Traditional Values or Conservatism?

Big Red Car here.  Well, The Boss is in Idaho skiing.  Huh?  Yes, just me and the house sitter in this nice warm, top down weather.  Already 75F and who knows how warm it is going to get?  Haha

Well, the Big Red Car has been doing a bit of thinking about the current values in our society.  [Ohoh, when the Big Red Car gets thinking, no telling what might happen.  The  Big Red Car is like that.  Haha!]

Our values today are clearly evolving.  The Big Red Car doesn’t think they are evolving in a direction that may be beneficial for the long term good of the country.  But then the Big Red Car is a bit a traditionalist.

What are traditional values?

Traditional values are those values passed down from generation to generation.  They are not situational or contemporary.  They are, in part, the values upon which our country was founded.  In some ways, this is just a philosophical accident.

Traditional values are often confused with the term “conservative” which is most often used to describe a political or governing philosophy that may, in fact, be based upon traditional values but not always.

American conservatism, again a political or governing philosophy, takes its roots from the American Revolution which was arguably an almost libertarian undertaking in which the rebels sought a republican form of government in which the power of the government was derived from the consent of the governed and not from the King.  Radical idea for its time.  Truly radical.

There were values involved that became traditional values but at the time of the Revolution, the country was not coherent enough to have yet established real traditions.

Traditional values which are easily identified are the concepts of hard work, integrity, thrift, respect for the sanctity of life.  Conservative values may be such things as a preference for a small Federal government or the reservation of any powers to the States of any powers not specifically granted to the Federal government.  Ended up in the Constitution.

The lines get a  big  blurred when issues such as life — abortion, death penalty, assisted suicide — are both traditional values bubbled to the surface and part of a governing philosophy.  The issues themselves can become a bit complex — in favor of the death penalty and opposed to abortion?  Opposed to the death penalty and in favor of abortion?

What is happening today?

Today, from a governing perspective, we appear to be unable to harness the power of traditional values in governing our Nation.  In fact, the underlying governing philosophy may even purposely disregard or oppose traditional values.  Governing philosophy shows up in our public discourse and the laws that we enact.

Clearly today we have become untethered from the  plain truth.  The President’s utterances on OBAMAcare are cited as an example of the promises made and the reality delivered being not only compromised but being starkly different.  The allegations of a lack of basic integrity — a traditional value — are difficult to refute.

The Tea Party is considered a radical and extremist organization, by some, as it espouses such quaint notions as a balanced budget, entitlement reform, a careful correlation between revenue and expenditures, sensitivity to the absolute amount of the National Debt (ceiling) and the health of the Nation’s economy from the perspective of job creation.  One may laugh at the idea that such fundamental economic realities are considered to be extremist or radical.  Particularly when every State must adhere to a very strict discipline of balanced budgets and prudent spending plans.

The Big Red Car is comfortable with the concept that the Tea Party is not bonded by a common governing philosophy — conservatism — but rather by a common enemy.  That common enemy is the abandonment of traditional values.  If one were to take a look at the history of, say, the French Resistance in the Second World War, one would find a similar bond, a common enemy that provided the glue rather than a common governing philosophy.  The French Resistance never sought to govern.  The Tea Party does not seek to form another alternative political party but rather to send folks to Washington who will govern with a sense of traditional values.

Other troubling examples

The world is aflame with trouble spots — Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine and the list goes on — that have arguably been made worse because the United States has abandoned its traditional leadership in the world.  Putin — a thug who relishes embarrassing the United States and President Obama like a lunch room bully stealing others’ lunch money — has somehow been cast as a statesman providing real leadership whether in Syria or Iran or in the presentation of the Winter Olympics.  The truth is that he is an odious troll and force for evil.

This is the result of abandoning the traditional leadership role of the United States in foreign affairs.  Leading from behind is not an American tradition.

We have managed to allow the North Koreans to own nuclear weapons and are on the verge of the same thing happening in Iran.  All tyrants ultimately use their ill advised weapons.  The world has not been subjected to a mushroom cloud since the end of the Second World War but the probability of such an attack or exchange is increasing.  No amount of sanctions will prevent the likes of North Korea, Iran, Pakistan from using a nuclear weapon — one day.

It is not a specious argument to suggest that if American politicians looked into their own hearts first before embracing the governing philosophy of their political parties much of what we face today would be guided in a better long term direction.  We simply cannot expect to prosper with unlimited spending and no rebound in the economy.  Or with a void of American leadership in the world.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.  Start with you.  Be kind to someone this week.  Pass it on.  This is a traditional value, no?


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