Real Conservatism

Is Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a real conservative?

Many of his conservative critics charge that he isn’t. This is a common tactic of conservatives: questioning the conservative credentials of their opponents while touting how conservative they are. As if there is any real difference between conservatives when their views are compared with libertarianism. And it is hard to take some of Trump’s critics seriously when they supported Romney in the last election.

Two things should be noted about conservatives and conservatism. One, conservative wars are phony wars. And two, being more conservative is not necessarily a good thing.

The problem with American conservatism, as Lew Rockwell explains it,

is that it hates the left more than the state, loves the past more than liberty, feels a greater attachment to nationalism than to the idea of self-determination, believes brute force is the answer to all social problems, and The Making of the King... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $8.89 Buy New $5.53 (as of 03:10 EST - Details) thinks it is better to impose truth rather than risk losing one soul to heresy. It has never understood the idea of freedom as a self-ordering principle of society. It has never seen the state as the enemy of what conservatives purport to favor. It has always looked to presidential power as the saving grace of what is right and true about America.

Before continuing I should say that this is not a defense of Trump. I neither vote nor endorse candidates. I despise most of Trump’s ideas just as I despise most of the ideas of all of the other Republican presidential candidates. However, I do agree with what Michael Scheuer recently wrote about Trump.

Trump is certainly a real conservative. Just look at his views on the military. At a fundraiser for veterans last year held on the deck of the USS Iowa battleship, Trump expressed his support for conservatives’ great love:

We’re going to be building up our military.

We’re going to make our military so big and so strong and so great. It will be so powerful that I don’t think we’re ever going to have to use it. Nobody is going to mess with us.

I am with the veterans one-hundred percent.

How could any conservative possibly question Trump’s conservative credentials when he worships the same god they do?

Here are forty things that real conservatives do, think, believe, and support which show that they and Trump are merely peas in the same pod:

  1. Real conservatives talk about reverence for and fidelity to the Constitution but don’t actually follow the Constitution.
  2. Real conservatives think that Americans should be locked in a cage to be raped and humiliated if they possess too much of a substance the government doesn’t approve of.
  3. Real conservatives support taking billions of dollars from American taxpayers and giving it to the corrupt governments of other countries in the form of foreign aid.
  4. Real conservatives think that Israel should receive more foreign aid than any other country.
  5. Real conservatives complain about Obamacare but never open their mouths about Bushcare—the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 that expanded Medicare beyond LBJ’s wildest dreams.
  6. Real conservatives believe that all tax reform should be revenue neutral. War, Empire, and the M... Laurence M. Vance Best Price: $16.00 Buy New $9.95 (as of 03:10 EST - Details)
  7. Real conservatives support the national security state overseen by the CIA, DIA, and NSA.
  8. Real conservatives support the Department of Homeland Security even though the United States already has a Department of Defense.
  9. Real conservatives support the continuation of U.S. military alliances with many countries around the world.
  10. Real conservatives support making “the rich” pay their fair share via a progressive tax system.
  11. Real conservatives support increasing the defense budget.
  12. Real conservatives attack Bernie Sanders for being a socialist but at the same time support socialized medicine via Medicaid and Medicare.
  13. Real conservatives support refundable tax credits like the earned income credit that allow some Americans to receive tax refunds when they paid in no taxes in the first place.
  14. Real conservatives complain, sometimes, about the abuses of the TSA, but never call for airports and the airlines to provide their own security.
  15. Real conservatives support federal gambling laws.
  16. Real conservatives support the government taking money from some Americans to educate the children of other Americans.
  17. Real conservatives believe the U.S. Navy is a global force for good instead of evil.
  18. Real conservatives support the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for all gun purchases.
  19. Real conservatives support the U.S. empire of troops and bases that encircles the globe.
  20. Real conservatives criticize, sometimes, the waste and fraud in federal welfare programs, but support in principle the welfare state via WIC, food stamps, SSI, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Section 8 rent subsidies, SCHIP, and TANF.
  21. Real conservatives believe the government is entitled to a portion of every American’s income.
  22. Real conservatives think that Social Security—an intergenerational, income-transfer, wealth-redistribution welfare program—should be “saved” so that future generations of the elderly can be supported by the young.
  23. Real conservatives support the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and see a role for the federal government in education even if they call for abolishing the federal Department of Education, which they rarely do anymore anyway.
  24. Real conservatives believe the government should provide the poor and farmers a safety net.
  25. Real conservatives support laws against victimless crimes.
  26. Real conservatives consider every veteran and member of the military to be a hero.
  27. Real conservatives think it is okay for the government to take money from those who work and give it those who don’t via unemployment benefits.
  28. Real conservatives support the United States imposing sanctions on other countries, a form of economic warfare.
  29. Real conservatives support a government space program.
  30. Real conservatives support a foreign policy of intervention in various degrees instead of a foreign policy of strict neutrality.
  31. Real conservatives want to consolidate federal job training programs instead of eliminate them.
  32. Real conservatives believe the United States should police the world.
  33. Real conservatives want to eliminate certain tax deductions, credits, and loopholes that allow Americans to keep more of their money in their pockets and out of the hands of Uncle Sam.
  34. Real conservatives support government grants for scientific and medical research.
  35. Real conservatives think that free trade agreements have something to do with free trade.
  36. Real conservatives believe it is the job of the U.S. government to provide relief to other countries after a natural disaster.
  37. Real conservatives support the federal ban on organ sales.
  38. Real conservatives would never publicly call for the elimination of the National School Lunch Program.
  39. Real conservatives oppose LGBT discrimination laws, but support the principle of federal anti-discrimination laws.
  40. Real conservatives support the government taking money from some Americans to pay for the health care of other Americans.

God save us from real conservatism.