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What this conservative believes.

Listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, May 24, 2013.

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Note: This article was originally published on Friday, May 24, 2013.

A liberal caller to the Sean Hannity Show not long ago accused Hannity, and by extension all conservatives, of obstructionism. Paraphrasing her she said, ‘you right wing extremists spend all of your time criticizing Obama, criticizing Democrats, criticizing the government and criticizing the only people who are actually trying to solve the country’s problems. You just complain. You don’t believe in anything. You just complain about the people who do.’

Sean did a fine job dealing with the caller. But I would have liked to have had a go at her myself. I would love to have had the opportunity to respond to that caller with what this right-winger believes.

Here it is.

I believe in the genius of the Constitution of the United States and the express limitations that it imposes upon government. I believe that the men who crafted it, imperfect as they were, were men of exceptional vision.

I believe in the sanctity of private property, including the right to retain the lion’s share of what one lawfully earns. I believe in the right to dispose of that property as one sees fit, even from beyond the grave.

I believe in the sovereignty of the individual. Therefore I believe in personal responsibility. I believe in the duty of self help and in the freedom that flows from self-reliance.

I believe that people can be trusted with their own lives. I believe in the positive forces attendant to free individuals ordering their affairs and expending their energies without interference and in such a way as they themselves determine to be best.

I believe in the duty of charity toward those, who through no fault of their own, cannot adequately provide for themselves or mitigate their own suffering. I believe that a good and decent society looks after those who cannot look after themselves.

I believe in the dignity of labor and in the soul-robbing ignominy of idleness.

I believe in failure. I believe that the lessons learned in failure contribute indispensably to eventual success. I believe that the freedom to fail is inseparable from the freedom to succeed.

I believe in thrift – particularly as it pertains to the use of money taken by taxation.

I believe in the sanctity of human life and the profound responsibility that falls upon those who bring a new child into the world. I believe in mothers and fathers. I believe in the duty incumbent upon them to sacrifice of themselves, to the best of their ability, toward the goal of turning the child they created into a self-sufficient adult.

I believe in enterprise and in the creative forces for good that enterprise unleashes. Toward its advancement, I believe in fair, predictable regulation that is only so limiting as is necessary to impartially protect the interests of businesses, citizens, taxpayers and consumers.

I believe that humankind will always live in a world beset by strife, tragedy, illness, suffering, poverty, mayhem and malfeasance. I believe that while attempts to mitigate such dark forces are appropriate wherever they may be effectively applied, sweeping, ill-considered efforts born of hubris to eradicate such forces altogether will always fail.

I believe in risk. I believe that to avoid risk too vigorously is to foreclose the possibility of living life to its fullest.

I believe in the power of dispersed knowledge. I believe that innovation and the solutions to problems are much more likely to come from the bottom up than the top down.

I believe in economic freedom. I believe that for all of the admitted faults of free-market capitalism, it has nevertheless done more to lift humankind out of poverty than any other economic system ever devised.

I believe that government is at once necessary and dangerous. I believe that governments are constituted of humans and that humans can never be trusted not to abuse power over other humans. Thus I believe in the smallest government possible consistent with defending the peace and enabling the free conduct of commerce.

Most of all, I believe that this is the day the Lord has made, and that so far as our human limitations will allow, we should rejoice, and be glad in it.

That’s what I believe. What about you?