A little self-check of the Conservative movement and how we defeat our own principles.
1. Using the government as our own sledge hammer.
Like it or not, we have the government we dislike in no small part as a result of it being our own creation. How often have we complained about the government shutting down little Suzy's lemonade stand in one breath, yet stand up for government enforced regulation in the next breath? Recently where I live, many 50+ year old 'blue laws' have come back up on the ballot as citizens look to expand alcohol sales and say what business can or can't sell beer and when. Alongside all of the liberals opposing expanded sales 'for the children' we found our local Tea Party group and many local churches. Many of these same groups, just a few years ago, joined forces to ban smoking in private restaurants and bars. Of course, a community has a right to set its own standards on issues like this, but is creating a government, on any level, with this power to regulate really in our best interest? First, it may be expanding alcohol sales on Sundays, but then it is telling you when you can wash your car, if you can collect rainwater, if you can grow a garden in your yard, of what signs you can put up. Creating a government that has this power plants the seeds for much greater intrusions.
2. Forgetting that conservation is a conservative value.
There is no doubt that the environmental movement is mostly populated by the left. After all, they claim to be the ones who care for the environment more than the rest of us. Of course, their caring doesn't usually involve going out and picking up trash themselves but instead, begging the government for more tax dollars and more regulations to control others. This is the big difference between environmentalists and conservationists. For the first two centuries of our existence, real conservation movements were found on the Right through individuals and farmers looking for ways to get the most out of every dime and every inch of their land for now and future generations. We were looking for efficiencies, values, and yes, sustainability. Any good farmer would tell you that to have your field yield best, there are ways you rotate the crops you plant and you use various bordering methods to preserve the topsoil from winds and runoff. Any hunter will tell you that in order to reap the fruits of hunting for generations, you take care of your land and you don't kill off the breeding population. Conservation was, for the longest time, known as common sense. Since the 1960s, a change has come over the right akin to a teenage rebellion. Sure, the farmers and hunters on our side still embrace common sense conservation values, but for most of us, we have gone to mocking anything that is efficient and sustainable. Instead of telling Toyota it is great they came up with a product that free citizens choose because it is efficient and saves them money, we mock those who drive the Prius, or any other energy efficient vehicle. Instead of telling those students it is great they choose to have a garden in their school or they choose to plant trees, we mock them as green hippies and symbolically (and sometimes literally) cut down a tree just to spite every one they have planted.
The rebellion is somewhat understandable as we have a government that is attempting to legislate the individual, common sense responsibility of conservation into demanding tax and waste regulation. This should be an issue we take up as individuals, not because of some 'the world is going to die' proclamation of the day, but because conserving and using efficiently what you have is common sense. We've let the radicals and government own this issue that should be something owned by our side as empowering the individual.
....part 3-10 coming soon... taking this in chunks.