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One of the basic tenets of conservatism is that the individual American holds primacy over all other levels of government. “Self-government” is what the founders envisioned. They believed that the states and the national government had roles to play, but those roles were intended to empower the individual and his/her family.
This belief has brought about a crossover of ideas that is false. Just because conservatives believe in the power of the individual, that doesn’t mean that conservative should embrace individuals as the answer in political wars. One of the biggest problems we face is that we’ve developed a culture of followers. In short, we have “idols” who millions of people latch onto in order to not only lead them if elected but also to help them formulate their own opinions.
As an active member of Ted Cruz’s grassroots support in his 2016 presidential run, I came across many people who treated Cruz as the guy who could fix things. They viewed him with a reverence that fell just shy of religious zealotry. He’s not the only one who brought this level of support. We’ve seen it with Ron Paul. We witnessed it for eight years with President Obama. We see it today with President Trump and to a lesser extent Bernie Sanders. As Americans, it’s imperative that we never put so much weight onto any one person because invariably they will disappoint us.
On the other hand, the conservative philosophy is designed to embody the type of allegiance that is all-too-often granted to individuals. Why? Because it is squarely rooted in the supremacy of the Constitution above all things other than the Bible. As Americans, we are given certain unalienable rights at birth. These rights are natural and God-given. The Constitution doesn’t grant them to us, but it does defend them in ways no individual or party could ever do. It’s for this reason that we should seek leaders who hold defending the Constitution itself as their highest non-religious calling.
As I noted on Twitter:
A big problem I've seen on both sides of the spectrum is people calling on politicians to defend them in some regard. That's not how it's supposed to work, folks. Our elected officials are to defend the Constitution. If they focus solely on that, our rights are fully protected.
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) March 8, 2019
We don’t need politicians to defend us or our rights. We need politicians who defend the Constitution. In its words and in the empowerment of its status as the foundation of government, our God-given rights are naturally defended. If our leaders will do everything in their power to defend the Constitution from forces within and abroad (including other American leaders), they will be performing the most important duty in their role as public servants.
Relying on men and women to defend our freedoms will invariably lead to disappointment and failure. If our leaders would simply defend the Constitution, everything else will fall into its appropriate place.
Is the nation ready to revive the American Conservative Movement?
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