This is a website about saving our God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, with a special emphasis on frank, sober analysis of the conservative movement’s effectiveness in that mission. It will of course articulate conservatism and combat leftism, but yet another platform to just repeat what conservatives already know and think is the last thing the country needs.
Here a far more urgent task takes center stage: providing the missing link between theory and victory. The professional Right, though full of brilliant, well-intentioned voices, and not entirely devoid of constructive self-diagnosis, has largely failed to identify or correct its most self-defeating habits and assumptions—costing us enormously in quality candidates, winnable elections, results in office, and durable progress restoring America.
The country can’t afford for us to go on like this. It needs a leaner, sharper, clearer conservatism. A conservatism that fully understands all of its fiscal, moral, legal, cultural, and defensive branches as necessary and inseparable. That knows how to connect its principles to the electorate’s concerns. That learns from its mistakes and is clear-eyed enough to avoid new ones. That is unafraid to hold our own accountable when necessary. That sees every battle in the context of the broader war.
In short, a conservatism honed to peak performance by relentlessly applying a set of vital standards that seem obvious on paper, but are routinely discarded. We will unpack these standards in greater detail as the website goes on, but here’s a brief summary of the lessons every conservative politician, commentator, editor, activist, and voter must take to heart:
- Core conservatism is non-negotiable. While the finer points of countless specific policies and strategies are of course debatable, the proper conservative answers on abortion, economics, marriage, defense, immigration, church-state relations, guns, education, drugs, and more can be directly deduced from objectively studying what conservatism is meant to conserve—the principles of America’s Founding Fathers. People need not agree on everything to cooperate for the common good, but conservatives should not actively promote any faction, or give a platform to any argument, that rejects conservatism’s core tenets.
- Neither expect perfection nor accept mediocrity. “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” is true up to a point—nobody’s judgment is infallible and the platonic ideal is rarely among the finite options before us—but the adage is often misused to defend politicians and policies far worse than imperfect. At a minimum, we need to stop accepting shoddy candidates and “compromise” bills until after we’ve made a real effort to get something thoroughly conservative—and even then, accept that the net outcome might not be good enough to support.
- Pick presidents more carefully than fantasy football teams. Election after election after election, the Right divides itself among a dozen or so lousy candidates based on appealing personalities (Fred Thompson, Ben Carson), conservative reputations hiding moderate records (Rick Perry, Scott Walker), or excellence on an issue or two that distracts from their awfulness on others (Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee). By the time we snap out of these flings, the Establishment pick has rallied enough support that it’s too late for the most conservative overall choice to build support. Enough with picking nominees based on personal likeability, laziness, and tunnel vision. Our vetting needs to be far more careful and skeptical across the board.
- Take your officeholders’ oaths more seriously than they do. Politics is not a game. If an oath to defend the Constitution really is binding, if the Founders gave us checks and balances for a reason, and if leftists policies really hurt people, then fighting back with every legal, procedural, rhetorical, and media tool at GOP officeholders’ disposal is non-negotiable. It shouldn’t be a question that they impeach presidents for a list of high crimes and misdemeanors that makes Richard Nixon look like Shirley Temple, that they withhold funding for evil or unconstitutional purposes, that they actively resist judicial decrees that force us to violate the Constitution, that they eschew decorum to speak bluntly about their Democrat colleagues’ every misdeed, and that they openly oppose party leaders wildly unfit for the job. Don’t accept any lawmaker’s excuse for not doing the right thing. Make your expectations for them crystal clear.
- Never set personalities above principles. Similar to the above, but for pundits. Conservatives interviewing Republicans too often give them a complete pass on all of the above and more, whether out of personal chumminess with the interviewee, a sense of brand loyalty, or an aversion to alienating a recurring guest. We must relentlessly call this out, as well as personalities and publications who actively defend or promote unprincipled figures and unconservative proposals—no matter how big the name is in conservative circles.
Ultimately, Conservative Standards’ mission and necessity can be boiled down to two quotes from two great leaders:
If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well thought lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.
The stakes are too high for subtlety. Unalienable rights are violated en masse, millions die at the hands of abortionists, millions more stand to die at the hands of jihad, and the nation’s finances hurtle toward collapse. Generations of leftist meddling in markets, education, and culture have inflicted mass suffering, ignorance, and decadence. Most of the leaders we’ve tasked with standing up to all this fear the political toll of action more than the human toll of inaction. And unless sanity is restored on one issue in particular, immigration, freedom’s extinction will come sooner than many can bear to admit.
This website is both the driver and the lesson—a clarion call to stop treating politics like a game and overcome the shortsightedness that imperils what better generations sacrificed to give us. Conservative Standards is the Right’s most honest, aggressive, thoughtful, and uncompromising voice for life over death, liberty over serfdom, and happiness over misery.