Donald Trump claims he’s a conservative; Ted Cruz insists he’s not. Jeb Bush accuses John Kasich
of not being a conservative; Kasich defensively replies that he is.
What’s lost in the midst of all this insipid crosstalk is a much more important question: What, exactly, is a conservative?
Ayn Rand, author of the still best-selling “Atlas Shrugged,” wrote this back in the 1960s, and it remains true to this day:
“What are the ‘conservatives?’ What is it that they are seeking to ‘conserve’? It is generally understood that those who support the ‘conservatives,’ expect them to uphold the system which has been camouflaged by the loose term of ‘the American way of life.’ The moral treason of the ‘conservative’ leaders lies in the fact that they are hiding behind that camouflage: They do not have the courage to admit that the American way of life was capitalism, that that was the politico-economic system born and established in the United States; the system which, in one brief century, achieved a level of freedom, of progress, of prosperity, of human happiness, unmatched in all the other systems and centuries combined — and that that is the system which they are now allowing to perish by silent default.
“If the ‘conservatives’ do not stand for capitalism, they stand for and are nothing; they have no goal, no direction, no political principles, no social ideals, no intellectual values, no leadership to offer anyone.”
The most frustrating part of this Republican primary process is that I have yet to find even one conservative, at least not by Rand’s definition. No advocate of capitalism would favor guaranteed medical coverage for all; yet Donald Trump does, again and again.
Under capitalism, health care for the impoverished and the homeless would be the job of voluntary charity. If Trump thinks we can guarantee health care for all without socializing medicine, he does not understand capitalism.
Ohio Governor John Kasich brags that while in Congress he helped balance budgets and cut taxes. This may be true, but John Kasich supports Obamacare. No advocate of capitalism would ever favor Obamacare.
While U.S. Senator Marco Rubio clearly favors amnesty for illegal aliens, he’s less clear on capitalism. He talks of “empowering states to fight poverty” and improving government programs. Whatever happened to eliminating government programs?
Advocates of capitalism understand that most of what the federal government does actually stifles economic growth, while being outside the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution.
Ted Cruz is an intelligent and articulate man. But in reading his book, “A Time for Truth,” I found no strong case for capitalism. He certainly opposes Obamacare.
But where are the calls for across-the-board tax cuts and massive spending cuts?
Some say Republicans have the best field of candidates we’ve seen in decades.
Sorry, not so, if strong adherence to capitalism is the standard. Without a robust, growing economy, defense against Islam and other enemies remains impossible. To be strong militarily, we first have to be strong economically.
It’s fascinating: Democrats win, even when they lose. Republicans overwhelmingly control the Congress; yet Obama gets everything he wants.
Taxes remain high, and non-defense spending is through the roof. The Republicans are weak, and will remain so as long as they continue to not defend capitalism.
Conservatives should wear the label of capitalism proudly! Capitalism means individualism, property rights, and sovereignty over one’s mind and body.
It’s hard to conceive of anything more worth fighting for, preserving and restoring.
Where capitalism still dominates, as in computers, technology, smartphones, the Internet and automobiles, life is good. Where capitalism has declined, as in health care, education and banking, we’re in a lot of trouble.
Capitalism is slowly dying at the hands of the pseudo-“crony capitalists” and the outright socialists. It desperately needs defenders with the bluster of Trump and the principles of Cruz.
If conservative Republicans will not make the case for capitalism, then who will?
Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D., LCSW is a psychotherapist and author with a private practice in coastal Delaware. He is the author of “Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (and How to Tell the Difference).” For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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