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posted on 14 May 2016

What is American Conservatism, Anyway?

Written by

As Donald Trump wraps up his GOP nomination and prepares for the general election, there is no better time than now to truly understand American conservatism for two key reasons:

  1. Voter education: American conservatism, succinctly defined by President Reagan, has been so distorted over the past 25 years that it now requires a more concise qualification: nobody is truly conservative unless he (or she) is fiscally conservative!
  2. Election: Donald Trump is a true Reagan conservative, plus more!

1. What is American conservatism?

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia - Conservatism in the United States:

Historically, the central themes in American conservatism have included respect for American traditions, support of Judeo-Christian values, anti-Communism, advocacy of American exceptionalism and a defense of their view of Western civilization from perceived threats posed by feminism, cultural Marxism, moral relativism, multiculturalism, and liberal internationalism. Liberty is a core value, with a particular emphasis on strengthening the free market, and opposition to high taxes and government or labor union encroachment on the entrepreneur.[1]

President Ronald Reagan set the conservative standard in the 1980s; in the 2010s the Republican leaders typically claim fealty to it.

2. President Reagan and American conservatism

President Ronald Reagan will prove, if not already has proven, to be the best American President after WWII, at least!. He also accurately and succinctly defined American conservatism for his time!

Unfortunately, the MIC (Military-Industrial Complex) grew amok on his watch, "partially" for what he felt was a valid reason: the Cold War.

Why "partially"? Because the Cold War was there when President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in his in farewell address, explicitly warned us against the MIC!

However, the Cold War ended in 1991. Instead of using it as an opportunity to pursue global peace, the MIC continued its expansion for two invalid reasons:

  1. With the decline of communism, a new "enemy" was needed and terrorism was chosen as a suitable replacement.
  2. Reagan's conservatism was hijacked and distorted to the advantage of the MIC ...

3. Today's American conservatism

Today, most self-proclaimed conservative politicians have two distinctive characteristics:

  1. They are socially conservative, from being anti-abortion to the Evangelical Christians.
  2. They are fiscally irresponsible for supporting the out-of-control MIC!

Supporting the out-of-control MIC goes against two fundamental tenets of conservatism:

  1. A limited government!
  2. Limited spending and taxes!

More specifically,

  1. A big MIC means a big government. An out-of-control MIC means an out-of-control government, from endless war to the tragic failure of our VA system!
  2. The MIC is inherently anti-America, destroying America from the inside out, exactly as President Eisenhower predicted in 1961!

In short, most of today's self-proclaimed conservative politicians are disingenuous!

4. Reinforcing Reagan's definition of American conservatism

It's time to reinforce Reagan's definition of American conservatism with the following qualification:

With that, then, clearly Ted Cruz is no conservative (Donald Trump is more Conservative than Ted Cruz!), nor is Paul Ryan (Who is Paul Ryan, Anyway?)!

In contrast, Donald Trump is definitively a true Reagan conservative, because he is a de facto Libertarian! Specifically,

  1. Trump is for a limited government, and is, very importantly, fiscally conservative.
  2. On foreign policy, Trump advocates America first, favoring non-interventionism. For more, read: America's Post-WWII Foreign Policy.
  3. Trump is socially moderate.

For more, read: Who is Donald Trump, Anyway?

5. Discussion

In today's America, the word "conservative" not only is overused and misused, but also carries a big negative connotation for hypocrisy! Why is that? Because Reagan's clear and simple definition of American conservatism has been severely distorted!

How could Reagan's definition of American conservatism have been so severely distorted since 1991, when the Cold War ended?

Blame the MIC!

Largely because of that, the GOP has become "a regional party, doomed to lose the White House for years" (The Republican boss leads a wary embrace of Trump)!

The bad news: The MIC is so big and so out-of-control now that it is a huge existential threat to America, second only to socialism/communism! For more, read: Democratic Socialism vs. Democratic Imperialism.

The good news: Donald Trump has shown some promising signs to possibly fix the MIC (e.g. Donald Trump reveals his isolationist foreign-policy instincts). For more, read: Fixing the Military-Industrial Complex!

6. Closing

It's time to restore Reagan's definition of American conservatism with this qualification: "Nobody is truly conservative unless he (or she) is fiscally conservative, which means containing the MIC today!"

It's time to elect Donald Trump, a true Reagan conservative, to the Presidency in order to "make America great again!"

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