How To Save Conservatism
Sam Tanenhaus in the latest issue of the New Republic analyzes the plight of modern conservatism in an article labeled "Conservatism is Dead." One of his main arguments is that conservatism lost its power because it became an ideological movement rather than a form of governance. I totally agree with this central point. The public view of conservatism has tended to focus on restricting social issues like abortion and gay marriage through moral based arguments rather than the constitution.
The original definition of conservatism is tied directly to freedom. Conservatives believe in a strong national defense in order protect our liberty and freedom from enemies that are looking to compromise and destroy it. They also believe in free market capitalism, which allows financial growth without government regulation. In attempting to fight moral issues through government initiatives, the right has allowed conservatism to be perverted.
Too many conservative politicians over the last 30 years have tried to legislate social issues through moral arguments rather than the constitution..and therefore have severely hurt their brand in more socially liberal states in the Northeast and West Coast. Promoting and protecting individual freedom should be central basis of all conservative arguments otherwise we will just be seen as "counterrevolutionaries," the label Tanenhaus uses for us in this piece. Our central philosophy of individualism and personal responsibility is more in line with Jefferson, Madison, and most other constitutional framers than liberalism. All conservatives must embrace these principles if we want the American people to follow us. If we follow the true definition of conservatism...then conservatism will not be dead...but rather it will retake America from it's current stranglehold of government control.