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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Ok so this is my new blog...

I am rather new to the blogosphere, considering the tenure of some. About a year and a half ago I started posting at and it has been my home ever since.

Lately I have been wanting to branch out a bit...see where it leads me.

I posted a few of the blogs I wrote at RedState. These explain some of the core beliefs I hold as a conservative and show some of the rhetorical flare that I engage in.

My plan is to talk about more than politcs...although not much more. I will also try to incorporate local political news for the State of Vermont.

I will be posting links to conservatives who need funding, no matter where they are or the level of government.

With a dash of satire, and a whole lot of linking I hope to make this blog not only a success, but an inspiration for material to post at RedState.

Hope you enjoy.

Aaron B. Gardner

Self Governance and a moral standard

The latter is the foundation of the former

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams

What did John Adams mean by this statement? To me it is obviuos. For a people to be capable of self governance as described in the Constitution they must first have their foundation set firmly in a moral code accepted by those to be governed. Many question how this can square with the idea that there be a “wall of separation between the Church and the Government”(paraphrased Thomas Jefferson). Again to me the answer is obvious. Indeed it is not the place of the Government to set or enforce a specific moral code but rather the responsibility of those who wish to employ self governance, to adhere and promote a moral life despite the government.

Now in years past the moral code was easier to promote and pass on from generation to generation. It was easier because the family and greater community had direct control over how and what was taught to the next generation of Americans. This, unfortunately, changed with the creation of state runs schools and intitutions of higher learning. Gone are the days of the Bible being used to teach the beauty and function of the English language. Gone are the days of black and white moral positions. These have been replaced. Now we are given situational ethics and “See Dick Run”. Surely we underestimate our own ability to aquire knowledge and display wisdom.

We have gone from Theocracy under the reign of King George, to self governance under the direction of the Constitution and the Founders who brought that document to the people, to derision of religion in the guise of “objectivity” resulting in Democracy without the benefit of the structure of the Republic. Each peice of freedom that we cede to the control of the central planners in the beauracracy erodes the next freedom. Each time we decline to follow the moral code we also decline our Divine right to self governance.

The moral code, of which I speak, is not Christianity for all, rather I speak of accepted truths that go beyond any one religion. These are best summed up, in my mind, in the last six of the Ten Comandments.

Honor your father and your mother (snip) so that your days may be long and that it may go well

You shall not murder(don’t start on the death penalty or war…murder has a wholly different meaning than kill..if you comment on this you will be ingnored).

Neither shall you commit adultery.

Neither shall you steal.

Neither shall you bear false witness against your neighbour.

Neither shall you covet your neighbour’s wife.

Neither shall you desire your neighbour’s house, or field, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

(I know there are seven here…the last two combine to make the final Commandment)

Now obviously we don’t have a lot of donkey coveting in our modern age but the premise, I believe, is still sound. Nothing in this list is exclusively Christian. There is nothing in these words that should frighten the Liberatarians. Please do not respond to this if you are looking for a fight on Church and State or Religion in general, I am not asking you to believe in God, I am only asking that you recognize the importance of morality to the function of self governance.

In any experiment there must be a constant if you expect to see a measurable result of success. This is also true in the greatest experiment of all time, a self governing nation called the United States of America. Our constant was, and still should be, the moral code by which we live our lives and therefore self govern. The Constitution becomes nothing more than advice on a peice of parchment when we lose that constant. The success of our experiment is in, and has always been, in flux. It is our responsibility to our Country and all the patriots who came before us to re-instate the constant of morality to ensure the continued success of this grand experiment.

I hope and pray that this election will be the catylyst that will bring forth the re-emergence of the accepted moral code and the idea of self governance, lest we be left with only direct democracy and a goverment which gets to choose our path for us.

As John Adams warned above, he had also another warning:

Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.


Lately there seems to be a lot of confusion as to what a Conservative is and is not. Some seem to think it has to do with abortion or taxes or national security. Well the truth is that conservatism is not about any given issue, rather conservatism is about principles.

Before we go any further I believe it would behoove us to go over a bit of terminology that is thrown about too often without people understanding thier meanings. the terms I am refering to are Issues, Policies, and Principles.

