Posts Tagged ‘William Bennett’

The Nature of American Conservatism #3

October 25, 2015

The Nature of American Conservatism #3

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

As Bennett and Cribbs describe “L”, Limited Government, does not suggest that conservatives are opposed to government, rather they are against government that “wastes money” and “runs poorly”. They quote Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and his ideal of a government that is: “of the people, by the people, for the people” (Kindle Loc. 900).

The following are several quotes from this chapter that will better explain the conservative’s conception of what “Limited Government” should look like.


“President Ronald Reagan put it this way in his farewell address to the nation in 1989”: ‘Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: “We the People.” “We the People” tell the government what to do; it doesn’t tell us. “We the People” are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which “We the People” tell the government what it is allowed to do (Kindle Loc. 911).


“If government’s power is unrestricted, it will naturally grow and control more of people’s lives. According to Thomas Jefferson, ‘The natural progression of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground’.”

“Abraham Lincoln left us with a good description of limited government. He wrote, ‘The legitimate object of government is to do for the community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do for themselves in their separate and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere’.” (Kindle Loc. 935)


Bennett and Cribb describe how both Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson thought that our Founder’s ideal of limited government was no longer workable and the size and scope of the federal government needed to grow.  In the 1930’s President Franklin D. Roosevelt used the Great Depression as an excuse to further expand the federal government’s powers. He called this expansion of federal government agencies actions, and tax expenditures “The New Deal”.

President Lyndon Johnson, in the 1960’s, used his conception of the “Great Society” to attack poverty and racial discrimination. Again, the number of the federal government’s agencies grew dramatically as did America’s tax expenditures to correct America’s social ills.

More recently, President Barrack Obama has expanded the federal government’s control of state and local politics as well as citizen’s lives in ways that have “transformed”, as Obama stated he would do, into something that America’s founding Fathers would be outraged to see: An unrelenting evolution to an increasingly socialistic, all-controlling federal government.

Please see the following which identifies the top ten, of a great many more,  of Obama’s most abusive executive actions.

Abusive to what?

Abusive to “L”: Individual Liberty for Americans!—-Which will he the topic of my next blog.

For a deeper understanding of the nature and scope of Obama’s abuses of power, please consider reading the more extensive article appearing at the end of this first one. It is entitled: An Executive Unbound: The Obama Administration Unilateral Actions.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, 10/25/15

The Nature of American Conservatism #2

October 22, 2015

The Nature of American Conservatism #2

My following series will be based upon William Bennett and John Cribb’s new book, America the Strong: Conservative Ideas to Spark the Next Generation.

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

Bennett and Cribb define Free Enterprise as “an economic system in which property, resources, and industry are controlled by individuals and businesses to make profits. Another name for free enterprise is capitalism, although free enterprise is in many ways a more accurate term since the freedom to conduct business is one of its bedrock principles” (Kindle Loc. 476) .

The authors maintain that free enterprise, though it can have its problems, has been proven through history to be superior to every other kind of economy. They argue that:

“In free markets, companies have to compete against each other for profits. That competition encourages businesses to offer the best possible products and services for the lowest cost. That puts a higher standard of living within more people’s reach. Opportunity unleashes the creativity of inventors and entrepreneurs. That creativity drives civilization forward, from steamboats to airplanes to cell phones” (Kindle Loc. 483).

Bennett and Cribb discuss some of the problems with free enterprise, noting that there are economic up and down-turns. Also,  jobs can be lost due to competition and new products and services replacing older ones. Some call such economic upheavals  a form of  “creative destruction” in the market place. They also identify more problems that need to be managed effectively by government to keep the competition, with unavoidable “winners and losers”, as fair as possible.

They argue that in spite of its difficulties, free enterprise has dramatically benefited more people than any other economic system in the history of the world.

It is interesting to note that at this very moment countless millions (trillions?) of people around the world are watching baseball and football, rooting for their favorite teams and thrilling at the amazing athletic talents on constant display in these great spectacles.  Is it not obvious that competition yields the best outcomes in sports. What would removing competition for for positions on the world’s sports teams do to the quality of all sporting events?

The answer is obvious.

Do we not see that competition is at the heart of every aspect of human existence? It is so in education, all of the professions, all of the trades, all of the arts, all of our religions and within politics.

Some may argue that we need to learn to cooperate…and we do! Groups of individuals come together and they cooperate to compete with other groups. Political action groups are naturally are where there is the individual liberty to do so. They often form where there is no such liberty. Observe how they form coalitions of political action groups that compete with other coalitions of political action groups.

Some may think that competition is lessened in socialistic or communistic or otherwise dictatorial regimes. This is commonly true for those who become disenfranchised and demotivated by repressive governments and governing classes of leaders. But observe that competition for power and control among the members of the governing classes often becomes brutal, even lethal in nature.

Competition is woven into the DNA of all living things. Darwin called this ubiquitous force among living things, “Natural Selection”.

Life-forms that, for any reason, fail to compete are doomed.

This fact-of-life is no less a fact-of-life when it comes to the viability and survival  of all of the world’s nations and their sociocultures.

It is essential that all Americans know which economic system damn-near killed America before it was born (communism) and which one nourished it during its prenatal stage of development (free enterprise). It is essential that all of America’s children and youth learn the following:

V. Thomas Mawhinney,  10/22/15

P.S., Reality will set you free, but first it can make you miserable!

This is especially true of modern liberals (so-called progressives), socialists and communists, whose purposefully deceitful or blind denial of natural superiority of  conservative principles is a special form of human psychopathology.

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