A Conservative Manifesto
I am a conservative. But, I believe in progress. I believe in change.
I believe in compassion and charity.
I don't like greed; but neither do I admire envy.
I believe men and women are basically good, and are capable of making good choices.
I believe government exists for the benefit of mankind. Without government, our society would fall into violence and chaos.
I believe in freedom. But, I don't think that one's freedom goes beyond infringing on others' freedoms or violating basic moral laws.
I believe all men and women should be treated equally, regardless of race, sex, national origin, or language.
I believe it is absolutely imperative to help the poor, disadvantaged people in our community and nation.
I believe we need to accept others' differences and tolerate the diversity in our society.
I believe in preserving our environment, for the benefit and enjoyment of mankind, and our posterity.
All this might sounds like it should make me a liberal. But this is where your world might turn upside down. Where I differ from liberals is how these things should be accomplished. Not in what or why I believe them.
I believe there is a better way than government. I believe in an individual's ability and willingness to help his neighbor, just for the sake of helping another human being and without thought of reward. Helping the poor is a moral absolute, although it is not the only moral absolute that I believe in. However, we should not be compelled by the government to be charitable. No good government ever said to its citizens: "You're going to be compassionate, and you're going to like it!"
The bulk of community service, charity and welfare initiatives ought to rest with religious organizations, churches, non-profit organizations, and with ordinary individuals who reach out to their neighbors. One of the freedoms in the First Amendment we often neglect is the right of citizens to peaceably assemble. Private citizens can of their own free will and choice organize themselves to promote a particular cause, without waiting for the government. Government is only necessary as a means of enforcing laws established by the voice of the people. We cannot be forced to be free, or to be equal.
I believe people are equal at birth, and not just when the government chooses to step in to give them equality. And, we shouldn't have to choose between equality and freedom. When we are equally free in our God-given rights to life, liberty, and property, then we are equal and free.
I don't believe in keeping score when it comes to our contributions to society. So, I don't track who's giving their "fair share" or not. Everyone is expected to contribute in their own way no matter how small that may be; at the same time, each of us are doing what we can to the best of our ability. No one deserves to be vilified because they don't measure up to our personal standards of morality.
We conservatives are not cold, heartless, or egotistical by nature. Our agenda is not to oppress others, but to allow them to take responsibility for their actions. We recognize and value tradition, especially when those traditions are grounded in our religious and moral beliefs. We don't seek to take the world back to 1776; we seek to take what is good in the world and make it better, and to take what is best in the world and preserve it.