One of the main tenets of conservatism is the belief that history and culture inform the present. We have just inaugurated a new president and have seen the Congress now controlled by a single party. The President is a liberal/ progressive as are those around him, as well as a majority of Congress, why is this a problem? To begin, unlike conservatives, liberals today do not look at history and seem to be at war with American culture. To that end they are more concerned with the Here and Now regardless of how it effects the future. Their concern with the Here and Now blinds them to cause and effect which drives their solutions to be based on emotional or political reasoning and to be short-term. Conservatism looks at smaller answers that do not shake the foundations of society or go against the prevailing culture. Which is the better way to govern, quick and short term or slow and steady? Not to highlight my nerdiness but in one of the Star Wars movies Luke asks Yoda if the dark side was stronger, the answer was “not stronger, quicker, easier more seductive.” People will always look for the quick solution, take the easy path and be seduced by ideas that sound good, except on close examination. What history has taught however is the path to dictatorship runs on quick and easy solutions. That the masses can be seduced by the sound of fairytale progress if it is coupled with an enemy, is something that must be examined and understood.
While the country was reeling from the impact of Covid-19 the liberals stood firm, for eight months, in their position to block any relief to negatively impact the re-election of Donald Trump. After a riot that took place on the Hill and some idiots waving Trump flags broke into the Capital Building, it took seven days for the liberal congress to draw up and vote on an article of impeachment. On January 25th, the article of Impeachment was delivered to the Senate The single article is “incitement of insurrection.” This is a very serious charge but wholly unprovable. There is no evidence that the President ever spoke any words that would have called on the people to march on the In fact, he said to peacefully protest. So, we see two problems, one an emotional overreaction and a move toward thought police. As stated, history drives the future and a failure to understand the underlying philosophies that were used to set up the United States makes it difficult to understand what the problems are today.
Our founding fathers were students of political thinkers such as Locke and Hobbes, and contemporary writers such as Edmond Burke. They were also students of history and understood the success and failures of past political systems.
While the Declaration of Independence showed Jefferson’s liberal thinking. The father of the Constitution, James Madison, believing in a strong central government, feared that the government could become too strong, thus the separation of powers. Beyond Madison was the more conservative Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton having learned from European history the horror of an unrestricted government in Federalist 84 Hamilton argued for the inclusion of a bill of rights limiting governments power over the people and the individual States. As is well known the first amendment protects freedom of speech as well as the right to peacefully. This brings us back to some of the major problems we see today in liberal governing techniques.
Going back to the current impeachment trial. The charge against the former President is that, through his words, it is perceived that he incited a crowd to march on the Capitol in an act of insurrection. Without direct evidence the Senate will be trying Trump for his words, which without direct evidence of calling for an insurrection should be considered protected speech. Here again we see an example of short-term thinking as well as an emotional response, without concern for how this will affect the future. This is a violation of the first amendments protection of free speech as well. It also strikes at the right to peaceful assembly., since most of the people at the stop the steal rally did not march on the Capitol. It also violates Article 1 Section 3 of the constitution which states, “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.”
Beyond the impeachment we see calls from the left to censor or remove from congress the leaders of the attempt to review what they considered fraudulent votes. I do not know what the results of an unbiased investigation would reveal but I think there was enough circumstantial evidence to launch an investigation. If they just declared it a fair election the liberal would not have to face what may have been an embarrassing result. By not even attempting to show some interest in an investigation they could take the quicker, easier path and seduce the public into accepting any “facts” they put out.
It is obvious that liberals move quickly to find the easiest short-term solution, are conservatives the direct opposite. According to the famous American conservative, William F. Buckley, “A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling ‘Stop!” I am not sure it is truly ‘stop’ but at least slowdown.
As a country we need to use history and reason as well as stay true to our founding philosophies and continue to move forward at a pace that does not destroy the country.