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One of the tenets of conservatism is consistency in philosophical path. Conservatives have history on our side. We can take the things that have worked and continue to work, such as lowering taxes and defending freedoms, and hold them as stark differences between our beliefs and the beliefs of the leftist opposition.
That’s not to say our perspectives shouldn’t evolve based on advancements made in society. For example, just because bulk mail was once the best way to reach the masses in the past doesn’t mean conservatives should fight against using email and social media. We can adapt without precariously abandoning things that work just because a shiny new idea hits the scene.
One of the reasons we have been able to maintain the high ground on many issues is our willingness to consistently call out those who do wrong regardless of political affiliation or tribal support. We’ve seen this consistency dissolve, or to characterize more aptly, transform from consistency of beliefs into consistency of identity. Nothing has brought this to light with more clarity than the formation of two tribes during the 2016 presidential election: NeverTrump and AlwaysTrump.
It won’t be popular to say this because a good chunk of our readers either outwardly embrace their tribe or unwittingly fall into one of the two categories without even realizing it. NeverTrumpers see nothing good coming from the President or his policies. Even when he does something that’s clearly beneficial to the conservative cause like nominating originalist judges to the federal bench or cutting bureaucratic regulations, his accomplishments are always tainted by who he is in the eyes of a NeverTrumper. Conversely, self-proclaimed conservatives who fall into the AlwaysTrump category see everything he does as golden. For example, they could have been adamantly opposed to Senator Chuck Schumer’s proposed China tariffs in 2014, but now that the President has invoked a near-identical stance based off the blueprints Schumer and Senator Bernie Sanders established, suddenly the tariffs are wonderful.
NeverTrumpers say the tax cuts weren’t good enough. AlwaysTrumpers say bump stock bans are common sense gun laws. NeverTrumpers said he would never actually move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, then went silent when it happened. AlwaysTrumpers are suddenly huge fans of the criminal justice reform, though nearly every Republican opposed a lighter version of these reforms less than a decade ago.
The cycle is disingenuous and extends beyond the President’s own actions. The hatred by NeverTrumpers towards anyone who supports the President is palpable. Meanwhile, those who agree with a NeverTrumper on any issue are instantly labeled as part of “The Resistance” by AlwaysTrumpers.
Both sides are wrong. One does not need to like the President to see the good things he’s done, just as one does not have to hate the President in order to criticize him.
Over the next year-and-a-half, the majority of political attention by conservatives will be placed on the 2020 election. I don’t want to downplay the importance of this election, but I would like to offer an alternative way of looking at the needs of the nation. It’s time to start steering the President and every Republican candidate towards a more conservative position on whatever issues they’ve shifted ideologically to the left. It’s happening to many if not most Republicans because the Democrats are abandoning the middle. From an election perspective, it seems to make sense for Republicans to follow them and take some of the ground being abandoned by Democrats in the mushy middle, but this would be a mistake. Instead, we need to be driving Republicans to the right because now more than ever we have an opportunity to highlight the benefits of conservatism in stark contrast to the radical progressivism of modern day Democrats.
What good are Republican victories if they’re going to embrace moderate or even leftist ideologies? It was these moderate ideologies that prevented Obamacare from being repealed despite a clear mandate following the 2016 election to do just that. It was the moderate ideologies that convinced Republicans to abandon the fight for border wall funding on eleven occasions in the two years they had power.
If we look at conservative victories during the Trump era, we’ll see they have proven to be effective. The most obvious example is the tax cut initiative that jumpstarted the economy in ways that surprised even many Republican lawmakers. Now’s the time to use the Democrats’ leftward lurch to reaffirm conservatism within the party.
We can build the wall, stop socialism, repeal Obamacare, dismantle bureaucracies, cut spending, reduce the debt, balance the budget, and make the economy soar. All we need is a hard push to the right by conservatives.
What we need in order to help accomplish this is to revive the American Conservative Movement. If you’re interested in learning more as it develops, please fill out the form below.
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