- - Monday, March 2, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Attendees of last week’s Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), the nation’s largest conference for conservatives, heard a few tried and true conservative messages from potential presidential candidates and activists alike — calls for lower taxes, more freedom for business, a strong national defense, the importance of killing the enemy and the need for a serious foreign policy.

All of that is good, but something else very important happened: A consistent message about freedom, not politics, prevailed in most of the discussions. This is the core strength of conservatism, and it is the message that will save this nation from the bureaucratic central planners destroying it right now.

While there are differences of opinion on certain policy issues, there is a common foundation all conservatives share and that is a love and commitment to freedom. Liberals projecting their own identity crisis on their opponents got a bit of a shock from the vision emerging out of CPAC. Whether it be Scott Walker or Mia Love or Carly Fiorina, Americans heard messages about freedom, speaking up and pushing back. There will be no more ceding the moral high ground to liberals.

Very often you hear the legacy media, liberal social and political groups and Democrat politicians insist there is a “civil war” among conservatives about what the term even means. They wish. Fulminating about the tea party being against someone, or libertarians against everyone, or gasp, Sarah Palin makes another speech. Anything to distract you from your own strength. Now with Scott Walker leading many polls, it’s amusing to see the manic headlines trying controversialize him as well.

In truth, this is a message aimed directly at conservatives and all other Americans who have had enough with the disaster of the last six years. The liberal meme is to keep everyone, including liberals, from thinking there is an alternative to the madness we’ve all been enduring.

The left fears what I term the “Wait a minute …” event. This is the moment when an individual has an epiphany, stops and thinks and realizes something is worth questioning because there must be a better way. This is the moment when the liberal agenda collapses.

It’s the equivalent of someone deciding to turn on the light in a room. At first they try to convince you that everyone loves living in the dark and, no, there is no light switch. But the moment you decide that’s bunk, is when the game is over.

Here’s the fact: conservatism has always been about one thing: freedom. The freedom to make choices that best suit you. This is not about a hands-off government leaving you to fend for yourself in some chaotic Hobbesian forest. On the contrary, government interference in our lives creates the chaos and eliminates your options.

It’s natural Americans want personal freedom from government. It’s mission is based in a lack of faith in our ability to run our own lives they insist on controlling our health care, what we eat, where we should live, how far we can drive, what sort of car is best, the kind of energy we’re allowed to use.

Not coincidentally, politicians who run the monster of the big government are fixated on controlling the most intimate and existential part of our lives. It is the most efficient way to keep you down. This is how malignant narcissism and contempt manifest in public policy.

We’ve seen where this leads: hopelessness, malaise, joblessness, poverty; a government that lies about the condition of our country and the state of the world; corruption and federal agencies that target political opponents of the current regime. Now the desperation to cover up their failures seems to rule most decision-making in Washington.

Their latest gambit is one I addressed in an earlier column — last week the FCC, via three Democrats on a commission of five unelected people, voted to regulate the Internet as a utility. Other stellar successes in the Big Government portfolio? The post office, Amtrak and Obamacare.

Why now? Because an informed citizenry with the freedom to speak among themselves is a threat to tyrants. With the free flow of information, brainwashing you into believing your only option is to learn the phrase, “May I have more, Sir?” is less and less likely.

When Americans are limited only by their imaginations and not by freedom-crushing and politically driven rules and regulations, everything is possible. If you doubt this, look around and see what liberals have done. Then look at the Reagan years and remember the message from his first inaugural which has never been more apparent: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Tammy Bruce is a radio talk-show host, author and Fox News contributor.

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