Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What It Really Means To Be Conservative

*Keep in mind the historical context of the cultural values and psychology of the period.
Law Library of Congress
The Washington Post
(Book Preview)
Andrew Napolitano recently sounded an old familiar alarm about voting rights (see the Raw Story Article). It's a familiar complaint that goes all the way back to American Revolution:
"Women were generally excluded from voting (although occasionally propertied females, usually widows, did cast ballots), and many colonies also imposed religious qualifications of one kind or another. The struggle for independence galvanized participation by hundreds of thousands of those outside the political nation. "Every poor man," claimed a Maryland writer, "has a life, a personal liberty, and a right to his earnings." Hence, voting was a universal entitlement, not a privilege: the "inherent right of free suffrage was "the grandest right of a freeman." "The suffrage," declared a 1776 petition of disenfranchised North Carolinians, was "a right essential to and inseparable from freedom."

Conservative patriots struggled valiantly to reassert the rationale for the old restrictions. Property, and property alone, John Adams insisted, meant independence; those without it had no "judgment of their own. They talk and vote as they are directed by some man of property." The removal of property qualifications, Adams feared, would "confound and destroy all distinctions, and prostrate all ranks to one common level" This was precisely the aim, however, of the era's radical democrats." (1)
In the early days around the time of the American Revolution, this was what the founding fathers meant by "men." You had to be a white male property owner, and your property included women, white indentured servants and African slaves.

The gradual expansion of voting rights appears to be in response to social upheaval in 1789 France and 1917 Russia. Keep in mind that news traveled very slowly in those days.

Today the ratio of economic inequality is closely matching the conditions of pre-revolutionary France and Russia, and the Supreme Court's decision to reverse part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, police brutality at peaceful protests and violence toward African Americans with impunity are adding much fuel to the fire.

If you're a working class renter and you vote Republican, whose interests are you really voting for? The economic conditions are degrading rapidly toward chaos. Do you really want to be on the wrong side of history, like say, King Louis XVI or Tsar Nicholas II?

(1). Foner, Eric; The Story of American Freedom (Ch-1) Norton Publishing

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