Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Definition of a Conservative

I have found it amazing to watch the twists and turns in this current Republican Presidential primary.  However the things that has given me a serious case of whiplash is the battle over who is and isn’t a “Conservative.”  I suppose that this isn’t really a new battle, but who would have even considered six months ago that we would be questioning the “Conservative” credentials of the likes of Newt Gingrich?  Chris Christie? Or Ann Coulter? 

I would suggest that “Conservative” is in the eye of the beholder.   Or maybe “Conservative” only applies until someone becomes a front-runner and thus a target. 

The “Conservative” alternative to Wikipedia provides a pretty good list of topics common to all “Conservatives” at:

I think that list is pretty comprehensive and if that list is the litmus test then I am a 100% authentic “Conservative.”  There are 23 categories there.  If I disagreed with one (4.3%) does that tarnish my “Conservative” credentials?  How about two disagreements (8.9%)?

The TEA movement carved out a slice of the political spectrum that only covers three of those points (13%).  Does that qualify TEA folks as “Conservatives?”  I would say it does not and of course there is evidence for that view point. 

If you take the viewpoint that you and I agreeing 80% of the time makes us friends – that means you must conform to 19 of 23 points (82.6%).  Check that list out again - – any room for ambiguity there?  Do you think that reasonable people might disagree on the exact parameters of what “The death penalty” means?  What is a “failed social program?

My point is this attempt to out “Conservative” each other is becoming pretty stupid in my opinion.  Does anyone believe that Michelle Bachmann is “the only authentic “Conservative” in the race” as she asserts?    Preposterous.  While we’re at it, you might drive Mitt Romney’s positions by that list.  I think based on that list – he’s one of us.  The only really odd man out in this race is goofy Ron Paul.  I think Paul agrees with most of that list – but who the hell knows? 

I think that Governor Rick Perry is cool with that whole list so he’s still my pick.  


  1. Holy cow! I was 23 out of 23. I could just cut and paste the list and put it under my profile to describe very accurately who I am. But like I say on my blog, "I bleed red, white and blue". That takes the 23 things and sums it up in six words. Thanks.

  2. Amigo,

    There you go with all that rational stuff again.

    As a fellow 100 percenter I'd say that you present a good argument. I remember not long ago that society maintained cordial/friendly relations with those that you agree with on 90 out of 100 topics. Today we focus our energies over the ten things that we disagree about.

    That's what liberals do! That posturing is insane and only provides fodder for the enemy.

    Interestingly we on the right vet our candidates whereas the left does not. Sadly our vetting process is steered by the left media and that is simply stupid.

    For the life of me, I do not understand why the GOP does not have conservatives moderate the GOP debates. Having liberals host the debates is beyond stupid.

  3. CS,

    I will contend that there are issues on the list that carry more weight than the others. If I agree with someone on 22 of 23 points, but the one we disagree on is abortion, that moves the agreeability down a lot.

    I agree with Hardnox on the debates though. Having pinheads lead the vetting moves pinheads (Romney) to the front of the pack.

  4. As always a well thought out post and fascinating links.

    I guess it would be helpful if there was one clear, concise sentence that summed up the definition of a conservative. Unlike the left, we still tend to focus in individual traits/beliefs because we tend to be independent. That will always mean things will be a little messy. Those who want to follow and be told what to do and think don't like messes. "Go along" is their theme song.

    If any of the above made any sense ... good. If not, chalk it up to my still being somewhat brain-drained.

    Merry Christmas to you, your family and friends, CS!

  5. CS- I agree with 17 out of 23. I am doing some studying of our constitution and other important documents. I will be doing some posts on those after the New Year.

  6. Hardnox,

    I'm not exactly sure that these debates are doing anything but confirming that Ron Paul is a lunatic.

    The only outlet where you can even remotely find an objective or fair debate moderator is Fox News - and even then I think that Chris Wallace wears pink panties.

  7. Tenth,

    I agree with your comment , I'm not sure that I want to comb through the list and apply weighting factors to each item.

  8. Gunny,

    I've started to pay more attention to Santorum. My only concern is the executive experience part. However with the right cabinet choices and White House team - that deficiency could be overcome.

  9. Mrs. AL,

    Great to hear from you. After reading your post I thought "there must be something" and went off to The Heritage Foundation to see what they say. I think I learned that they would agree with your assessment. However I did steal this from them:

    "The American conservative movement is not defined by a set of policies but rather by a commitment to conserve America's first principles and its tradition of limited self-government. Conservatism holds that these first principles—proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and promulgated by the United States Constitution—define us as a country and inspire us as a people. Conservatives believe that the original structure of America's carefully written constitution and its enduring framework of limited government is the best mechanism for securing national independence, providing economic opportunity, establishing religious liberty, and maintaining a flourishing society of republican self-government. Conservatives believe that the change we need, the change that is consistent with the American idea, is not movement away from but toward our principles—which are both the fixed goal and the unchanging ground of our ever-changing experience."

    I like that.

    Thank you for your kind wishes. I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  10. Oh - the link if you are interested:

  11. Johnny,

    Seventeen? You're just about one of us Right-wing Nut-Jobs!

  12. The truth is we really haven't seen the conservative yet.

    I'm afraid we're going to get stuck with a RINO (Romney) or a closet RINO (Gingrich)

  13. Buck,

    I think that Conservatives are too unruly a delegation to be happy with anyone it appears.