Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Big Tent Philosophy

I conceptualized something about conservatism over the past few days that highlights a profound distinction it has from other forms of political thought. Many of the supposed elite in the Republican Party want the GOP to incorporate a “big tent” philosophy which requires no adherence to any ideology and accepts a vast array of viewpoints. However, the big tent party philosophy is in most respects antithetical to conservatism, and here's why. Conservatives espouse the idea that certain principles and values, when followed by individuals and governments, lead to peace and success. In order for these principles to yield future achievement, however, they require prospective adherents to manipulate their thoughts, words, and actions so as to coincide with those principle and values. It requires huge efforts from the individual and huge restraint from the government. Be it understood, though, that conservatism does not necessarily discourage varying perspectives and diverse thought. It simply admonishes that these perspectives not contradict the aforementioned values and principles. For a succinct list of these principles and values, click here.

However, liberal ideology promotes the idea of a big tent, all inclusive kind of political party. On a side note, however, all viewpoints are welcome inside the tent provided they are not conservative. Those in the tent seek to marginalize others with a conservative point of view by using ad hominem attacks and labels such as right-wing-extremist or terrorist, tea bagger, nazi, and hatemonger, just to mention a few. However, this big tent philosophy seems to be so wildly popular among liberals and progressives because more is expected from the majority in securing the individual's success rather than more being expected from the individual.

Inside this big tent, minority groups are neither required nor encouraged to forgive the culture and the individuals who systematically oppressed their ancestors, and they are also not required to forgive those who continue to mistreat them. This has gotten so out of hand that even language from a white person in this big tent is to be straight way censored and the white person swiftly punished in the event his or her language honestly criticizes individual members of other races. The responses to Rush Limbaugh’s involvement in a group interested in purchasing the St. Louis Rams exemplify this reality. They branded him a racist for bigoted things he never said, and they also hammered him for other things he said which weren’t actually racist. Therefore, this philosophy is more focused on promoting a culture where the extreme and superfluous censorship of many is preferred over teaching and expecting others to forgive and to be humble.

The all inclusive, all loving big tent of liberal thought also discourages the belief in a supreme being from whom all human rights originate. This view point is repellent in the big tent because it also teaches that the right to marriage extends only to one man and one woman. They hate and disparage this point of view, and they label those who have it as hate-mongers, homophobes, and religious extremists (among other things). As a conservative maintaining this belittled belief, I neither hate nor am fearful of anyone who participates in a homosexual relationship, and I am not deluded into regarding myself as superior. However, I reserve my constitutionally protected right to vote according to my conservative value system, and I respect the right of others to vote contrarily. Though some may be fear-mongers and hateful, the vast majority votes according to the peaceful dictates of its individual consciences. But according to the big tent philosophy, these many are expected to abandon their principles and values in order to accommodate the desires of a few, thus again requiring much from the majority while requiring nothing from the minority.

The big tent philosophy will ultimately fail those who desire cozy residence therein, and it will fail the nation it now seeks to fundamentally change. This illusion of this all accepting, all inclusive, and all loving philosophy will fail because it ventures away from the simple mandates of the constitution; big tentism ventures away from the security and anchor of sound principle. The Declaration of Independence refers to this idea as the laws of nature and of nature's God. Accordingly, the constitution has provided the freedom that produced the most exceptional, successful, and flourishing nation ever designed (Like it or not, conservatism is the only ideology left that champions the constitution and intentions of Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, etc). No other nation's story in the annals of history compares to the greatness of this one, and its success can only be renewed and replicated by quickly abandoning "big tent" thinking and by strictly adhering to constitutional principle. Unfortunately, our current administration refers to it as a charter of negative liberties and laments that it limits the government's power and doesn't enhance it. Go back over the last few years, and you will see that our government has acted contrary to the constitution, and we are and will be the worse off for it if we allow them to continue.