Many readers of RR, me included, are continually labeled as holding “extreme” Rightwing views. Yet, when examining the record on these pages, those on the Left, and even some of the self-declared middle-roaders, skip the evidentiary phase, and proceed directly from indictment to punishment. When asked to delineate, to spell out what brings about this judgment and this startling label, the accusers are silent and simply continue with the punishment.
The punishment phase consists primarily of ongoing accusations of not doing our part to “compromise”, and accept their admired/espoused progressive tenets and public policies. The record shows that in these pages RR and its right-of-center readers have cited chapter and verse of why and how collectivist policies have not worked, and continue to lead the country into an autocratic abyss. The response is always the echo chamber of lack of compassion and compromise to help the needy and less fortunate. There is never any evidence whatsoever given of how these policies and their enforcement will maintain the country’s liberties, exceptional opportunities, or even be sustainable.
So let me quickly list the seminal tenets that, according to my lights, the Right holds dear (not to be confused with the history of what the Republicans may have practiced), so that the reader can judge for himself 1) the evidence presented by the Left, or 2) the nature of their ongoing sidestep.
1. The Bastiat Triangle of Rights (cf ‘About the BTA’ top right column) as the foundation of a free, classically liberal, and bountiful society.
2. Constitutionality – Interpretation of the US Constitution according to the intent of the Founders as explicated in their writings. Recognizing also that the Constitution is a living document and contains explicit directions on how it may be modified to best serve future generations. Modifying it by other means – e.g. from the judiciary bench – undermines the Constitution and our national weal.
3. Free Market Capitalism – Society’s commercial activities provide the most bounty and the highest quality of life when prudently and minimally regulated capitalism is allowed to flourish in free markets equally tended.
4. Limited and Fiscally Prudent Government – Government should only perform the functions delineated in the Constitution, and do so in a minimalist manner. Government is always a necessary encroacher on our individual liberties, and the bigger the government, the fewer the freedoms retained by those governed. In no case should government become the competitor of private enterprise in the goods and services better supplied by private enterprise. Government should manage its fiscal affairs as any other prudent and prospering enterprise, wherein it spends what it collects in revenues, and does not become a corrupt pawn of its creditors.
5. The United States was constituted as a democratic republic comprised of the several states retaining the preponderance of rights to manage their own affairs as competing laboratories of liberal governance in a national federation of citizens free to move and trade throughout the country. All efforts to remove republican functions and progress toward a pure democracy are inherently detrimental to our national survival. All forms of collectivism, especially collectivism founded on a direct democracy, are inherently unstable and lead through autocracy to tyranny.
6. Citizenship and Voting – Citizenship, equal and without rank, is the highest station the country can give to those who live within its borders. A citizen is always first in line to receive the benefits of his government and the consideration of his fellow citizens. The national policy should be such as to minimize the number of illegal aliens living in our midst through provision of secure borders, enforcement of alien laws, and propitious immigration laws that serve the national interest. The right to vote in elections is granted only to franchised citizens, their franchises being determined by the federal, state, and local governments as appropriate.
7. Foreign Policy and Trade – The United States should be militarily able to defend itself against any aggressor on Earth. National security is Job One of the federal government. The US should join with other nations only to promote its openly announced national interests; such unions should be minimized as appropriate. Foreign aid should be provided visibly and only to recipients in a manner that serves our national interests. Foreign trade should be maximized to the extent that it does not conflict with our national interests.
8. Liberty and Opportunity – Government should always seek to provide and ensure the maximum of individual liberties to its citizens. As policy, it should err on the side of more rather than less liberty. The opportunities provided in our land have always been best when measured at the starting line of the competing participants, and not at the finish line. Gratuitous enforcement of equalities should be minimized with the realization that state-enforced equality is always bought and paid for by the surrender of liberty – they are at opposite ends of the see-saw.
So let’s start with these tenets of the Right, and respectfully ask our Left and middle-roaders to identify which of these would be considered as “extreme” views in today’s America. We recall that in arguing against a tenet with which you don’t agree or have an opposing viewpoint, does not satisfy hanging the ‘extreme’ label on it. Extreme is a relative position within a range or spectrum. In this case we are talking about the spectrum of common beliefs held by the Right, and the placement of the above in that spectrum – that is the point of this exercise. And please, in considering any response, don’t embellish what you read with what additional provisions, implications, or ‘hidden meanings’ you think that I surreptitiously inserted. We can cover such fears in follow-on discussions of how these are or should be implemented.
[29nov2011 update] Russ Steele on NC2012 has discovered an excellent short video highlighting the differences between the tenets of the Tea Party and OWS movements. The point made and supported in the video is that there literally is no middleground between the attributes that describe the classical liberal forms of governance and those of the progressivists. This has been the longheld and unfortunate conclusion in these pages, which joins with a growing national consensus that is collected here under the discussion category of 'The Great Divide'.