FEDER'S 25 RULES FOR CONSERVATIVES
By Don Feder
January 21, 2020


Being a modest attempt to elucidate the political philosophy which could save America

       1. Calling yourself a conservative doesn't make you one. Your conservatism should be grounded in knowledge, not clichιs – Read classics like "The Conservative Mind" and "Modern Times," to better understand the basics of conservatism.

       2. There is no social conservatism or economic conservatism – no neo-cons or paleo-cons – just conservatism, which encompasses Judeo-Christian morality, free market economics and a rational defense/foreign policy.

       3. The free market is both moral and practical – It's moral because there is a right to property earned by honest labor. It's practical because it's the only economic system that's worked – produced prosperity throughout the course of history. Socialism is alien to America and unfit for free men and women.

       4. Culture is crucial – The conservative cause also encompasses language, borders and national identity (patriotism). All three are besieged. If you're not willing to defend them, you're not a conservative, but someone who holds some conservative views.

       5. An authentic conservative opposes sexual anarchy – Conservatives reject the notion that same-sex relations are part of the natural order (no pun intended) and an individual's sex at birth is only a starting point – that a man can become a woman and vice versa through clothes , cosmetics, drugs and surgery. The left, which revels in overthrowing norms, is pushing legislation to punish those who use the "wrong" pronoun – who refuse to pretend that desire can change reality.

       6. Conservatism isn't libertarianism, though they have certain similarities. Conservatives reject utopianism. Libertarians are utopians of the right. Like Marxists, libertarians are dogmatic. If a tenet of their creed is contradicted by reality, they discard reality. A Marxist believes in total government (totalitarianism). A libertarian believes in no government (anarchy), although he usually won't admit it. A conservative believes in limited, constitutional government.

       7. A conservative foreign policy is based on America's just national interests. It's neither interventionist nor isolationist. These are dogmatic positions which rule out objective decision-making. Isolationism versus interventionism is a false dichotomy. Sometimes intervening in a foreign conflict is necessary, even essential, and sometimes it's futile and self-defeating.

       8. From a conservative perspective, the goal of government is self-defense – There should be police and courts to protect us at home, and a military and defense policy to defend us and deter aggression abroad. Today, government itself consists primarily of aggression – aggression against taxpayers, entrepreneurs, and those who refuse to subscribe to the left's latest social lunacy.

       9. The chief enemies of society are militant secularism at home and Islamic extremism abroad. Even though they disagree on certain issues, increasingly, these toxic creeds are allied against America.

       10. Conservatism requires sacrifice –Saying you're a conservative is all well and good, but what are you willing to do about it? If you're an armchair conservative, if your conservatism is merely intellectual/rhetorical, you're not doing the world much good.

       11. There are no victimless crimes. Every law is based on certain moral precepts – someone's judgment of right and wrong. The person who says he's opposed to legislating morality means he's opposed to legislating your morality, not his own.

       12. A conservative fights for basic human rights – These are, to paraphrase the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty and the Possession of Property.

       13. A conservative believes in objective truth – As they used to say on the "X Files," "The truth is out there." Truth is based on objective reality – not what you want to believe, but what is.

       14. There are no special rights – There are no women's rights, minority rights, sexual rights etc., only human rights. A right is either applicable to everyone or it's applicable to no one.

       15. Our adversaries are using illegal immigration to abolish America or to radically transform it. They are using an open-borders policy to efface national identity and keep their party in power indefinitely. That's why they not only refuse to guard our borders but are doing whatever they can to encourage illegal immigration, including sanctuary cities (suspension of law enforcement in enclaves they control), welfare for illegals, and drivers' licenses for non-citizens. When they say we need more diversity, they mean the kind of diversity that strengthens them politically. If Hispanics voted overwhelmingly conservative, they'd descend on the border with tanks and drones to defend our sovereignty.

       16. Keep your eye on the prize – Many issues matter. But nationally, the courts matter most. Tragically, in many cases, the Constitution has come to mean what they say it means. The left has been successful at legislating from the bench – getting the judiciary to, in effect, give them laws they could never get though the normal legislative process. A president will be in office 4 to 8 years. A federal judge, who serves for life, can sit for 20 years to 30 years or more – never subject to re-election or re-confirmation. This power must be in the hands of judges who believe in original intent – that the Constitution actually means what it says it means (fancy that) and that it isn't "evolving" into the blueprint for a Marxist utopia.

       17. Don't let them intimidate you – Leftists are masters of intimidation. Because their ideology won't stand up to scrutiny, they'll do anything to avoid a debate on the merits. Their favorite tactic is to accuse conservatives of racism, sexism, xenophobia and the like. Ignore the allegations and proceed to make your case.

       18. The letter "R" next to a name signifies absolutely nothing – Republicans aren't automatically conservative. In most cases, they're not. Conservatives are in it for the values. Politicians are in it for the power.

       19. Don't fall into the left's trap by adopting its terminology – The liberal lexicon comes with a built-in agenda. For instance, some conservatives follow the media's lead and use the word "progressive" for leftists. The term implies that they're for progress and we're against it. In fact, the opposite is true. There is nothing "progressive" about socialism or reversion to a pagan culture.

       20. A conservative supports the right to life. If you don't; you're not. This is fundamental. Without life, no other rights are possible.

       21. Conservative values also include the right to self-defense (which often necessitates gun ownership), freedom of speech (regardless of how much it offends certain parties) and freedom of worship. All are specifically protected by the Bill of Rights, but all predate the Constitution. The Constitution didn't create rights. It acknowledged them. Human rights are God-given.

       22. A conservative understands that the family is the foundation of civilization – The family is God's unique creation. It does not change with the seasons or political fashions. A family is a man and a woman united in marriage and committed to raising the next generation with love and discipline – not two or more persons united by their passions seeking societal sanction for their relationship.

       23. Don't look to big business for support – More often than not, it's the enemy. Corporations may be great at making money, but have no moral compass. Many businesses get rich through political pull. That makes them natural allies of those in power. They're more than willing to sacrifice the national interest for personal gain. In their advertising and donations, they often support the left's values.

       24. When seeking allies look to natural conservative constituencies – These include active duty military personnel, veterans, law enforcement (active or retired), independent businessmen, regular churchgoers, retirees and the parents of small children (who are rightly concerned about the future).

       25. You have a noble heritage; be proud of it – Conservative values have been affirmed throughout the course of history. The Founding Fathers were conservatives and, in consequence, gave us a conservative government (one that severely circumscribed the power of the state and protected individual rights). America grew to greatness by following their values. Our greatest leaders have all been conservative – to one degree or another – including Washington, John Adams, Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan. It's up to us to live up to their example.



Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains a Facebook page.

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