Conservatives And Consistency
When you say that you're against gun control but in support of banning Islam, you're contradicting yourself. Above all, you're giving your enemies ammunition. These are the types of contradictions that make any political leader or pundit lose credibility. Similar contradictions exist on all sides of the political spectrum and they allow opponents and media the ability to destroy their foes. The person who has the most consistent principles will always beat the one who doesn't – given that people have the capacity to grasp such principles.
Democratic bloggers in the United States have dug into some religious conservatives for having a Darwinian approach to economics while completely rejecting Darwinian science and evolution. Although they had to engage in some deceitful political spinning and distortion, these bloggers had a point. If you don't believe in survival of the fittest, how can you preach laissez-faire economics? There's probably a dozen ways to explain your argument, but people will only cling to the perceived irony and hypocritical bias of the situation. Not everything is a contradiction, like some brass collar wingnuts might have us believe. Some ideas only appear as contradictions when they aren't properly understood. Whoever has the loudest voice and the best ability to articulate their views will win the argument. However, without logic and rationale, most contradictions will never be understood as anything else. Unfortunately, most political contradictions aren't explainable and are accepted by potential believers as idiotic and inconsistent. It's these real contradictions that undermine most political groups and their goals.
Conservatives can let liberals and socialists keep their contradictory beliefs. The more they have, the better. Conservatives need to iron out the wrinkles in their own principles in order to win – and keep – the support of people who believe in smaller government, transparency and personal freedom. This will happen when they weed out the most damaging contradictions.
Some of these contradictions aren't held by all conservatives. The few who hold them can do damage to the entire movement via a selective media establishment that jumps at publishing anything negative about conservatism. Here are those damaging contradictions.
Going back to some extremely “conservative” suggestions, like banning Islam, we have to take note that these very same conservatives are often against gun control. They claim it's wrong to ban guns, infringe on religious freedom, suppress free speech, and damage the economy with regulations. They make these claims in the name of small government. However, they find it completely reasonable to ban something entirely subjective, like a belief. If that's the case, we might as well hire the Ghostbusters and start charging full torso vaporous apparitions for our crimes.
When these pseudo-conservatives are challenged by true believers of limited government, they resort to defending themselves and their own religions by calling Islam a cult. This new definition seems to give them clearance and confidence to shamelessly continue with their contradictions. Changing the label of a belief from “religion” to “cult” doesn't change the fact that you're trying to outlaw something immaterial. Banning a belief also crosses the line into the realm of banning free speech and expression.
A couple of months ago I wrote, “Destroying A Society”, in which I suggested that we need more religious and ideological profiling on potential immigrants. I wasn't calling for a ban, but simply pointing to the fact that taxpayers and native-born individuals own their countries and shouldn't have to sacrifice their own personal rights for loose immigration. Being accountable for who we choose to identify with is key in sustaining individual responsibility. Governments should more thoroughly vet new and potential citizens without trying to maintain political correctness. If Islam is your choice, that's not a problem. However, if evidence links you to violent rhetoric or groups that preach violence, you aren't allowed to be here. That's a far cry from banning an entire religion inside our borders and prohibiting native citizens from believing what they want. It's also a more reasonable solution to terrorism and imported violence than creating draconian laws that legalize baseless arrests inside our borders.
Banning Violent Video Games And Movies
Banning entertainment at a time when crime and murder have been statistically declining over the past two decades – just as the number of violent video games and movies have been on the rise – is nothing short of absurd. Banning violent entertainment would be just as absurd if crime data was skyrocketing. The NRA and its president have spoken out against violent video games, blaming them for gun violence and murder. Such bizarre statements and kinks in principle make organizations like the NRA look foolish. Any intelligent person would reject the idea that guns don't kill people but video games do. This extraordinary contradiction eats away at conservative credibility. If guns don't kill people, neither do video games.
Opposing Gay Marriage
To some misguided conservatives, it's okay to deregulate everything, except something as innocuous as a loving marriage between two human beings. The so-called “tradition” of marriage is somehow harmed by gay marriage in the minds of social conservatives. Somehow, every marriage in the world will fall apart or be made illegitimate if same-sex couples are allowed to be legally married. The sheer fatuity of such a belief is astounding. When liberals try to make the case that conservatism is archaic and intolerant, they point to these morons.
