"We hold these Truths to be self-evident..." What truths? What has happened to our passion for liberty? I am concerned that we conservatives, instead of making our case as fearless champions of liberty, are too often on the defensive, preoccupied with trying to prove we aren't the demons the left says we are.
In the GOP primary contest, you'll hear one candidate scolding the others for lacking compassion, another demagoguing a rival for advocating essential entitlement reform, and another shaming an opponent for being too wealthy.
Shouldn't our side do a better job of proudly proclaiming our case for what we believe in rather than have our tails tucked between our legs, apologizing for conservatism and all too often neglecting our first principles?
Because we face an existential threat to the nation in our exploding discretionary and entitlement spending, we rightly aim our rhetoric against the deficits and the debt. That's critically important, but in the process, do we forget to explain that we favor smaller government also as a matter of principle? Do we make the case that we oppose a bigger and more intrusive government because a) it is incompatible with what we stand for -- robust political liberty -- and b) other than metastasizing and swallowing up the private sector and our individual liberties, government does only a few things well?
Likewise, do we connect the dots between our confiscatory tax policies and the diminution of our liberties, demonstrating a nexus between oppressive taxes and serfdom? Do we protest that we are already overtaxed and that an onerous tax system, enforced by a menacing federal agency, devours our political liberty?
To the contrary, instead of communicating our passion for liberty -- the bedrock principle upon which the nation was founded, lest we forget -- we spend too much time defending against the false charge that we are evil elitists protecting a tax structure that is tilted in favor of the wealthy.
We say we can't support tax cuts during tough economic times, but are we tacitly conceding that it will be just fine to tax ourselves further into oblivion once the economy turns around? How about saying, "We are taxed too much at every level, and our government's financial problems are a result of overspending, not of under-taxation, and they will be solved not by increasing liberty-choking taxes, but by cutting spending"?
We conservatives constantly complain -- and rightly so -- about the chilling effect overregulation has on the economy. But do we emphasize that this frightening explosion of power in mostly independent and largely unreviewable federal agencies represents a grave threat to our individual liberties?
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