Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A true political conservative's views on the American religious lobbies

In the search for representation in the current government, I am forced to look far in the past for any sign of true conservatism. I have always considered myself to be of conservative mind, but am hard-pressed to find someone with the courage to speak truth to power...a Maverick, if you will. Conservatives should be fighting for the individual, while being checked and balanced by the Liberals. This is how our government is supposed to work! For the lack of current, like-minded officials I have been forced to look into our nation's past. Barry Goldwater seems to have been the last Republican (possibly the last elected official) to fit the bill. He was a senator from Arizona, of all places, whom I believe to have truly believed in the right of the people to govern themselves (i.e. small government and a free market). Below are a couple of excerpts from speeches the senator made while he was involved in US politics. I admire him very much for his candor.

"Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism."
Acceptance Speech as the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate.

Some say that the above speech lost him the party nomination for president. Now those are BALLS!! John McCain is a pussy!

"On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.
I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C" and "D." Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?
And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism'."

Speech in the US Senate (16 September 1981)

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