If a marriage between a same-sex couple down the block affects your own marriage, maybe you should seek counseling. Anyone who believes in a small, hands-off government shouldn't be against a hands-off approach to marriage. To clarify, some conservative groups support legal gay marriages, but oppose forcing churches to perform gay marriages. This is very different from what brass collar social conservatives believe. According to most social conservatives, the legal definition of marriage cannot and should not be changed. That's ridiculous.
True conservatives understand that all taxpayers have rights. Legalizing gay marriage expands the rights of gays and lesbians, who also happen to be humans and taxpayers. Forcing churches to change their views is a very different argument. That argument is often distorted by liberal bloggers to be the same as the argument about legal definitions. True conservatives understand that governments can only legalize gay marriage within the public realm, not within the private realm. Now if only liberals could understand that concept.
Controlling Money And “Creating Jobs”
Advocating for a free market while encouraging the control of interest rates and money supplies through a central bank, as well as outlawing gold and silver as currency, is a blatant contradiction. This American style of backward conservatism has spread around the world, including Canada. Strict controls on how people trade and spend is not conservative. Outlawing bartering, criminalizing certain forms of trading, and regulating monetary transactions down to the nickel does not create a free market. It creates a controlled economy. Most conservatives still support such controls.
The closest example of a free market would have been the United States in the 1800s. Since then, conservatives and liberals have destroyed all remnants of a real free market. With excessive licensing, regulation and intervention, the old ideas of free enterprise have been lost. Conservatives are as much to blame as liberals and socialists. Furthermore, creating jobs is not the responsibility of governments.
Conservatives either support freeing the people of oppressive nations, or they don't. Creating a no-fly zone over one country that violently oppresses its people, but not the other, is a contradiction. Either we should get involved in all violent international crackdowns, or not get involved in any. If national security and economic interests – like oil and resources – are a motive, then conservatives should be honest about it. People might understand and support the motives rather than criticize the obvious inconsistencies. If the public won't support a war unless you lie to them, then you don't declare one. Not in a democracy.
Selective Welfare And Foreign Aid
Corporate handouts and subsidies are just as bad as social welfare. This is one of the most detrimental contradictions plaguing conservatism. This contradiction eats away at conservatism in North America more than any of the other major contradictions. If conservatives don't believe in excessive welfare for the poor, they shouldn't believe in excessive welfare for corporations and businesses. This inconsistent approach to handing out money makes conservatives look like servants to the rich. Liberals persistently use this as ammunition. Conservative support for corporate welfare is what drives middle and lower class voters away.
Also, giving taxpayer cash to foreign countries that either hate us or disrespect us should not be the priority of any anti-welfare conservative.
Transparency in government is important. It's the hallmark of any small, accountable government. As taxpayers, we have an inherent right to see where every single nickel of our taxes go. If anyone tells you otherwise, they deserve to be verbally annihilated, demoted from whatever position they hold in public service, and undermined before they can take a position in public service. The days of fat-cat bureaucracies were supposed to be over. The only reason they ever came to exist was because of our complacency and adherence to the false virtues of political correctness. Holding leaders accountable when they preach transparency is absolutely necessary.
“I'm trying to wrap my head around what the real public benefit of average citizens filing [access to information requests] all the time to find out what someone's salary is, at a medium level, within the public service,” said Canadian Conservative MP, Brad Butt; one of the key supporters behind the very un-conservative amendments to an important, private transparency bill.
Anyone who can't understand the importance of disclosing public salaries and would go as far as downplaying such disclosures does not deserve to hold public office. We shouldn't bind ourselves to political correctness when condemning such despicable behaviour. If some public salaries are embarrassingly low, too bad. If you don't like it, get a job in the private sector where your salary comes from voluntary transactions, not taxes.
Conservatives, like the ones seen and mentioned here, don't represent true conservatism. So why should we pay attention to these faux conservatives and their pseudo-logical values? Because these are the people that opponents of conservatism will point to as evidence of intolerance, hate, deceit and ignorance. To most liberals, these people are why conservatism is synonymous with fascism.
Consistency breeds cohesion and trust. The conservative movement in Canada is losing cohesion and is on the brink of collapse, much to the delight of the Liberals, the NDP, and the CBC. In America, the Republican Party has had a rough few years and doesn't look capable of learning from it. With small government being one of the major driving forces of modern conservatism, conservatives need to be consistent in order to succeed.