As radical extremist factions peddle their versions of identity politics, now is a good time for Americans to ask: what is the American identity? The failure of the Conservative Movement to address this question is because Conservatism is just that: conservative. Conservatism is always relying on a stopgap, reactive approach: it reacts to the strongest pushes against tradition and culture, while ignoring the gentle nudges into moral decay and cultural rigor mortis. This may work in the short run, but over time as society strays further and further from its history and its roots, the question of what it is we are conserving becomes foggier and foggier. Tradition gives way to novelty, restraint recedes into indulgence, and civilization descends into barbarity. Conservatives are ever little Dutch boys plugging their fingers into breaches in the dyke; eventually they run out of fingers to stop the leaks, and opportunistic groups like the “alt-right” and Antifa slowly gain notoriety -in part because they are offering to fill a vacuum created by Progressives’ persistent onslaught against Conservatives’ mealy-mouthed defense.
If conservative Americans want to avoid being completely routed by the Left or subsumed by the “alt-right”, it will require a more proactive approach; we must define ourselves, not by what we stand against, but what we stand for. Americans must rebuild the house from the ground up, building on a firm foundation and establishing a sound framework for the future that can reach across gender, race, religion, or nationality. It requires new approaches to timeless and universal principles.
The most important aspect of any foundation is the cornerstone. If the foundation is solid, then any error that may creep in later can easily be remedied. For over 100 years Progressives have chipped away at our foundation, destroying or discrediting any American traditions and values that made us exceptional as a nation, in their effort to make us just another European clone. We must undo that damage and reset and restore the cornerstones of America: Natural Rights, and Natural law.
What are Natural Rights? They are those rights endowed to us by nature and nature’s God. They are inherent in our Creation. They cannot be transacted, bestowed or taken away…though they can be violated thru the transgressions and unrighteous dominion of men. Chief among these rights (and arguably the rights all other rights fall under) are life, liberty, and private property.
What is Natural Law? It is the natural duty each man owes to his neighbor; his moral responsibility to others as he pursues happiness as he sees it. The most fundamental of these duties are: first, one can never violate the Natural Rights of his neighbor except in self-defense or as punishment for a crime, and second, that he genuinely inquire after and reflect upon the nature of his obligations towards his fellow man, at all times and in all places -that he hunger and thirst to know & obey the Law of Heaven as it reveals itself to his conscience.
Natural Rights make Man free. Natural Law makes him civilized and just. Rights alone make us little better than feral animals; Law alone makes us petty tyrants cruelly enforcing our will on others. It is the balance between these two -rights and responsibilities- that have made America the most prosperous & blessed nation under God, and when we violate the one or neglect the other, we undermine the very foundation upon which this country was built and invite the wrath of nature and nature’s God to fall upon us.
Once the foundation has been laid, then we can finally discuss the framework: The Constitution of the United States, and The Declaration of Independence. We often hear conservatives talk about preserving the Constitution, but we rarely, if ever, hear from the Right about how the Constitution can always be amended in a way that goes against both the Declaration and a foundation of Natural Rights and Natural Law. It is not enough to enforce the checks and balances that Progressive regularly flout, we must ensure the Constitution aligns with the principles outlined in the Declaration, and that it is supported by a firm foundation of Natural Rights and Natural Law. If the Constitution is the arch built on the foundation, the Declaration is the keystone that holds that arch together. Take away the keystone or the foundation, and the arch crumbles and washes away under its own weight.
America is a nation of ideas. What makes us exceptional as a country is the fact that anyone can come here, and provided they adopt the foundation and the framework of America as their own, they become American. “Blood and soil” can never hold a candle to the power of ideas and the power of Truth. Which is what makes our reluctance to discuss powerful ideas -especially in the arenas of politics and religion- so unsettling. There is a tendency amongst most Americans to hold their tongue -particularly when it comes to sharing political and religious ideas- to avoid saying that which might offend, but if Americans want to take their country back from the barbarians, they need to “question with boldness” all that they truly believe, and then they need to open their mouths and speak without fear. We no longer live in a society where distasteful identity politics on either side can be shamed into silence; we must overpower their base philosophies with our own nobler ideas…ideas that can unite every man, woman, and child of every race, creed, and tongue. In America, diversity is a strength, because that diversity is bound together and united under the umbrella of American ideas as outlined in the Declaration. It is the common cause of liberty that unites us as a people, not skin tone. We mustn’t shy away from the battlefield of ideas out of fear of upsetting our friends, neighbors, or even family, because it is there and only there that Truth can win out, and the Truth is what makes us truly free.
There will always be tension. There will always be conflict. We will never agree on everything 100%. But let us agree on certain fundamentals: Natural Rights and Natural Law, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Let these be the foundation of the American Nation, our North star, our guiding light, the Cause to which we, like our forefathers before us, “mutually pledge…our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
Because a house built on anything else, will not stand the storm.
This post was submitted by Ornery Young Gunz (@orneryyg on Twitter).