Monday, November 8, 2021

The Nuts and Bolts of INDY Republican’s Philosophy

Russell Kirk, Conservative Philosopher 

For sometime now we have all been wanting to elaborate more on our weltanschauung or philosophy of life that we mostly share as the authors of this blog. Specifically as it relates to the world of politics and everyday living. As you have all probably gathered at this point we consider ourselves conservative republicans, we are mostly religious and we are opposed to both Trumpism, and the whole woke idiot wing of the Democratic Party. We are staunch advocates, some might even say radical in our advocacy of open and good government. And in holding elected and unelected officials accountable to we the people 

It is not enough however merely to say what we oppose or even what we are for. An outlining of our general principles, and our views of the world is also needed. Previously we have given a brief primer of the general religious views that we at this blog follow. Important as it to us that we share our views towards the ultimate destiny of man, with all of you. We would be doing a disservice by ignoring the everyday world in which we all live. So with that we are all going to dive in right into INDY REPUBLICAN’s view of politics and existence.

The late, great President Ronald Reagan.

Why we are true conservatives, and why Trumpism is not conservative

Since the election of Donald Trump as President in 2016. With a few honorable exceptions such as Charlie Sykes, George Will, Mike Murphy, Bill Kristol, John Ziegler, Paul Ogden, Josh Claybourn, Adam Kinzinger, Liz Cheney, Michael Steele, SE Cupp, Mona Charen, and assorted others. Most of the so called spokesmen and politicians flying the conservative banner have sold out our principles and values to blindly follow the pied piper of communism & fascism Donald Trump.

A restatement of what most conservatives believe or said they believed until circa 2016 is in order. In the lifetime of everyone five years of age and older  at the time of the publication of this post, conservatives were said to oppose trade protectionism, support, defend and protect the constitution, and be zealous advocates of free speech. Sadly only a small minority of public figures professing to be conservatives have consistently stuck to these principles. 

The quotations we are about to share come from various politicians, academics, and activists who are generally considered conservative. From these quotes you will see how the leading conservative politicians and thinkers defined the general outlook of conservatives. True, like all of us they sometimes missed the mark and fell short of their rhetoric, that does not however invalidate the points that they make. After a careful review of what they have to say, it will be evident to all just how few politicians of both parties actually follow these ideals. We will compare and contrast how these rock ribbed conservative principles are the antithesis of the governing philosophy such as it is of most of our fellow lawmakers. We are spending so much time holding our fellow republicans feet to the fire, because in the words of political strategist Mike Murphy: “They have come into our church and have desecrated it.” An exorcism is in order and consider us the exorcist!

Senator Barry Goldwater 

Conservatives on the rule of law and the value of freedom:

“the conservative argues that freedom—moral, political, and economic—is the mark of high civilization; and servitude, under whatever name, is the mark of a barbarous or decadent order.”

“A good society is one which cherishes the highest degree of freedom consistent with order and justice.”

the conservative recognizes that freedom is possible only when order and justice prevail. Order means that there shall be honorable leadership, willingly recognized; and that law rules, not the whims of men. “Justice exists only between men whose mutual relations are governed by law…” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Vol. 9, p. 382a).

“the conservative respects the political institutions and customs and traditions which he has inherited, particularly the Constitution of the United States and other great documents of our nation.”

Barry Goldwater “Great Ideas Today” 1962, publication of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

(Donald Trump and his enablers have constantly sought to undermine the rule of law. Whether it be unconstitutionally redirecting funds for a border wall against the explicit acts of congress, or Trump’s claim that he had total authority over the states decisions on when they could reopen because he was President, and his other too numerous to mention assaults on separation of powers, checks and balances, etc. For a conservative critique of Trump’s executive overreach check out this op-Ed by Charlie Sykes: There is no way by any stretch of the imagination that one can argue that Trump showed respect for the Constitution of the United States. Barry Goldwater is rolling over in his grave about this!)

Conservatives on what the aim of politics should be:

““Politics is the art of the possible,” the conservative says: he thinks of political policies as intended to preserve order, justice, and freedom. The ideologue, on the contrary, thinks of politics as a revolutionary instrument for transforming society and even transforming human nature. In his march toward Utopia, the ideologue is merciless.”

