The Conservative View of Government
The American right is standing on a crossroads right now. For 28 years, there was a consensus on most political issues. Cynical conservatives and liberals observed a nearly united Presidency policy wise, from George H.W. Bush to Barack Obama. For seven consecutive terms, there was a united coalition of moderates that backed a hawkish foreign policy, a system of Keynesian economics, and social liberalism.
It’s no surprise that Republicans were the ones who broke first. The economics hit them hard, closing down blue collar jobs in Appalachia and the Midwest while enriching suburban America. This fundamentally transformed the GOP and led to the death of the tea party, and the rise of Trump.
Trump represented many things to many people. For some, he was a middle finger to the establishment. For others, he was a sledgehammer intended to make the world more US-centric. For some, he was a pushback against environmental over-regulation. When I voted for him in 2020, it was largely because I wanted to send a message to the GOP.
For the entire consensus era, Republicans have taken a very light-touch approach when it comes to the government. Economic policy was always capitalist, at any cost. Domestic policy was littered with empty platitudes, such as “what I do privately is none of your business.” Foreign policy was always about collaborating with the world and not ruffling feathers.
Trump pushed back against the foreign policy aspect effectively, and made big promises about economics and domestic policy that he largely didn’t follow through with (exception more libertarian aspects, such as defunding planned parenthood). Trump’s best moments as President were his executive order requiring new federal buildings to use traditional architecture styles, his proposed TikTok ban, and his proposed national Statue Garden. He was clearly a conservative, but understood that the view had largely been crushed within the GOP. All he could do was inspire future conservatives.
Regardless of whether Trump runs again, he is no longer the hard ideological center of the GOP. In many ways, he shares this role with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. Governor DeSantis is popular with Republicans because he is going all out and choking out that light-touch pseudo-libertarianism in favor of conservatism. Instead of praising the myth of academic freedom, he is using the government to tell schools to teach the truth. Instead of letting businesses cooperate to effect elections, he is using the government to punish big tech for banning political candidates. Instead of letting small businesses destroy small communities, he is using the government to require that stores let people who don’t mask in.
Libertarians may be outraged, but active use of the government is absolutely necessary. There is good, evil, right, and wrong in the world. There is abuse and corruption. People are flawed. Personal liberty does not only affect you. And for these reasons, it’s completely necessary that the government protect people.
The porn debate is heating up more and more within the GOP, and it shows the fundamental crossroads we stand at now. Porn is destroying the lives of young men and women, putting undue focus on sex, and tearing apart families. Porn is everywhere and slowly being ramped up. Advertisements sell sex, not products. Men are cheating more than ever, and women are having more partners than ever. Innocence is becoming impossible. Young men are coming across porn at age 8, 9, and 10, and it is transforming them into brainless, animalistic robots.
For whatever it’s worth, study after study backs this up. According to the APA, youthful exposure to porn leads youth to obsess over and define themselves by sex. They also are seeing a clear trend of younger and younger people, especially little girls, being sexualized in media. Young people are more likely to imitate the behaviors the observe, and the prefrontal cortex hasn’t reached any serious level of development until age 15. Pornography always shows sex as pleasurable and never reproductive, misleading young people and undermining common religious practice. It is pushing people to have sex at younger and younger ages, often making youth feel unnecessarily pressured into having sex. Pornography is one of the primary drivers of rape and violence against women, as it continues to get more and more aggressive. Pornography leads young people to become depressed and even develop eating disorders.
Despite all this, many Republicans champion slogans like “it’s none of the government’s business what happens in the bedroom!” What slogans like these ignore is that what happens in the private does impact the public. Reality exists, and it doesn’t change because of privacy. When an 8 year old boy stumbles upon porn, gets addicted, makes his whole identity about sex, and has a kid at age 14, that has a massive impact. When a 10 year old girl stumbles upon porn, gets addicted, makes her whole identity about sex, and becomes a 16 year old prostitute in San Francisco, that has a massive impact. When an adult man watches porn, watches it take over and destroy his life, and rapes a child, that has a massive impact. When a 12 year old watches porn, gets addicted, feels like they’re worthless, and commits suicide, that has a massive impact.
Another mistake many Republicans make is to parrot the slogan “it’s a free speech issue” in regards to porn. This is simply false, as Miller v. California establishes that obscene speech (with a particular emphasis on sexual speech) is not protected by the first amendment. The Bush, Jr. Administration jailed a pornographer for obscenity.
This all underlines a deeper divide within the GOP. One side believes that the government should play an active role in protecting Americans. The other believes that the government is always bad, and should have a limited use regardless of the consequences.
So where will the GOP go? Will we continue to throw our arms up and declare that doing anything is bad as the United States is dragged through a cultural, social, economic, and spiritual crisis, or will we embrace the founding fathers and use the government to help Americans and show the people that there is a true alternative to the Democrats’ disastrous use of government? Will we mindlessly parrot slogans, or put real substance behind what we believe? Will we give up and do nothing, or take a real stand against anti-white racism in schools, porn, abortion, Marxism, and China?
Ultimately, this new, pro-government side of the Republican Party will win out one way or another. Despite the left’s constant cries that any policy right of center is authoritarianism, they are the ones who have been using the government to actively harm Americans by driving businesses out of rural areas and encouraging crime in inner cities. Despite the left’s complaints that the Republican Party is undemocratic, it’s the Democratic Party that has spent 20 years kneeling at the feet of global bureaucracies such as the UN and scientific institutions that exports government away from the people they are supposed to represent. Despite the left’s claims that Republicans are supportive of unlimited corporate monopolies, it’s the Democratic Party that’s defending the three tech companies with any power from being broken up (all the while, Donald Trump, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, and Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton are pushing hardest in favor of breaking up these monopolies).
The future of the Republican Party must be a future of Teddy Roosevelt’s conservatism and Donald Trump’s nationalism. It must be a party that isn’t in a constant state of anxiety, but instead is honest and confident. It must be a party that is supportive of art, conservationism, and liberty while opposing modernism, racism, and libertinism. We must stop talking about abortion and start banning abortion. We must stop talking about social conservatism and start punishing pornographers and school boards that teach hate. We must defund colleges and cut down on the length of our education, which is the longest in the world to a more effective, year-round K-10 education. We must strengthen the nuclear family and protect churches from social and cultural attacks on their beliefs. We must stand up to China and free Hong Kong and Taiwan to send a global message that any kind of attack, even subversive, on the US will have massive consequences. We must be an American political party, not the European mess that the Democratic Party has transformed into.