An Ideological Conservative’s Survival Guide
As ideological conservatives find ourselves in the political wasteland at the hands of our one time allies, we must not lose track of who we are nor waste the unexpected opportunity this turn of events presents. Unshackled from a political party largely dominated by an Establishment of leftist power brokers and crony corporatists enablers, we should seize this chance to start a new movement (perhaps even a political party) based on our core principles.
As in any survival situation, conservatives must employ basic survival tactics and focus on two critical tasks:
- stay together, as a coherent (and potent) movement and
- focus on necessities, so we can effectively engage in the Culture War.
Whatever else you may think, the ideological conservative movement remains extremely strong, with those self identifying as “conservatives” still at 38%. While about 40% of those voters are not ideological conservative (as revealed by the latest election cycle), that still leaves about 18% to 23% of the population of all voters (a conservative estimate), including millions of libertarians and independents who have left the GOP over the last 20 years. That is a massive group of people, roughly the population of California, Texas, and Florida combined.
If ideological conservatives formed a political party, it would be as large as the Republican Party practically overnight and, with effort and education, larger than both major political parties in only a few years. Whether or not we pursue this, we must remain true to who we are, what we believe, and, most importantly, why we believe it.
This guide will help conservatives through the critical paradigm gut checks ahead.
“A few short weeks will detirmine the political fate of America
for the present generation and probably produce no small influence
on the happiness of society through a long succession of ages to come…”
-George Washington, Founding Father-
Step 1: Read the Declaration of Independence and Constitution
It is the duty of every patriot to know these documents, so we can best defend them against those who would corrupt them. If you have not yet done so, take half an hour to read our founding documents in their entirety. If you have, read them again to recharge. The Founders put these principles of Liberty and limited government to print because they are vitally important to our freedom. Every day, these words are abused or outright ignored by leftists and corporatists. We cannot allow ourselves to do the same.
Acknowledge that the documents are not without flaws, as they are the result of difficult and often imperfect compromises between intelligent but complicated men, who struggled with contentious issues, to which they could many times find little common ground. It is the imperfections of the Constitution that led to the Civil War less than a century later, but the meat of the principles of Liberty are there, and most of the Amendments serve to advance the historic purpose that the Constitution began. Our goal should be to continue to refine the Constitution toward the purpose of Liberty. This is the core of what we believe and who we are.
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to
restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the
government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
-Patrick Henry, Founding Father-
Step 2: Recognize government for the evil that it is.
The founding documents were written as they were specifically because government is evil, not just the crown against which the Founders rebelled, but even the government that they were constructing. Necessary or not, the Founders understood that government has always been and always will be the aspiration of ambitious and dangerous men and women. Even when people have the best of intentions, their demands for ever increasing government power always leads to the destruction of someone’s Liberty. Always.
Over a century of temporary grievances and well meaning ignorance, we’ve accumulated a shambling monstrosity of governmental agencies infecting practically every aspect of life in America. Imagine millions of miles of decaying red tape flowing along every street into every business, every school, every state house, every church, and even wrapped tightly around your neck, all to feed redundant, bloated government bureaucracies. Should you try to extricate yourself from those rotting red vines, you’ll find steel chains of federal penal codes hiding just beneath the surface. Do you realize now why the Founding Fathers went to war over a 1¢ tax on tea. We are no longer truly free, at least not in the way the Founders wanted us to be. These chains must be broken. This is the core of why we believe what we believe.
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for
one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them
with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the
separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature
and of Nature’s God entitle them…”
-Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father-
Step 3: Sever counter productive ties that only hold us back.
When we point to our political and philosophical heritage, one document stands above all others as our political touchstone: the Declaration of Independence. As our Founding Fathers once made the difficult choice to sever their bonds from the British Empire that failed to protect their Natural Rights as free people, so must we sever our bonds with those that have failed to protect our Liberty.
