The real question comes down to taxes and tyranny. Conservatives are staunchly opposed to new, high taxes going off to fund a government that has exceeded its boundaries. I submit that the Founders were, in fact, Conservatives. Not by the mis-labeling trumped up by mainstream media (and happily absorbed by the thread author), but real Conservatism -- based around respect for the individual and a small, focused government whose primary function is to protect our freedom.
The Founders clearly didn't believe that the government needed to create a dozen different high cost social programs to oversee every aspect of our lives. The original American government didn't even have an income tax. In fact, the income tax didn't become a regular feature until much, much later through the creation of an amendment in the early 1900s.
What the OP describes sounds more like what Mark Levin calls "Statists" -- people who believe that the state (which is to say, the government) is the ultimate authority and should be granted power over every aspect of our lives. They believe the federal government should have the power to dictate who can marry who, what our health care will look like, how fuel efficient our cars will be and a myriad of other features which we will pay for nationwide whether we want to or not. Most modern liberals are Statists. The current administration is one of Statist power and they are happily granting themselves more power even now.
Tea parties always end up getting started by Conservatives who see a government getting too big and too meddling.
Tea parties are not thrown by liberals because liberals seem to think big government is always the solution to any problem.
I absolutely agree! Anyone remember the original amendment that had State legislators picking the members of the Federal Gov's Senate? It was for a reason, the common people can be too easily persuaded or mis-informed. The state legislature picked senators because they were much more farmiliar with the needs of the people in their respective states, and this prevented a lot of pandering and made them actually have to work for the people for once.
In fact the tories were the conservatives of the day-for the most part at least. Most of the signers of Declaration of Independence were extreme liberals of the day--again with a few exceptions. It's not black and white, admittedly, for example Jefferson was definitely way to the left of Adams--in his political thought.
But anyway---todays conservatives would have come down on the side of "law and order" and would have supported the crown. In fact the modern conservative movement has roots that stretch back to the tories, and after that the extreme states rights bunch exemplified by Henry Calhoun and his devotees and acolytes.
The Founding Fathers did not want a government run by an elite class of politicians. There were no such thing as professional politicians at that time. They knew that the only way a democracy could work would be if only those responsible for paying the bill, taxpayers, did the voting. They were afraid of the country turning into the welfare state that Europe was already becoming at their time. And they were correct. The positions of the Founding Fathers have no likeness to todays modern liberals. The Founding Fathers ideals of small Federal government, state rights, individualism, personal responsibility, and low taxes align with conservatism. The modern liberalism with its Political Correctness/Groupthink aligns with the Torries. None of them would have ever had an individual thought and decided to start a revolution.
man what a ridiculous post Robert--there were no 18th century european welfare states--they were all monarchies and most monarchs held absolute power. The earliest voters in america were white, male landowners--the elite of their era.
I think it is right to say that the revolutionaries were more aligned with modern day conservatives for many of the reasons already stated (less governmental control, etc.) I have a hard time believing that many modern day liberals would be willing to wage a war against the governing authority as the revolutionaries did. Now, granted, my frame of reference to modern day liberalism may be somewhat different than how others see it (it must be, because it seems as though modern day liberals are willing to allow the government complete control--sounds like a monarchy or dictatorship at the least).
Unlike other posters who feel they have a strong grip on what those whom they apparently, fundamentally, oppose, I can only speak authoritatively for myself. What role do I think govt. should play in our lives? --I would desire for our federal government to focus on securing our country from those who wish to cause harm and injury to it from within and without (military, police, firefighters, etc.) --I would desire for our federal government to focus on keeping our infrastructure maintained (highway system, bridges, etc.--one caveat though, please no toll roads, really how many times must we pay for the same stretch of highway?)
--I would desire for our state and local government to focus on education (higher teacher salaries would go a long way to recruiting higher quality teachers, which would, in turn, result in higher quality education. Again one caveat, the schools need to be able to enforce discipline and accountability on students, parents are responsible for their children's behavior. I am not talking about being cruel, but spanking needs to be allowed when warranted and parents should be held accountable for their children's behavior.)
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, but these were the first things that came to mind. Change for the sake of change isn't always a good idea, however, when any person or entity is without checks and balances everything will end up going bad.
Liberalism and libertarianism may sound similar, but they are not the same. I believe our founders, the revolutionaries as I have evidently taken to calling them, held libertarian qualities at heart. "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness". They understood that absolute power corrupts absolutely and desired that it would not be that way here (in the USA). I believe that they held personal accountability as a stalwart of this new country, not having the government run every aspect of life.
