By Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall
August 9, 2015
The Fox News Republican debates Thursday night had a record-breaking audience of 24 million.
I don’t know the size of the audience for the earlier debate which hosted presidential candidates Senator Lindsay Graham, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former New York Governor George Pataki.
What became apparent in the early debate is that Governor Gilmore and Carly Fiorina belong onstage with those we consider serious candidates for the Republican presidential race and the others belong exactly where they are… junior varsity.
In the Big Star Debate that same night, entrepreneur real estate mogul Donald Trump, the strong leader in the race, appeared with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Arkansas Governor and former Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
The word used most often during the debate was “conservative.” The candidates know they cannot win a Presidential election without the votes of the conservative wing of the Republican Party and make sure their comments feature any conservative actions, thoughts or deeds to which they can lay claim. Equally, those audience members who truly are conservative are left wondering what candidates mean when they say “I’m conservative.”
Some of their “I support this or that” comments shout “I’m a neo-conservative” or “I’m a social liberal.”
The hosts of the show did not clarify the term and they should have done so. They made the journalistic mistake of not requesting clarification of a term everyone was using but which was being interpreted differently by different candidates. They assumed that everyone has the same definition of the word “conservative.” They did not.
Whenever Jeb Bush and John Kasich use the word, it translates to “fiscal conservative, social liberal.” In other words, they are part of the neo-conservative family of politics. How do I know that? Both support Common Core. Both support amnesty for illegal aliens in one form or another. You can put all the lipstick on that pig you want, it’s still a pig.
How do you define “conservative?” First, it’s a philosophy of life, not an independent action (or a series of actions). For example, someone who supports building a wall to cease illegal alien entry into our country may call him or herself a “conservative.”
But if that person also supports some form of amnesty their conservative credentials should be questioned. Why? Because conservatives believe first and foremost in the rule of law that flows from the Constitution and the first thing illegals do when they enter America is violate our laws. It’s sad that they entered our nation illegally and built an illegal life here and even sadder that their children may have been born here and call this country home, but it doesn’t change that their very presence shows disregard for our Constitution and laws that tell them how to legally become an American.
A conservative is a constitutionalist. First and foremost, that is what a conservative is. Second, you don’t get to pick and choose what parts of the Constitution you support and reject those parts with which you disagree. It’s an all or nothing deal which, when honored under one set of circumstances but not another, indicates the person is like President Obama, believing he or she has the right to set aside this or that constitutional law when they feel like it. A real conservative doesn’t believe that.
Because conservatives are constitutionalists, they believe in the Rule of Law that flows from the Constitution. You don’t get to pick and choose which laws you respect. Either you respect and obey them, or you work to change them. You don’t break laws… not even when you’re out for a Sunday drive and want to exceed the speed limit. I admit that when government becomes tyrannical and passes bad or unlawful laws, it is time to protest and if that doesn’t work, to disobey. Government and its laws must be kept in check.
Conservatives value and respect the truth. They do not ignore reality. They do not live their lives as if things are as they want them to be rather than how they really are. They identify problems and search for solutions. They do not put on rose-colored glass while ignoring reality, letting things get worse.
Or, worse yet, they don’t compromise truth with lies thinking they have somehow advanced an otherwise hopeless cause. To compromise truth with lies and expect truth to shine through is to mix milk with coffee and expect the coffee to remain black.
Perhaps rather than asking a question about whether everyone………..MORE!!!!!!!!!!!