Imagine one of those old "Spirograph" pictures; looks kind of like a daisy or a model of an atom.
The one at the left is simple, but it illustrates the point. Each individual, Conservative tenet is one oval. It overlaps with many other ovals or priorities. It partially overlaps with some ideas and only the core of other ideas. A few portions of the matrix are kind of hanging out there in space by themselves.
So here's the deal: the whole Conservative concept is represented in the drawing. Tea Parties, the GOP, Libertarians, Conservative Independents, absolute pro-life proponents, Paul followers, pragmatists, II-A defenders, Constitutionalists, Parlor Republicans, the whole bag.
Pretty much the entire group believes strongly in the core ideas of Liberty (small government), sensible (minimal) government spending, individual rights, strong family values, equal opportunity, pro-life, border/voter integrity, self-support, adherence to the Constitution (as written), etc. They pretty much agree with stronger versions of these; zero abortion, austere government, zero illegals, fundamental Christian values, absolute Constitutionalism, etc. They don't really agree with others' edgiest versions of these, but they can get along with them.
The central core of the drawing is the core beliefs of Conservatism. Our Constitution was the first time in human history (and the only time that it stuck) that the People got together and selected their own government and made the law of the land a document that limits that government, with any dispute (until the Progressives began reversing things) going in favor of individual liberty. We have peacefully (if not politely) adjusted our government (head of State) 44 times in a row over 234 years (222 years of it under the Constitution). This is more than any other country in the history of mankind (and far beyond than the pitiful 70 year maximum of Socialist tyrranies). Most of the country largely agrees with this core, even Independents and sincere (small 'D') dEMOCRATS. It also represents the ground zero of evil for the hard core Left. The Constitution itself is what Socialists (and Jihadists) want to destroy, in order to have total control and no responsibility.
The ring of overlapping triangles around the core of the drawing are things that are also very important to us, but maybe not critical. The next ring is made up of "allied" concepts that Conservatives generally agree with, while some others find them critical. The outer, non-overlapped part includes things that most don't mind, but don't necessarily agree with. Everyone can think of an example where "those guys go too far" in that area. But we find that these things are less harmful than the Socialist attack we are currently under; limited by the Constitution or dealt with in honest Congressional debate.
Try this: put your thumb or another object over any part of the drawing, as long as it includes most of the middle. You could apply labels to the segments, so that your covered area accurately describes your priorities. It includes your core beliefs, those other things you strongly believe and some things that you agree with but don't put much emphasis on. Then there are the un-covered things on the far side of the drawing that you probably think are silly or even counter-productive, but not dangerous.
So, this is 'us', folks. This is the big tent. Conservatives. We can get along well enough with each others' ideas, and believe in live-and-let-live enough to coexist with the ones we disagree with. The problem is the 'other side'. The ones that want to control you and everything about you; the Leftist or Statist or Socialist or Jihadist. As long as they agree to disagree and stay within the Constitutional lines, we can ignore them and get along. But these are the ones that cry "democracy", but really just mean a mob that can decide every detail of health insurance you must buy. The ones that claim Republicans are the killers of liberty, when 75% of the regulations come from the Left. They also point fingers at "racism" when we simply argue actual facts on economy, voter integrity and separation of Constitutional powers; despite the actual, historical fact that it was Democrats who prevented the Declaration and Constitution from eliminating slavery, owned the Southern Plantations, formed the KKK, fought desegregation and beat M.L.K. supporters, dreamed up "the Negro [annihilation] Project" (aka "planned parenthood"), and now endorse the rabid anti-Semitism of C.A.I.R. and the #Occupy rioters. The ones that claim that the Constitution - - which revolutionized the world for the better and gave rise to the most successful, generous, prosperous and tolerant country in the history of the world - - is just "a living/breathing document", meaning (to quote Captain Hector Barbosa), "more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules". This meaning, instead of the absolute Law of the Land, each word precisely chosen and understood, alterable, but only via a stringent Amendment process to avoid transient or frivolous issues, it is simply to be modified at will by judges or whoever holds power. Exactly what it was written to avoid: the capricious whim of powerful men:
"A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
These counter-revolutionary, seditious anti-Americans prefer the power and lucre of the always-failed Socialist system. It lends itself beautifully to small, greedy, powerful cabals that want to tread the rest of humanity underfoot; but it generally collapses after a few million murders and within 70 years, because it runs out of productive people's money and ingenuity.