Before we go any further I believe it would behoove us to go over a bit of terminology that is thrown about too often without people understanding thier meanings. the terms I am refering to are Issues, Policies, and Principles.

First let’s deal with Issues.

An Issue, for the purpose of Politics, is something that is a cause of dispute. Issues come and go, some last longer than others, but all issues are fleeting in the long term. Some issues we deal with today are abortion, international terrorism and slowing or failing markets.

Next we have Policies.

Policies are the constructs that we create to deal with any given issue. Policies of today include the ESCR Ban, GWOT, and TARP.

Last but not least we have Principles.

Principles are what guide us in the formation of Policy on any given Issue. All political groups have their set of principles that guide them, but not all principles are equal.

So now we can move on a bit further having defined Issues, Policies, and Principles in their broader sense.

To be a conservative you must follow the Ten Conservative Principles written by Russell Kirk when constructing Policy for any given Issue. Below are the 10 principles.

  • First, the conservative believes that there exists an enduring moral order

Moral order is the foundation to self governance as I tried to convey in this diary.Additionally Kirk acknowledges that order is made for man, and man is made for it: human nature is a constant, and moral truths are permanent. This moral order does not need to be religous but at the same time it should be irreligious.

  • Second, the conservative adheres to custom, convention, and continuity

Custom, Convention and Continuity provide us with knowledge of our linked histories, the bodies of law which have been agreed upon in our history, and a way to pass both our history and our laws to generations to come. Kirk explains that when we throw off these customs and continuity that we often end up with a new social order which may be much inferior to the old order that radicals overthrew in their zeal for the Earthly Paradise.

  • Third, conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription

Prescription is those things which are established beyond the limits of memory, tradition, or recorded history. This as Kirk says is the acknowledgement that “modern people are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time.” With this acknowledgement it is apparent that our minds should not run to the contrary of these established truths which allow us to better understand why we have government and why we believe it must be limited in order to secure liberty.

  • Fourth, conservatives are guided by their principle of prudence

Prudence is the act of being wise in handling practical matters; exercising good judgment or common sense. As Kirk says “Any public measure ought to be judged by its probable long-run consequences, not merely by temporary advantage or popularity.” This principle was shared by Burke and Plato among many others and they believed it to be chief among the virtues of a statesman. If definitions were still pure prudence would be the principle of all foward thinkers.

  • Fifth, conservatives pay attention to the principle of variety

Variety needs not to be defined, but I will say that it is not the faux diversity of the left that conservatives hold dear. True diversity, or variety, allows for, as Kirk states ” orders and classes, differences in material condition, and many sorts of inequality”. Additionally Kirk recognizes, as do conservatives, that “The only true forms of equality are equality at the Last Judgment and equality before a just court of law; all other attempts at levelling must lead, at best, to social stagnation”.

  • Sixth, conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability

Man is a fallen creature, this holds true regardless of any belief in God. Our imperfectability is not limited to the individual or the collective. I do not presume to be able to describe this better than Kirk himself, so I will provide a larger quote from Kirk on this matter:

To seek for utopia is to end in disaster, the conservative says: we are not made for perfect things. All that we reasonably can expect is a tolerably ordered, just, and free society, in which some evils, maladjustments, and suffering will continue to lurk. By proper attention to prudent reform, we may preserve and improve this tolerable order. But if the old institutional and moral safeguards of a nation are neglected, then the anarchic impulse in humankind breaks loose: “the ceremony of innocence is drowned.” The ideologues who promise the perfection of man and society have converted a great part of the twentieth-century world into a terrestrial hell.

  • Seventh, conservatives are persuaded that freedom and property are closely linked

Property is sacred to freedom because of what property requires of the individual. Property must be maintained my the owner, and this as noted by Kirk instills in us all a sense of responsibility, not only to ourselves but to the community in which we live. “The conservative acknowledges that the possession of property fixes certain duties upon the possessor; he accepts those moral and legal obligations cheerfully”, Kirk states. Freedom is strengthened by responsibility.

Property is also the fruit of ones labor, and with that comes the possibility to pass those fruits down to generation after generation, allowing those who come after us to “rise from the natural condition of grinding poverty to the security of enduring accomplishment; to have something that is really one’s own”.

