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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Taxes and spending. He was a flat tax kind of guy.
- 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.