Tuesday, August 02, 2005

BECAUSE YOU ASKED: Not all conservatives agree on "conservative" issues

In my profile, I indicate that I am not in lock step on all so-called conservative issues. I was asked to explain where I might not be in line with the conservative issue de jur. I should first note that just because a policy position is declared to be support by the political right, that does not make it turly a conservative issue. I like to think that I consistently support conservative principles. However, I think many conservative leaders do not.

For example, I cannot find one scintilla of conservative philosophy in the effort to enact a Constitutional ban agains burning the flag. It flies in the face of everything we conservatives are supposed to embrace. We Americans have established a history of symbolic protest against our government. Symbolic means peaceful. To protest government outside of sybolism is to take up arms -- or terrorism. To protect the symbol of America from protest is to make the government more important than the governed. THAT is not conservatism.

In this issue, we have confused conservatism with nationalism. The confusion is due to the fact that we conservatives are usually of a patriotic bent. It is a misunderstanding of conservative patriotism that has meld it with nationalism. Since extreme nationalism takes the form of totalitarianism, it is the antithesis, not the component, of conservatism.

In addition, I am a secular conservative. That does not mean that I do not have a very deep and well defined theology. It does mean, however, that I make distinctiion between conservative philosophy and denominational religious beliefs. In the spirit of "thou shalt not," many of the religous right would impose denominaitonal doctrine on society through legislation and regulation. Conservative doctrine tends to eschew excessive regulation, relying more on personal freedom and accountability.

No comments: