The Conservative Movement of modern times has had three basic, and mutually contradictory, tenets: (1) "Getting Big Government Off Our Backs" by rolling back statism and establishing a free market economy; (2) crushing civil liberties whenever crime, "national security," or "morality" are threatened, i.e. whenever civil liberties become important; and (3) seeking an all-out political and military confrontation with "atheistic world Communism," in particular its satanic headquarters in the Kremlin, up to and including a nuclear showdown.
It is starkly evident that (2) and (3) are, at the very least, inconsistent with (1). For one thing, how does one "Get Big Government Off Our Economic Backs," while at the same time spreading "Big Government" into our bedrooms, and into our private letters and phone calls? How does one secure the right to free trade and free enterprise while outlawing pornography and all commerce with the Soviet bloc? And how does one preserve the right to personal life and property while engaging in the mass murder of civilians required by modern warfare? Whenever the Conservative Movement has become aware of such inconsistencies (e.g. over free trade with sinners, or foreign aid for our "allies," or ever-greater military budgets), it has opted unhesitatingly for (2) and (3) over (1). For conservatives, the State as Theocrat and Moral Enforcer and the State as Mass Murderer have always taken precedence over the feeble goals of freedom and free markets.
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