What ‘constitutional conservatism’ means to me

I am a constitutional conservative. So what does that mean? I’ve earned a couple of law degrees, but defining “constitutional conservatism” shouldn’t require a legal scholar. Let me start by pointing out that the conservative movement, as Ronald Reagan believed, is a three-legged stool. One leg consists of peace-through-strength conservatives, another of fiscal and economic conservatives, and the third of social conservatives — the values voters.

Constitutional conservatism includes all three of those legs. My candidacy is based on the unity of the conservative movement — because each leg of the stool is vital.

I believe our founders knew what they were doing when they designed a limited government with specific, enumerated powers. I’m also convinced that many of our problems result from the federal government’s insatiable — and unconstitutional — grab for power and money. On issues ranging from light bulbs to bailouts, to the Dodd-Frank banking legislation, Washington has been on a destructive spree of bureaucratic empire-building. It’s time for that to stop.

Moreover, I believe in the unjustly neglected Tenth Amendment: “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.” Instead of piling more costly mandates on the states and intrusive laws on the people, our federal government should respect all of the resources and responsibilities that properly belong to the states, to local governments, to private industry and, most of all, to the people.

James Madison cautioned that for a “government to control the governed” it must be obliged “to control itself.” A government that fails to exercise self-control and respect its own boundaries is a threat to the rights and liberties of its citizens. Among those rights is the right to life. I believe we must restore and respect the dignity of life for all, the born and unborn. As we read in the Declaration of Independence, we are endowed by our Creator with rights, starting with the right to life.

Another essential right is embodied in the Second Amendment: the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. Whether for self-defense, hunting or recreation, this right must be protected.

And of course, we must repeal Obamacare. We must pull it up by its roots for many good reasons, including the fact that the so-called personal mandate is unconstitutional.

In addition to individual rights, the Constitution establishes vital checks and balances among the branches of government. As Montesquieu argued, the separation of governmental powers stands as a roadblock to tyranny. We’ve seen President Obama stretch that separation with his unjustified military action in Libya.

As commander in chief, I’ll make sure that America will lead from the front, not “lead from behind.” If we do go to war, we will fight with the resources we need to succeed. I will listen to my generals and admirals, not my pollsters. I will safeguard American sovereignty and I will protect our borders. But from the beginning, I will think always of — and abide always by — the United States Constitution.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MGCAHXMYAUKXNI4UQRMKAXYHL4 Daniel

    I never thought a legal scholar could be so arrogantly dumb

  • http://twitter.com/labtek Ҝ-Lab!!

    Being socially conservative in your personal life is one thing, but advocating the legislation of morality is patently ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL.

  • Pingback: Blount County (BC) Public Record » Ron Paul’s Campaign Website has more References to Constitution than all other Republican Candidates Combined

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Yvonne-Hooks-Harrell/514770610 Yvonne Hooks Harrell

    Constitutional Conservative and Michelle Bachmann should never be used in the same sentence..unless the sentence is…Michelle Bachmann is NOT a constitutional conservative. Your voting record speaks louder than any speech you give on upholding the constitution, Ms. Bachmann.  You’re just another status quo establishment neocon who doesn’t understand the meaning and we don’t need any more of your kind.  

  • ConservativeVeteran

    I got something for you Mr. truebearing.  What you said is one of the most un-American thing I’ve read so far on here.  Let me give you some advice from a true American.  Ben Franklin said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”  

    Why don’t you educate yourself and learn why “radical islamic terrorists” are attacking us.  They’re NOT attacking us because we are prosperous (well.. er not anymore) and free.  Do some homework, you will figure it out.  Wait… how about better yet, use some common sense, that’s easier if you have any.  It shouldn’t be too hard to figure out why they dislike us.

    Plus. medical marijuana is a right to patients.  Read about how helpful it is.  You’re probably one of those people who’d rather drug up cancer patients with chemo and destroy everyone’s livers or maybe… better yet, take apart someone’s innards who has an inflammatory bowel disease.  The 10th amendment protects states, and a federal law prohibiting medical marijuana is a direct violation of someone’s constitutional, inalienable right to seek medical treatment when they can afford it.  Also, don’t try to insult anyone else’s intelligence with a claim that if we have medical marijuana dispensaries anyone can get it – notion.  If you think that doesn’t/wouldn’t happen with any other medication you are a fool.  

    If Michele Bachmann is a Constitutional conservative, then Barack Obama is a Libertarian.

  • Punchdrunque

    So, if it came down to it, just to make sure I read and understand you correctly… hypothetically, we’re at a point the primaries are concluded, it’s election day. You have two candidates considerable for election… you, in all honesty would give your vote for a candidate with the track record of Barrack Obama because YOU find, to your way of thinking Michele Bachmann is not a Constitutional Conservative. I find this quite interesting. Have you EVER had the opportunity afforded you in ANY election to vote for a candidate that you AND [s]he agreed 100% down the line? I would be curious to know who that candidate would have been. She has laid out in this article some of her insights as to what Constitutional Conservativitism includes/means to her… She did not present a thesis on constitutional conservatism. But it AMAZES me… you would sacrifice the ALL… because a portion was not in agreement with your interpretation of a term. Also, and in closing, I would appreciate you directing me to a bonafide Constitutional Conservative… in the race. One who is a self created independent… who struggled through the ranks to make acclaim to the label… and NOT through inheritance. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/anitamkitchen Anita Kitchen Fowler

    You have my vote. I’m so glad you decided to run. America needs you. We need to cut spending and just as important cut down the over expansion of Federal Government. Michele Bachmann stays true to her beliefs and does not compromise.