Have you ever met someone who claimed to be conservative to the bone and then turned around and threw their support behind bigger government? If the answer is yes well you’re not alone. Let me give you an example of the mindset I finding with many of my “conservative” neighbors. There are two measures on the North Dakota ballot next Tuesday. One measure eliminates property taxes while the other strengthens and preserves religious freedom for the individual. The goal conservatives should be striving to achieve is less government, less regulation, lower taxes, and empowering the individual at all levels. What I’m finding is that many so-called conservatives are not really embracing these core principles. Instead they’re throwing their support behind bigger government involvement in their lives. Let’s start with measure two and eliminating the property tax.
I’ve always said that the easiest way for the government to control and regulate the individual is through taxes. Confiscating a portion of an individual’s income is a confiscation of their property. Forcing an individual to pay a tax on their property or face having their property seized by the government is another way the government controls and regulates the lives of each of us. The conservative position on this issue should be to eliminate or limit the government’s ability to impose its will on the people through taxation. This is one of the reasons why most conservatives support lower taxes. Lower taxes equates to greater individual liberty. And yet many of my conservative neighbors are taking the position of defeating measure two. They fear the unknown and have bought into the liberal lie that by supporting the elimination of property taxes means they will somehow lose local control of their communities; that they will have to beg the state capital to fund essential services like schools, fire and police departments. The left and special interest groups have successfully convinced conservatives that government control of their lives is essential. They want conservatives to ignore the facts the North Dakota is operating with a $5 billion dollar surplus, that the state will be mandated to fund all these essential services if measure two passes and that North Dakota is ranked 10th in terms of the highest property taxes in the nation.
Yes conservatives are ignoring all these facts and opting to allow the continued control and regulation of their lives through property taxes. They have decided to abandon their conservative principles and embrace bigger government, more regulation, higher taxes and less individual empowerment. These same conservatives who are walking away from liberty in regards to measure two are standing up and supporting measure three because they believe government has no right to impose its will on them if it goes against their religious beliefs. I agree. So let me see if I have this right; they’re ok with government imposing its will on them through the taxation of their property but are against government imposing its will on them if it goes against their religious beliefs. Does this make any sense at all? Whether it makes sense or not this is the reality many conservatives are living with in their communities; so-called conservatives who are not acting very conservative. And based on what I have observed the reason for this support is out of fear of the unknown. As exciting of a journey liberty can take you on it can also be very scary for many. A large number of people are comfortable with the devil they know rather than the devil they don’t know even if the devil they know is robbing them blind. I’m a conservative and I embrace and support the above conservative principles.
As a true conservative I don’t have the option to pick and choose the liberties I want to defend. I fall on the side of individual liberty and freedom all the time. Eliminating property taxes empowers the individual and embraces liberty no matter what the perceived consequences. Preserving religious freedom at the local level embraces liberty and minimizes the government’s ability to impose its will on the people if it goes against their religious beliefs. This isn’t rocket science. My friend Jon always tells me that each law created should be measured against the liberty lost or gained by its passage. Haven’t we lost enough liberty? It’s time to start taking it back. North Dakotans have a rare opportunity to grab an arm full of liberty next Tuesday. Let’s hope they take advantage of it.
Liberty forever, freedom for all!