Ad fontes

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Robert N. Going says it's time to get back to our roots:

Let's grow up, Conservatives! The reason the Republican Party is slipping away from us is that they and we have drifted from our roots. With the passing of the Founding Father, William F. Buckley, Jr., now would be a good time to review where we have been and where we should go.

As a starting point, he gives us the Sharon Statement, adopted in 1960 as the founding document of Young Americans for Freedom. It outlines in 12 short paragraphs a creed that upholds the indivisibility of economic and political liberty, the limited purposes and competencies of government, the Constitutional division of powers, the market economy and its essential role in freedom and prosperity, the importance of national sovereignty to liberty, and the necessity of opposing and defeating threats to liberty in the world.

If you were to compose a similar summary of conservatism today, what else would it include? The Sharon Statement was written before the judicial activism of the Warren Court and its successors, before LBJ's massive Great Society expansion of government, before Roe v. Wade. A similar statement written just 15 years later likely would have addressed those matters explicitly, although the principles are already present in the statement.

In more recent years, we've seen the rise of the wheeler dealers, a more Republican-friendly kind of government expansion which uses earmarks and special tax treatment and eminent domain to pick winners and losers in the free market. Given that the Republican Party is the major party most closely aligned with conservatism, conservatives need to denounce this kind of misuse of government power as clearly as possible.

Going says he intends these next few months to look back and look forward. The reflections of someone who was involved in the movement from its earliest years will be worth reading.

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1 Comments

Rob Abiera said:

If the government is picking winners and losers, it's NOT a free market.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 2, 2008 8:56 AM.

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