Monday, November 20, 2006

A Moderate Conservative Is a Non-sequitur, or Is It?

On Sunday, November 12, 2006, I wrote a piece entitled, “Where Do Reasonably Moderate Conservatives Go From Here?”. I posted this article on my weblog and also on a conservative website. It resulted in a slew of comments from conservatives that “it’s not possible to be a moderate and a conservative, too”. Some of the comments to that effect were not so polite as they could be, and obviously I had touched a nerve among some people. It got me thinking about two questions: can you be a moderate conservative; and, what separates a moderate conservative like me from a ‘real’ conservative. The answer to the first question is yes – and without being a wishy-washy RINO. We are not liberals masquerading as Republicans. The answers to the second question appear below:

1. We want illegal immigration stopped, but we are in favor of a tough, earned citizenship program and a guest-worker program. We understand that the illegals here are mostly here to perform honest work, that all of them can never be rounded up and returned, and that there are jobs (like vegetable and fruit harvesting) for which we direly need them. We do want to see that fence under construction before the rest of the program is implemented.

2. We want limitations placed on abortion after the first trimester, and we want Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton overturned - not to stop all abortions, but because these decisions represent a grievous shredding of our Constitution, and judicial activism at its worst. However, we do not wish to return to the days of back alley abortions.

3. We believe that the Terri Schiavo case and the attempt to overturn the Oregon Death With Dignity Act represented injudicial intrusions of the federal government into private family matters, but we do not want government funding of research that involves the destruction of embryonic stem cells.

4. We remember Senator Joseph McCarthy as a dangerous, drunken bully who terrorized America’s intelligentsia – some of whom, during a time when capitalism looked like it had failed, had gone to meetings at organizations that were later categorized as ’communist fronts’. We will excuse our younger conservatives for not understanding the climate of fear and the loss of freedoms that this man engendered.

5. We agree with our more conservative friends that the Department of Education and teachers unions represent the greatest barriers to improving education in America, and that educational vouchers represent the best path to that end.

6. We are for limited government and low taxes; however, we are in favor of providing whatever resources are needed by intelligence agencies and the military to advance and defend America’s worldwide interests. We support President Bush in the Iraq War and want our troops to stay there as long as is necessary and approve the employment of whatever resources are needed to stabilize Iraq and keep it from partnering with terrorists.

7. We believe that Islamic fundamentalism represents the greatest threat now faced by western and American civilization, but we do not believe that the great majority of Muslims, world-wide, support these Islamofascist terrorists. We believe we need the active support of peaceful Muslim nations to counter and defeat this threat. Muslims have the right to try to institute their Sharia by peaceful, democratic means, and the rest of us have the right to point out what they are trying to do, the damage to our freedoms and traditions the Sharia represents, and to defeat these attempts.


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