Conservatives started this year badly, learning the news that their representatives had failed them on the fiscal cliff deal. We are once again kicking the can down the road, and watching seemingly helplessly as the politicians in D.C. squander our children’s futures.
We have tried going the traditional route: voting for “conservatives” like Mitt Romney, or ensconcing “conservatives” in the Supreme Court like John Roberts. Obviously, this path is not working. Most of us feel frustrated. The politicians in D.C. — and, let’s face it, the general public — don’t see the crushing debt as the problem we do. They don’t see the abandonment of the free market as the problem we do. They don’t see crushing regulation, increased taxes, and overweening socialism as the problem we do.
We want to do something. But what?
This is the time of year when people set New Year’s Resolutions. I suggest that, this year, you set your New Year’s Resolutions according to principles of conservatism — or, if you prefer (as I do), according to principles of freedom.
Take actions in your everyday life that will promote freedom in this country, in small ways. What am I talking about? Here are some ideas:
1. Stop giving aid and comfort (your hard-earned dollars) to the enemy. Why is anyone spending money on the New York Times? Why is anyone spending a dime on the Los Angeles Times? Why spend money for HBO? Stop giving money to the enemy and redirect it more appropriately.
The long-time reader who gave me the idea for this post told me the following story. He was at a drug store and started to pick up a copy of the New York Times out of habit. Then he thought better of it, and decided instead to pick up some markers that his young daughters could use to color with. Now, he tells me, his daughters are happily drawing away with “the markers that the New York Times bought them.”
This year, you will not give these people a cent. You will take the money you save and give a third to your children, a third towards daily expenses, and a third to a conservative charity. Not one dime to the people who spend their days propping up a huckster who is trying to run your children’s finances into the ground.
2. Promote the free market. Take some action to educate yourself and the people around you about the free market. Send three people a copy of a book by F.A. Hayek, or Milton Friedman, or Thomas Sowell. Listen to the EconTalk podcasts by Russ Roberts, a hard core free market economist who explores how society would improve in countless ways if we stopped trusting government and started trusting people to make decisions for themselves.
3. Learn more about firearms, and/or spread the word about them. Buy a friend copies of a book by John Lott. Go to a shooting range. Buy a high capacity magazine before they get outlawed! Buy a gun, if you are ready. It’s a serious decision, but even if you’re not ready to take that step, you can become educated about firearms.
4. Tell five friends about your favorite conservative blog. It doesn’t have to be this one, but whatever it is, find a post you really like and send it to five friends who should give the blog a try. We are the check on the liars in the media, and we could use the help.
5. Take a strong stand in favor of free speech. I suggest making a donation to FIRE. Buy a copy of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, by Greg Lukianoff, the president of FIRE. I stress that FIRE is not a conservative organization but a free speech organization. But conservatives should be as concerned as anyone about efforts by colleges and universities to indoctrinate our children. This is about as an important an issue as anyone can imagine. Our children’s education is truly central to our future. The place to donate to FIRE is here. I just sent them $50 myself. Send them something today.
I’m sure readers will have ideas of their own. Leave them in the comments!