Monday, April 23, 2012

My Problem With Libertarians

I'm a conservative. You can even see that from my blog description. What you don't see in that little blurb is that I am a firm believer in Reagan's three-legged stool: free enterprise, strong national defense, and pro-family social policy. These three "legs" represent three factions of the Republican party: The fiscal conservatives, the war hawks, and the social conservatives. I'm somewhat of a minority in that I belong to all three groups. However, the GOP tent is usually big enough to accommodate all three factions comfortably.

Until recently, when the Libertarians started telling the war hawks and the social conservatives to shut up.

Now, I often mentally make a distinction between the two types of libertarians, so let me clarify. Small-l libertarians are the ones I usually get along with. They tend to believe in libertarian principles, but are content to let people live their own lives and decide things for themselves. I can get along with these libertarians because we can work together on fiscal issues. Big-L Libertarians, however, are the ones I have a problem with. They believe in libertarian principles, except the one about letting people live their own lives. They constantly try to convert people to libertarianism and disparage "so-cons" (social conservatives) as out-of-touch and war hawks as bloodthirsty idiots. I have a hard time working with them on our common ground of fiscal conservatism because they're too busy screaming insults at me.

I have a message for you Libertarians: I am not a libertarian, and never will be! In your quest for "tolerance," telling people to shut up because you don't like their views is not only a step down the wrong path, it also doesn't win you any converts. I am a "so-con," and proud of it. I also believe that our military is here to kill people and break stuff. You are essentially demanding that I give up most of my political identity. This is America, and I am allowed to not only have my own political beliefs, but express them as well.

As for the movement to do away with any stance on morality to get votes, let me tell you a story:

After Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973, much of the GOP establishment had given up. They were convinced that the country was pro-choice (like they were), and that to get votes in the future, the GOP would have to embrace abortion.

My grandfather disagreed.

He fought tooth and nail along with other pro-lifers to get the pro-life plank in the party platform at a time when it seemed impossible. And he kept pushing the pro-life cause to the end of his days, talking about what a wonderful pro-life example people like Sarah Palin were to me as his own health failed.

My grandfather ultimately won. Through the efforts of the reborn GOP, the legal pendulum has started swinging back to restricting abortion. Pro-life identification is high for a number of reasons, but the main reason is the legacy that people like him left behind. A legacy of not giving in to the idea that we should embrace "social progress" for votes. A legacy of fighting for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

What is popular is not always right, and I'll take my chances on being unpopular rather than giving up what I believe in: True conservatism.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fighting Wars Under The Obama Defense Cuts

"We got hosed."

That's what my husband said to me last month as his unit struggled to keep their mission going due to the new Obama Defense cuts. They've made do with less (and sometimes nothing) for the last three years but the new cuts are really impacting his mission.

When you're the wife of a "True Blue" Airman, you know that The Mission comes above everything else. You know that anniversaries and birthdays will be missed because The Mission must be completed. You keep odd hours, constantly monitoring all lines of communication because he's out there somewhere saving the world, doing The Mission he was assigned to do. And you watch in utter horror as The Mission that your husband worked so hard for and is so vital to the country is laid on the altar of political opportunity.

The military's portion of the 2011 budget (4.3% for wars and 14.4% for the DoD) seems small in comparison to the entitlements (60.9%) that dominate the rest of the national budget. Yet it seems that the military's budget is always the first to be criticized, maligned, and put on the chopping block. The comfort of Baby Boomers is put ahead of the needs of the young men and women fighting for our nation. The military is now cutting 67,100 troops at a time when we need their service more than ever.

We don't fight wars like we used to, that's for sure.

With new technology and asymmetrical warfare, it's doubtful we'll ever see something like World War II ever again. But some things just haven't changed in the Air Force (known as the Army Air Corps back then). We still need highly-trained and motivated Airmen to operate equipment and give air support. For every "pointy end" of the spear, there's a "shaft" of support behind it and someone's got to decide where that spear will do the most damage. These Airmen need to constantly keep up on their training and be supported as they serve 6-12 month deployments.

Obama and his liberal minions want to cut that support. Their simultaneous proposals of new unconstitutional wars and special forces deployments while slashing the budget and feeding our troops lettuce is pure cognitive dissonance. The Bush-era mantra of "support the troops, not the war" has completely broken down as the Obama administration goes after not only the monetary support of the troops but also their morale; as certain policies are implemented in an attempt to unravel the moral fabric of the greatest military on the face of this earth.

In three years our military has taken a lot of friendly fire, drawing many comparisons to the home front of the Vietnam War. But there is hope. Missions have been completed and wrapped up (bin Laden, Iraq, and countless others that won't be publicly known for decades) and the military hangs on, pushing forward for the nation's survival. And the American people keep supporting our military with care packages, town-organized parades, and genuine thanks when they see our troops in uniform.

Don't let the military take this flak on their own. The fiscal wreck that this country is in does not need to be fixed by sacrificing our Constitutional mandate to defend it. We need to support plans like Representative Ryan's that fix the entitlements that are drowning us in deficits and the loopholes that make our tax code incomprehensible. Cutting readiness now means we'll pay for it later, as the Global War on Terror proved.

Hold politicians accountable when they promise to support the military! And when you get overwhelmed, remember the immortal words of someone in my husband's unit: "This is America, damn-it!"