Tony Blankley

These principles were very well represented in Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign, although recently, it has become fashionable to mischaracterize Goldwater -- the political father of modern American conservatism -- as libertarian on religious and social issues. In his book "Conscience of a Conservative" and in the 1964 campaign, he was anything but libertarian on social issues. It was my first campaign, and I remember it pretty well.(Andrew Busch's 2006 article "The Goldwater Myth" in the Claremont Review of Books is excellent on this topic, and from which I have refreshed my recollection of Goldwater's precise words from half a century ago).

Consider how Goldwater asserted his religious "social conservative" principles to re-enforce his conservative economic principles. In his acceptance speech, he argued for "freedom under a government limited by the laws of nature and of nature's God ... Those who elevate the state and downgrade the citizen must see ultimately a world in which earthly power can be substituted for Divine Will, and this nation was founded upon the rejection of that notion and upon the acceptance of God as the author of freedom."

That is the foundation of an argument that could be used effectively today against the hubristic government powers installed under Obamacare -- making both an "economic" and "social" conservative case.

Consider how the vital conservative case for free-market capitalism is made more powerful -- is made complete -- in the first chapter of Goldwater's book:

"The root difference between the conservatives and the liberals of today is that conservatives take account of the whole man, while liberals tend to look only at the material side of man's nature. The conservative believes that man is, in part, an economic, an animal creature; but that he is also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires. What is more, those needs and desires reflect the superior side of man's nature, and thus take precedence over his economic wants. Conservatism therefore looks upon the enhancement of man's spiritual nature as the primary concern of political philosophy. Man's most sacred possession is his individual soul."

Republican primary voters should be looking for the candidate who best articulates the balanced case for conservative governing principles. We should be looking for the candidate who unites us into a national majority, not the ones who divide us into our mere component parts.

Sir Edward Coke -- the great 17th-century English common law jurist --implored parliament to work together and avoid being the victims of the tactic of Divide et Impera: "Eritis insuperabiles, si fueritis inseparabiles. (You would be insuperable if you were inseparable.)

So, if we better understand the wholeness of our political principles, we will unite in winning the election for conservatism ----rather than divide in our dissent from a re-elected Obama.


Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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