  • Eighth, conservatives uphold voluntary community, quite as they oppose involuntary collectivism

Here, again, I will quote a full text of Kirk’s writing on this principle for the simple reason that I don’t think I could say it better:

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.

For a nation is no stronger than the numerous little communities of which it is composed. A central administration, or a corps of select managers and civil servants, however well intentioned and well trained, cannot confer justice and prosperity and tranquility upon a mass of men and women deprived of their old responsibilities. That experiment has been made before; and it has been disastrous. It is the performance of our duties in community that teaches us prudence and efficiency and charity.

  • Ninth, the conservative perceives the need for prudent restraints upon power and upon human passions

This principle was key in the development of our form of government. The Founders, wisely, understood man’s lust for power and where the passions of man would lead once power was attained. For this reason they created the different branches of government and the checks and balances between those branches. Additionally, the Founders understood that there needed to be a check on the Federal Government as a whole and wrote the Tenth Amendment with that in mind:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

There is also a balance to be struck on this as Kirk notes in the following passage:

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.

The bolded portion is a reminder to our more extreme libertarian brethren. Liberty unchecked leads to anarchy which quicly avails itself to tyranny. We must find the balance between the two, and the conservative believes that “A just government maintains a healthy tension between the claims of authority and the claims of liberty”.

  • Tenth, the thinking conservative understands that permanence and change must be recognized and reconciled in a vigorous society

Conservatives understand that with advancements in technology and medicine and science in general we must continually evaluate the status quo, but with that we aslo acknowledge that some things are permanent. Through careful deliberation and adherence to the other nine principles we will embrace progress as long as it is not the cult of Progress (notice the capital P). To better understand this I will provide another quote from Kirk:

The permanence of a society is formed by those enduring interests and convictions that gives us stability and continuity; without that permanence, the fountains of the great deep are broken up, society slipping into anarchy. The progression in a society is that spirit and that body of talents which urge us on to prudent reform and improvement; without that progression, a people stagnate.

These Ten Principles are what guide conservatives in the construction of policies on any given issue.

So now I ask you, are you a conservative?

Aaron Gardner

2 ½ Years to Live

In 2½ years I am going to die. I know, it shocked me too. I had a cancer earlier in my life and with the work of some really fine doctors it went into remission during the 80’s. The cancer is a very rare form of cancer, one of the first cases was in France in 1715 and the Doctor who treated it was named John Law . Unbeknownst to many the cancer startedgrowing and mutating in the 90’s , At first the cancer went unnoticed as the manifestation of symptoms was not yet present, but they were there, waiting like a time bomb. I had adoctor who noticed, but his priority patient was a soldier who we all needed to live. He tried to give me a referral, but many of the doctors just wouldn’t listen.

In 2007 the time bomb went off. Some of my organs were immediately weakened, but my spirit was still strong. Everybody told me there was this new doctor and that he was not only the best doctor in the world, he was also the best at removing cancers, finally I had hope and really believed that things were gonna change. With his treatments I was sure to be on the road to recovery. I felt great the first couple of office visits, he seemed like he had it all under control.

Things started changing but not for the good, he was no longer talking with me, he was talking at me. A short time later he started pushing me to take treatments that I didn’t really want, but he said it was a crisis. I told him that I felt I was getting sicker the more he kept forcing the treatments, almost as if my insides were at battle with each other, but he would not listen.

If I continue on the same course as the Law case, I could die in 2 ½ years.

This is a sobering reality.

We all go through the 7 stages of grief .

But I am not dead yet…I am beyond the depression and the upward turn. I am working onreconstruction and working through. With enough work, maybe I can overcome this cancer.

I have my eye on a new set of doctors, similar to the one back in the 80’s. Unfortunately I am going to need to raise a lot of money. so I can get out from under my current doctor’s bills, and I won’t be able to begin my new treatments until Jan 2011 because I have toclean out all the trash in my system and then bring all the new doctors in.

I am asking you to help me. I promise this money will go to good use.

I thank you all for the contributions…they may just save my life.

God Bless,

The United States of America