What does it mean when we right-wingers describe ourselves as 'conservatives'? What is it that we are trying so hard to save, preserve or prevent the loss of - which is what 'conserve' means. Those on the left would say we wish to conserve the days of slavery and Jim Crow - or maybe the white-old days of the 1950s before the Civil Rights movement.
Despite the fact that all those bad times were born of the left in this country, we conservatives wish to reestablish and conserve America’s original set of governing rules.
Our nation was founded on a set of ideals – the Declaration of Independence, and rules – the Constitution. Yet Americans today seem only to care about some rules, but not others. We demand absolute adherence to some rule books, while all but ignoring others.
As most of my readers know, I’m a huge fan of the NFL – particularly the New England Patriots, but also just a lover of everything pro-football. (Don’t hate me just because your team isn’t as good).
On many occasions, I’ve witnessed that we, at least we football fans, will have a nationwide collective meltdown, if a player commits a penalty and gets away with it late in the fourth quarter of a close game. Fans take to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to vent their spleens over a flagrant violation that goes unpunished and may cost their team the game.
One fan may even turn to another and say, “Come on – its right there, plain as day – it’s in the rule book and wasn't called,” referring to an overlooked penalty.
Even if a team is winning by four touchdowns, it makes little difference when fans see a violation of the rules go uncalled. An opposing fan may say to cut his team some slack – that, “your team is already killing us. What’s the difference in one un-called penalty?” But the response is always the same. “The rules are the rules and you’re player broke one, he should penalized regardless of the score.”
Yet any number of these football fans who demand unconditional fidelity to the NFL rule book, may be in constant violation of the Nation’s first and ultimate rule book – the Constitution.
They may be on welfare, social security, food stamps, Medicaid or any number of other federal assistance programs. They may work for a department within the federal government, or receive grant money from the feds. Most of these, and hundreds if not thousands more, are clearly NOT in the nation’s rule book and are therefore violations of the rules.
However, today, Americans have allowed our government to stray far afield from its original purpose. Some might explain this away by quoting the Declaration of Independence – that, “…governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” They would say our government has derived the power to do what it does from the consent of the governed by virtue of the vote – that we elect men and women to institute policies on our behalf, such as the myriad of government entitlements we have today.
This is a fine and compelling argument but only if one chooses to usurp the rules and neglect the rulebook. We football fans insist that officials strictly adhere to the rulebook of the NFL. We would never tolerate officials just making up the rules on the fly, or interpreting the rulebook to fit their agenda. If it’s in the rulebook, it must be adhered to. If it isn’t, regardless of our feelings, it must be ignored.
As conservatives, this is all we ask of our American teammates and officials – to strictly adhere to the rulebook of our nation. And if it isn’t in the Constitution, regardless of our feelings, it too must be ignored.