Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What it Means to Be Conservative - Part 7: American Exceptionalism

To wrap up my series on what conservatism means, I'll mention one of the most common themes that conservatives share. We all see the United States of America as an exceptional nation in history, a unique and radical experiment in human governance that has brought about unrivaled prosperity and freedom for the people.

Here are the other parts of this series:
Part 1: Limited Government and Free Enterprise
Part 2: Anti-Elitism
Part 3: Wealth Creation
Part 4: Natural Law
Part 5: The Right to Bear Arms
Part 6: Legal Immigration

Each of these topics gives a piece of the puzzle - a partial explanation of why the United States is so unique. You see, what we now know as conservatism is really just about sticking to the tried and true principles and policies that made this country great.

The self-labelled "progressives" advocate changing these principles - replacing them with "new" and "modern" ones. However, we conservatives realize that the "new" ideas of the progressives have been tried over and over throughout history and have never worked. They put a new name on them, dress them up in fancy words or catchy slogans, but they're the same old ideas that have led to the poverty, disenfranchisement, enslavement, tyranny, and oppression that have plagued human civilizations for thousands of years. The real new and progressive idea is that might does not make right, that all people have rights that others (including government) should not violate, that all people should be free to pursue their own dreams and aspirations without fear that someone will take the fruits of their labor or bring them harm. No other country has been founded upon such an idea.

The United States is great precisely because we have a government that is not all powerful, but is limited in its ability to control the citizens and therefore leaves the people free to pursue their own aims and to produce, trade, and invest freely. We are different because we recognize and protect the inalienable rights of the people and because we apply these protections to all people, not just an elite few.

However, these ideals upon which our country was founded are being undermined and attacked by those who are convinced that they have a better way. Science, logic, and history are apparently irrelevant to them and they appeal primarily to the emotions. Unfortunately, few have really learned conservative principles or how to explain them to a country that is increasingly interested only in what government can do for them. The need for education on this issue is great, so spread the word about what conservatism really means.

And so here is the last of the videos from Bill Whittle on American Exceptionalism. In it he gives evidence that the United States is exceptional in all the major ways that a country can be exceptional and tells us why. It's well worth watching.

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