Of Principle and Pragmatism: Why Conservatism Always Trumps Moderation // Gabriella Hoffman // 11.28.2011

In this time of great moral and economic peril, certain individuals continue to call for a radical transformation of our nation’s traditions, laws, and customs.

Then-Senator, now-President Obama championed “Hope and Change” and subsequently delivered class warfare rhetoric, socialized healthcare, appeasement, and anti-Americanism, to name a few. Similarly, Republicans—most pointedly, Republicans in Name Only (RINOs)—want to dilute the conservative message because “it alienates moderates and independents.”

Proponents of such change, particularly liberal Republicans, succeeded in undermining conservatism in 2006 and 2008. Towards the end of his presidency, President George W. Bush emboldened big government policies like No Child Left Behind, TARP, and billion-dollar budget shortfalls. Conservatism suffered a similar blow when John McCain clinched the Republican nomination in 2008. He was representative of the Republican Party gone awry: unabashedly moderate, disconnected from everyday life, and irresponsible in conduct. Without running mate and conservative champion Sarah Palin, McCain would have been a total failure.

In 2009, Ed Feulner of Heritage Foundation wrote about the importance of reconciling all tenets of conservatism: “I suggest that what is now needed is a politics of inclusion, not exclusion–no casting out of social conservatives or neoconservatives or any other kind of conservative, but a renewed fusionism that will unite all the branches of the now-divided conservative mainstream.”

After President Obama’s coronation into office on January 20, 2009, the tide began to change.

People united under the Tea Party Movement banner to reclaim limited government principles, constitutional values, and fiscal responsibility. Their efforts materialized in November 2010 after Republicans reclaimed control of the House of Representatives and won several Senate seats.

Similarly, Americans continued to champion traditional values. In 2008, Californians overwhelmingly voted 52 to 48 percent in favor of Prop 8—which defined marriage as between “one man and one woman.” Additionally, LifeNews cites Gallup analyst Lydia Saad on the ascent of pro-life views in 2011:  “Americans are rather conservative in their stance on abortion, with 61% now preferring that abortion be legal in only a few circumstances or no circumstances. By contrast, 37% want abortion legal in all or most circumstances.”

Nevertheless, moderate and liberal Republicans have called for a moratorium or the complete elimination of social issues from the Republican Party.

In a 2010 interview with Weekly Standard, Indiana governor Mitch Daniels said presidential candidates “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while.”

Republican feminist Margaret Hoover similarly called on the Republican Party to drop its pro-life plank.  Hoover said, “If we don’t make inroads in the next 16 months, we’re going to lose the next generation.”

“People like you who try to divide our party on social issues, that is not the way forward for the Republican Party,” she added.

Moreover, the “brilliant” Meghan McCain—daughter of “Lord of the TARP” John McCain—has taken every opportunity to deride conservative women and social issues.

McCain said, “I consider myself a progressive Republican. I am liberal on social issues. And I think that the party is at a place where social issues shouldn’t be the issues that define the party.”

Recently, I heard the same rallying cry to hose down “extreme” conservative viewpoints at a conference. The male attendee—one markedly dumbfounded by conservatism at this conservative conference—bemoaned how Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, along with social issues, are “too extreme” for the Republican Party.

The horror, the horror!

The question beckons: Who are these people to chide conservatives for holding their beliefs? Why must political expediency—not principles—be the sole path to winning elections?

In 1980, Ronald Reagan ran for president as a conservative and won. He did not pander to moderate viewpoints. On the contrary, he succeeded as President of the United States because he championed conservative ideals.

Renowned conservative thinker Dr. Robert P. George of Princeton University expounds on this by presenting the case for sound conservatism in “No Mere Marriage of Convenience: Uniting Social and Economic Conservatives.”

He writes, “Sound conservatism, as a matter of principle and not mere pragmatism, will honor limited government, restrain spending, and provide honest money and low taxes — while at the same time upholding the sanctity of human life in all stages and conditions; the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife; and the innocence of children.”

As a result, it is imperative to vote conservative in 2012, so as to defeat President Obama and restore this country’s greatness.

Throughout history, moderate Republican candidates lost in general elections. Next year, voters can select a conservative candidate—a social, fiscal, and national defense conservative—to implement real change in Washington, D.C.

