Dick Morris Reminds Me Why I’m Not A “Conservative”

December 26, 2011   |  

I think there are no two words in American politics more loaded than “Liberal” and “Conservative”.  When I was in high school I thought I was a “liberal” libertarian.  In my first couple of years in college I thought I was a “conservative” libertarian.  It’s obvious to me now that there are no right or left libertarians, only libertarians.  Libertarianism doesn’t side with any one economic system or set of social beliefs, it simply affirms that whoever people choose to get along, the government’s role in their interactions ought to be minimal.

Conservatives want big government just as much as liberals do, they just disagree on how big, and with what areas of society to control.  Many self-identified conservatives may disagree with that statement, but the proof is in the current crop of GOP candidates this year and the pissing contest going on over who is more conservative.

Conservative writer, Dick Morris, recently wrote an article that perfectly illustrates my point.  In the article he attacks Ron Paul for being a “liberal” because Paul supports ending the War on Drugs, repealing the PATRIOT Act, and wanting to bring our troops home (you know, to defend us from imminent threat, not policing the globe).  If wanting to reduce the government’s role in the lives of Americans make me a liberal, then sign me up.

But this isn’t meant to be another piece about Ron Paul.  This is about the great divide between so-called “small government” conservatives, and real small government libertarians.  Too often the words conservative and libertarian are treated as synonyms, when the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.  Far too many conservatives echo words they don’t  understand.  They talk of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, yet, they have no actual understanding of what it truly means to be a free society.

In 1964, Barry Goldwater’s campaign slogan was “A choice, not an echo”.  Goldwater was anything but an echo.  He spoke out against the Republican establishment and defended the constitution from it’s enemies on both side of the aisle.  It’s interesting to note that not only did Goldwater author the book, The Conscience of a Conservative, but he was also given the nickname “Mr. Conservative”.

It’s a shame that the very same ideas that Barry Goldwater espoused in 1964 are being written off as liberal nonsense by today’s crop of conservatives.

Follow Blake on Twitter @BlakeOates and visit his personal blog at www.ExpMed.net

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