They also lie as an artform. It is (in addition to murdering and imprisoning their populations) what they do. To quote National Socialist Leader (translated: "Führer") Adolf Hitler:
“The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed” ("Mein Kampf").The 2008 election (the campaign of which has never ended on the Left) was a prime example. So were, "You have to pass it to find out what's in it", "most transparent and ethical administration in history", "never heard of Solyndra", "no illegals will be covered", "I didn't know about Operation Gun Runner", "taxes won't go up", "the rich don't pay their share", "inflation is down", "polls show that Americans agree with us", "we will create jobs" and 99,991 others. This year.
Their other passtime is slander and character assassination. They smear and insult 9 year old girls, pass baseless innuendo to GOP staffers in Primary season, accuse everyone else of what they are doing and generally resort to name calling whenever they have no argument. It is this last issue that I will close on. Governor Chris Christie warned Conservatives not to think that, despite the magnificently incompetent, counter-productive, destructive, and dishonest performance of almost every aspect of the Democratic/Progressive Socialist regime over the last 2 1/2 years (plus the last 2 years of Bush 43's term), the one thing that they can do effectively [disgustingly, but effectively] is: CAMPAIGN. In fact, they never stop.
This means that we should rigorously test and challenge our candidates. But we must do it in a fashion that doesn't give ammunition to the Left. At least make sure that everything is factual, not just name-calling. And once we select our candidates, we must throw everything we've got behind them. We cannot assume that we have enough margin (despite all reputable polls [Bloomberg shows Obama winning by a 132% margin]) to let Conservatives stay home, allow Leftist funny business (a la' armed Philadelphia Black Panthers threatening voters and being excused after finding of guilt by Holder), or - - worst of all - - splitting the vote.
We all know that the GOP is far from perfect. In fact, polling confirms that we are much harder on Conservative representatives, like responsible parents expect more from their own kids. For example, everyone knows that while the GOP has failed to "hold fast" enough, the Progs have actively sought to run up debt and strangle industry. The GOP House has passed 22 pro-jobs bills since January, which languish in the Dems' Senate. Yet opinion is that "Congress" has 9% popularity. We might eventually be better off with an actual Tea Party.
But right now, the Progressives are in full, panicky, hue-and-cry campaign mode, wielding all the political might of the Democratic machine that they co-opted over the last couple of decades. They will scour the system to harvest every last fraudulent vote and still challenge legitimate results that go against them in the courts. Obama is boasting about his "billion dollar" war chest (by the way, where did the other 300 billion stimulus bucks go?). We need money and especially organization to reach the Independents and sincere dEMOCRATS that have been misled for years (thank you, teachers' unions) and will be increasingly deluged for the next year with manufactured statistics, revisionist history, deceptively stated policies and other outright lies. The one thing we cannot allow is a personality cult taking the place of defense of the Constitution and our way of life. If Ron Paul gets the pennant, we all need to be out getting him elected. If he doesn't and decides not to endorse the candidate, or worse that he will go to a Pyrrhic third party, the result would be that his 7% following will be confused and conflicted; probably lost. Many will throw their votes away or stay home. Thousands and thousands of votes will not go toward actually restoring Constitutional Conservatism, playing right into the Left's hands in what may be a very tight race, despite the disillusionment of more aware blacks, Jews and young people with the Obama fiasco.
2012. It's not some academic exercise. It IS your family's future.