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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Friday, January 3, 2014

Commentary Magazine: Peter Wehner- A Conservative Vision of Government

Source: Leadership Institute-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

I’m going to write what a conservative government should look like at least in mind and go to the Barry Goldwater school of conservatism to do this. Because this is the most accurate way to explain what conservatism is and what conservative government looks like. And no, this won’t be a libertarian government or a theocratic government. Christian or otherwise. But how Classical Conservatives would govern if they had all the power. Keep in mind, I’m a Liberal so this is not what my form of government would look like. Even though I agree and respect a lot of the conservative principles of limited government. But this is how a Barry Goldwater conservative government would look like.

I’ve always said that Conservatives shouldn’t be so much anti-government, but anti-big government. And what is big government, well that is the story for another piece, but the idea of big government is government especially the Federal Government trying to do too much. And interfering into the personal and economic affairs of the individual. The whole Barry Goldwater line of I don’t want big government in my boardroom, bedroom or classroom. So what should government be doing, be limited to only the things that we need government to do.

And of course you may say can I be less specific, well I can. But it means you want government doing the things for the people who people can’t do for themselves, or do as well. To give you examples. You want government doing things like law enforcement, national security, foreign policy, handling interstate crimes, regulating interstate commerce and these things would apply to the Federal Government. What you want the states to do is law enforcement within their state, regulating business’s in their state, education and applying private market principles to all of these governmental affairs. And goes to things like accountability.

Part of the problem with right-wing rhetoric whether it is conservative or libertarian today, is even though they make it very clear what they do not want government to do anything. Especially the Federal Government, they don’t seem to be able to communicate what they want government to do. Especially the Federal Government so when they talk about cutting taxes and government spending, they don’t seem to know what they want to cut and how much revenue they need government to raised to perform the public services that they want government to do. But with a conservative vision of government and now you know exactly what Conservatives want from government, then you’ll know what taxes you need to have and what levels to raise the revenue for the government you need and nothing more.