Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh seems determined to make the beliefs and ideas of Ronald Reagan the litmus test to define conservatism but I have a better idea. I highly respect the person and politics of Ronald Regan and clearly wish we had another such statesman on the political arena today! Professional politicians weary me! However, the roots of conservatism go back beyond the days of the late President Reagan. So, why stop at Reagan to find the political roots of conservatism?
The great Abraham Lincoln had ten guidelines by which he lived his life and governed a troubled nation. These beliefs had a profound affect upon his life to the day he died and these principles influenced America in a positive way. These 10 guidelines capture the heart of why I am a political conservative.
- You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
- You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
- You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
- You cannot lift the wage earned by pulling down the wage payer.
- You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
- You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
- You cannot further the brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.
- You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
- You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
- You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
(Source: Glenn Bland, Legend of the Golden Scrolls, p. 112.)