Millions of Americans who call themselves conservatives are angry. And I can’t blame them.
They look around and see their country being taken over by Marxist-inspired barbarians. They see personal freedoms they’ve taken for granted eroded. And they see smug politicians and activists glibly call them racist and sexist and various other ugly labels.
But in their eagerness to blame someone for this, self-described conservatives are looking in the wrong places for the cause of these developments. If they really want to know why things are falling apart, they need to collectively look into a mirror.
The conservatives of my youth would have been shocked at what today’s so-called conservatives have become. The positions and rhetoric of today’s Republican Party are radically different from the free-market conservatism of Ronald Reagan.
The people who call themselves conservatives today are really populists, but they don’t understand that. They’ve handed the control of their party to liars and charlatans. They have no principles other than “owning the libs” on social media. And they still can’t admit to themselves that Donald Trump is a narcissistic con man who’s bamboozled them.
Worst of all, they’ve abandoned the principles of individual liberty.
My views of the world have shifted strongly over time, but my personal life is still guided by the conservative beliefs I grew up with. I haven’t changed at the core, but the people who call themselves conservatives have now lost sight of the principles of freedom that we used to value.
Traditional conservatives had blind spots about the application of their principles. It was my discovery of those blind spots that led me away from their movement. I’m a radical for individual freedom. I now understand that every person has the right to control his or her own life in a far more fundamental way. That led me to becoming a libertarian years ago and then moving beyond that to being a voluntaryist.
In the years since I left the conservative movement — to embrace a more consistent vision of personal liberty — the people who call themselves conservatives have gone in the opposite direction:
— They have embraced big government, as long as big government is trying to enforce their views.
— They have embraced liars and would-be tyrants, especially in the recent mindless obsession with Trump.
— They have lost any attachment to consistent principles, as their only real satisfaction in life seems to come from ridiculing their progressive left enemies.
The conservatism of Ronald Reagan Republicans offered a clear vision. It offered a specific set of principles and policies which provided a real alternative to the evils promoted by the progressive left. That’s why Reagan shocked the world to win the presidency in 1980. That’s why he was considered a generally successful conservative president, even as he wrestled with a Democratic Congress and waged a costly Cold War with the Soviet bloc.
Reagan wasn’t perfect, but he was a principled leader who offered a clear-cut alternative to the big government leftism which Democrats of the time embraced. The conservatives of that era mostly seemed to understand his core principles — because they were more concerned with freedom than they were in how they could hurt their enemies.
When it comes to principles, the progressive left has a clear vision of what it wants. I find their principles evil. I find the people who implement their plans to be barbarians. There’s nothing good about them — but they offer a clear vision of what they believe and why.
Today’s conservatives offer no such alternative.
Their embrace of con men such as Trump has shown younger people — as they get old enough to choose political positions — that they don’t want to be part of that group. Trump is an obvious liar. He’s been a cheat and a bully for his entire business career. He’s failed at most of what he’s tried. His personal life is vile and he has no sense of decency or morality.
Donald Trump is not a conservative. He has never been a conservative. He has no principles. No ethics. His only guiding light is his own narcissistic ego. (If you know anything about narcissistic personality disorder, you understand that Trump is a textbook case of a malignant narcissist.)
Young people look at that picture and quickly realize they don’t want to have anything to do with any group which would embrace such an evil man.
The only real pitch of today’s conservative movement is pathetic: “We’re not really for much of anything — and what we embrace always shifts depending on what Donald Trump tells us that day — but at least we’re not them there libtards.”
The implosion of the conservative movement — by forgetting principles of liberty and embracing evil leaders — has left no substantial opposition to the progressive left. Let me say this very clearly. The left is winning today because the only movement that was in any position to resist their barbarism has collapsed into a personality cult built around a liar.
I’m angry at what this country is becoming. I wish more people could see why the present direction is so dangerous and so evil. But I’m appalled that so-called conservatives have become so unprincipled and so populist that they’re in no position to resist this evil.
If you call yourself a conservative, you might very well be responsible for allowing the left to triumph today. Go back and study the words of some genuine conservatives from the past, men such as Barry Goldwater in 1964 or Ronald Reagan in 1980.
You might not agree with them about everything. I certainly don’t. But they provided a clear and principled alternative to what the progressive left was trying to do to this country. And they gave you a roadmap for how to fight the evils of Marxism.
If you want to know why the left continues to win, just realize how far the conservative movement has drifted from the principles of Goldwater and Reagan.
And if you want to find the blame for why you’re “losing your country,” look in the mirror and take a good look at the short-sighted folks who have allowed this evil to prosper.