The Making Of A Conservative

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Apr 28, 2017 Comments Off on The Making Of A Conservative Westmoreland For Mayor

While in my twenties, one of my major career goals was to build a successful business. By my mid-thirties I had reached that goal and was feeling quite comfortable in my life as a publisher. Under those conditions it seemed like a good time to fulfill my public duty and get more involved in politics. With a publishing company at my disposal it was a natural evolution for me to help some good conservative candidates get elected to public office. As I got more involved in the political processes I noticed that not long after candidates were elected to office many of them would become less conservative in their actions. Of course this is nothing new to anyone that follows politics. It happens all the time and at all levels of government, but why does it happen? And what can be done to prevent it?

It took a disaster to help me find answers to these questions.

The Thunderbirds are elite pilots of the United States Air Force flying demonstration team stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas. I have enjoyed watching them perform their signature maneuvers on a several occasions. During a practice exercise on January 18, 1982 an entire team of pilots died when their planes crashed into the Nevada desert. Think about this, they were some of the best pilots in the world doing something they had done hundreds of times before and flying very expensive aircraft.

When performing, the Thunderbirds fly in tight formation with their wing tips almost touching. On that fateful day they were practicing a low-level loop maneuver. It is a crowd pleaser when they fly in front of the audience, turn vertical, complete a loop and then exit, flying just a few hundred feet off the ground. To do this in a tight formation each pilot keeps his plane’s wing aligned with the wing of the plane next to him. The lead pilot watches his instruments while all the other pilots watch their inner wing. Each pilot performed his task perfectly. Each plane functioned perfectly except for one instrument in the lead plane. The altimeter (or possibly the stabilizer) in the lead plane had lost its calibration. It didn’t completely malfunction but it was enough to cause them to fly their planes into the desert floor. This was a terrible tragedy. One we should learn from.

I believe that what caused this tragedy is the same thing that can happen to politicians, but it doesn’t just happen to politicians. It happens to all of us. When we lose our personal calibration we make errors in judgment. When government officials make errors in judgment it affects a lot of people for a very long time.  It doesn’t matter how smart we are or how good and well-intentioned people we are, if we don’t correctly recalibrate our own internal instrumentation on a regular basis we will make mistakes that could have drastic consequences.

The odd thing about losing calibration is that the more successful and educated we become the more susceptible we are to it. Pride in our own abilities gets in the way of vital recalibration. We also know it as the pride cycle. When we become over confident in our own abilities it is easy to neglect the learning of correct principles or abandon the correct principles we once trusted.

The disaster of the Thunderbird pilots is a harsh reminder that being off course, even a small amount, can be very destructive.

With that in mind, consider how little the principles that guided the founding fathers of this nation are taught, and how much God is pushed out of schools and government. Now, weigh those facts against the magnitude in which “political correctness” has come to influence so much of our lives and it is not hard to see the cause of the confusion and disagreement that is growing more prevalent in our society.

When I first started closely following the decisions of members of Congress (and city leaders as well) and saw the sometimes-odd directions that they took, I figured that they must know things that I didn’t. After speaking with them and getting to know them and the processes of our government better, I discovered that the reason they took those odd, non-conservative, directions was often due to their lack of information and understanding.  Few of them have seriously studied the history of America outside of a classroom.

It was at this point, while in my mid-thirties, that I realized that though I thought of myself as a solid conservative and a patriotic American, I had never made a serious study of our nation’s founding documents and the men who created them. I felt fully embarrassed that I had so little first-hand knowledge of a subject that I held sacred. All of my previous understanding was based on what I had been told by other people. With that realization I committed to learn the documents, principles, and men that formed our nation and to learn it not from a secondhand commentary but by the accounts of the founders themselves. This began a twenty-five year pursuit that has opened my eyes to many things, not the least of which is the fact that the works of our founders are the best-kept secret in America. I was shocked that it was not taught in our schools and that it took so much digging to find. I want to share what I have learned about the founders because I believe it changes how we see our country and ourselves.

I have often heard people say that they find history boring. I think the reason for this is that they were never taught it correctly. Whether we are studying spiritual history or temporal history it will be boring and disconnected if we are only memorizing dates, places, and events. As far as I am concerned the very best way to study the lives and revelations of those who have gone before us is to learn the principles by which they succeeded or failed. It is eternal principle that illuminates our minds; forever changes us, and takes us places we never thought possible. That is not boring.

I hope that you will join me in a rediscovery of the principles that guided the great people that have gone before us. On this website I will be posting some of the works and wisdom of the founders that I have discovered in my twenty-five year search and look forward to discussing how they apply to us today in our personal lives and even in city government.