Anyone who’s read this website knows that my first choice for president was Fred Thompson. Since that didn’t work out the way I’d hoped, I’m thankful that he didn’t just disappear back to Hollywood. We need Fred to continue advocating conservatism’s core principles. That’s precisely what he did in this column.

We’ve heard alot recently that we’d have to remake the GOP brand, whatever that’s supposed to be. I suspect the people saying it really mean that conservatives need to abandon conservatism. I’ve rejected that as utter nonsense. I’m not alone in the Right Blogosphere, either. The best news is that Fred Thompson thinks it’s BS, too:

We know that we were given a country based upon certain eternal truths, the wisdom of the scriptures and the wisdom of the ages, the fact that there is such a thing as human nature that has to be taken into account when governing, and most fundamentally, based upon the fact that people are meant to be free. Our founders derived from these principles a government that had its powers separated, checked and balanced because they knew that power tended to corrupt. In keeping with that they incorporated in our Constitution a system of Federalism to make sure that there was not too much power concentrated in the central government, which was given delineated powers and no others.

When we see government burdening us with unnecessary regulations, it’s imperative that we fight against it. When we see government attempting to burden us with trillion dollar tax increases, we must fight against it.

True conservatives are steadfast about federalism because it defines what different layers of government are responsible for. That’s why John McCain isn’t a true conservative. The minute conservatives stop being steadfast about federalism is the minute that the GOP starts having electoral troubles. Once that happens, it’s difficult to get the genie back in the bottle, which is what’s happening right now.

It’s important to note why federalism was part of conservatism’s core: a powerful central government is destined to be corrupt. It’s inevitable. Here’s another great Fredism:

Some of our fellow Republicans say that things are different now and we must change with the times. We recognize that appropriate change is necessary, just as the conservative thinker Edmund Burke did when he supported the American Revolution.

However we must ask those who would modify our principles, “When did freedom and liberty become outdated?” Then, “What part of our Constitutional framework needs to be abandoned?”

More than anything else, we need to eliminate spineless squishies. That said, we can’t just abandon them. It’s imperative that we immediately replace the squishies with steadfast, principled conservatives. The reason why we need to replace squishies with principled conservatives is because we need that type of person in Washington, where they’ll be attacked for their beliefs daily. There isn’t a better example of that than the woman who represents me in Washington, Michele Bachmann. In her stump speeches, she often brags that her spine is made of titanium, something I don’t doubt because she’s withstood some whithering attacks from the left. She hasn’t abandoned those principles, though.

We needn’t abandon conservatism. If anything, we need to stop acting like Democrats. If the “GOP brand” is tarnished, it’s because we lost sight of the principles of Reagan and Goldwater. Finally, check this out:

Not too long ago I was asked by a group of 11 year olds why I was so interested in government and politics. I thought about it for a minute and then I said that, while I was interested in politics from an early age, as I got older I became more interested in what politics were supposed to do, like protect our freedoms. I told them that over the years as I read world history it dawned on me just how unique our country was. How a small group of intellectuals and a much larger group of average people, servants, tradesmen, some folks who had had run-ins with the law but all of whom shared a desire for liberty, came here, carved out a place in the wilderness and decided they could govern themselves. How they came up with a Constitution that was the envy of the world and still is. How they elected a President who could have been a king, but instead served his terms, got on his horse and rode out of town never to return.

Isn’t it time we got busy electing conservatives and governing like conservatives? I’d say it’s long past time.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

2 Responses to “GOP Core Principles Becoming Obsolete? Don’t Bet On It”

  • J. Ewing says:

    Great rhetorical question, and the right answer. So tell me: How? The names that will appear on the ballot have already been decided. I can vote for a Republican or a Democrat, but no where do I see a “conservative” label, I have to decide that for myself, and after that, I STILL have but two choices– a Republican or Democrat.

    Isn’t the question, “HOW do we elect more conservatives and get those already elected to govern more conservatively?”

  • Gary Gross says:

    Eventually, yes, we have to determine how we’ll vote in each election but Fred’s article deals more with building a new conservative movement so that our choices get easier with each election cycle.

    For the time being, yes, we have to decide if we’ll demand conservative purity & whether we should vote for specific candidates. Personally, I’ve already made my decision.

    I’ll be voting for Norm & Sen. McCain because they’re serious about preventing jihadists’ attacks & because they believe in strict constructionist judges & because they believe in keeping taxes low & stable.

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