Why Does it Seem Like Conservatives are Always Abandoning their Principles?

Constitutionalist conservatives have worked their hearts out and emptied their pocketbooks to get other constitutionalist conservatives elected to office only to have them turn on them before their first term is over.

Why does it happen? First, I believe it begins with a character flaw. Some people want to be liked, and they will do most anything that’s within the bounds of the law to work their way into the inner rings of power where they believe they can do some good.

Second, they soon learn that (1) there are certain conditions necessary to enter the inner ring and (2) once inside there are certain mandated conditions to stay in.

Third, it’s difficult to fight a Behemoth when you’re outnumbered by allies who are actually your ideological enemies to fight the battle you were called to fight, so the temptation is great to join the cabal or forever be considered an uncooperative outsider.

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Fourth, young political conservatives are told that power for them is not a danger. It’s only a danger for liberals. In J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the power of the ring is not something to be desired even by good people. The goal is to destroy it. When Boromir fails to avoid the ring’s power, he dies. Even Gandalf and the elves shun the power of the ring.

Tolkien is doubtful that any person has the ability to resist the temptation of promised power, even if that power is used for good. That is one of the great themes of the series. It’s no different when politicians believe that they have been elected to office to use their power for good. Their interference, even with the best intentions, can lead to disastrous results

republican deadC.S. Lewis wrote, “Of all the passions, the passion for the Inner Ring is most skillful in making a man who is not yet a very bad man do very bad things.”1

Dr. Gary North related an incident to me that happened to him when he was a young man. He had decided to leave seminary to pursue other academic interests and a writing career. Upon leaving, a friend warned him: “Remember . . . truth before friendship.”

Dr. North offers a helpful summary of the temptation and consequences of pursuing entry to the Inner Ring:

“Lewis pointed out that certain kinds of organizations must have an inner core of high-performance people. There are people who do certain kinds of work, or have certain kinds of skills, which are not shared by large numbers of people. When a person is involved in an activity which, by the very nature of the activity, excludes the broad mass of humanity, the person who possesses the skill to participate should not hesitate to participate. The distinction between those inside the group and those outside the group is not based on the structure of the organization, but rather on the varying skills that people possess in life.

“The essence of the inner ring, he said, is the desire to create exclusivity. As he put it, ‘your genuine Inner Ring exists for exclusion.’ He was arguing that any organization that exists strictly for the desire to exclude others is inherently immoral, and it leads to immoral behavior. An individual would be wise, beginning at an early age, to avoid becoming a member of any organization whose fundamental goal in life is to exclude others. This is the oath-bound brotherhood. This is also the unofficial group of insiders who believe that they are truly in the know.

“When an individual is approached by someone he believes to be a member of an inner ring, and this individual seems to be inviting him into the inner ring, the person being approached should be extremely wary. The reason he should be wary, Lewis argued, is this: at some point, the person making the offer, or someone in the inner ring, will ask the newcomer to do something that is not quite right. Whatever it is that he is being asked to do is preliminary to other similar requests. As the requests get more and more deviant from the standards of society outside the inner ring, the individual is left increasingly defenseless. He finds it very difficult to say no.

“Lewis warned that the ultimate result of this is the transformation of an otherwise honest person into a scoundrel. The scoundrel may be highly successful, or he may go to prison, but he is, in either case, a scoundrel. A scoundrel is someone who does something that he knows to be immoral, irrespective of the negative effects on both his life and others. The scoundrel is not to be trusted by members of the general community. Why not? Because he does not share their values. He wants only to be trusted by others who participate in the inner ring. But the reality is this: because he is not to be trusted, he will be tempted to do things that he would have known or immoral prior to his membership in the inner ring.”

Why is it that spending and taxes keep going up with only talk coming from the Republican side? How many of our Representatives and Senators promised they would do something about runaway spending and yet they continue to pass a bloated and unconstitutional budget? My Representative, [score]Barry Loudermilk[/score], told me and others in a campaign meeting that he was going to be different, and yet he voted for the latest Omnibus Bill promising that he would work next time to change the way politics was being done in Washington.

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Young conservatives are told that if the system is dismantled the entire structure will collapse. We need to go slow. For example, while they claim to despise the unconstitutional Federal Reserve System, they soon learn that their donors like it since it’s made them rich.

“Even elites who made their money the old-fashioned way, by building brick and mortar companies from scratch before selling out to private equity or public investors, tend to steer clear of radical prescriptions like ‘End the Fed.’ If you’ve reached an elite level in society, it’s hard to argue with the status quo. In fact, it is precisely the market forces of creative destruction that you might fear most.”2

“Market forces of creative destruction” is a fancy way of saying “competition.” Donors like the cover of the Fed to keep the fake money flowing. It makes business easier for them by keeping the competition at bay.

A political outsider is not popular with the Inner Ring. It’s no wonder that Democrats and Republicans are often on the same page when it comes to taxing and spending. Their only disagreement is over who’s being taxed and who gets the confiscated tax dollars to be spent on the party crony donors.

The Inner Ring must do everything to keep a popular outsider on the outside by claiming that what they do is for the good of everyone.

Reposted with Permission from Constitution.com.

  1. C. S. Lewis, “The Inner Ring,” The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses (New York: Macmillan, 1980), 93-105. []
  2. H/T: Lew Rockwell.com []

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