by: Brent Smith
What does it mean when we on the right describe ourselves as conservatives? What is it that we are trying so hard to save, preserve or prevent the loss of – which is what to conserve means.
Those on the left would say we wish to conserve the days of slavery and Jim Crow – or maybe the white-old days of the 1950s before the Civil Rights movement.
Despite the fact that all those bad times were born of the left in this country, we conservatives wish to reestablish and conserve America’s original set of governing rules.
Our nation was founded on a set of ideals – the Declaration of Independence, and rules – the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Yet Americans today seem only to care, and demand absolute adherence to some rules, while all but ignoring others.
As most of my readers know, I’m a huge fan of the NFL. I love me some football.
Not another football analogy?! Yep, `fraid-so.
On numerous occasions during any given season, we diehard football fans will have a nationwide collective meltdown; if for example, a player commits a penalty and gets away with it late in the fourth quarter of a close game. Fans take to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to vent their spleens over a flagrant violation that goes unpunished and may cost their team the game.
Case in point is the infamous and flagrant pass interference non-call in January, 2019 that cost the New Orleans Saints the chance to make it back to the Superbowl.
Football talk programs break down every facet of the play in super-slow motion. Weeks, even months can be spent on one bad call – one infraction of the rules.
One fan may even turn to another and say, “Come on – its right there, plain as day – it’s in the rule book and wasn’t called,” referring to an overlooked penalty.
Even if a team is winning by four touchdowns, it makes little difference when fans see a violation of the rules go uncalled. An opposing fan may say to cut his team some slack – that, “your team is already killing us. What’s the difference in one un-called penalty?”
But the response is always the same. “The rules are the rules and you’re player broke one, he should penalized regardless of the score.”
Yet it seems the majority of football fans, and even weirdos who don’t care for football, don’t appear to have the slightest problem with those running team-America, breaking the rules and making a lot more egregious penalties than pass interference.
Fans of every sport demand unconditional fidelity to their sports’ rule books, yet somehow give little thought to the constant violations of the Nation’s first and ultimate rule book – the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Americans have allowed our government to stray far afield from its original purpose. Some might explain this away by quoting the Declaration of Independence – that, “…governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” They would say our government has derived the power to do what it does from the consent of the governed by virtue of the vote – that we elect men and women to institute policies on our behalf, such as the myriad of government entitlements we have today, or Covid edicts, mask mandates, and coming soon – vaccine passports.
This is a fine and compelling argument, but only if one chooses to overlook the usurpation of the rules and neglect of the rulebook. We football fans insist that officials strictly adhere to the rulebook of the NFL. We would never tolerate officials just making up the rules on the fly, exclaiming that it is for the good of the players, or interpreting the rulebook to fit some agenda. If it’s in the rulebook, it must be adhered to. If it isn’t, regardless of our or their feelings, it must be ignored.
As conservatives, this is all we ask of our American teammates and officials – to strictly adhere to the rulebook of our nation. And if it isn’t in the Constitution, regardless of our or their feelings, or some perceived “good of the country,” it too must be ignored.