Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Taking the Pledge

It wasn't that long ago that true conservatives in the U.S. believed in individual freedom, a non-obtrusive Federal Government, balanced budgets, and even -- most especially, perhaps -- the Bill of Rights.

No more. As Scott Horton notes today --
[W]e have political figures who call themselves Conservatives, but whose notions of what constitutes conservatism seem drawn from certain political movements in Europe between the wars.
Wonder which "certain political movements... between the wars" he's thinking about? Think brown shirts and swastikas. But today, right here in America, people who call themselves conservatives, from the top of the Republican Party to the lowest level of plain citizen --
think, for instance, that balanced budgets are a thing of the past and that deficit spending is the fashion of the day. They believe in big government that grows in size every year and becomes more intrusive into the lives of citizens as every day passes. Among what Thomas Jefferson called the “essential pillars of our Government,” the new “conservatives” don’t feel that any are essential, indeed, they tend to think of all of the “pillars” are quaint and obsolete.

Indeed, they have already suspended one of Jefferson’s “pillars,” habeas corpus and they’re busy working on the others. And in the area of foreign affairs, the new “conservatives” have never seen a war they didn’t want to fight, nor have they ever seen a war they would trust the uniformed professionals of the armed services to manage. This is balanced by the fact that none of them ever served in the armed forces, because they had better things to do.
At last, there is a movement of true conservatives that seeks to turn the Republican Party away from neo-fascism and bring it back to the party's more honorable roots: The American Freedom Agenda.

Led by conservative lawyer Bruce Fein, direct mail specialist Richard Viguerie, former Republican congressman Bob Barr, and American Conservative Union chairman David Keene, the AFA is trying to rescue the nation, not just the Republican Party, from the unprecedented authoritarian path being pursued by the Bush-Cheney administration.

The AFA recently announced a "10-point agenda" that almost everyone should support since it mirrors the Constitutional system of laws that has served us so well for over two hundred years. Most notably, that agenda would strengthen the Constitution’s checks and balances, prevent executive branch usurpation of legislative and judicial powers, protect personal privacy from intrusive government wiretapping and home invasions, prohibit kidnapping and torture on the mere say-so of a president, and restore the centuries old "writ of freedom" known as habeas corpus.

The thoroughly conservative AFA is now asking Republican presidential candidates to sign on to that agenda. Sad to say, G.O.P. presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the first to refuse. Consequently, the AFA has (rightly) "pronounced him unfit to serve" as president.

The American Freedom Agenda strikes us as something every candidate for president should be proud to sign onto and faithfully execute, Republican or Democrat. Every American voter should be insisting on it. Don't pledge your support to any candidate unless he (or she) does.

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