For the last several decades, the Republican Party has been the conservative party. It was not always guaranteed that Republicans would support and promote conservative ideals, but by and large it was a safe assumption that the Republican platform would be a mostly conservative one. It is too early to say if the Republican Party has moved as far away from conservatism as Trump’s campaign might suggest, but it is clear that the GOP can no longer be counted upon to reliably articulate a conservative agenda.
The Trump phenomenon may be of passing significance – a brief moment where a charismatic celebrity was able to galvanize support before returning policy and governance to a conservative legislature and Vice President. Or it could be a realignment that turns the Republican Party into a populist party. Either way, political parties are by necessity unprincipled and the GOP will support the views of its elected members, whatever they happen to be at the time.
In contrast, conservative principles are enduring and not subject to the whims of whoever is in power. Conservatives can look back hundreds of years to the teachings of great men such as John Locke, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and many others, and find relevance and guidance for today’s issues. It is these enduring principles, not the political expediences of a party, that will be the subject of this blog.