Saturday, February 2, 2013

Essay Contest Submission by Anissa Wardell

"How do Conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"

by Anissa Wardell

Do we have a model conservative? Who embodies that term? I would say on earth there is no such person.

What is the most succinct definition of Conservative Beliefs?

"Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense.  Believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals.  Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems."

I believe we need to use the word conservative as an adjective. Conservatism is not ideology; it is a state of mind, a type of character and a way of looking at the civil social order.

What many of us refer to as conservatism is actually a body of sentiments. I think we have seen recently that it's nearly impossible to create a list of conservative convictions. I do believe that most could agree on particular adages. These adages may change from circumstance to circumstance or the necessities of the generation we are in, however, there are certain adages that conservatives adhere to and believe reflect their core beliefs.

#1 - Moral Order. There exists an abiding moral order that is God given to man. You might say it’s a moral order that was made for man and that man was made for it. Moral truths are permanent. Order signifies harmony, which to Christians is the inner order of the soul. The essence of order and morality is that all social questions are the responsibility of private morality. Any society that believes in an enduring moral order, a sense of right and wrong, with personal convictions about justice and honor will always be a good society.

#2 - Customs, Assembly, & Consistency. You could call this by other names, but customs, assembly and consistency is what enables people to live together peaceably. It's when we discard our customs, our assembly, and consistency that we lose that link to generations before us. Whenever social justice has been used to abolish customs, assembly and consistency, we have seen new customs, assembly, & consistency be created to replace the old. This is a slow and painful process that often emerges as an inferior replacement. Changes are necessary but should be done gradually and discriminatory without undoing old interests all at once.

#3 -  Direction. Conservatives believe that we were given direction from God in the form of morals. God gave us personal revelation, but it is perilous to weigh every societal issue on the basis of private judgment or rationality. In politics we do well to abide by precedent and precept and even prejudice.

#4 - Reflection. Reflection or prudence is a virtue. Conservatives act only after sufficient reflection, having weighed all the consequences.

#5 - Agency. We all come from a variety of thoughts and circumstance and none of us are perfect. We know that there will be imperfection and that there will be evil and inequality. We would grow bored or lash out in rebellion if there were to be a utopian domination. To seek for utopia is to end in disaster. We must have agency in order to protect our freedoms. Great civilizations were built on the foundation of freedom. Private property is essential in order to have a more stable and productive society.

Private property and agency are powerful instruments for teaching man responsibility and providing motives to integrity. Agency allows for the affording of leisure to think and freedom to act. Conservatives believe in voluntary association not in involuntary collectivism. All decisions should be made locally for those who come from a similar series of thought, therefore providing different thought processes to be implemented where a similar thought is acceptable by the majority of the community. A federal administration cannot confer justice, prosperity, and tranquility upon its society who is deprived of their responsibility and agency. Voluntary performance of individual duty teaches prudence, efficiency and charity.

#6 - Restraint. Conservatives aim to limit and balance political power so that anarchy and tyranny may not arise. When every person claims a power unto himself society falls into anarchy. Enforcement of laws, constitutional restriction, and political checks and balances maintain a healthy tension between authority and liberty.

#7 - Heritage. Change is necessary; therefore progression must happen but only with an equal dose of continuity. Change must happen in a regular manner that is stable.

"The great line of demarcation in modern politics is not a division between liberals on one side and totalitarians on the other. No, on one side of that line are all those men and women who fancy that the temporal order is the only order, and that material needs are their only needs, and that they may do as they like with the human patrimony. On the other side of that line are all those people who recognize an enduring moral order in the universe, a constant human nature, and high duties toward the order spiritual and the order temporal." by Eric Voeglin

Are we as a nation after temporal pleasure or are we after eternal blessings? What makes Conservatives different? How do our principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans? Our principles make it so that no matter what the desire of your heart is, you are free to pursue it!

2 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic essay for everyone to learn... what it really means, To Be An American!!

    ReplyDelete