Conservatism has become a universal (somewhat deceivingly so) term to encapsulate the three following (sometimes strongly opposing) philosophies:
Economic Conservative/libertarianism: small government, low taxes, limited regulation, and free enterprise.
Social Conservative: opposition to government support for behaviors deemed ‘immoral’ and against open borders.
Neo-Conservative: expand American ideals throughout the world and show a strong support for Israel.
I’ve been labeled everything from ultra-right wing to flaming liberal… apparently, I’m a DemoLiberPublican. Personally, I classify myself as a socially tolerant, anti-war, small government, open borders conservative (whatever that means).
Realistically, I’d say this embodies the ideals behind the ‘Conservative’ movement. My understanding of ‘Conservatism’ is not that a predetermined rational of morals, religious dogma, or values must be imposed upon others, but that government is relegated to a conservative position… only interfering in cases of justice and other rights specifically assigned by the Constitution. Rarely, I believe that necessity in extreme cases will dictate the over-stepping of those bounds in a temporal (definitely not permanent) action.
In other words… I have absolute freedom, until it interferes with your freedom.
I often straddle the fence between Republican and Libertarian in most of my political philosophies, while wandering occasionally into territory deemed ‘Democrat’ by some.
Basically, I’m just like any other free-thinking American that doesn’t fit into a preformed mold created by the Liberal versus Conservative mindset.
My Christian views also play a role in forming my philosophies. The fact that Jesus clearly taught to care for the poor and give out of your excess to create an easier life for those who struggle and find it hard to get by… this cannot be ignored, if I am to truly define myself as a follower of Jesus.
How does this balance?
Politically/governmentally I am for peaceful interactions, individual liberty/freedom, tolerance, and self-reliance. Personally, I choose to live in a more socially compassionate manner and encourage others to voluntarily do the same (as Jesus taught this was to be individual conviction).
Because I am conservative and Christian, I do not believe in using government to force my beliefs or moral convictions on others… just as I do not want others to legally oblige me to their religious dogma.
Because I am conservative and Christian, I do not believe in forcing other nations to submit to my will or way of life at the barrel of a gun… but by the example with which I should be leading.
Because I am conservative and Christian, I do not believe in inequality or favoritism domestically or internationally (excepting ally nations, of course), because of race or the piece of land on which a nation happens to be established.
…More random thoughts to come 🙂 …