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The 10 Tenets of Conservatism
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Posted by: TEEBONE ®

01/04/2020, 13:41:20

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Time to reintroduce the 10 Tenets of Conservatism - WND

Brent Smith
4-5 minutes

Regarding socialism, it wasn't that long ago, only about 10 years, that Democrats were singing a different tune. In reaction to a 2009 Newsweek cover entitled, "We Are All Socialists Now," then Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., at a town hall meeting in 2010, exclaimed, "I don't think anybody in this country believes in socialism. I don't know 'em, and I don't hang out with 'em, but maybe you do."

You can't hardly say that anymore. Socialism/communism/leftism is on the rise, especially among younger voters. A Fox News poll from just a couple of weeks ago "finds 31 percent of voters view socialism favorably, up 6 percentage points since February (the first time the question was asked)."

This is lunacy, of course. But the poll is likely fairly accurate. So what can be done?

In the past, I and many other conservatives have insisted that we on the right must educate the electorate. But this requires us to hold their attention long enough to do so.

Sadly, that's getting increasingly difficult. So what's the alternative? Conservatism isn't really conducive to sound bites and slogans.

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However, there is one thing that encompasses conservatism without lengthy explanation. I call it the 10 Tenets of Conservatism. Each of the 10 tenets is but one line long and compresses our beliefs into easily digestible bites – politically, fiscally and to some extent socially, and are as applicable today as when they were written over a century ago.

The originator named these tenets the "10 Cannots," and they've been attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

These "10 Cannots" are simple in their brilliance, which makes them ideal for both dissemination and understanding.

In reality, Lincoln didn't write them. They were authored in 1916 by the Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian clergyman and pamphlet writer.

In 1942 the Committee for Constitutional Government, a lobby backed by the newspaper publisher Frank Gannett, distributed hundreds of thousands of copies of a leaflet with an authentic Lincoln quote on one side, entitled, "Lincoln on Limitations." On the reverse was a list of Boetcker's maxims, properly attributed in a footnote.

Mistakenly, Boetcker's words came to be ascribed to Lincoln. In 1949 an Ohio congresswoman, Frances P. Bolton, read Boetcker's "10 Cannots" as Lincoln's into the Congressional Record. Look magazine reprinted them with the suggestion that "It's about time for the country to remember."

Attempting to correct the record, Rep. Stephen M. Young inserted into the Congressional Record, in 1950, an article from Harper's magazine, written by a Lincoln scholar, Albert A. Wolman, listing most of the ''Ten Cannots'' and other material falsely attributed to Lincoln.

The 10 Cannots:

1) You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

2) You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.

3) You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

4) You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

5) You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.

6) You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.

7) You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

8) You cannot establish security on borrowed money.

9) You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.

10) You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.


Democrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.

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