Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why Conservatives Bristle

This is the age in which traditional conservatives, not the big-government variety, bristle. Regardless of whether the current economic policies 'succeed' or 'fail,' we still bristle because of the abandonment of the very principles that made this country great.

Go read. It's a fine article, and as always, the Welshman is clear and to the point.

Read it? Good.

I would add a little bit to the principles, though I understand that examiner articles are necessarily brief. I would add that small, limited government means that government only acts in a small number of defined spheres, for which it holds exclusive authority to act. A huge amount of the legislation and rule making that has come down the pike in the last 100 years has been outside the scope of the Constitution. Either not enough people were paying attention, or they thought they were getting more of other peoples' money than they were paying out. Either way, it is a massive corruption of the system which causes any true conservative to bristle. A large number of our laws are no longer understandable by the average person, and yet the average Joe can easily stumble over them and become entrapped. This wasn't supposed to happen in America.

I have also come to believe, reluctantly, that we must have term limits for Congressmen and Senators. I know some of the arguments against this. In general, imposing term limits is seen as a limit on the voters free speech rights expressed in the First Amendment. And it is. But on the other hand, our lawmakers no longer look at law as something they too have to abide by. It has become a rarefied, Olympian undertaking, where politicians become rich handing out favors and making speeches. It was intended to be a burden which business people and farmers would take up, reluctantly, and turn over at to someone else at the first opportunity.

I also have come to believe that we must return to the older way of electing Senators. The House was to be directly elected by the people. The Senate was to be elected by the various State Legislatures. In this way both the People and the States would have a say in legislation. It would reinforce the notion, almost lost today, of the States being Sovereign in the own right.

Finally, we must force Congress to write the laws, and not delegate the making of law to Federal Agencies through grants of authority to make rules and regulations which have the effect of law. The pages and pages of the Federal Register, where new rules are announced, continues to grow at an accelerated pace. It is no use to claim ignorance of the law, but can you honestly truly know the law when it is changing constantly at a dizzying pace? What was legal yesterday, has become illegal today.

These are a few of the things I would have added to a fine article.

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