|Ghost of Liberalism Past|
by Reed R. Heustis, Jr.
May 27, 2007
|NIVERSITY POLITICAL science classes indoctrinate millions of students every year with the Liberal-versus-Conservative myth that gets perpetuated in establishment American politics at all levels of government. Supposedly, on the "Left" is the ideology of Liberalism, and on the "Right" is Conservatism. All political struggles, the Poli Sci professor instructs, take place upon this continuum.|
Although there exist other theories of government, most people subscribe to the above concept. People on the "Right" smear their liberal counterparts as "liberal lunatics" or "leftist radicals," whereas those on the "Left" demonize their conservative opponents as "right-wing bigots" or "fascist extremists."
In a way, both "wings" have a love-hate relationship with one another. Without conservatives to bash, liberals would have to come up with some other form of ideology. The same goes for conservatives, but even more so. Where would Rush Limbaugh be but for the rants of contemporary liberals?
Ironically though, Conservatism is nothing but the Ghost of Liberalism Past. If anything, Liberalism is master, Conservatism servant. Wherever Liberalism travels, Conservatism follows.
Once upon a time in America, perhaps as little as twenty years ago, it was considered "conservative" to oppose any form of federal involvement in education. If a so-called conservative proposed any form of federal program regarding education, then he was in fact pursuing a liberal policy, and everybody knew it.
Today however, a self-proclaimed conservative may publicly proclaim with a straight face the "virtues" of a federal education program, such as George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" scheme, and everybody thinks that he is advocating some form of profound Conservatism.
The same is true for so many other issues. In fact, there once was a time in America where homosexual sodomy was a crime, and people were ashamed to be "outed" as practicing homosexuals. Today however, the "Left" celebrates homosexuality and the "Right" now respects it. Even so-called conservative President Bush "appointed numerous homosexuals to prominent jobs in the administration." Tomorrow's conservatives can be expected to promote it, and God only knows what liberals will do.
If today's Conservatism no longer resembles the Conservatism of yesteryear, then what happened?
The Ghost of Liberalism Past - that's what happened.
Recently I had a conversation with a haughty conservative who came across as one who knew everything about politics. His favorite radio show was Rush Limbaugh, and it was obvious that he never contemplated a view of politics outside the establishment's Left-Right paradigm. Everything was Liberal versus Conservative, to him. If America had "true conservative leadership," he believed, then all of her problems would be fixed.
But what is "true conservative leadership" exactly?
During our conversation, I mused that Conservatism is no different than mushy Liberalism because it is not rooted in any solid foundation other than the whims of Man.
With a confused look and furrowed brow, my conservative friend retorted, "Of course it is!"
"Well then, what is your solid foundation?" I asked.
"Traditional values," he replied, eyes rolling, as if I was nothing but a left-wing liberal lunatic.
"What kind of traditional values?" I pressed.
"Moral values," he answered.
"Everybody has morals," I replied. "Even an atheist communist has morals. Which morals are you advocating? Whose morals?"
Suddenly the light bulb went on. He noticed that if we continued down this line of reasoning, then we would soon arrive at explicitly Christian politics, something that he definitely was not ready to embrace.
Unbeknownst to him, essentially he had already made his Conservatism - or shall I say, the Ghost of Liberalism Past? - to be his god.
Traditions change. Morals change. People change.
Some change quickly, others more slowly, but the bottom line is that traditions, morals and people all change, and everybody knows it.
Therefore, since Conservatism is rooted in traditions and morals, then by definition Conservatism likewise changes. There is no solid foundation! What one generation considers to be Liberalism, another considers to be Conservatism.
The only meaningful difference between the two is that Liberalism chooses its own direction, while Conservatism follows in its wake. Again, Conservatism is the Ghost of Liberalism Past.
How many times can Liberals be heard stating their desire to get into politics in order "to change the world?" In contrast, how many times have Conservatives been heard stating their political ambitions "to save the world from Liberalism?"
Liberals are born leaders, motivated by what they see as positive change. Conservatives are followers, motivated by fear of Liberalism and a desire to return to what they see as "the good ol' days," which is really yesterday's Liberalism.
So, it becomes obvious. Without Liberals, there would be no need for conservatives. Therefore, the philosophy of Conservatism is rooted in the wandering star of Liberalism. Wherever Liberalism, the Good Ship Lollypop, sails, the S.S. Conservative pathetically follows.
Christians should stop referring to themselves as mere conservatives. As a Bible-believer, a Christian's politics must be rooted in the immovable Rock of King Jesus Christ. Christians should not just hang their hats on an "America First" political ideology, and call it a day. Nations are here today, gone tomorrow. Only the King of kings, Jesus Christ, endures. The united States of America might be sovereign to a particular point, but they must still bow before the Sovereign of sovereigns. Therefore, a Christian's creed should be, as many American founders trumpeted, "No king but Jesus!"
If the Bible, which is God's Word, addresses any particular political issue, then who are we to argue? Liberals and Conservatives who advocate laws that contradict Godly precepts in any way, no matter how noble their motives might be, ultimately pursue a path of smug, self-righteous arrogance. The truth of the matter, whether they be liberal or conservative, is that they make themselves to be liars. As God's Word states, "...let God be true, but every man a liar...." (Rom. 3:4)
Political science professors should be educated in this truth. Perhaps Christian students in every university across America should stand up and do the educating. Liberalism and Conservatism are flying in the same godless direction.
The political battle is not fought on a make-believe Left-Right continuum. Instead, it is fought along the lines of a Christian versus Humanist worldview, the latter of which manifests in all sorts of grotesque ways. A Christian who finds himself in a political discussion should be quick to steer the discussion from standard Left-Right banter to Belief-versus-Unbelief.
In so doing, he can be confident that his foundation is sure, immovable and solid, which is something that cannot ever be said of one who puts his precious faith in the Ghost of Liberalism Past.
Reed R. Heustis, Jr., Esq. is a Southern California native, and publisher of Christian Constitutionalist. A member of the State Bar of California, Reed earned his Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law in San Diego, and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from University of California at Irvine. Reed and his family are members of a local church affiliated with the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America.
More columns by Reed R. Heustis, Jr.