It goes without saying that political parties demonize each other in the worst ways possible. This has been the case since the very beginnings of American partisan politics more than two centuries ago. If your opponent can be defined to the voters in a negative way, then your odds for winning at the ballot box are greatly improved. This is true for both Republicans and Democrats.
In today’s caustic political environment this “demonization” has hit new lows. For example, starting with the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, Republicans have been called deplorable, fascist, islamophobe, homophobe, bigots, racist, misogynist, and a number of other nasty labels. Sound familiar? As a Republican myself, I can vouch first-hand that there isn’t a grain of truth to any of these labels. It is all done in order to create a false narrative. In this column I will set the record straight regarding a few commonly held conservative beliefs
I’ll start with Smaller Government – The US Government has a number of fundamental and well defended constitutional responsibilities, they include: 1. National Security – protecting its citizens. 2. Creating and enforcing Laws – this is done via the Legislative and Judicial branches. 3.National Economy – the regulation of commerce. And lastly; 4.Foreign Policy – representing the nation’s interests abroad. Outside of these core responsibilities the private sector can almost always do a better and more efficient/effective job than the government. A large government can, and often does, exert power and control far beyond its basic responsibilities, causing much more harm than good. Thomas Jefferson said of big government “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have”. Massachusetts’s own Henry David Thoreau said in his essay on Civil Disobedience “Government is best which governs least”. And do not forget that the United States itself was created in response to a large and oppressive government.
Lower taxes is another area in which conservatives agree. This is consistent with the idea of smaller government. If the government is giving its citizens what is needed, and no more, then it is fair to say that the tax burden should be smaller as well. Lower taxes mean that we keep more of our hard earned money, and make our own decisions on how to best spend it.
Conservatives support the second amendment; the right to keep and bear arms. It is plain to see that wherever restrictive gun laws have been put into place, chaos and lawlessness are the outcome. This can be seen in places such as Chicago, St Louis, Baltimore, and others, where murders, shootings, holdups, and other gun related crimes are prevalent, in spite of of the highly restrictive gun laws in place. When responsible citizens are not allowed access to firearms – and the ability to protect themselves, then only the criminals have guns and it becomes a lawless free for all. For example, Chicago’s homicide rate for 2016 was 27.7 deaths per 100,000 of the population, while the Mid-West region as a whole was at only 4.5 murders per 100,000.
There are additional conservative core principles that I have not covered in this column, but these three are high-profile and receive a lot of attention. They have also been vastly misrepresented by liberal media. The “loyal opposition” would like to create a false narrative against conservative philosophy and try to define Republicans as a far-right “niche” or fringe party. In reality, the U.S. has moved significantly to the right over recent years and the Republican party is the majority party in a number of important areas. On a national scale, Republicans hold the Presidency, the House, and the Senate. The Supreme Court consists of a conservative majority. On a state scale, Republicans hold 33 governorships, with deep blue states such as Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maryland, all included in the fold. Democrats only hold 16 state governorships, and Independents hold one. Polls show that Charlie Baker, our governor, is the most popular governor in the nation –something for all of us to be proud of, and hardly something to be considered “deplorable” as a point in fact.
Steve Nickerson is a 26 year resident of Mansfield, and is the Vice Chairman of the Mansfield Republican Town Committee – www.mansfieldgop.com. The opinions he expresses are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the committee members.