home > archive > 2002 > this article
Open appeal to conservatives
By James Hall
A deep confusion has overtaken our land. A lack of understanding of our own history and its meaning is epidemic. A conveyance of personal identity has been transposed into a frenzy for statism. And a dependence in allegiance to unquestioned leadership has replaced common sense. No wonder that those who view themselves as conservatives, are bewildered.
It has customarily been accepted that conservative thinking is mostly associated with the Republican Party. In a previous article, this critic wrote What Makes a Republican - a REPUBLICAN? The case was presented that the true tradition of the GOP is the heritage of Senator Robert A. Taft. Today, few within the fold of the party that claims the legacy of Ronald Reagan comprehends what he represented, let alone what Taft stood for. Many wear the label of conservative, but seldom do they know what it really means.
Consider what Charlie Reese recently said on the subject. In Conservative Or Blockhead? - we have a basic and clear assessment of the problem that faces those who defend the policies of the current administration, at all costs. It is not the intent to malign, folks who should be natural allies. But it is our desire to raise explicit challenges to their mindset. So what exactly is a conservative?
Well, many falsely conclude that a conservative resists change or seeks to maintain the status quo. Some even define this philosophy as support of the current political regime. Not just the current administration, but common policies that have been enacted by both major parties over the last half century. Unfortunately, such notions just add to the fiction of a very bad political melodrama.
True conservatism is a defense and promotion of eternal principles. It is proactive and not reactionary. It is based upon the integrity and validity of proven standards, that recognize the immutable nature of man, the inherent danger of unlimited power and the dignity of every individual. Liberty is the goal for a free society, and government is the servant of the people. So far, who would want to disagree? It seems that many mainstream and establishment career seekers are most willing to dispute the proper course for conservatives.
Isn't our task the upholding of a constitutional republic? That is exactly the goal of the genuine conservative. But what we constantly hear from those who want us to swallow that they are really 'conservatives' is that times have changed and that we need to adjust to the new realities. Let's get one thing straight! Times always change, but true principles remain constant. Adjustments to current conditions, cultural differences and worldly aspirations never negate the consistency and authenticity of core values.
Face up to the fact that many Republicans are not conservatives. Deal with the reality that many Neocons are "collectivists", and have the decency to admit that most moderates are unabridged apologists for internationalism. Yes, the choice is obvious - an empire is not within the tradition of an American Republic.
We have presented countless essays that have dealt with the specifics of what actually is the mutual best interest of America. We have made the lucid distinctions that America is an idea, empowered in her people; and not equivalent to her government. And we have chronicled the historic record of our nation's unique experience. For many they hear only that which supports their delusion that for a citizen to be patriotic, they must accept the current political structure, practices and policies. Anyone want to defend the recent record?
Are Republicans capable of governance when they hold the majority? With achieving power have the reigns of government restored our constitution? Newt Gingrich was brilliant as a minority agitator and a genius in forging the strategy to gain control of the House of Representatives. But what has changed? Even the best and brightest, were not able to reverse the welfare society. So what do mainstream conservative impostors stand for? Certainly not traditional values and America First aspirations.
Now before you scream that Pat Buchanan was a defector to leave the Republican Party, explain where one can find the partisanship of Robert Taft. We can debate and even disagree on particular domestic and foreign policies. You do not have to adopt every tenant of the old guard to accept conservatism. But how can anyone walk down the path of total capitulation to the socialism of the last ten decades and still claim that they are a conservative? If Republicans reject the inheritance of our tradition, out of a perception that we must concede to the way the world is, and accept a New World Order, what common ground do we share?
There is no doubt on my sentiments concerning counterfeit conservatives. Read about "Velvet Conservatism" for the entire story. But where do you stand? Are you one of them, do you support their policies and will you expel advocates that maintain the true tradition of the conservatives?
It was us who said "you are with us or against us" . . . Does that test apply to sincere and legitimate disagreement over all policies or just those that seek to wage perpetual undeclared war? Would you broaden that attitude against efforts to limit the uninterrupted expansion and scope of the state, or are you simply content to seek your own control over the machinery of that government? What about eliminating and abolishing the agencies and bureaucracy of the socialist edifice, would you join us or are you willing to keep them as an acceptable compromise to today's reality? Is multiculturalism OK with you or will you oppose its regression?
If you look upon paleoconservatives as your adversary, what gives you the right to claim that you are a conservative?
It seems that you might just have more in common and have sympathy with the liberal progressive Democrat agenda than with the attributes that created the Republic. We urge you to return to your true roots, abandon the heresy of contemporary convenience and rethink the essence of conservatism. The hope of the nation rests upon honorable citizens of good will, sound thinking and courage to battle the forces that are determined to destroy the dream that America represents. You should not fear us - but join us. We don't want to rule, control or coerce others. Can you say the same of yourselves?
James Hall, AKA Sartre, is the driving force behind Breaking
all the Rules, a collection of his essays.
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!
© 1996-2021, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.