Where are the conservative politicians?


The term “conservative,” in the political sense, is used on politically based radio and television programs nearly every day. The Republican Party has clung to the term for decades.

How many politicians at every level of government have claimed they are conservative?

Ah, but here’s the rub, does anyone really know what it means to be a conservative? In most cases, the answer is “no.”

The last real glimpse our nation had at conservatism was the Reagan administration and the “Contract with America” legislative agenda advocated by the Republican Party during the 1994 congressional election campaign. Even in those days, conservatism could quickly take a backseat to other efforts to bloat government and have it control our lives.

Conservative meaning

Conservativism stresses deference for traditional institutions and opposes the attempt to achieve social change through legislation or publicly funded programs. Conservatives recognize that the government cannot solve all of our problems and that they should stop wasting our hard-earned dollars trying.

Fiscal conservatism combines both political and economic ideology, promoting smaller government, fiscal discipline, lower taxes, and properly addressing essential functions such as infrastructure and national defense.

For example, the federal government created the Department of Education and since that time many billions of dollars have been wasted and educational outcomes have declined. Similarly, the department has gone rogue espousing political ideology that does not belong in our schools.

We have gone from the 1970s on how we can complete internationally and significantly raise math and science comprehension to now when your seven-year-old son’s teacher tries to convince him that he is really a girl.

If we eliminated the Department of Education, we could reduce negligent spending and allow state and local governments, closest to the people, to handle the task more efficiently and with more accountability. We could do this in many areas.

The conservative view is allowing the citizens to keep as much of their earned dollars as possible which creates more opportunities in their communities through consumer spending. Ballooning government services and personnel leads to an ever-increasing tax burden with little to show in terms of outcome.

Social conservatism also takes benevolent concepts from religious doctrine as a standard for moral decency in society. Caring for the poor through direct participation of houses of worship, opposing abortion and pedophilia, and promoting a civil society.

The government has proven it is incapable of handling social ills in our communities. The more money the government spends on social issues, the more social problems multiply.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are used by the government to bypass religious groups. The NGOs receive large government grants and often do the government’s political bidding as part of their service.

President George W. Bush attempted what he referred to as “compassionate conservatism,” a movement to plow billions of tax dollars through NGOs and some religious groups to solve social problems around the world. The methodology was questionable, expensive, and too big to administrate, proving the virtue of local communities addressing local issues with local funds.

You might not be conservative if…

Those who call themselves conservative while supporting the use of federal authority to overrule state and local decisions with which they don’t agree are not truly conservative. The conservative view is the government closest to the people is best.

Conservatism and socialism are incompatible. As Karl Marx stated, socialism is the path to communism. Likewise, to borrow from Ronald Reagan, a socialist is someone who has read Lenin and Marx, but a conservative anti-socialist is someone who understands Lenin and Marx.

If you believe that the government should control business through critical race theory (CRT) or diversity, environment, and inclusion (DEI) policies, you are not a conservative.

You are not conservative if you have no problem with the suppression of free enterprise and ideas.

If you think upward mobility through meritocracy and the removal of senseless government regulatory barriers on businesses are bad things, you are not a conservative.

What happened to conservatism?

Over the decades, the Democrats have moved much further to the left and the Republicans could not seem to lift a true conservative into party leadership. Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, John McCain, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump are not identified with true conservatism.

Republicans described as “moderates” often held back the efforts of their conservative colleagues in Congress. The pursuit of corporate money for election campaigns quickly turned our houses of government into factional bodies, dishing out political favors with one trying to outspend the other.

The wealthy received loopholes and favoritism and the working class received hollow promises and neglect.

Government handouts were substituted for civic responsibility. State and local governments began to tax and spend just as vigorously as the federal government. Many households have no disposable income.

The nation fell into a culture war and debating ideas and philosophy for the good of all became almost impossible. The bloated government bureaucracies began controlling the direction of government rather than the elected officials.

The governments sided with secular organizations to handle societal problems instead of allowing religious values-based charities to express genuine interest in the communities.

Rudimentary logic, back to basics

The federal government spending enormous amounts of money through $35 trillion of indebtedness is indeed a failure. By not being conservative and not keeping the government assigned only to its exclusive duties, we have set the nation up for financial collapse and placed a massive burden on future generations.

Our federal government has gone so far off course that the United States Constitution is almost completely ignored. Conservatism is a determination to follow the constitutions of the nation and the states.

We currently have a battle between the federal government and the states over illegal immigration. Protecting the borders is an essential duty of the federal government within the U.S. Constitution and the states are allowed to take up the chore should the federal officials refuse.

