FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.

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!"

Page Code: 95Count: 1095

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing

Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.

You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.

Econintersect Contributors


Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF

The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.

Take a look at what is going on inside of
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Comments on Feyerabend’s ‘Against Method’, Part III
Federal Repression System
News Blog
Schiaparelli's Descent To Mars In Real Time
September 2016 Existing Home Sales Still Not Excellent
September 2016 Leading Economic Index Improves Indicating Moderate Growth Ahead.
October 2016 Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Declines But Remains In Expansion.
15 October 2016 Initial Unemployment Claims: Rolling Averages Marginally Worsen
Infographic Of The Day: Real Estate Bubbles, The Six Cities At Risk Of Bursting
Tesla Is Playing The Long Game
Name Dropping, Clinton Likes To Mention Herself
The Ability To Enforce Mandatory Migrant Quotas Is Slipping Out Of The EU's Grasp
2016 Winners And Losers Against The Dollar
October 2016 Beige Book: Reading Between The Lines - The Rate Of Economic Expansion Marginally Improved
Clinton Vs. Trump: A Case Of The Lesser Of Two Evils
Inside The Post Office Railway
Investing Blog
The 401k Plan Manager 17 October 2016
How To Insure Your Stocks And Make The Stock Market Pay For It
Opinion Blog
Prop. 51 Versus A State-Owned Bank: How California Can Save $10 Billion On A $9 Billion Loan
Obama's Middle East Policy Has Been A Complete Failure - Or Has It?
Precious Metals Blog
Silver Prices Today Remain Volatile - What To Expect Now
Live Markets
20Oct2016 Market Update: Wall Street Exhibits Signs Of Investor Strain And Worry, Gold Falls And Stabilizes
Amazon Books & More

.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

Crowdfunding ....



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved