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True Conservatism
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    Just 11 days until Super Tuesday.
    Can't you just taste the excitement?
    I'm particularly excited about discussing the move toward a more traditionally conservative America and government. You know, the one our fathers and grandfathers fought for in the first two world wars.
    Unfortunately, today's conservative movement is filled with prejudice, rhetoric, and spending.
    Today's conservatives are accumulating debt for our children to pay for activities today, are more interested in dropping bombs than making friends and are taking property from private individuals and giving it to developers, to increase the tax digest - for the greater good, of course. (Isn't the "greater good" something we heard from Communist Russia? Or the Borg?)
    Today's conservatives require employers to carry healthcare coverage for their employees, restrict access to guns, limit free speech under the guise of controlling political discourse and increase taxes on cigarettes, gas, nursing homes and whatever else they can get passed. (Romney, Giuliani, McCain and Huckabee, respectively).
    Honestly, does anyone really think these ideas or practices are anywhere near conservative?
    Oddly enough, America is by and large a traditionally conservative country. Southern Democrats have always been conservative, more so than many Northern Republicans. Americans want to live their life as they see fit - as long as they're not hurting anyone else. They want to keep what they earn, raise their children as they like and, in general, want the government to stay out of their business.
    These conservative ideals are based upon some fairly simple premises: the right to liberty (meaning control over your life and activities), the right to property (meaning control over your possessions and your earnings) and the belief in a limited republic (meaning a smaller, less invasive federal government).
    This is the traditional conservative stance, as I understand it, hearkening the days of Reagan. Haven't many of the candidates - including the radio talk-show hosts and TV pundits - pined for the days of Reagan?
    According to the American Presidency Project, run by the University of California, Santa Barbara, the 1980 Republican Party Platform stressed the following items: individuals can make their own decisions; tax reductions are needed; welfare is for the truly needy and should not discourage job seekers; private property is the cornerstone of American liberty; vigorous support for the right of personal mobility; guarantee an individual's right to privacy; full employment for Americans of all races without inflation; equal treatment under the law; a strong family unit and the idea that inflation is the "cruelest tax" which most acutely strikes the elderly on fixed incomes.
    There it is in a nutshell - Reaganomics. Reagan Conservatism. The Reagan Era.
    But who is really the candidate of traditional conservatism?
    Tell me which of the five Republican candidates currently in the race - Giuliani, Huckabee, McCain, Paul or Romney - the following descriptions fit best?
    - As a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, he routinely questioned Greenspan about his policy decisions and wondered about their effects on inflation and the devaluation of the dollar.
    - He has consistently voted for balanced budgets, lower taxes and reduced government spending.
    - He's a veteran who supports giving employers tax credits for hiring veterans, increasing military pay, restoring health care coverage and reducing costs for retired service members and reforming the VA in order to provide efficient, affordable care for veterans.
    - He supports privacy rights including a tax-free Internet, ending the Patriot Act, voting against a national ID card and disallowing "sneek and peek" warrants.
    - He believes government regulations inhibit the development of alternative energy and supports investment tax credits for solar energy and the installation of wind energy.
    - He opposes any infringement on the right to bear arms.
    - He believes it is time to eliminate "birthright citizenship" in America, so that illegals would no longer be able to come across the border, have a child and be immediately eligible for welfare benefits.
    - He supports local control of education by opposing the No Child Left Behind Act, supporting a full tax deduction for college tuition, and introducing bills that would give parents a $5,000 tax credit per student to send kids to private, parochial, religious or home schools and teachers a $3,000 tax credit to encourage good teachers to stay in an underpaid profession.
    This is conservatism. This is consistency. This is Presidential candidate Ron Paul.
    Phil Boyum worked on Bush Senior's presidential camapign as a Young Republican, but now supports Dr. Paul. He may be reached at 489-9454.
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