social network for conservatives
Conservatism can basically be boiled down to one critical point that must be acknowledged by all true, card-carrying Conservatives (religious, atheist, agnostic, Democrat, Republican, Independent, or whatever). Either our rights come from the Divine (nature's God), and are inalienable (protected from State intrusion), or they come from Men and their Governments and are really nothing more than privileges of State that can be regulated and revoked at the whim of the State. This one singular issue, more than any other, defines and separates true Conservatives from CINO's (Conservatives in Name Only). I have yet to find one Liberal Progressive Socialist that can prove me wrong on this point.
If someone claims to be "conservative" but believes that our rights come from Government, they really do not understand Conservatism at all (no matter what few conservative leanings they may or may not have). It is not a question of religion to acknowledge that our inalienable rights come from the Divine and are thus protected against intrusion and regulation by the State. It is impossible to believe that our rights come from both the Divine and Government at the same time. From my own experience dealing with Liberal Progressive Socialists and their ilk have I found that they will never acknowledge our rights as coming from the Divine (which, by default, means they really believe that our rights come from the State and can be regulated for the good of the Group in society). No one can have it both ways and still pretend to be "conservative." It cannot and does not work both ways.
If our rights and freedoms do not come from the Divine (even if some folks choose not to acknowledge the Divine or question His identity), then by default must our rights come from the State. So, again I ask each of you this very important and fundamental question. Do our rights and freedoms come from the Divine or do they come from the State? How you answer this one question can be very revealing about the depth and breadth of your "Conservative" convictions. Happy New Year, everyone!
To your point that true conservatives understand that rights are granted from a source other than government, I would say that true conservatives also understand it is the role of government to secure these rights for the citizens.
This makes a very simple model to understand when government is exceeding its scope. When citizens create a government they delegate to that government some of their power. As the government is acting with delegated power, its only legitimate functions are those for which the right to act has been granted. Moreover, citizens can't grant the government rights that they themselves do not possess.
Can a group of citizens, as an example, go up the street and mug a rich neighbor for the down payment on a car? No, that's a crime. Well if the citizens can't do that then they can't delegate that action to government either. Cash for Clunkers is a violation of limited government and true conservatives understand that.
@Mike - I made a simple assumption that folks would understand that the proper role of Government is to protect and secure our inalienable rights and freedoms from the Divine. (I know, I know - can't make assumptions around some folks, even here on TCUnation)!
It's a crying shame that too many Conservatives do not seem to understand the important concept of indigenous power and delegated powers. Under our Constitution, indigenous power always rests with We the People and stems from our inalienable rights from the Divine. We the People delegated certain powers to Government to act in our behalf, but this does not imply that the delegated powers of Government have somehow assumed higher precedence and authority than the indigenous power that rests with us.
In this country, our Government answers to We the People as clearly delineated in our U.S. Constitution; We the People do not answer to our Government. The Constitution does not restrain the inalienable rights and indigenous power of We the People. It merely restrains the Government to the delegated powers that we conferred upon our Government and nothing more. However, like you have said, We the People cannot grant rights to Government that we ourselves do not have. Happy New Year, everyone!
Martin Seligman defines the good life as the discovery of our unique virtues and strengths used creatively to enhance our lives, and the meaningful life is the deep sense of fulfillment we find when utilizing our unique strengths for a purpose greater than ourselves.
I believe these are the civic virtues Dr. Hamilton eludes to and agree this is how Thomas Jefferson would have defined "the pursuit of happiness". I never thought of those words in that context but it makes perfect sense when you begin to understand the intellectual lineage between Jefferson, Locke, Epicurus and Aristotle. I thank you for that insight.
I stand by my concept of the DOI as a contract between the people and the government, but must admit I didn't define it well. Abraham Lincoln believed the Declaration were specific principles through which our Constitution should be interpreted. That, in my opinion is a contract but for sake of argument, your point is well taken, the rights belong to the people, are unalienable and are granted by a Creator, not the government.
I was watching Glenn Beck a few days ago on this very subject. He said something very interesting and I will paraphrase. He, like you and others here, emphasized the importance of believing that a Creator granted us certain rights and that it wasn't about religion which is why they were careful to use the terms, Laws of Nature and "Nature's God. He also emphazied that the writers of the DOI did not specify a Christian God because they wanted it to be as broad and inclusive as possible. I found that to be plausible and a interpretation I can accept.
A side bar, did you know Thomas Jefferson and Cavin Coolidge were our only two Presidents who were strict Constitutionalists, according to Judge Andrew Napolitano?
Here is a personal right in the pursuit of happiness that I found some humor, "The United States Supreme Court, in recognizing that marriage is a fundamental right, stated that "the freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness." Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12, 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010, 87 S. Ct. 1817 (1967).
In closing let me wish you "eudaimonia" in the truest since of the word.
Certain posts in this thread have degenerated into personal attacks and insults. Those comments have been removed, and any such continuation of such will be considered further violations of our policies. You all know the guidelines and there is no need to instigate arguments or to respond with vitriol towards other members. Some of you have been down this road and are on very thin ice (to borrow a previously well-understood metaphor by those involved).
We have enjoyed several months of rather civil discourse, even when we disagree. We should be able to do so and walk away from a discussion when it is necessary. The fool in any argument will reveal himself, usually by insisting more loudly than anyone around him that he is right. Keep in mind the site is for civil discussion and not for winning arguments or proving one's own theories. The other readers will ultimately decide that issue.
You can't take all the credit DJ, it was also aimed at me as I have long been a thorn in the side of others here on TCU. I own the thin ice metaphor.
Dave, For one of the longest babbles I have ever seen, I am happy it ended almost a week ago. It reminded me of an open ended chat room cat fight. If you want a good site and that's your desire, it should have been interjected weeks ago. My humble opinion only.
Constructive is one thing but delayed reaction to what turned into a bickering cat fight, should have been intervened immediately. I respectfully note: This could be a great site with some "on target" and timely attention. The first amendment is one one our Constitutional rights and should be revered, especially on this site and others like it. Where it takes a left turn, a new and positive conversation should be interjected. Especially by admin., but carefully and with no insult.
There is right and there is wrong. It's great when the preponderance of evidence equals the facts. It doesn't mean winning a battle, only the preponderance of truth. It doesn't mean a "win" of any kind and it doesn't mean anyone is right or wrong. It means an acceptance of the evidence that is presented. Again, my humble opinion.