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The Principled Conservative in 21st Century America

every social problem under the sun or moon;
ass of politicians enriching themselves in public service is never a good idea;
leads to societal disaster;
jobs in America, businesses should have the freedom to start with
minimal government interference;
have a role in determining or influencing individual consumer purchase decisions;
o equal rights, justice and opportunities, and they should assume their
responsibilities as citizens in a free society;
demand accountability and results, not just platitudes and good intentions;
official religion, should not be anti-religion.
Besides embracing classical liberal notions of liberty and freedom and the use of government to protect those
freedoms, the principled conservative is also a practical realistunderstanding of human nature and highly
skeptical of utopian schemes to perfect humanity or of the government’s capability to solve social problems.
While the above statements sound like good common sense, they stand in stark contrast to how many American
liberals/progressives view the world in the 21st century.
This book builds upon these principles for a starting point in analyzing important issues America faces today
and for the remainder of the 21st century. If the reader starts from a socialist, class-based Marxist/leftist
perspective, she will find little to like in the above principles. But after we discard that thankfully extremely tiny
minority of misguided fools, I ask the moderate, the independent, or the self-proclaimed “mainstream liberal” to
consider how closely some of the above principles might be consistent with your own world view. Read the rest
of this book with an open mind and consider the different public policy conclusions usually reached when
starting from such principles. For those self-proclaimed conservatives, do not assume that you already know
every conclusion that will be reached. In some areas, this book challenges what is often portrayed as the
appropriate conservative position. I suspect there are some things in this book with which self-professed
liberals/progressives will agree, and with which self-professed conservatives will disagree. I do so not to gain
favor with my liberal friends and gain admission to their cocktail parties, but to be truer to the vision of a
principled conservative. My aim is not to be deliberately provocative, but to analyze and synthesize what should
be the standing ground of the principled conservative. I do not attempt to reach a moderate position simply to
achieve political consensus. And it is acknowledged that on some policy issues, principled conservatives may
arrive at different policy recommendations because the principles do not yield a precise answer to every policy
question that exists. The hope is that they do offer guidance and direction on many critical issues. For example,
if a core principle is that government spending (absent a world war!) generally helps only a small number of
individuals and firms who receive government contracts without spurring growth in private sector employment,
you are less likely to be enthusiastic about an economic stimulus package than someone who believes the
government can create jobs by simply spending more money.
This book is also a very practical effort, which will not delve very heavily into political philosophy as compared
to other recent efforts in this area.2 This book is more of a primer. It is also understood that every principle
rship of all faiths, and while not endorsing or establishing any
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