Till then, I will cling to my fishing rod, anti-Communism, family values, and Constitution before succumbing to big-government, leftist and equally Marxist-Leninist viewpoints— so should you.

We at TheCollegeConservative hold no prisoners and will not kowtow to Cultural Marxism. You have been warned!

Gabriella Hoffman // University of California at San Diego // @gabby_hoffman

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Comments

  1. There’s a few things that you failed to mention… First Sarah Palin didn’t help John McCain at all in fact, it is a widely accepted statement that she actually HURT his chances of becoming president. Second (and this one is always fun to point out) Reagan may have run as a conservative, but he did not act like one. He raised taxes, and negotiated with terrorists, not only that but he was no family values champion, recently it came out that he used to have sex with women, not give them orgasms, and tell them to go see a doctor, so much for the god Ronald Reagan. Lastly you failed to mention that very very recently the American people voted to overturn republican agendas. We are not a right wing country, We are a moderate country, stop trying to force us to be something we are not.

  2. trojanwife says:

    Isn’t it just like a liberal to be demeaning to a Conservative woman and then to bash a Conservative man by using sexual innuendos heard through the grapevine of the tell-all press. You nailed it, John!
    Refreshing essay, Ms. Hoffman. It’s your generation that will have to restore America to it’s principles of freedom, Constitutional values and economic stability. You’re on the right path!

  3. Hello Gabriella, good article. If I may, I would like to share a few criticisms.

    Ok so here it goes:

    “Similarly, Republicans—most pointedly, Republicans in Name Only (RINOs)—want to dilute the conservative message because “it alienates moderates and independents.”

    Proponents of such change, particularly liberal Republicans, succeeded in undermining conservatism in 2006 and 2008.”

    Above lines are contradictory to the following lines (Do you want the Liberal/Moderate/RINOs ousted from the GOP influence or not?) :

    “In 2009, Ed Feulner of Heritage Foundation wrote about the importance of reconciling all tenets of conservatism: ‘I suggest that what is now needed is a politics of inclusion, not exclusion–no casting out of social conservatives or neoconservatives or any other kind of conservative, but a renewed fusionism [IsThatAWord?] that will unite all the branches of the now-divided conservative mainstream.’

    My reply:
    It is “politics of inclusion” that undermined real conservative power in DC! We need less inclusion! I say the RINO influence needs to end for the Republican party to rally. Go ahead and call me a conservative “extremist” but in my opinion…

    -Social Security (and medicare Part D) or other socialized welfare/medicine schemes by WashingtonDC is NOT conservative.
    -Fannie and Freddie, and other social programs etc. are not conservative.
    -Massive bureaucracies like EPA, DOE, DHS, Dept of Educ. (w/ Bush’s N.C.L.B.), FEMA, and especially TSA(!) are conservative.
    -Dispensing billions (trillions) of Americans’ hard-earned money to foreign countries is NOT AT ALL conservative.

    And, as you rightly point out: Deficit spending and TARP/bailouts are also not conservative.

    Now things get a bit stickier-The Patriot Act is NOT conservative. “Conservatives” try to “conserve” the rule of law and ‘The Republic’. Trampling over the 4th and 14th Amendments all in the name of “safety” is the politics of Liberals, not conservatives. (At least traditionally-conservative)

    Furthermore, the Constitution requires all initiation of force be voted upon by Congress. [‘To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal’]. Thus, at least in principle, all wars since WWII have been unconstitutional (illegal), and immoral. Immoral because they do not fall within the religious doctrine of ‘Just-War Theory’; lacking the criteria for legitimate authority. By law: The Congress is the only legitimate authority.

    I see the GOP primaries as a power-struggle between the traditional conservatives and Liberal-(Neo)-Conservatives that demand a new definition of conservationism; one that accepts centralized war powers in the king’s hands and butchers crucial principles of the constitution.

    Traditional conservatives, like myself, are attempting to conserve a foreign policy that keeps American $$$ in America and war powers that are controlled by Congress (We the People) and not the president! (The King)

    I do not see how these conflicting factions of conservatives can rally against a common enemy when there is such a fundamental discrepancy between the two.

    Interested in your thoughts.
    Regards,

  4. Jacob Airey says:

    Wow, this was a truly inspiring article!

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