The makings of a real conservative


Rush does not endorse in primaries. I can’t say I blame him. But he does know a conservative when he sees one and he’s already said that Thompson is the only conservative in the race without well

There was one candidate who did not display any moderateness or liberalism or have any of his past forays into those areas displayed, and that candidate was Fred Thompson.

Today, Rush was singing Fred’s praises again. But, as Rush did, let me point out that it is not so much what Fred said — though to be sure it was staggering in its conservative awesomeness — but the way Charlie Rose reacted.

You can watch the whole clip below the fold, but here is the relevant part from the transcript:

Rose asks, “You constantly say in this campaign that you are a conservative. What does that mean today?”

Thompson’s response:

It means things that are consistent with God’s design for man, is consistent with human nature, it’s consistent with the lessons of history, the lessons of ages. They found form in the Constitution I think and what our founding fathers believed. They understand that man can do great and wonderful things, but man is prone to error and sometimes do terrible things. That too much power in too few hands is a dangerous thing. That power is a corrupting thing.

And Rose is just stunned. Stunned. No gay marriage. No abortion. No gun rights. None of that in that statement. Thompson explains that those are issues to which you apply your principles. Go to kerrhome’s diary for the rest and go below the fold for my take and the video.

Read on . . .

You know, I admit Fred hasn’t done well on the stump, but let’s not fool around on the issue of what he believes. He has been consistent.

Fred pimping, however, is not my point. Charlie Rose’s response is my point. Rose was just befuddled by Fred. And isn’t that interesting. You see, liberals in general are befuddled by principle. They were confounded by Reagan. They are confounded by Bush. And they are confounded by a man like Fred Thompson.

Conservatives see the world in the form of principles by which we lead our lives. Thompson, to his credit, when he first ran put out a list of principles — not policy statements or action items or anything else — principles by which he would govern. Liberals can’t do that. They have no principles any more. The only principle they have is the accumulation of power. That’s it. That’s the only principle. Sadly, too many Republicans lately have adopted that principle. They go wobbly.

Liberals hate hypocrites because hypocrites set standards and fail to meet them. Hypocrisy is the only sin to liberals because the existence of hypocrisy means there are principles and standards from which one might deviate.

And Charlie Rose shows that off. To him, principles are gay marriage, abortion, guns, etc. To a principled conservative, those are issues — sometimes, when principle is applied to them, a conservative comes out with majority opinion and sometimes not. A liberal sees issues as principles because positions on issues can shift. Hopefully for the liberal, they always shift left. Principles do not shift. Sometimes they are balanced. Sometimes they are prioritized, but they do not shift. And liberals cannot abide that because a fixed principle yields hypocrisy when one crosses the line. So liberals talk of issues as principles and shift them further and further left so no one must risk being a hypocrite. Liberals can win on issues, but they can’t win on principles because the “if it feels good do it and let the government pay for it” principle is abhorrent to the rugged individualist streak that runs through the majority of Americans.

Says Thompson on that point:

Principles are what guide you in coming to positions with regard to issues. You know the Declaration of Independence said that our basic rights come from God and not from man. The founders talked about you know life, liberty and the importance of that. And that everything is based on those basic principles. And I take those principles and you know for example I come to a pro-life conclusion there. And when we had issues you know for 8 years when I was in the United States Senate about whether or not the federal government should be funding, for example, abortion related activities and things of that nature you know, the application of those principles in that instance told me the answer was no properly.

The only guide for a liberal these days, and a lot of Republicans, is the gallup poll and the scent of money. Seeing a candidate stick up for first things is quite refreshing.

About the author

Erick Erickson

1 comment

  • “see, liberals in general are befuddled by principle”

    That is such utter crap Erick.

    Given the point of reference is Rush Limbaugh, I guess I shouldn’ be surprised. It sounds like something he would say.

By Erick Erickson

Erick Erickson

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