4 Easy Ways Conservatives Can Revive American Exceptionalism

We Can Do ItPeople who adopt American values are more noble than those under other traditions and ideologies so say the believers in American exceptionalism. These believers are characterized as nostalgic conservatives who remember their country as “the shining city on a hill” but even most of them, if not all, now see it as more a shanty town on a perpetual landslide. As long as conservatives have the desire for limited constitutional government in republican-form there is hope for American values but of course, hope is not enough.

Action must be taken.

Unfortunately, this is where conservatives are weakest. For generations decentralized power, due process, capitalism and pursuit of happiness have become little more than buzzwords, if that. This trend will continue at the peril of American exceptionalism unless conservatives realize that passive reminiscence is not patriotism, rather it often is the means for demagoguery. Thankfully, there are four ways conservatives can revive American exceptionalism. Despite some unconventional approaches, they are quite easy to implement.

Weed Out Progressivism
While supporters of an exceptionalist country exalt personal responsibility, progressives seek to improve the lot of mankind regardless of what price to the individual. By controlling behavior, social engineers advocated for all sorts of policies, the most embarrassing of which was the amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting alcohol manufacturing, sale and transportation. Is it any wonder the statists, fundamentalists and feminists championed coercive police action on bad behavior?

Because of a strange right-wing twist in the drug sector, progressives have much more leeway with controlling raw milk, trans fats and cigarettes. Health is an individual responsibility, not the government’s in an exceptional society and that’s why micromanaging personal choices (especially on a federal level) was not what made America unique. Now of course the prohibition on marijuana is programmed by the very same mentality. Remember the Drug Enforcement Administration came from the same guy who brought you a 100% paper-standard and Environmental Protection Agency.

The War on Drugs has already been challenged by Sarah Palin, Pat Robertson, William F. Buckley and Glenn Beck so isn’t it worth it to give free markets a chance and stick to enforcing laws that actually protect liberty? Conservatives ought to primary all sitting Republicans who won’t end marijuana prohibition. Of course American exceptionalism is antithetical to the doctrine that claims the government makes the man.

Nullify the Police State
Since when does the Federal government or its military have the authority to kidnap citizens without charge and deny counsel? Since the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 was signed by President Obama. Because such a despicable usurpation is no law at all, states and localities are taking action in defense of American values. Virginia is out in front, already passing through sub-committee a resolution declaring absolutely no support or compliance. Following close behind are Tennessee, Oklahoma and Washington introducing condemnations of the provisions 1021 and 1022 in the NDAA. Colorado’s Weld, El Paso and Fremont Counties have all passed resolutions nullifying what Jefferson referred to as “the confidence in man.”

Want to revive American exceptionalism? Then bind these would-be enforcers of military kidnapping down by the chains of the Constitution. From the USA PATRIOT Act to the TSA to the EPA a minority of people are finding their sovereignty based in resistance to unAmerican rule. It would be an unstoppable force for liberty if all conservatives joined the ranks of the nullifiers.

Talk About the 1%
It doesn’t take a “temperature check” to realize everybody else also knows that there is something unjust about the economy and the status quo. What the Occupy Wall Streeters refer to as the “1%” is the minority of society that exploits the masses for profit. This illustration resonates with young people and a strong sect of the middle class. Conservatives are instinctively anti-class warfare but do themselves and the sense of American exceptionalism no good by denying the nature of the current system.

No question, the gap between rich and poor is widening but there is question as to who can explain why. OWS says they want special interest money out of politics and conservatives usually won’t disagree there, but why not go one step further and support a platform of politics out of money? Inflation, the expansion of credit without backing or productive value, always serves one interest group at the expense of the masses because the new money is in effect stealing the value of the savings from those earning wages or fixed incomes. And as the middle class is wiped out, the elite is on the central banker dole.

As economist Murray Rothbard observed, “The natural tendency of the state is inflation” so conservatives should start talking about the 1%. They are not made up of those in a certain tax bracket, but rather the politically connected, the recipients of the new money first. By not jumping ahead of this argument, the 1% meme will destroy the idea of capitalism even as it is cronies of fascists directing a system much more akin to feudalism.

Bring the Troops Home
Americans are war weary after more than a decade of intervention run amok. This was not the vision of the Founders. To them the military, if there was even one standing, was not tied to an exalted executive until the people declared it so through their locally accountable representatives. The Constitution is not construed to weaken national defense so conservatives should not fear it. In fact, war was one of the most important subjects to the Father of the Constitution, James Madison who deserves to be quoted at length:

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

Sound familiar? If America is unique from its origins, then its originators cannot be liberally disposed, even if it runs against the rhetoric of John Boehner. The assimilation of Old World values is creeping into America from the top down and it may even be too late for a little common sense. Only the ones who take action can prove otherwise. It’s just not that difficult either. Once the mind has changed, new knowledge has been acquired and a vision is discovered then the revival of American exceptionalism is inevitable.

Jason Rink is the Editor-in-Chief of The Liberty Voice. Executive Director of the Foundation for a Free Society. He is the producer and director of Nullification: The Rightful Remedy, and the author of “Ron Paul: Father of the Tea Party” the biography of Congressman Ron Paul. See more of his work at his writing at JasonRink.com and his film production work at FoundationMedia.org.

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