I used to have an internal debate going over my political identity. I’ve self-identified at times as a Republican, a Conservative, a Libertarian and an Independent. I’ve come to the conclusion that, if I was forced to decide on an an official title it would probably be none of those, it would be hyphenated: Secular-Conservative really fits me. I agree with the basic Conservative principle of limited government, I champion a free market, I oppose excessive taxes and unnecessary regulations on business and champion a strong national defense, but I loudly and firmly oppose any connection between organized religion and organized politics (only because there IS NO CONNECTION and there should not be one).
Mr or Ms Conservative candidate proudly procaim, on a near-daily basis, the purely religious position that they are “pro-life.” Does that make them better at making the right political decision when their political decision is required. NO, of course not. Politicians (even Conservative ones) do their jobs and make decisions on the bases of Constitutionality and relevant law. Yes we are all moral beings, that’s just part of our better nature and part how most of us were brought up; with ingrained rules that say this is right and that is wrong. A politician who self-identifies in their private life as either “pro-life” or “pro-choice” brings NOTHING to the table when it comes to doing the jobs they were elected to do. Yet that seems to be the primary “credential” for many of them in an election season.
Here’s a news flash for citizen non-politicians who have been drinking the Religious Conservative Kool-Aid for so long that they believe that they can’t call themselves Conservative without being devoutly religious and advertising it! You’ve been duped! If you believe, as I stated above that I do, in the core Conservative values of small government, less regulation and a strong free market a strong national defense and responsible levels of taxation you ARE a Conservative. Don’t let Sean Hannity, Mark Levin or any other Conservative talker tell you otherwise.
The Website About.com has an excellent “Overview of Political Conservatism“. What is excellent about this particular definition of Conservatism is the fact that it correctly identifies Conservatism as a two-part philosophy:
Part 1 is identified as “core tenets” of Conservatism. To me, these core tenets define what I call “Secular Conservatism. The “core tenets” of Conservatism are the basic beliefs in three principles: (from the article): “1) Economic liberty and the central role of free enterprise in American society, 2) A small, non-invasive government, (and) 3) A strong national defense focused on protection and the fight against terrorism.”
Part 2 is the “Ancillary Principles & Ideologies” of Conservatism. These ancillary principles are the things that only threaten Christian Culture: Attitudes about “traditional family values”, marriage, the commitment to faith and religion and the assumed right to life for still un-born potential citizens. Even the strongest Religious Conservative would have to scratch pretty hard to find an “Ancillary Conservative Principle” that will help them do the job they were elected to do.
When you think about it, vocalizing their pro-life stance is just a way to coerce votes from the minority of religious people who have long since substituted religious texts for the U.S. Constitution and relevant law. Even the majority of the religious community must understand that the word “Religious” before the word “Conservative” is a ploy.