The Biden administration is refusing to enforce our laws on immigration and is threatening the states (Texas specifically) if they attempt to do it. Conservatism supports the enforcement of the law and promotes stability.

Conservatism, as our nation’s founders desired, reinforces individual rights and responsibilities, fairness and justice, and opportunities for advancement through achievement. Unfortunately, the government has become more like the Orwellian nightmare “Big Brother,” abolishing our rights, openly anti-religious, skewing justice in the courts, and dictating who the winners will be.

The recipe and the rationale are so easy to understand: 1. Do not debt-finance government largesse; 2. The federal government should only handle the essential duties as ascribed in the U.S. Constitution; 3. Adhere to the laws and enforce them fairly; 4. Champion freedom and personal liberty over censorship and other forms of government tyranny.

Anyone who works hard in the United States should be able to realize their potential and make a life for themselves and their families without being overburdened by the government.

The next time your elected officials describe themselves as “conservative” ask them to tell you why they deserve the label.

[Brown is a former mayor of Peachtree City and served two terms on the Fayette County Board of Commissioners. You can read all his columns by clicking on his photo below.]


  1. Here is why we do not have conservatives anymore, Steve Brown.

    “Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.” -Senator Romney

    Steve Brown wrote about the fact that there are no longer any conservatives in Washington. He is right, but not in the way that he states.
    Conservative Democratic Senators Doug Jones and Joe Manchin voted for removal of Trump, knowing that it could cost them votes and their seats in their very red states. Jones lost his and Manchin has decided he will lose, so he is not running again.
    They are men of honor in an age where lies and deceit have become commonplace. But what about the GOP side, supposed conservatives who believe in law and order?
    Incredibly, self-described conservative Mitch McConnell publicly stated (12-17-19) that he would not be objective about the Trump removal trial, saying: “I’m not an impartial juror”. Subsequently, he and all other Senators publicly swore an oath (1-16-20) before God that, “I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution” an oath administered by the Chief Justice. Mitch McConnell’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. He is no conservative, just an opportunist.
    The sad truth is that McConnell and many of the “conservative” GOP Senators…with the notable exception of Romney … care more about themselves than they do the nation, the Constitution or their oath. They are afraid of the political retribution that will come their way if they defy Trump. Look at the doomed bipartisan immigration bill.
    For another prime example, look at what happened to Sen. Mitt Romney, an honorable and highly religious conservative. The majority of independents supported Romney’s vote to remove Trump, 47%-33%. But only 15% of Republicans agreed with Romney’s vote, while an astounding 76% disapproved (Morning Consult/ Politico).
    Even the Utah Republican Party criticized him, tweeting “As a party, we strongly disagree with the vote cast today by Senator Romney.”
    Matt Schlapp is chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference. On the show Full Court Press (Greta Van Susteren), he stated this about Romney coming to the CPAC Annual Meeting: “This year, I would actually be afraid for his physical safety, people are so mad at him” and “We won’t credential him (Romney) as a conservative.” And Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: “He’s (Romney) now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the GOP.” No wonder Romney is also “retiring” rather than fact the MAGA rath.
    But that’s mild compared to right wing on-line newsletters. For example, Real American Pundit (2-12-20) stated: “Mitt Romney may be one of the most hated politicians in America”; “(Romney’s) recognized as a traitor among Republican Senators and President Donald Trump.”
    Of course, the Trump camp is pushing this Washington DC atmosphere of hatred. At a National Prayer Breakfast, where politics is normally kept to a minimum, Trump tweeted about Romney: “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong.” How strange coming from someone whose morals are questioned even by his most fervent religious backers and who has been convicted of sexual assault.
    However, I have given up trying to convince right wingers, like my best friend who only believes what Fox and Hannity tell him, that Trump should have been removed by the Senate. The 76% of GOP voters that disapprove of Romney’s vote to remove Trump will never believe Trump unethically attempted to coerce the President of the Ukraine into investigating someone who was a political rival, although the conversation was recorded. Or, that he blocked the Ukraine and Russia investigations every chance he could, obstructing Congress in its Constitutionally mandated duties. Or that he violated tradition and ethics in commuting traitor Roger Stone’s sentence (again, Romney was the only GOP big shot to directly criticize it)
    If a left-wing politician like a Senator Sanders would have taken similar actions, McConnell and the other hypocritical supposed conservatives on the right would have tarred and feathered him. That GOP Senators almost unanimously found Trump innocent will go down in history as a black stain on the soul of the Republican Party. And it caused the mess we are in now, with MAGA radicals taking over the GOP.
    Lincoln must be rolling over in his grave if he sees what the Grand Old Party has become.