What is a Conservative?

This post—a long one, so heads up—borrows heavily from a premise I develop early in my book A Conservative’s Manifesto.

One theme that ran through the English colonies in North America, early on, was the view that some men are better than others, and those others are born to be led—they have no liberty, only those “freedoms” and “rights” handed down from on high by the government that rules over them.  The common man is incapable of reason, is unable to decide what is best for himself, and must be led by his betters.  Of course, this governance always is for only the best of reasons: “We know better,” and “It’s for your own good.”  And it flowed, then, from a pater familias and kindly king.

Who Has Israel’s Back?

Not the Obama administration.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lately pressed Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama to make clear what—if anything—would trigger a concrete response to Iranian efforts to obtain nuclear weapons—an effort that is very near to success.  Netanyahu also said that the Obama administration and other Western “allies,” by failing to draw a bright red line, lack the moral authority to press Israel not to preemptively attack Iran.

If Iran knows that there’s no deadline, what will it do?  Exactly what it’s doing: it’s continuing without any interference towards obtaining nuclear weapons capability and from there nuclear bombs[.]

Which Party is the More Worthy?

One party trusts Americans to make our own decisions, to see to our own prosperity, to honor our own obligations.  This party wants to see a smaller government that is less intrusive into our business’ and our private affairs, wants to reform, and so to preserve the principles underlying, Social Security and Medicare—including privatizing significant portions of them, trusting us to make our own decisions wisely—wants to foster an economic environment that restores our equality of opportunity so that, in the Theodore Roosevelt’s words, each American can “show the best that there is in him.”

But It’s the Wrong Problem

Ron Williams, a former Chairman and CEO of Aetna Inc, in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, described his evolution toward opposition of Obamacare’s Individual Mandate, which he had supported initially.  He then offered a couple of alternatives to the Individual Mandate; however his alternative solutions are as erroneous as the Individual Mandate is an overreach of Federal government power.  The reason for his error is that he’s pursuing the wrong problem.

Williams says

As a society, we have a moral obligation to ensure everyone has access to affordable health care.  We must find a way to cover those who are no longer healthy but need care.

Two Economies

We are at a cross-roads in our country and it’s time to force the issue.  We face a generational decision on the kind of economy we want for ourselves—and so the degree of individual freedom we want for ourselves.  We made a choice in the 2010 elections, and it’s time to confirm or repudiate that choice this fall and in the election cycles to come.

There are two basic types of economies available to us: wealth redistribution by government fiat or wealth redistribution by individual choice in a free market.  In this post, I’ll write a little about each type.

Sharia Law and Impeachment

Andrew McCarthy, writing for National Review Online last Friday, described a shocking—and revolting—development in American jurisprudence.

Before I go into that, though, let me digress and provide a couple of quotes from the Pennsylvania Constitution.  First is a state judge’s oath of office, from Article VI, Section 3:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity.

America’s Future—Defense Policy Principles, Part I

I wrote about nature of war from foreign policy perspective here.

In this first post about national defense policy principles and force structures, I want to talk about the meaning of “war” and “state of war”  from a defense policy perspective.  There is far more to war than shooting and exchanging missile fire, although overtly military actions are certainly central aspects of any war, especially in the end game.  A clear understanding is necessary if Defense and State are to work together as the unified whole they must in order for the United States effectively to defend itself in wars of any type.

Penn State and Duty

My blog is supposed to be about economics, politics, and their intersection, so I was reluctant to write this piece.  And in truth, the subject sickens me.  But in the end, politics also is about the interaction of people with people, about duty, about responsibility.  But what higher duty, what higher responsibility does any person have—does any society have—than to the welfare of our children?

I’ll not recap the case; ample reports can be found here and here and here.  Instead, all I can do is ask questions.  I won’t address all the key players in this ugly charade; my point will be clear, though.