The last few decades tested trusted bonds of friendship, and people we once thought of as allies betrayed us for 30 pieces of Nationalist silver. Even long trusted voices, like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, who have been peddling “popular conservatism” for decades, are complicit in this philosophical collapse. Their diluted brands of conservatism were supposed to broaden the appeal of conservatism but have backfired spectacularly and served only to hollow out the essential spirit of the Constitution or the principles of Liberty. We must raise the bar and lay our hopes on those who speak to the Constitution and the principles of Liberty at the heart of our movement. All others must be left behind to straggle along the trail we blaze.
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and
the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service
of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves
the love and thanks of man and woman.”
-Thomas Paine, Founding Father-
Step 4: Identify true patriots of Liberty and stand with them.
There are many ideological conservative voices, like Mark Levin, who are already established in the movement, but we need many more voices to become “fishers of men” for the cause of Liberty. We can no longer afford to be distracted by red herrings that pull us away from the Constitution. Politically, our every position, our every thought, our every word must be tied to the original intent of the US Constitution and the Natural Law underlying it.
We need a government to arbitrate as a judge, not rule as a king. We understand best the maxim that “a government is best that governs least” is based on our fundamental right to govern ourselves and our own business, and any government that is powerful enough to impose our values on someone else is powerful enough to impose their values on us. As painful as this may be to some, moralizing is not the role of government, and the citizens in other states have the right to manage their own affairs, and this is so that we retain the right to manage our own affairs. What the Constitution is silent about is as important as what is written explicitly, because those things are “reserved to the States respectively, or to the people” (10th Amendment), the very essence of Liberty. We must stand together with those who will uphold (and not abuse) this silence, as well as those that stand for the written Constitution itself.
“A popular Government, without popular information, or the means
of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps
both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who
mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves
with the power which knowledge gives.”
-James Madison, Founding Father-
Step 5: Put your time and money where your patriotism is.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Fortunately, there are many true patriots and platforms available to support, with many patriot voices of today as well as tomorrow. If you want to see change in the culture, then you need to support those who are fighting the culture war in your stead. Please note that there is no official connection between these individuals and Liberty is For The Win, but they are definitely worth considering if you have not already:
LibertyIsFTW – You are here for a reason. Maybe you’ve been around since I started the site in 2015, or perhaps this is your first read. In either case, if what you’ve read here has touched your patriot soul, please consider a gift to show your appreciation and keep this voice of Liberty alive. As little as a $1 a month goes a long way, not only as a token of appreciation but as an investment in the future of ideological conservatism. Let me know that my words are not in vain.
LevinTV – Mark Levin is and remains one of the most authoritative conservative political writers and speakers of our time. He dedicates as much time to Constitutional Conservatism as he does popular conservatism, and for him, the two are fundamentally inseparable. (Edit: I can no longer recommend nor support Mark Levin, who has clearly and unashamedly abandoned what he assured us were his “deeply held” principles.)
BillWhittle – Bill Whittle is an outstanding voice for conservatism. Go onto YouTube and see for yourself. His video commentaries on all things conservative and political are refreshing and pointedly conservative. There aren’t many voices that speak with as much clarity on issues of principled conservatism as Mr. Whittle.
LouderWithCrowder – Steven Crowder is not only an entertaining speaker but also an experienced culture warrior. He is a voice of conservatism and Liberty that will be around when our grand children are growing up, so investment in his future is an investment in the future of Liberty.
DailyWire – Ben Shapiro has become an established voice in conservative commentary, and he’s joined by Andrew Klavan, an extremely entertaining and eloquent voice in conservative media. It certainly is one of better prospects for the future of conservative media.
National Review – The National Review remains the preeminent and stalwart cornerstone of principled conservatism. Founded by the man who spearheaded the conservatism movement in 1955, William F. Buckley, it is where the top conservative scholars of our time find voice.
Others to be added in the future.
As always, patriots! Be Brave. Be Free.
Liberty is For The Win!
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