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What happened to TRUE conservatism?

What happened to TRUE conservatism?

I consider myself a conservative, but I feel like mainstream conservatives have departed from true conservative ideals and should not call themselves conservative. To be honest, I think many conservatives today are hypocritical because they claim to advocate fiscal responsibility and condemn reckless spending and then they turn around and spend trillions of dollars waging a gratuitous war in Iraq and imprisoning otherwise innocent people just for smoking marijuana. Seriously, how are the war in Iraq and the war on drugs fiscally conservative when they both put a major strain on our economy? The war on drugs isn’t a moral issue. It’s an economic issue. It’s not worth it to keep marijuana illegal because it’s far too expensive and the economy has to come first. And I understand that defense spending should take precedence over any other kind of government spending because it’s the only kind of spending that has a constitutional mandate. But, “provide for the common defense” is NOT a license for nation building and what we’re doing in Iraq IS nation building. Even we did have evidence that Saddam Hussein had WMDs or had anything to do with 9/11, which we didn’t, imposing a democracy on a country that has never had one before and isn’t ready for it would NOT be the answer. The answer would be to remove Hussein from power, confiscate the weapons, and leave. “Provide for the common defense” also DOES NOT mean that we should have military bases in every country in the world. It’s simply ridiculous that most Republicans today won’t even consider closing our military bases all over Europe and Asia because those are fully civilized continents that are perfectly capable of protecting themselves and they don’t need our help. There’s an immense difference between having a strong national defense and trying to rule the world. What happened to the TRUE conservatives who claimed to support fiscal restraint and actually MEANT it?

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