If only we were all perfect people, this idea and pursuit would work flawlessly. Unfortunately we are not, so this pursuit is not. Having said, I think that we still have the best country on the face of the earth and I think we all need to be aware of and be willing to accept our own civic responsibility to make sure it stays that way. It comes back to personal accountability and holding those that choose to govern accountable as well.
Modern american libertarians are true idiots--just go to a meeting I always get lectured about the benefits of privatizing the sidewalks and charging tolls--or some other hairbrained scheme involving the commons. Their belief in the free market is appalling as there is no such thing.
I'm a conservative, generally speaking. A couple points that I would add. I'm also a teacher. I would disagree with the person who said we need to raise teacher salaries in order to recruit more qualified teachers. In my experiences, including high-crime urban, affluent suburbs, and rural, I have found that the vast majority of teachers are pretty good at what they do. The few that aren't so great would still get the job done pretty well if students did their job. That is, respecting the teacher as an authority and the person charged with educating them. In some of my experiences, students were relatively compliant. These students usually achieved a lot. In other experience, students were extremely defiant even with very gifted teachers. These students tend to underachieve and bring down the achievement of well-behaved students, as their teachers spend most of their time dealing with behavior problems and using less than ideal teaching methods in order to "motivate" students to try. Today's teachers are also armed with a whole new world of materials and modern methods and training. Whereas most of us got our education from teachers that used the "talk and chalk" method. That is, the teacher talked at the students and wrote on the chalkboard as the students sat quietly and respectfully in neat rows. Nowadays, students are given "active engagement" and more authentic tasks that rely on interacting with each other, creating things, along with a no more than necessary lecture. Teachers do so much more to make class interesting and can use all sorts of technology. However, despite teachers addressing multiple intelligences, making class fun, and not giving students a chance to get bored, student behavior problems are at an all time high. The teachers are clearly not the problem with schools today. 95% of the problems are the behavior of students and the lack of respect of authority that today's parents instill in their children. I would personally benefit from a raise; you would agree if you new my finances and saw the car I drove to work. Increasing salaries would attract more people to the profession, but not the best, since the best are the ones that do the job for non-financial reasons. The best are the ones that are already doing the job on a modest salary.
As far as toll roads go, these might not be such a band idea, here me out. I mean, no tolls means that roads are socialized. That is, paid by taxpayers regardless of how much they use them. No one has an incentive to conserve the amount of road that they use, because there is no economic incentive to do so, beyond their own wear and tear and gas. I think I would be for tolls if our American tax systems (combinations of fed, state, local, and hundreds of other taxes) weren't already representing so much or our income. I say this even though I personally wouldn't benefit, having a long commute. However, I am totally against the way that the existing system of tolls is implemented. For instance, if I needed to travel regularly on the Penn turnpike, I'd personally for my use of the road, as the tolls collected cover the entire cost of the highway. However, if I didn't use Interstate 80 very often, or not at all, I'd still pay my share of the taxes on this road because this has no tolls. To those that say, "why should I pay for roads I don't use", in regards to toll roads, I'd say to them that I pay for roads that I don't use through my taxes. So in my opinion, the only way to be fair is to have tolls for all roads. However, there is great waste involved in collecting tolls on highways. First, you have to pay people to collect change all day, a job that takes no skill. Those who have such jobs learn nothing and after a decade have learned nothing to better themselves and move up. Thus we are asked to pay them good salaries and the best state benefits, while we pay cashier at the grocery store (who have to learn more than just counting change) minimum wage. So we end up with high labor costs, something unneeded on un-tolled roads. Even EZ pass costs unnecessary money, since it has a lot of costs, maintanence and administrative. However, a system that charges a flat tax based on a yearly odometer reading could enable a fair amount of tax to cover each persons share of the costs of maintaining the road system. Of course, I wouldn't trust today's politicians to abuse such a system and overcharge, besides I'm paying for tons of socialized programs which I don't personally benefit from, so I don't feel bad using a greater than average use of roads. Besides, my two main routes to work are currently toll roads anyhow.
I would hope ANYONE today would be for the revolution, conservative or liberal. How could anyone living in the age of democracy accept anything but? As for the founders, I think the Libertarians of today are the closest to the ideas of our founders. The conservatives want the government to control your morality, the liberals want the government to control your money.
Conservative and Torie are not the same. Modern language has misspoken.
Perhaps being a conservative today is a divided street. Some worship the political party, some are just offended by European concepts in the Nation. And others just have no other place to discuss their common values.
The Constitution is a once on the Earth happening. This concept will not ever happen again. Once it is gone, there will be no window of opportunity to revisit.
