Why The United States Must Choose Between Conservative And Liberal Principles
The ongoing ideological war between conservatives and progressives can essentially be boiled down to a disagreement over the proper role of government in the affairs of those under its jurisdiction. Why are governments created in the first place? Who is it that governments are designed to serve?
From the conservative point of view the government is an entity which is created and designed with the primary purpose of protecting its constituents from the predatory practices of others. It represents the combined might of all those who created it and is to be employed on those occasions when the interests of all are in jeopardy. This is to say that it represents an alliance of those who created it with its initial purpose being to ensure the sanctity of the life, liberty and property of all those who fall under its jurisdiction.
In order for such a government to function it must also ensure a measure of peace and tranquility among its members. Members must therefore agree to recognize and observe the existence of domestic rules and regulations which ensure that the life, liberty or property of each member cannot be forfeited without “due process”. In other words, the underlying motive for banding together was to protect the members from those who might do them harm.
The opposite premise seems to undergird the progressive argument. From the liberal point of view it would seem that the primary duty of government is to take the property of some and give that property to others. If one considers the genesis of all governments, can one really argue in support of such a position? While it is true that the left has always demanded that wealth be redistributed when it represented the opposition, it reverts to the norm once in power and proceeds to put into place legislation designed to protect the wealth and assets of its constituents, in its case the State.
The point to this little article is not to suggest that we should not help those who are less fortunate, even if those less fortunate are temporarily ourselves, but that the indisputable purpose of any legitimate government is to protect the life, liberty, and property of those it recognizes as its citizens, even if that means protecting its citizens from the government itself.