— The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk

(Kirk here points out how conservatives believe in protecting freedom and uplifting human nature. Whereas the extreme ideologues & utopian fanatics seek to use politics as a way to relentlessly pursue their own mad schemes. Here’s what then candidates Richard Nixon in 1968 and Ronald Reagan had to say about there views of working to repair the problems in American politics:

Richard Nixon 1968 GOP Convention:

“Without God's help and your help, we will surely fail; but with God's help and your help, we shall surely succeed.”

Ronald Reagan 1980 GOP Convention:

I ask you not simply to ‘Trust me,’” Reagan said, “but to trust your values—our values—and to hold me responsible for living up to them.”

Contrast this with Donald Trump’s remarks at the 2016 GOP Convention:

 Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”

Notice in contrast to Nixon’s reference to needing the American people and God’s help to succeed. Or Reagan saying for people not simply to trust him and our values as Americans and to hold him responsible for living up to them. Trump is asking people to put all there hopes on him, as he “alone can fix it”. Trump clearly has no conception of his limitations as a man or the limitations of the office of the presidency.

We true conservatives took issue with President’s Clinton and Obama’s constantly asking We the People to put excessive hopes in their ability to fix the nation. But as bad as they were on executive power, even they gave it a rest for a minute or two. With Trump it’s nothing but a never ending ego trip! If something coming from Clinton or Obama was not acceptable then having Trump do it doesn’t make it any better!

Conservatives on dogma and diversity of thought:

“Being neither  a religion nor an ideology, the body of opinion termed conservatism possesses no Holy Writ and no Das Kapital to provide dogmata.”

— The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk

“For there exists no Model Conservative, and conservatism is the negation of ideology: it is a state of mind, a type of character, a way of looking at the civil social order. The attitude we call conservatism is sustained by a body of sentiments, rather than by a system of ideological dogmata. It is almost true that a conservative may be defined as a person who thinks himself such. The conservative movement or body of opinion can accommodate a considerable diversity of views on a good many subjects, there being no Test Act or Thirty-Nine Articles of the conservative creed.”

— The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk

“In essence, the conservative person is simply one who finds the permanent things more pleasing than Chaos and Old Night. (Yet conservatives know, with Burke, that healthy “change is the means of our preservation.”) A people's historic continuity of experience, says the conservative, offers a guide to policy far better than the abstract designs of coffee-house philosophers. But of course there is more to the conservative persuasion than this general attitude.”

— The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk

“In fine, the diversity of ways in which conservative views may find expression is itself proof that conservatism is no fixed ideology. What particular principles conservatives emphasize during any given time will vary with the circumstances and necessities of that era.” 

— The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk

(Contrast this to Donald Trump equating membership in the same political party as him as being synonymous with obedience to him. A few years ago Trump tweeted out that: “Never Trump republicans are human scum”! Some replied: “Thanks for at least calling us human, Mister President!” Trump clearly falls into Russell Kirk’s definition of an ideologue, and fully supports an anti conservative litmus test and absolute agreement with the buffoonish orange man baby.)

Conservatives on Prudence and thoughtfulness:

“Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity. Liberals and radicals, the conservative says, are imprudent: for they dash at their objectives without giving much heed to the risk of new abuses worse than the evils they hope to sweep away. As John Randolph of Roanoke put it, Providence moves slowly, but the devil always hurries. Human society being complex, remedies cannot be simple if they are to be efficacious. The conservative declares that he acts only after sufficient reflection, having weighed the consequences. Sudden and slashing reforms are as perilous as sudden and slashing surgery.”

— The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk

Conservatives on the folly of utopian thinking:

“Human nature suffers irremediably from certain grave faults, the conservatives know. Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created.”

— The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk

“The ideologues who promise the perfection of man and society have converted a great part of the twentieth-century world into a terrestrial hell.”

— The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk

Conservatives on the dangers of centralized power centers:

“Conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism. Although Americans have been attached strongly to privacy and private rights, they also have been a people conspicuous for a successful spirit of community. In a genuine community, the decisions most directly affecting the lives of citizens are made locally and voluntarily. Some of these functions are carried out by local political bodies, others by private associations: so long as they are kept local, and are marked by the general agreement of those affected, they constitute healthy community. But when these functions pass by default or usurpation to centralized authority, then community is in serious danger. Whatever is beneficent and prudent in modern democracy is made possible through cooperative volition. If, then, in the name of an abstract Democracy, the functions of community are transferred to distant political direction—why, real government by the consent of the governed gives way to a standardizing process hostile to freedom and human dignity.”

