Friday, September 7, 2012

What it Means to Be Conservative - Part 2: Anti-Elitism

One of the major things that we conservatives are against is the concept of elitism, the idea that some people - those who are highly intelligent, educated, or wealthy - should be able to run the lives of others. The idea that these elites know more about how we should run our lives and should therefore make decisions for us is an idea that we find revolting and insulting. We do not and will not submit to having our lives dictated for us by those who consider themselves smarter or more qualified.

What conservatives also know is that the idea of a country run by elites is completely counter to the government that was set up by our Founding Fathers. While all other countries had elites to run things, whether a single king (monarchy) or a small group (oligarchy), the radical idea of the Founding Fathers was that the power belongs to the people. Each individual is the monarch of his own life, endowed by his Creator with the power and responsibility to make his own choices and to decide for himself how he will live. In this view, all men are equal under the law because each man or woman has this innate sovereignty. No one has been born to rule over others, nor can anyone attain the right to rule through any amount of achievement or capability. All people are inherently equal - subject only to God (their Creator), not to each other. This is the radical idea from which this country was born.

While we conservatives recognize that men are equal, we also realize that government is needed for the protection of the people. However, our government, unlike other governments, does not consist of elites making decisions for the people. Our government was set up as a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The power that is wielded by government officials is lent to them by the people. The people have the power, and they have delegated some of that power to certain individuals who are selected by the people to represent them. For a more detailed discussion of this concept of delegated power, see my post on Inalienable Rights - Part 4: Government by Consent of the Governed.

Unfortunately, in this country we have allowed the concept of elitism to creep back in. Both parties are guilty of this. Too many politicians see themselves as the smart ones who must take care of the rest of us by giving us what we need and telling us how we should live our lives. Those of us who hold to the vision of our Founding Fathers want to take back our country from those who believe they have a right to rule over us.

In this second video of the series, Bill Whittle explains why elitism is morally repugnant as well as being unworkable on a practical level.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Nothing gets my back up faster than someone who looks down on me. Grrr . . . It makes me want to scratch and bite. :) Thank you for sharing on NOBH!