John Livingston News

How to Define a Conservative

I am not a political scientist. I am not facile in the application of marketing principles. I have never run or been involved in a political campaign. As a citizen who has become interested in politics only over the last 10 years, I have noticed some problems that seem to be inherent in the so called “political process”. These problems center around the fact that a narrative or story is created that is designed to produce an advantage for a particular cause or candidate or party. The facts are never evaluated empirically. They are crammed into little niches to be leveraged in a partisan fashion. For example, those who were against Medicaid Expansion were said to be not empathetic (what a misused word) about the needs of others.

The very important understanding of the timing of events both within a news cycle and in the long run (historical context), is seldom considered. Maybe more money for Medicaid works for a year or two, but when the Federal match changes or the overall cost of Medicaid limits access to care for poor people in outlying years, the calculus changes and so does the perception of “empathy”. Certainly, politicians have a short-term perspective, usually a 2-4 year election cycle as opposed to economists that look at many year economic and business cycles, and citizens whose horizons are generational or longer and Christians whose horizons are forever. This is important because how we measure time—a few years or forever, determines how we assess the consequences of our decisions. It determines how we asses risk. It determines how one looks backwards to understand the wisdom of those who have come before us (the study of history, philosophy, and religion) and how we approach the future with an appreciation for the potential and limitations of science.

I am tired of people calling themselves conservatives or liberal, libertarian, or progressive, or Republican or Democrat. Simply asking a question about party preference or political philosophy doesn’t tell the entire story. What a political campaign needs to find out is what are the “first instances”—principles, of the citizens one is wanting to represent. For example there are first team RINO Republicans like the Bush, Romney, Kasich, Ryan, Liz Cheney, group who believe that government is the solution to most problems, and the “backbenchers” in Idaho who believe the same way like our Governor—who is a good man, but doesn’t know what he believes until he asks the opinion of an expert lobbyist, and Speaker Bedke whose right index finger may become arthritic from raising it up to the political winds too many times—and he will soon find that those winds are growing stronger as the political seasons grow colder.

But as we have seen through the Covid pandemic, the attempted racist subjugation and marginalization of an entire race of people (white people) by Black Lives Matter(BLM), proponents of CRT(critical Race Theory), Anti-Fa, in contradistinction of the teachings of Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, and Dr. Martin Luther King and more in line with Marxist Atheist and Nation of Islam views of W. E. E. Dubois and Malcolm X , the underlying principles that serve as a predicate for political philosophy and policy positions are not even known by voters themselves. Hate is the bases for racism no matter the practitioner (hater) and no matter who is hated (Black White, or whoever)

I will work in the next view weeks to quantify formulaically and graphically 6 basic ideas that form the predicate for our underlying political philosophies. Instead of asking questions about abortion rights and 2nd Amendment principles, Federalism, local and National security, and because the underlying emotions of an upcoming ever increasing self-absorbed and undereducated class of academics and professional elite (lawyers and more than a few doctors), as opposed to reason, play an ever increasing role in the minds and hearts of the electorate, these “gut” instincts need to be appreciated and accounted for:

  1. There is an indirect relationship between faith in God and Fear for one’s personal safety. Who is more likely to be afraid of dying from Covid? Who wants some government agency to protect them instead of being responsible for protecting themselves and their families?
  2. There is an indirect relationship between wanting to be part of and be accepted by “the group” and one’s willingness to stand alone and take individual risk”. Who is more willing to start their own business or be an innovator, or run a farm and who would rather seek the safety of working for a large group like the government or a large corporation? If one were a physician who is more likely to be in private practice and work for their patients or who seeks employment by a large hospital system? Who would be more willing to follow “standards of care” promulgated by NIH and CDC or who would be more willing to do their own research and determine based on that research what is best for themselves and their patients?
  3. There is a direct relationship between the virtues of gratitude and courage, and Patriotism and respect for the sacrifices of those that have come before us. Who is more likely to stand for our Flag and The National Anthem and who is more likely to take a knee? Who is more likely to serve in our military or be a policeman or fireman? Who is more likely to be a mother and a father—above everything else?

It would behoove conservative candidates to not only present themselves before the voters, but to also reintroduce the voters back to the conservative principles that made Idaho great. Here are some ideas for some 30sec spots:

  1. WHO’S YOUR DADDY”—The Feds, Governor Little. Or You”?
  3. WHO IS YOUR FAMILY Doctor.? Dr. Fauci, the CEOs at Al’s/Luke’s, the one assigned to you by your insurance carrier, the doctor at your local health district, the one who just went out to lunch at the Arid Club as a guest of a pharmaceutical rep, or the guy or gal that has taken care of you and your family since you came to town 35 years ago?

Who knows what is best for you and your family—you and your family doctor or BIG BROTHER?

“Government is not the solution to the problem… government is the problem.” Ronald Reagan.

3 replies on “How to Define a Conservative”

There’s Only One with the authority to determine what constitutes a conservative!

“In politics, everything revolves around the positioning of right, left, and center. You’re either rightwing, leftwing, or a centrist. Politicians and non-politicians alike employ all three terms as if there’s a consensus on the parameters for those designations. Even if this were true, who gets to determine what’s right, left, and center, and how are those determinations made? Over time, the parameters shift (always further to the left), so how is someone on the right to know he’s now a centrist or a centrist to know he’s now on the left?…

“There are no answers to these questions because there is no standard for these terms. The terms are completely arbitrary, defined at any given time by finite man and his fickle ethics rather than by Yahweh1 and His immutable morals….

“Isaiah 33:22 and James 4:12 declare that Yahweh is the exclusive legislator. There are no others, period! Anyone who claims the title of legislator (particularly when his “laws”—whether commandments, statutes, or judgments—are inconsonant with Yahweh’s) is a usurper and is perpetuating the sin begun by Adam and Eve. The same is true for any one of us who would modify Yahweh’s triune law….

“Yahweh is the only lawgiver because as Creator He’s the only one with the authority to determine what is good and evil. His morals as codified in His commandments, statutes, and judgments determine what is right and left. Anything left of His right(eousness) is left, liberal, and ungodly….”

For more, see blog article “Right, Left, and Center: Who Gets to Decide?” at

I am tired of people calling themselves conservatives or liberal, libertarian, or progressive, or Republican or Democrat. Simply asking a question about party preference or political philosophy doesn’t tell the entire story. What a political campaign needs to find out is what are the “first instances”—principles. From the third paragraph of the article above. We have finally come to agreement. Thanks for reading

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