“The Presidential Primary Campaigns have created an atmosphere of confusion on both the right and the left. The popularity of Socialist contender Bernie Sanders has certainly taken Liberal Hillary Clinton by surprise in the Democratic races. For Republicans, the search is on for the candidate who is the real Conservative,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
AMAC doesn’t endorse candidates but it does endorse the concept of Conservativism “and after eight years of an ultra-Liberal administration, the country appears to want to steer the ship of state to starboard, to set us on the right course.” But it may not be so easy to tell who the real Conservatives in the 2016 field are, he says.
Robert Charles, a veteran of both the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, recently published an essay at Townhall Magazine entitled How Should a Conservative Vote?in which he offered his views on how to sort out the Republican candidates.
Charles, who is a senior consultant to AMAC, believes that you can’t go wrong by taking the advice of Russell Kirk whom, he says, is the Father of Modern Conservatism. In 1953, when the Conservative Movement in the U.S. was in its infancy, Kirk published his book, The Conservative Mind, which “described the existence of a coherent, connected tradition of conservative thinking, going back at least two hundred years, according to Lee Edwards, Ph.D., a prominent historian.
Based on Kirk’s philosophy, Charles suggests that we ask ourselves these questions to determine whose ticket you’ll be punching at the ballot box: “Are you thinking hard about what you are doing, not just feeling the satisfaction of slashing at what is despised? Are you thinking about who can work within our complex constitutional system, to thoughtfully change what we do not like? Are you thinking about who personifies prudence – not the mad dash to a seemingly simple answer? Are you a real conservative, drawing your convictions from faith and duty, patience and history? Or are you just another French Revolutionary, willing to take the boat over the falls, destroying what we all value in the process? In short, are you thinking about who may lead wisely, not just with passion?”
Weber says that his colleague’s advice is sound, particularly in this year’s primary campaigns marked by “bombast and name-calling” and little in the way of thoughtful positioning. As Charles put it in his article, the AMAC chief noted, “keep your eyes on ‘long run consequences’ and not just ‘temporary advantage or popularity.’ Why? Because ‘liberals and radicals … are imprudent.’ You will know their nature because ‘they dash at their objectives without giving much heed to the risk of new abuses worse than the evils they hope to sweep away.’