By Carl Carter, APR
I’m a conservative. Always have been. I imagine I’ll die one.
I believe in God the father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only son. Like any good conservative, I want the government butting out my faith and lifestyle decisions. I don’t think the state has any business deciding who can marry whom, or who can have an abortion. I sure as hell don’t want my grandkids having to sit through religion classes on creation when they’re supposed to be studying science.
For a while, I was a Republican, when Republicans used to be conservative. In those days, I went against the grain in opposing school prayer, because I didn’t want my kids being indoctrinated in somebody else’s religion. That seemed like a liberal overreach to me.
I run a business and pay taxes. Because I own a business, I pay more tax than many people do. You know those FICA (Social Security) and Medicare taxes you hate when you see them taken out of your paycheck? I have to pay those twice, because I pay the employer’s part as well.
I try to eat right, exercise and do what my doctors tell me to, because they’re scientists, and I believe in science. And I take responsibility for my own health.
When money is short, I get on the phone and round up some more business. I keep clients, because they know I always do what I said I will. That’s a conservative trait if I ever saw one. Know what I don’t do? I don’t go on a spending spree and decide to take a pay cut at the same time. So when the Republican George W. Bush administration decided to fight two wars on a credit card while cutting taxes, it raised my conservative hackles.
I believe in law and order, so when the last Republican administration quit enforcing laws that protect our financial systems, I wasn’t happy about it — especially when it brought about the biggest collapse since the Great Depression. This kind of lawlessness has nothing to do with conservative values.
A good conservative wants order in our society rather than chaos. That means some things have to be regulated. We have to all drive on the same side of the road, and recognize that red means stop. And somebody has to decide where we put roads, and how we build them to make them safe.
A consistently conservative position has always recognized that some functions in our society are natural monopolies. That’s why we regulate things like the production of electric power, because it’s impractical to have two or 10 lines coming down the street.
Consistent conservatives look for less expensive ways to do things. We like to get more for our money. Most of the civilized world has figured out that health care is a natural monopoly. That’s why the United Kingdom, Japan, France and Canada spend about half what we do, and they cover everybody. We have a tangled mess that has to feed hundreds of overpaid Blue Cross presidents and greedy drug companies and for-profit hospitals — a system only Rube Goldberg could love.
I love my country. I believe it should live up to its promises to friends and protecting us from enemies. As a conservative, I like to keep a close eye on things, so if somebody’s in a back room talking with an enemy, I get jumpy.
I’m a conservative, and these are things I feel deeply. And that’s why I’m a Democrat.