Are you a conservative? If you find yourself using this term discussing your political world view, you may have fallen into a trap.
Let me explain. When any elected official takes his oath of office, he invokes the wrath of God against him if he acts unfaithfully to that oath. This is a serious thing. And so a specific standard is pronounced and declared. The oath taken declares a specific allegiance to the Constitution.
The oath does not say I hereby solemnly promise to be conservative. It does not say I hereby swear to follow what are presently considered to be conservative principles. As you know, these things called conservative principles vary not only from person to person, but from time to time – and that’s the trap.
You see, wishy-washy words like conservative or liberal really have come to mean nothing. In fact, it almost goes without saying that political positions thought to be ultra-liberal 30 years ago, or maybe 30 minutes ago, are now seen as the accepted conservative position. At least for the moment.
So what’s the alternative? Well, we seem to need a fixed standard, don’t we? One that isn’t slick or squishy. One we can depend on. Happily it does exist, and it’s called the Constitution. It was intended to be a fixed standard and ought to be seen and taught that way.
Did you know that the Maryland Constitution is not taught in Maryland law schools – and many of our legislators have never read it? Do you think that’s a problem? I do.