Common Sense was the then driving force that the Patriots begin to realize that a Revolution would not fix Britain's violation of their own laws in regards to the Colonies. The out come was permanent "Independence" from Britain-British (Torie) mentality. The separation of Patriot and Torie ( colonist in 1775 considered themselves as British) began the rift of distrust that created the Patriot-Torie mental conflict.
Patriot and Torie DNA is the driving force to conflict. No one is born to be a Patriot or a Torie. What is given within a person is the method of problem-solving in how a puzzle is put in place.
Common Sense is the tool that all must use. Every human must recognize this tool, that creates progress, when it is dulled through use and how to sharpen the edge.
I apologize to have seemingly stated, unintentionally and in error, that there aren't any qualified teachers due to low salaries; that wasn't my intention. My intended point was that if we pay teachers a higher salary, we would likely attract a wider range of qualified people who now don't consider teaching as a profession.
You stated many of the new, innovative and fast-paced active teaching methods now in place and yet complained of the lack of attention. You stated:
"However, despite teachers addressing multiple intelligences, making class fun, and not giving students a chance to get bored, student behavior problems are at an all time high."
Isn't it quite possible that the result is, at least partially, in direct response to the fact that the teacher is now tasked with entertaining the students first so that maybe they can actually teach them something? Don't misunderstand me, I have spent the past 17 years with the school district and my wife has also been teaching for the past 16 years as well. I realize that today's children have a much shorter attention span than those of us old "talk and chalk" kids. We must either adapt to them or they to us. The key question is not which is easier, but rather which is more beneficial.
The adult world struggles greatly from a lack of an ability to focus. Most people in today's society that are able to focus tend to achieve more than those who cannot. You didn't get through grade school, high school and college without the ability to focus. You are clearly an achiever. Having said that, we do have a much better diagnosed ADD and ADHD situation to deal with now. This must also be accounted for. A happy medium has to be attained.
Also, I think that there is an undo amount of time being spent on making sure everyone is the same. Everyone is not the same. Reading this thread points that out clearly. Self-esteem isn't a reason to hold back those who could progress further in their studies. As a teacher I am sure you understand what I am saying, even if you don't agree.
Focusing and listening to lectures is tantamount to being able to accomplish a higher degree or without one a higher level of accountability and responsibility in your respective position. That truly brings me back to my initial point: accountability.
An accountable citizen doesn't need government breathing down its neck on every topic in life. An accountable politician (now there's an oxymoron) has the ability to do the job that they were sent to do instead of deciding to change their objectives mid-stream to whatever sets them up in a more advantageous position personally.
As to the poster on the Electoral College, I think you nailed it on the head, great observation!
Ah, where is that utopia? You know the place where every man or woman works for themselves, grows their own food, only takes what belongs to them? Where everyone is economically and socially independent of everyone else. Where is that place? News Flash: Big countries require big governments. The more people we have: the more police, jails, soldiers, hospitals, roads, schools etc we need. All these things come from where exactly? When conservatives rail against "Big Government," what they really mean is they don't want to pay taxes. In particular, they don't want to pay for the education, food, or healthcare of anyone but themselves. As if each of us lives in a self-sustaining bubble. This ideolgy only works if we were all frontiersmen living off the land, utterly self-reliant. But we're not frontiersmen. Most of us live in large cities. Most of our jobs are dependent on the actions of many, many other people. Our modern lives depend on a vast, interconnected system of transportation, sanitation, communication, etc. that only a big centrailized government could provide. I'm all for eliminating "pork" spending and government waste, but this idea that we only need government for security purposes, and otherwise should rely totally upon ourselves is so childish, it's laughable.
How odd. America did without those things until 150 years ago. What changed? There was still plenty of frontier. Maybe we had just gotten so wealthy that the government had to find a way to get it's cut, so it started providing "services," things that previously people had provided for themselves. There's not a thing in that list that can't be provided for by the free market. With the technology we have, it would probably be easier than any time in the past. The only problem is the perceptions of people like you. I'll also argue that we don't need the government for security purposes. What exactly have they kept us safe from? I was in the military, and even I can't find any threat to us that they haven't created themselves.
Why should I be forced to pay for the education, food, or healthcare of anyone? I would never think of forcing someone to pay for mine. My family has always provided for itself, no matter how dirt poor we've been at times. I'd be happy to teach others to do the same, but how much time can I spend on it when I spend 5 months working just to pay off my part of the "social contract"?
read the preamble to the constitution! Conservatives and libertarians invoke it selectively.
" We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. "
These are big ideas, try to wrap your little mind and intellect around them.