By Bob Jentges
As a start to responding to the March 31 My View (The mainstream is not conservative), I will cite a Jan. 12, 2012, Gallup Poll indicating that over the past decade the political ideology in the United States has held quite steady, averaging about 40 percent conservative, 35 percent moderate, and 21 percent liberal.
We could debate whether that constitutes a conservative "mainstream" or whether political ideology has transformed since that Gallup Poll. But why waste time; as the line near the end of the famous 1939 "Gone With The Wind" movie goes: "Frankly ... I don't give a damn."
I say that because fickle swings in public opinion do not considerably influence my individual core principles. As a general rule I do not subscribe to group think. In my view neither mainstream or minority thinkers, nor conservative or liberal political ideologues have a monopoly on good ideas. Moreover, history tells us the majority was not always right.
To pivot away from the March 31 My View, and as one who believes the U.S. Constitution is structured to protect citizens against an overreaching federal government notwithstanding contemporary public opinion, I found Al DeKruif's March 29 My View (Too much government isn't good) to be a breath of fresh air. He expressed his own opinions about "limited government" -- not to be confused with big or small government -- rather than recite surveys, opinions or polls.
To expand on DeKruif's mention of the 10th Amendment, it is clear to me that it and the nine that precede it, i.e. the Bill of Rights, relate to individual, private rights and the liberties of a free people. They are linked with the Article I Section 8 enumerated powers delegated to the federal government by the states.
Contrast that with the notion of collective rights. In America I believe those are wholly the invention of the progressive movement, engaged in promoting executive statism beyond the provisions of the Constitution, and in conflict with the founders' principles of limited federal government.
We are a constitutional republic, not a pure democracy, and to some of us the words in the Constitution still have meaning. As DeKruif said: "...elections have consequences."
So next, national election Republicans and Democrats alike must decide whether to vote for candidates that support individual freedoms and states rights, or candidates that support a federal government controlled living.
Bob Jentges is a former teacher, coach and insurance claims superintendent and is part of a team of Free Press readers invited to comment more frequently on issues of the day. He considers himself a conservative.