From the Comments: Modern Conservatism

By VA Blogger

“Promoted” from the AG thread below, for attention and discussion.

Modern political Conservatism is based on a deep awareness of human history and human nature, both alone and in groups. It rests on strong belief in individual liberty and dignity and is skeptical that governments get better as they get larger or more powerful. In the American context, I can just give you some earmarks as examples. It is possible to adhere to conservative principles and be either (or neither) a Democrat or Republican. Both parties legitimately see themselves as having a lot of other fish to fry beyond purity to Locke-ian ideals. But within each Party, the figures that conservatives tend to gravitate toward are free market, free trade, internationalist outlook, pro-civil rights and individual liberties, fiscal restraint hawks (it’s not just a question of low taxes, but that’s part of it), defenders of the U.S. Constitution (hard to find a single Republican in Virginia who even knows what’s in the document – the Dems are no better, but it gets really confusing when so many R pols disguise themselves as “conservatives”), particularly its protections of individual liberties. On the latter point, while conservatives are often individually religious, they are strong supporters of keeping government away from religion as a matter of protecting religion against being degraded by getting dragged through the Public Square. Conservatives are well-informed and realistic, they are inherently non-ideological (ideologies tend to obscure reality, conservatives feel a need and responsibility to understand reality).

—NoVa Scout


  • Rtwng Extrmst says:

    Once again in-“Sanity” comes up with a completely obsequious (to the conservative haters) and religiously bigoted post with no facts to back it up, just baseless accusations.

  • t says:

    Sanity is obviously a religious bigot.

  • Jonathan says:


    Good comment except for one error:

    “If the answer’s “no”, vote against gay marriage. If the answer’s “yes”, vote for it.”

    The right to marry is a civil right and civil rights are not to be put to a popular vote. That’s where the court steps in. The anti-marriage amendment to the VA Bill of Rights was a travesty. The “conservatives” know it was a travesty. Even though the amendment passed, there is continued wailing and gnashing of teeth. I chuckle every time I think about Catoctin candidate Robert Bruton’s opening statement at the 2007 LWV debate:

    “I’m married to a woman…it never hurts to say that these days…”

    Bruton’s comment was proof positive that the institution of marriage has already changed. The amendment will be reversed and the scar left by the marriage prohibitionists will remain in our sacred Bill of Rights for perpetuity. Let’s hope that we learn, to get beyond ideology and to respect individual inalienable rights as defined by our Creator and as written in our Constitution.

    – Rtwng Extrmst,

    Thank you for the demonstrating of the hypocrisy of the ideologues. Didn’t the anti-marriage crowd co-opted a few black preachers to cry that marriage equality between people of the same sex has “no relation” to marriage equality between people of different races. Don’t these preachers say that this disrespects and diminishes the Biblical scale drama of African Americans from slavery to freedom?

    Now you have the gall to post this comment:

    “I agree about your assessment of slavery and this is actually the very same logic applied to justification of abortion today. Amazing how almost 145 years go by and all the lives lost in that war and we still have not learned that humans should not be considered “property”.”

    People should note that the “ideologues” are attempting to redefine human as we see in an effort to put language into the Colorado Constitutional which says:

    ‘”persons” shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization.’

    This implies that the failed “struggle” of an embryo to implants due to an IUD, is equivalent to the struggle to end slavery and achieve racial equality.

    Readers note that Rtwng Extrmst mentioned “lives lost in that war”, not lives lost in the great crossing and the subsequent period of legal human slavery right here in America.

  • t says:

    [4] For admission has been secretly gained by some who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly persons who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
    Now I desire to remind you, though you were once for all fully informed, that he who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
    [6] And the angels that did not keep their own position but left their proper dwelling have been kept by him in eternal chains in the nether gloom until the judgment of the great day;
    [7] just as Sodom and Gomor’rah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.
    Yet in like manner these men in their dreamings defile the flesh, reject authority, and revile the glorious ones.

  • Rtwng Extrmst says:

    Jonathan, your rabid rantings are beginning to show you are losing your connection to the rational.

