On Cautious “Conservatives”

The word “conservative” is no longer an accurate description of one’s political ideology. Too many fiscally liberal Republicans have self-labeled themselves as “conservatives,” watering the term down to the point of meaninglessness (particularly here in “GOP-controlled” South Carolina). For the sake of this column, then, we will operationally define a “conservative”…

The word “conservative” is no longer an accurate description of one’s political ideology. Too many fiscally liberal Republicans have self-labeled themselves as “conservatives,” watering the term down to the point of meaninglessness (particularly here in “GOP-controlled” South Carolina).

For the sake of this column, then, we will operationally define a “conservative” politician not as they define themselves – but as elected officials (or candidates for public office) who are neither fiscally liberal Democrats nor fiscally liberal Republicans. In other words politicians who votes in the best interest of taxpayers – consistent with the founding American principles of individual liberty and free market capitalism.

You know, all that “My Country Tis of Thee” stuff …

Of course voting the right way (or pledging to vote the right way) is not enough. In fact it’s not nearly enough. Don’t get us wrong – government at all levels is in desperate need of individuals willing to stand up for their constituents against the crony capitalists, bureaucrats, leftist reporters and entrenched special interests driving this country into a ditch.

But it is not enough to simply “do right,” government at all levels is increasingly in need of individuals willing to call out those who are doing wrong.

Here in South Carolina, there are only a handful of elected officials willing to take principled pro-taxpayer positions. That’s terrible – especially considering the Palmetto State’s reputation as the “most Republican state in the nation.” It’s even more terrible when you consider South Carolina voters chose as their governor a Tea Party leader who vowed she “wouldn’t stop” until she had achieved a “more conservative House” and a “more conservative Senate.”

“Conservative.” There’s that word again …

But what’s worse than the dearth of limited government, pro-liberty elected officials? The fact there is literally no one who consistently takes after those who get elected on those principles – and then betray them.

Sure, there are isolated instances of “Republican-on-Republican (rhetorical) violence” – but these criticisms are almost always confined to primary elections (of which there were virtually none in 2012). Most politicians who aren’t directly involved in a race choose to sit it out, careful not to say anything which could be construed as supporting or opposing any “Republican” candidate.

Consider the upcoming race involving U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham – a.k.a. the poster child for the wholesale ideological surrender of the Republican Party in Washington, D.C. Graham is the most liberal “Republican” in the entire U.S. Congress, yet who among South Carolina’s “conservative” leadership is going to call him out? On anything?

Will “conservative” S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley campaign against him? What about “conservative” U.S. Sen. Tim Scott?

Of course not …

What about U.S. Reps. Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy, Mick Mulvaney and Mark Sanford? Or state leaders like S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis or S.C. Sen. Tom Davis?

Will any of these leaders openly campaign against Graham?

Perhaps one or two of them … perhaps.

Obviously it’s not just Graham who deservers to be called out. There’s a whole host of “Republican” politicians at all levels of government who deserve to be pilloried (unless you think big-spending, tax-hiking leaders like U.S. Speaker John Boehner and S.C. Speaker Bobby Harrell have been representing your interests in their legislative leadership roles).

As American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox once said, “To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men.”

She was right … is right.

There have been innumerable occasions in recent political history when one courageous voice could have inspired other voices … which could have inspired a movement … which could have resulted in really good things being done (or, more likely, really bad things being avoided). Yet lamentably most “conservatives” sit back and watch as leftists like Graham get patted on the back for “reaching across the aisle” and “getting things done” – as if ideological surrender and activist government were inherently noble ends.

So grow some balls, “conservatives.” Don’t just vote the right way. Don’t just say what it is that you believe. Point the finger when another “conservative” leader is growing government, raising taxes, voting against our constitutional rights or otherwise being a hypocrite.

Don’t walk softly and carry a big stick. Scream … and carry a battle axe.

That’s the only way things are ever going to change …

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Sandlapper September 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Conservative Republicans. There is a fiscal variety and a social variety.
We have examples in Graham, Haley, Scott, Bright, and even ol’ DeMint. Best I can tell the whole party is full of shit.

Sarah Palin Forever! September 5, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Fits,its time for you to seriously consider giving up on politics.Its OVER man.NO ONE can live up to your standards.You’re destined to be disappointed over and over and over.

Whats the point?

Frank Pytel September 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Freedom is the point, Sarah.

Sarah Palin Forever! September 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

You’re on here blabbering nonsense about wanting civilization to basically collapse “Pytel”You seem pretty “free.” What are you so worried about?

Have another drink man!

Frank Pytel September 5, 2013 at 5:16 pm

So sad

Sarah Palin Forever! September 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm

Sad it is.Clownfoolery about voting for Obama because you always vote for the worst candidate?Jerkoff silliness.Babbling on about ALL Democrats and ALL Republicans are rotten sonsabitches?Then howling about something called “freedom”as if anyone is doing a damn thing to stop your mindless drivel?

You’re great entertainment “Pytel” but cut the preachy “freedom” bullshit.You’re the freeest bastard I know!

Soft Sigh from Hell September 5, 2013 at 7:18 pm

A wonderfully self-descriptive term!

jimlewisowb September 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

The cockroaches know they have the upper hand on double dealing, back stabbing,and cork screwing of taxpayers and voters

They use our money not only to enrich themselves and their friends but also to build barriers to hide/conceal their activities

To stop chinking away is not an option

If nothing else, comments on this blog and other sites at least let the sons of bitches know there are people out there who will gladly piss on their graves as they sink to the deepest depths of hell

Frank Pytel September 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm

+ 1

Curious September 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Because you know they’re reading, even if they say they aren’t.

SparkleCity September 7, 2013 at 12:25 am

It also give the libertarians someplace to vent while they travel on the road to nowhere………

wanabejedi September 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm

death to the elephant!

TontoBubbaGoldstein September 5, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Excellent post.

Gregory Geddings September 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Correction: TBG say Excellent post.

TontoBubbaGoldstein September 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm

TBG offers a heartfelt “Thanks!”

SparkleCity September 7, 2013 at 12:26 am

I support the right to arm bears!!!

9" September 6, 2013 at 5:49 am

Conservative? What a joke.See-Barry Goldwater.True Liberalism died decades,ago.

nitrat September 6, 2013 at 10:12 pm

You people need to make yourselves happy and call yourselves and run as Libertarians. You are not Republicans but you want to make use of their organization. You should have been infiltrating the once GOP long enough to steal what you need by now and leave ’em alone.

Raymond September 7, 2013 at 10:09 am

Not only is the word conservative meaningless, so is RINO which once literally meant someone whose voting record is indistinguishable from that of a Democrat. Now it means someone judged insufficiently conservative by whoever uses RINO as an epithet.

TruPatriot September 7, 2013 at 10:40 pm



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