Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Conservatives conserve what?

This entry was triggered by Ross Douthat’s “Trumponomics Is Reform Conservatism’s Evil Twin”,, New York Times, 2016-08-10.

Once again, a commentator uses “free market” without clearly defining what it means.  And of course, they really never define what is being conserved.

“Free markets’ generally mean that corporations are free to do what they please, no government regulation, no interference from shareholders, and no unions.

The Constitution states that Congress has the power to regulate commerce among the  states.  Isn’t contamination of rivers that flow into other states “commerce among the states”.  Isn’t the smokestack pollution that goes into neighboring states “commerce among the states”.

But those conservatives who are so quick on the “patriotism” of
"limited government” quickly ignore the conservatism of carefully reading the Constitution.  The Constitution has lots of checks and balances to have a fair government for all, but these “conservatives” only note those that fit their agenda.  For example, they want legislators to attend “prayer breakfasts”.  But isn’t the political pressure to attend a “prayer breakfast” a religious test for office, a test prohibited by the Constitution?