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Foundation of conservatism
4/3/2008 10:33:15 AM
Mellow Greetings, Citizen!

I had mentioned in an earlier entry that I was going to blog about my definition of conservatism. As I get started, understand that I don't believe that I have any particular credentials to qualify me to blog about this topic other than the books I've read, the study that I have done, and my life experiences.

So, without further ado, I'm going to start with what I believe are the foundations of conservatism.

In an earlier entry, I stated: "Honesty and Integrity (Values) - Our society has changed fundamentally. The vast majority of people no longer consider honesty and integrity important. The expectation now is that everyone lies. Most people do - for any reason - and think nothing of it. In addition, most people no longer hold elected officials (or anyone else) to a higher standard of conduct. Who do most people hold as role models and heroes? Celebrities! Actors, sports players, rock stars - most of them have little understanding of real life, but believe that their opinions are more valuable than ours are and have the nerve to subjugate the morals, values, and actions of others."

I stand by that. It seems that the expectation is that everyone lies in order to get what they want or perceive that they need. When you tell the truth or are honest and it is apparent that it would have been better for you if you had lied, people are flabbergasted. If a cashier at a store makes a mistake and gives me too much change, they can hardly believe it when I return the overage to them. I suspect that those of you that have done this have been gazed upon as though you had a horn growing between your eyes...

Personal responsibility goes hand in hand with honesty and integrity. Instead of seeing all misfortunes that befall us as somebody else's fault, we accept that sometimes, when we fail, it is our own fault. Even when it isn't our fault, we don't look to someone else to fix it for us or become totally incapacitated due to whining and feeling sorry for ourselves.

I'm not saying that we never accept help. There are plenty of times when offering and accepting help is appropriate. But there is a difference between a hand out and a hand up. At the point that we continually accept help which we don't really need and which doesn't help us to strive to better ourselves, that help becomes a hand out.

This being an election year, I can't help but comment on politics in general. I believe that, unfortunately, the majority of elected officials (and appointees) forget about honesty and integrity (though many of them espouse both) in nearly every decision they make and vote that they cast and instead of representing us, they represent themselves only. They make backroom deals and jockey for position. After they have been there for a while, they totally lose connection with everyday people. Newbie politicians go into office with the intent to be a representative as was envisioned by the founders, but are repeatedly told (in particular by those who helped him get elected and are expecting to "cash in") the they can't be effective unless they "play the game".

Cynical? Yep. But I believe we have reason to be cynical. Do a little research into why you and I (taxpayers) are spending millions of dollars for the Army Corp of Engineers to erect a wall for Egyptian security when the efforts to build a wall for our security is languishing.

Enough for now...

Live Long and Prosper...
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