George Washington, Thomas Jefferson. James Madison and the men who wrote our Constitution were Classical Liberals.
Those that supported King George were the Conservatives and the Patriots that took up arms were the liberals.
Those that wanted to preserve the institution of slavery were the Conservatives, while those that sought to abolish slavery were the Classical Liberals.
He wanted to live in a country where the people could govern themselves. He and his fellow patriots did not accept the status quo and were willing and fight and perhaps die for the cause of freedom. Unlike the colonists that supported the King, Washington was not a conservative, he was a radical who embraced the principles of Classic Liberalism.
The terms liberal and conservative are labe that divide people into political parties. They seek to lobby the government to get special benefits and privileges denied to others and they don’t even mean the same thing as they used to.
In the 1770′s, a colonist who supported King George and the British Parliament would have been classified as a Conservative and those who opposed the King would have been liberals. In the 1860′s, the supporters of slavery would have been labeled conservatives and the Abolitionists would have been considered the liberals.
Before the American War for Independence, it was believed that Kings and Queens ruled by divine right. This principle led to tyranny and human bondage. To accept the status quo would have been the position of a conservative.
After the ratification of the Constitution, a new set of principles were established in America and then individual who embraced the Declaration of Independence are considered a conservatives. Declaring that someone is a conservative without stating the principles they believe in, doesn’t tell anyone anything.
Anyone opposed to the principles articulated in our founding documents is simply trying to divide and confuse the people in order to control them. We need to stop identifying ourselves with political labels such as “liberal” or “conservative” and start defining ourselves by the principles in which we believe.
I am not a liberal or a conservative. I don’t lean to the left or the right, I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I simply believe that we were “endowed by our Creator” with the right to life, liberty and property. I believe that “governments derive their power from the consent of the people” and that the role of government to protect and defend the rights of the people.
Today, we are taught that to rebel against authority is radical thing to do, but in the 1770′s it was considered onr’s patriotic duty. Those that lack the courage to fight for what they believe in are destined to live their lives in bondage.
We are not conservative or liberal or progressive. We are “The Americans”.
George Washington’s Farewell Address