    The homosexual marriage question has nothing to do with considering people property as was the case in slavery. I never implied anything of the sort, and inter-racial marriage stands firmly on the same civil underpinnings as any other heterosexual marriage. It’s simply a question of whether or not civil marriage in this country will have any rational foundation for its definition other than the desires of the individuals who want to engage in it. There is no rational support for homosexual marriage beyond the desires of the two people wanting to enter into that state. My point is this, once you make that the definition, there is not a shred of rational argument left to stop any other type of relationship from also being called marriage (polygamy, close relatives, etc., etc.) and in the end there is then no definition of marriage at all, and therefore no definition of family at all. What you then eventually have as you follow this line of reasoning is government only recognizing individuals alone in a legal sense. Thereby removiing any sense of civil recognition to support the basic building block of a stable society (the family). In truth, the end state is the government becomes the head of the only family and all the people its members, something that the marxists in our reading audience are I’m certain happy to see. For after all “It takes a village”.

    You say on another topic:

    “This implies that the failed “struggle” of an embryo to implants due to an IUD, is equivalent to the struggle to end slavery and achieve racial equality. ”

    From the standpoint that the individual human being that is formed when the sperm fertilizes the egg has had its right to life denied in that process, you are absolutely right. That fertilized egg is viewed in a legal sense as the “property” of its mother, nothing more, and therefore she is legally able to dispose of it much like she would a toenail clipping.

    What you have to ask yourself is 1. Is human life sacred? If you answer this as “no”, then you are a lost cause and are in opposition to the most fundamental individual right in the founding documents of this country.

    If you believe in our founding documents and that life is sacred, then you have to ask yourself a second question 2. When does human life begin? I for one believe based on the biological evidence that this is when the sperm fertilizes the human egg, when that first strand of DNA that is unique and different from both its father and mother is formed. You may not like that answer because it brings into question the ethics of much of the scientific research on embryos, fertility treatments, and the birth control in use in our country today. By the way, I came to this conclusion not because of my religious beliefs, but because of my investigation of the philosophical questions I asked myself long ago and repeated to you in this paragraph earlier. If you have an open mind, I hope you will look into it yourself.

    You also say: “Readers note that Rtwng Extrmst mentioned “lives lost in that war”, not lives lost in the great crossing and the subsequent period of legal human slavery right here in America. ”

    My not mentioning it was not because it is not an abomination, but simply that in this country’s history it was the Civil War that brought to head the final conclusion of that episode in our history and a great price in blood was paid by people of all races, religions, and cultural backgrounds in this nation. None of it should be forgotten. Neither should the lives and freedom lost of people who fought before the war to free slaves through the underground railroad, many of whom supported this out of religious conviction I might add.

    Similarly we should not forget the millions of children who die each year in this country in abortion. This is indeed a travesty on the order of slavery in this country. The only difference is one of the stature and voice of those who are lost to it. As Dr. Seuss so aptly put it: “A person’s a person no matter how small”.

  • t says:

    Abortion is simply big people killing little people.

  • Sorry. “Big people killing little people” was the bumper sticker. My bad.

  • t says:

    “Jesus is my co-pilot” works just fine Ed.

  • Jonathan says:

    Rtwng Extrmst,

    Marxists? I didn’t know that anybody was supporting Marxism. If you’d like to find people who would actually support overthrow of the state in the event that our government extends the definition of marriage and family to include same-sex couples, you need look no further than the mirror, or for a more precise reflection, see the link below:

    With respect to the definition of the beginning of human life, you have just redefined the term “muderer” to include the 160 million women who currently use the IUD. Of course, we should add in their husbands and partners, so now we have 320 million sum odd murders running loose. The use of this single invention (the IUD) has now been redefined as evil far worse than anything perpetrated by Hitler or Stalin.

    If you carry that logic to its natural conclusion, in the event of miscarriage, all women must be investigated for murder. We also have to look at the gentleman. A recent study reveals that men in their mid-forties have “weak sperm” which results in a miscarriage rate of 30+%. By your definition, all men in their mid forties who attempt to father children are statistical murderers.

  • NotNotJayHughes says:

    But RightWing….if preserving the “family” is the ultimate goal of government defining marriage then we should make sure that only good families are allowed to exist. That’s the ultimate flaw in your argument. You can’t have it both ways. If you want government to determine what is a family , i.e. gay couple are inherently bad families then we must also not allow bad heterosexual families which historical evidence has shown to be the case to exist. For instance, we shouldn’t allow 18 year old high school dropouts to marry and/or bring children into the world. Even though their bodies are sexually mature, psychologically they’re ill prepared to raise children being just children themselves and they certainly haven’t any marketable skills and/or education to financially support their offspring.