— The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk

“The conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions. Politically speaking, power is the ability to do as one likes, regardless of the wills of one's fellows. A state in which an individual or a small group are able to dominate the wills of their fellows without check is a despotism, whether it is called monarchical or aristocratic or democratic. When every person claims to be a power unto himself, then society falls into anarchy. Anarchy never lasts long, being intolerable for everyone, and contrary to the ineluctable fact that some persons are more strong and more clever than their neighbors. To anarchy there succeeds tyranny or oligarchy, in which power is monopolized by a very few. The conservative endeavors to so limit and balance political power that anarchy or tyranny may not arise. In every age, nevertheless, men and women are tempted to overthrow the limitations upon power, for the sake of some fancied temporary advantage. It is characteristic of the radical that he thinks of power as a force for good—so long as the power falls into his hands.”

— The Politics of Prudence by Russell Kirk

(The above quotations were long, but necessary to show just how far removed from historical American conservative thought Trumpism truly is. For Donald Trump only seems to overpromise and underdeliver. Who can forget the great border wall we were supposed to get paid by Mexico. Surprise! We only mostly rebuilt some fencing and we, not Mexico has paid for it! There is also the matter of Trump’s never released tax returns, even though he has kept promising to release them for half a decade now! As for respecting local and state control, how can we forget his boasting that he had authority over states health policy, or how at the beginning of his presidency he bragged he would send the feds into Chicago to handle local law enforcement issues!

We would try to exhaustively list all of Trump’s opposition to the Constitution, rule of law and federalism. But we need to keep this post to under 250,000 words!)

Having shown the ways that Trumpism is the antithesis of conservatism. Here is a short list of our general principles and approach to politics and the everyday world:


A. We believe that mankind being imperfect, that no perfect society or government can ever be created.

Since believing as we do through reason, observation and experience that man will always make mistakes and stumble and fall. This necessitates that government’s power and authority should be constrained to the extent it is practicable with the pursuit of justice. That is why the Constitution says it is to “form a more perfect union.”

B. We believe in and support the norms of: keeping our word, avoiding reckless actions, and respecting the rule of law.

Support and practice of keeping our word, striving to act in a prudent manner, and respecting the rule of law are at the core of what we value most. You could even say that adherence to justice, and rule of law is our metier. We strive to be good at this because if we wish to avoid creating a terrestrial hell, we must be honest and even handed, with ourselves and others. As we keep our word to others we are also being honest with ourselves. The refusal to be delude oneself is one of the highest forms of virtue.

C. Prudence is a virtue, not an approach or ideal performed despite virtue.


adjective:  careful and sensible; marked by sound judgment

A common misconception that we often encounter among even the best of people. Is the ideal that one cannot be prudent or practical and also be moral. The accumulated wisdom of the ages shows us that this view is false. Prudent and practical people are that way because they are moral, not despite their morals. One of the key cornerstones of morality is honesty with oneself, and a striving to avoid deluding oneself. Yes, we all make mistakes. It is no sin to be honestly mistaken or to be misinformed. It is however fundamentally a disservice to ourselves and to others to willfully ignore reality. 

Being prudent i.e., being careful and sensible and exercising sound judgement can only be achieved by honesty with oneself or others.

There is a great deal more that needs to be said regarding the state of the world today, and where we will be heading to in the future. The wise man however does not attempt to answer all questions in one column. We will leave you with this post to ponder, and debate over. If this column helps to spark some debate, if it helps to shake us out of our apathy if only to a small degree, than it’s work has been done.

We have one last thing to say to our readers who disagree with us about Trumpism: We have no quarrel with anyone over who they support, our fight is not with you, it is with Trump and Trumpism. We ask that you keep that in mind. We also would ask as a favor to us, ask yourselves this question whenever you say that you support a position of Donald Trump’s: Do you honestly believe it? Or are you just going along with the crowd?

Let us know what you all think and we will catch you all later.

Peace be with you all, amen!

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