I have been asked, “Are you a conservative, liberal, or progressive?” I said, “In a strict non-political sense I probably am all three, but in a political sense I am a constitutional conservative.” Those asking did not particularly like my qualifier. The question has frequently caused me to do some introspection and examination of the political climate and thinking in America. Definitions are often fluid and adapted to accommodate a particular point of view of desire at any given time, so I am careful when I attempt to define the three terms in my title.
I have heard people on the political right argue that the election of Donald Trump in November 2016, would obliterate conservativism. I contended and contend that Mr. Trump’s election did not destroy conservativism but made it stronger. If conservatism is destroyed or being destroyed, that destruction began long before Mr. Trump’s entrance into the political arena as a candidate.
I would argue that the demise of our Constitutional Republican form of Government has been in the works for over 100 years. I also contend that some key elements have helped propel us toward Progressivism and destruction. I believe that those took place during the early part of the last century with the passage and ratification of the 16th and 17th Amendments to our American Constitution.
Some suggest that in a very strict and literal sense, conservatism is opposition to drastic change and embraces caution and prudence, two things that politicians seem to be devoid of. Conservativism, depending on what country you live in and the particular subject matter embodies varied and frequently very different definitions.
If we debate the differences between American conservativism and progressivism, we can find some glaring differences. It is my view, that American Progressives, at their core, reject the vision our founding fathers had for America and that which the framers of the constitution fought so diligently to provide. They reject the idea that the Constitution is a safeguard for personal freedom and liberty. They desire an All-Powerful Government in which it is powerful enough to and capable of ‘fundamentally transforming’ America by controlling Americans and our institutions.
They have evolved from simply wanting Socialized Medicine in America to wanting an America that has socialized medicine, no borders, transgender bathrooms, censorship, mind-control, and government-mandated business practices. They, like Barack Obama and Joe Biden, believe that America must be ‘fundamentally transformed’ because America was NEVER great or good. They see the constitution as a hindrance rather than a safeguard and therein is a major difference in Liberals and Progressives as compared to Conservatives.
Back to my point of the 16th and 17th Amendments is a major factor in the advancement of the Progressive Political Ideology and the demise of our Constitutional Republican Form of Government. The Sixteenth Amendment opened a door that has allowed the bureaucracy of the federal government to grow into such a behemoth that it is insatiable and uncontrollable. This amendment states: “The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
Daniel Webster and John Marshall comprehended the terribleness of taxation. Mr. Webster argued against it in the case of McCulloch v Maryland. He said, “An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy.” That warning and revelation went unheeded as this amendment was adopted on February 3, 1913. Both the 16th & 17th amendments were ratified in 1913 and they mark the beginning of the end of limited federal government.
In contrast to the bloody revolutions of progressives in other nations, the American progressives have largely resisted the pleas of such men as Bill Ayers who have called for a bloody revolution to overthrow the system of government they hate. The American Progressives have heretofore taken the political approach of slow erosion. That slow erosion has now become a runaway freight train traveling at breakneck speed down the path of destruction that includes violence in 2021. They have advanced the idea of a Living Constitution which allows them to modify, misinterpret, misconstrue, and misapply the words of that document as presented by the framers.
Conservativism is, in a real sense, rooted in the idea and desire of restoring the Founders’ and Framers’ idea of America in which our inalienable rights are protected and defended. It is based upon the pillars that our liberty must be preserved in the United States of America and by the government.
We desire Limited Government, fiduciary integrity, and government frugality, and a government in which we are afforded all our constitutional and God-given rights and privileges without infringement by the federal government. Government is not the provider of those rights and we should always warily remember the words normally attributed to Thomas Jefferson, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”
If we allow the water of liberalism and progressivism to continue dripping on the rock of our constitution it will eventually erode it to the point that it is impotent. We dare not let that happen and if we make our focus and fight personalities rather than preserving America, we will facilitate the attack. I pray that we reject that tendency and temptation and RISE TO FIGHT FOR AMERICA!
The Biden Administration represents and reflects the Obama agenda on steroids. The tyrannical use of Executive Orders and the steamrolling by the Democrat-controlled Congress to force-feed us their toxic brand of liberalism is destructive. I am not sure what we can do short of a revolution, but I pray that we will find the ability and courage to put pressure on our elected officials to stand for America, the American people, and the Constitution. I pray that we will, as a people, return to the LORD and those who are believers will make 2 Chronicles 7:14 the cornerstone of their daily lives. I trust God not the government and as I view the situation, I am convinced that ONLY GOD can change this and preserve America. However, we must be willing to stand in the Gap and make up the hedge.
God, bless you and God bless America!