was created in the name of freedom and liberty. Those things were hard one, and bestowed upon most of us by those who gave their blood and treasure to have and keep it. The value of liberty and the pursuit of it by successive generations has made us strong. It is the equality of opportunity, not the equality of outcome that makes us great as a nation. Our strength and willingness to use it has served us well when used judiciously. When used carelessly, or not at all, we have suffered. When we are secure within our borders, and our trading partners can feel secure in theirs, prosperity is allowed to grow. Some are of the mistaken belief that prosperity causes freedom, but conservatives know true freedom and prosperity are dependent upon each other. Our founding fathers knew this, but when we lose sight of this truth and deviate from this delicate formula, America and the rest of the world suffers. Conservatism is the belief that our founding principles when held and applied, keep America strong and her people free.