The Conscience of this Conservative

Let’s first set the scene. I am and always have been a registered Republican. I am a John Kasich fan. I live in Oregon so my primary vote rarely ever matters because the nominee for both parties has typically been decided by the time Oregon’s late May primary is held. In Oregon, if you are a registered independent, you cannot vote in the Democrat or Republican primaries. I think two years ago there was a ballot measure to change that. I voted for it but it didn’t pass.

I am in my favorite season: Presidential election season. This is my version of the Olympics. I love watching the spectacle. My guy never seems to win but I still love watching.

Which brings me to my plight. In the late ’80s I read a slim volume by Barry Goldwater entitled “The Conscience of a Conservative”. I read it and I thought, “Yep, this is me. I am a conservative Republican.” Read it. It’s only 123 pages long depending on the edition you find.

What did that book say that told me that I’m a conservative? Here is a brief summary of the ideas set forth in that book.

  1. States’ rights.  The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” I’m a strong believer in states’ rights.
  2. Civil rights. He promoted “natural” and “human” rights. He believed in integration (keep in mind this is back in the early ’60s) and voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because he didn’t think parts of it were enforceable constitutionally.
  3.  Farming. He believed that U.S. farming should be kept outside of federal regulation. Let the market set the prices. Of course, he didn’t have to compete with foreign price controls and tariffs.
  4. Taxes and spending. He was a flat tax kind of guy.
  5. Welfare (as it was called then). He thought the federal government was not the solution to joblessness and poverty. Goldwater believed the “welfare state” created a culture of dependency. I believe that LBJ’s Great Society programs caused the dissolution of African American families and communities and most certainly led to a culture of dependency and entitlement across the country, black white whatever. Bad idea.

Obviously, there is more to the book but I don’t like to write really long blogs. I think a conservative believes that government should leave the individual alone to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; limit the federal government’s powers; and follow the Constitution. The U.S. is blessed to have one Constitution, where many Western countries have plowed through many. I believe in looking back to the 10 Commandments and the Magna Carta. Good ideas are timeless and I think some of that has been lost in this country.

Sooooo, believing what I do and agreeing with Goldwater on the conscience of a conservative, I’m a gal without a party. To be a “conservative” now means that I must oppose the civil rights of a large swath of this country, that I must oppose abortion for any reason any time any way, I must think that we should deport 12 million people back to Mexico, that creationism is science and so much more that isn’t me.

In this election, I’m in for John Kasich. He’s not perfect but no one is. He is a guy in my party who I have liked for decades and he does work with both sides of the aisle.

I thought I was a Conservative but apparently I’m not anymore. I’ve kept this short but am happy to elaborate on any issues in the comments.

I am also pro-white wine and golf.

19 thoughts on “The Conscience of this Conservative

  1. I am and always have been a Democrat, but a two-party system needs two strong, functioning parties to balance one another. Aside from John Kasich, the present Republican field must be leaving many intelligent and thoughtful voters with nowhere to go. It’s a bad situation for everyone.

    1. You are correct. I also look at the Democrats. I would have voted for Hillary 8 years ago but I think now she is insincere and unappealing. I really like Bernie because he truly walks his talk, sadly I cannot get behind that talk! 🙂 Thank you for reading!

  2. Anonymous

    Nice post, Maggie. My parents, who were Young Republicans, campaigned for Golwater in the 60’s. After, having voted for Reagan and then watching him squander this nation’s money on SDI, my father aligned with the Libertarians. From your post, it sounds like you political leanings are actually mor in line with the Libertarian party, given what the Republican Party has become.

  3. Brendan Stevenson

    Great post. I once considered myself conservative. I even voter Republican. Then, I realized I was supporting a party that would stomp on minorities, kick the poor on welfare (while protecting their patrons receiving corporate welfare), deny women the right to control their own bodies, and become so beholden to an ideology (i.e. lower taxes) that they stopped being reasonable. Lower taxes are not always the answer.

    This election is making my head spin. I cannot imagine a President Trump or President Cruz. And find it difficult to believe enough Americans will “feel the Bern” come November. The sad reality is that nothing will change until we change the ways congressional lines are drawn. The Republican Party in many states have gerrymandered the lines to protect seats and their control. Compromise had become as dirty a word amongst Republicans as amnesty. Until Congress begins to act like grown ups and realize that the way forward is somewhere between the fringes on either the right or the left, we are screwed.

    Come visit in Connecticut. We could have endless conversation solving all problems facing our great nation over endless white wine.

  4. Anonymous

    Start studying the Austrian School of Economics and read the various and sundry abstracts by its esteemed principals, Ludwig von Mises, Freidrich Hayek, Murray Rothbard et. al. By applying the various postulates and sound economic rationale, our country may have a fighting chance of staving-off the economic and fiscal armageddon which isn’t too far away should matters continue down the same path. Perhaps not in our lifetime but certainly in those of our children and grandchildren…

  5. I’m with you. I look at all these candidates on both sides and scratch my head. But elections really are a reflection of us as a people I guess this batch shouldn’t surprise anyone.

      1. My daughter and I were saying that voting on the Republican side is like trying to order off the confusing Cheesecake Factory menu…waay too many options..The Democratic side is like choosing whether you want a bag of nuts or pretzels on the plane.

  6. I come from a LONG line of registered Republicans. I married a Republican. I brought into this world four children, now adults, and all card-carrying Republicans. Oddly enough, only two of us are behind the same candidate. Hubby is hanging in there for Jeb. I’m in the Kasich family myself, although I don’t see he has much of a chance (not that Jeb does either!). Our two boys are for Trump and Cruz, the Trump fan is also a registered redneck, so it suits his personality. The two girls are for Kasich and Rubio. So it says that R’s do come in all sorts of flavors, which I say is a good thing. The Dems are all the same, bad or really bad, so despite not coming to any consensus this year, we do all agree that it can’t be Hillary or Bernie. We’re deeply invested in the process. We are still betting that Biden gets in, and when he does, all bets are off. I’d then say he’d take the presidency, easily, over any R.

    1. C, of course you and I are on the same team! I just went on a walk with a friend and we both are thinking Biden will get in or show up at the convention. Wonder when was the last time there was a brokered convention? Do you know how many dems are kicking themselves because they were scared off by the Clinton machine? Ha! I really don’t think I could bear Trump or Cruz but can live with any of the others.
      Hope all is well back there! xox

      1. I was shocked when Biden said he wasn’t entering the race and I have to think it was because of serious pressure by the DNC and that bat-sh** crazy Debbie Wasserman-Schultz who is having dreams of being in Hillary’s administration and rigs everything Hillary’s way. NOTHING would make me happier than for Hillary to crash and burn, or should I say, crash and Feel the Bern!

        I could never ever do Cruz – he’s creepy scary to me. I don’t like Trump but I’d find a way to vote for him if I had to. I was hanging in there for Christie a long time – he was my first choice, but he just couldn’t get people to believe him. Kasich has the same ability to bring both sides together.

        We’re all well, thanks!

  7. mikeakin1

    I was for Ohio John too. One of the candidates that I really liked and thought would have a great chance of winning the presidency. Two things that he done that pissed me off. Well the first things not so much pissed me off; but caused him to not do well…get in the race officially; late. Big mistake!! And what pissed me off; he will not support the republican nominee like he agreed. Sore loser in my book.

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