I’m not sure what Scott Mayer means by “Smart Conservative” and I read his entire post on the American Thinker. So I’ll give you my own interpretation of what a Smart Conservative is. It would be a real Conservative classical Conservative if you will. Not someone who bashes big government with one hand as they are trying to expand it on the other hand. Like with President George W. Bush in the early 2000s with No Child Left Behind, the Patriot Act and later the Medicare prescription drug expansion which by the way wasn’t paid for.
Or today’s so-called Conservatives who sound like Ron Paul when it comes to the welfare state and putting down government involvement in the economy. While at the same time wanting to expand government when it comes to the Federal Government regulating marriage to prevent gays from getting married. Or trying to outlaw pornography from the federal level. Or trying to keep the failed War on Drugs alive at the federal level. Representative Michelle Bachmann (thank God she’s leaving Congress at the end of this year) comes to mind as a phony Conservative.
Similar to Ronald Reagan Barry Goldwater suffers from a case of cherry picker’s disease. People who claim to love the man and say they are that type of Republican or Conservative. But only based that love and affection on a handful of issues and policies. They cherry pick what they love about them and ignore their disagreements with them on issues they disagree on. Or even worst try to convince people that their political idols don’t actually believe in what they believed.
The fact is Barry Goldwater doesn’t represent the Republican Party of today. But at best a wing of the party the conservative libertarian wing of the party that may be strong enough to nominate their first Republican presidential candidate since 1964 in 2016. And of course I’m thinking of Senator Rand Paul and you see other Conservative Libertarians in Congress along with Senator Paul like Senator Mike Lee, Senator Ron Johnson, Senator Jeff Flake, Representative Justin Amash and Representative Walter Jones who represent this wing of the party in Congress as well.
But Barry Goldwater even though he probably is the father of the modern conservatism today and back then that type of conservatism is a classical form of it. The real thing which is how I would put it that truly believes in limited government and federalism and just doesn’t cherry pick where they support limited government based on things they like and dislike. But believes the individual and states should be making of the decisions about their own affairs when it comes to both domestic and personal issues. Instead of those key and personal decisions being micro-managed from Washington.