By Jedediah Bila
While all conservatives feel the overwhelming desire to remove the liberals/socialists/progressives from Congress and the White House, what are your views on proactive positions (What do we stand FOR)? I agree with strong foreign policy, border security, and reduction in the size of government, but what are your thoughts on the full platform?—Greg; Alpharetta, GA
Here’s my idea of what an authentic conservative platform should look like:
–Cut personal and business taxes; explore flat tax or national sales tax alternatives to the progressive income tax; permanently eliminate the death tax
–Rally against cap-and-tax and all job-crippling energy policy; support ANWR drilling (here and now) and the active exploration of wind/hydro/nuclear alternatives
–Repeal and replace Obama’s health care law; institute legislation that ends junk lawsuits, fosters competition among insurance companies, allows Americans to purchase insurance across state lines, and yields more choice for buyers; reject any and all government mandates/penalties/interference in the health and well-being of Americans
–Support a strong American missile defense program; reject defense budget cuts; reject treaties that limit the ability of America to defend itself against world dictators and terrorist threats; support military tribunals for terrorist trials; promote a foreign policy of “peace through strength”; be clear and outspoken in our support for Israel
–Reduce spending, particularly with respect to entitlement programs that are bankrupting our country; uphold the tenth amendment and honor states’ rights
–Support the second amendment
–Support choice in education (vouchers and charter schools); support merit pay for teachers and hold teachers/schools accountable for misconduct and bias in classrooms
–Embrace legal immigration, while rallying against illegal immigration; force the federal government to do its job of securing our border; reject amnesty for illegal aliens; see to it that states like Arizona don’t have to do what the federal government should already be doing
–Fight to protect the sanctity of all human life, including that of the unborn; ban partial-birth abortions and defund Planned Parenthood for its numerous scandals involving minors/their disclosure of inaccurate medical information
–Possess an unapologetic love of country
In addition, let me add that I think there are a number of attributes conservatives should insist that our elected leaders prioritize and embody:
–A solid record of voting to restore and sustain conservative principles
–Proven efforts (via executive leadership and/or voting records) to reduce government spending, minimize waste, and foster the growth of small businesses/entrepreneurship
–A rejection of business-as-usual in Washington and a willingness to take on the establishment if need be
–The courage to make decisions (that may be deemed unpopular) in the name of preserving our liberty and standing up to rogue nations
What news story did you find most outrageous this week?—Joe; Austin, TX
That’s a tough one, but I think I’ll go with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comment that the new health care law enables those pursuing creative outlets to quit their jobs and explore their talents, while taxpayers pick up the bill for their health care. She said, “We see it as an entrepreneurial bill, a bill that says to someone, if you want to be creative and be a musician or whatever, you can leave your work, focus on your talent, your skill, your passion, your aspirations, because you will have health care.”
Well, isn’t Nancy just an all-around gift-giver? A regular Santa Claus, I say—that is, with our money. Here we have the Obama administration’s redistributive ideology at its best: You work, so someone else doesn’t have to. I’ll bet Pelosi is salivating over the idea of industrious American artists, actors, and musicians going the way of dependence on government.
Since you went to a very liberal school such as Columbia, we can assume you didn’t get your conservative views from them. Do you feel as if you formed them due to liberal overload at that kind of institution? Or were your views formed well before then? Where, or to whom, would you give credit?—Kris; Boston, MA
I was very lucky growing up to be surrounded by people with a diversity of opinions and ideologies. My dad was always political, but my mom wasn’t (although she is much more so now). Politics wasn’t really a part of our dinner-table discussions, and the bulk of my exposure to it came from a really incredible high school teacher. She encouraged us to think, to form our own opinions, and to discover who we were politically without her opinion factoring into it. She was brilliant, and although the rumor was that she was very liberal, it never came through in her teaching. I am so grateful to her for that objectivity and for allowing me to form my own sense of political self within her classroom.
I have to be honest and say that I didn’t discover that I’m a conservative by listening to old Ronald Reagan speeches or reading the classics. I just sat down and thought about what made sense to me, what policies retain the integrity of our founding principles and are best for America. Being at Columbia and living in New York City haven’t shaped my ideology. However, I will say that much of what I see in heavily-liberal environments reminds me of my commitment to what I hold dear. And provides a wealth of entertainment.
I thank my parents, above all, for always prioritizing hard work, diligence, and freedom of thought. When I entered college, they always made it known when they didn’t agree with me, but they also always reminded me of my right to think differently. I’ve carried that with me and hope I always will.
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