The Nature of American Conservatism #4

The Nature of American Conservatism #4

This series of blogs is based upon William Bennett and John Cribb’s new book, America the Strong: Conservative Ideas to Spark the Next Generation.

They suggest that the key features of Conservatism are easily remembered using the acronym “FLINT”. This word stands for:

F=Free Enterprise

L=Limited Government

I=Individual Liberty

N=National Defense

T=Traditional Values

“I” stands for individual liberty, one of the main and defining features of the United States of America.

Many of today’s American youth appear to think in shallow ways about their own “personal freedom”. From all that I can tell, in their lexicon, freedom simply means their own ability to do whatever they want to do, when they want to do it and as often as they want to do it.

What they fail to understand is that they will never be free from the consequences of their actions; to themselves, their loved ones, or to the historically robust (but now fragile) socioculture in which they live.

Judging from various interviews of America’s college students and young adults, easily viewed on the internet and in other media, freedom to a growing percent of our youth is hedonistic or libertine in nature. They revel in legalized or illegal drugs (marijuana and more), alcohol abuse, profanity, pornography, gambling, nudity, infidelity in relationships, free sex, free birth control, free college and free medicine, etc.. In other words…freedom from all restraints upon their behaviors and expected freedom from personal responsibility.

Of course, there are those who sneer at such characterizations of America’s youth, noting that similar statements were made about “the youth” in other formerly great ancient civilizations. This is to imply that old fuddy-duddys have always grumbled about the care-free activities of the youthful.

However, my studies inform me the failure to acculturate its youth is powerful symptom of sociocultures in decline.

In America the traditional concept of individual liberty was, and still should be, a far more mature, nuanced, and self-restrained conception of ” personal freedom”.

The liberties, guaranteed by our Constitution are freedoms from  governmental control of certain citizen’s and State’s actions and abilities, judged essential by our Founders to the common good of our society. More specifically, those behavioral freedoms that tend to promote economic growth, mental/behavioral/emotional health and productivity, the democratic processes, and the viability and survival of our great Union of States.

It is important to review these guaranteed rights which were enumerated in our Constitution’s Bill of Rights ratified by our Founding Fathers. There are only 10 listed, but these and all other protected freedoms within the Constitution were considered to be precious gifts bestowed upon all people by God.

These rights have little to do with the popular conception of “personal freedom”…or the right to “do whatever one wishes to do”.

See for yourself.

Outside of the laws-of-the-land (predicated largely upon God’s Natural Laws), the matter of personal social conduct was left to the influence of the morals and values (also mores and folkways) of families, towns and regions.

America is facing many major problems at this time. For now, I will restrict my concerns to only two. Both relate directly to Liberty in America.

First, our Constitutional Republic cannot stand without our Government’s conformity to our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

James Madison warned us:

“‘I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurptations,'”  (Kindle Loc. 1531).

Over the last hundred years, and more, the Federal government has gained increasing control over State’s Rights and our individual liberties. This process has accelerated greatly with the growth of our socialist/progressive Federal government. This trend has culminated in the current Obama administration’s admitted and obvious dedication to the deconstruction of America’s Constitutional government.

Secondly, beneath these dangers to the existence of a healthy and viable America lies the tragic loss of our moral and ethical personal restraints. These personal restraints were based upon the Natural Laws that have traditionally been codified and taught to us by America’s religious institutions an woven deeply into our social and political fabric. These are the natural personal self-restraints essential to the survival of any democracy-based Representative Constitutional Republic.

Not only has the modern American Federal Government incrementally infringed upon our personal liberties, it has perpetrated a great fraud upon us with its recent “discovery” of the principle of “Separation of Church and State”. With this our government has destroyed the main source of our moral virtues, driven religious influences out of our public places and institutions and catalyzed the rise of barbarous behavior among our youth. With each passing generation, the antisocial conduct problems within our population grows more devastating to America.

Without a voting citizenry guided by strong moral values, based upon ubiquitous religious influences, individual freedom inexorably devolves into licentiousness and social chaos and repression.

The increasingly powerful measures imposed by government to control its population’s escalating social pathologies then destroys the remaining personal freedoms in the name of their preservation.

When the religious/spiritual energy that originally gave rise to a flourishing society is governmentally persecuted and suppressed, or is weakened by other natural causes, historically the socioculture  falls into decline.

This reality hints at the “T”  among the main principles of Conservatism. I will soon blog more about this critical component of conservatism that made America Great: Traditional Values.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, 10/30/15

P.S. The dastardly lie which is “Separation of Church and State”, has been perpetrated upon America by secular/progressive forces. This documented in numerous historical resources.  The following is only one of them. There is more to come on this topic later.


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