    So it’s time for a return to consistency Right Wing. If stable families are the end goal of government micromanaging families/marriage then we need to make sure that only mature, gainfully employed and/or financially secure heterosexual people are able to get married because they’re the only ones that have a shot at maintaining a stable family environment and raising their children to be self sufficient members of society who can respect their fellow citizen’s person and property.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    NNJH is a great presence in the Virginia blogosphere. Seeing him here after not seeing very much of him in past months is most refreshing.

    He points out far better than I have done the fallacy of arguments from people who share RWE’s view of the role of Government. The RWE position is inherently a statist, Big Brother, central planning kind of left-wing argument that has absolutely nothing in common with conservative principles. If “goverment” is the regulator of sound personal values, the individual is lost. RWE is essentially advancing a Mao’s China paradigm. To make the RWE system work, you can’t do it by halves – this requires a very strong, assertive central government.

  • Rtwng Extrmst says:


    You miss the point totally. I have not said one word in support of the government micromanaging families or marriages. In fact, I have supported the opposite. It’s those that want to redefine marriage as it has stood throughout our country’s history that are into the government “micromanaging” as you say. Stable and unstable families will exist in this country much like heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships. If you leave the marriage definition alone, by-and-large stable families will naturally continue. However, if you remove any standard at all for civil marriage, you place a huge risk in the future stability of our nation. Families are under enough pressure already in this country as middleman mentions about divorce. If the government removes traditional marriage from the legal framework by calling any relationship at all “marriage”, it will so blur familial relationships that not long thereafter government will be forced to only view individuals as legal entities. Just consider the tax advantages of having deductions for 10 spouses and 100 children in one family. Government would be forced to eventually move in this direction with regard to tax law, benefits, etc. In that light traditional parental rights would be destroyed and we would be all one big “happy family” in the eyes of the “parent” government. Just think of the power government would have to trample on individual rights then…

  • NotNotJayHughes says:

    No, Rightwing, I grasp the point entirely. You are constantly arguing that we shouldn’t redefine traditional marriage because it undermines the traditional family and we need traditional families as a stabilizing force in our society. If that’s not what you’re arguing then we need to work on your writing skills. Don’t worry, my reading comprehension skills are pretty top notch so I know I’m understanding what you’re writing.

    I agree with you that we shouldn’t allow people to get married just because they want to get married, i.e. extend marriage and/or marriage-esque options to people simply b/c they raise their hand say “I wanna get married!!!!”. We should extend marriage only to those who can produce a stable family that is capable of raising children without tax-payer support, instill values we want such as respect for person and property and give their children marketable skills and/or education so they’ll be self-sufficient when it’s time to leave the nest and perpetuate the cycle above in their own children.

    There is no way that the people I described in my last comment can do that. In fact there are a whole number of people we shouldn’t allow to get married even though they are heterosexual if we want to preserve stable, traditional families. When unrelated straight adults go get their marriage license we don’t ask them “Do you have a drinking problem?”, “Do you use illegal drugs?” “Do you have a history of anger management issues?”, “Are you employed?”, “What marketable skills/education do you have”, “Do you make enough money to support your children such that you won’t need public assistance”, and so on. If this were a scholarly work, then I’d be happy to point out the number of failed marriages and broken homes, abused children, etc. arising from the above issues I point out.

    So if you’re consistent and preserving families is your end goal then we need more proaction on the part of government to make sure we’re getting the best families we can get….what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Thanks Nova for the kind words. :O)

  • NoVA Scout says:

    RWE’s concern about tax consequences can be dealt with in the Tax Code (the social/political uses of which is another issue that we conservatives have problems with – but that’s another story).

  • Statist can be on the left or right NoVa, whether totalitarian or communist. Again, the net effects of far right and far left are dissimilar only in whose in charge. The scale, in my view, does not range from anarchy to the hyper-ordered state.

  • who’s in charge… errr

  • […] First, please forgive me for sharing this bit of unintentional humor. In the midst of a recent (yay!) substantive discussion about the meaning of the much-abused term “conservative,” a commenter who goes by the handle “t” (that’s supposed to be “cross,” not a lower-case t; he fancies himself a Christian) intruded with this: Excuse me, Jonathan, but what would a homosexual comprehend about spousal rights? […]

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