What Conservatism Isn’t
If you closely follow politics, one thing you’ll learn is that liberals often go to great lengths to try to hide what they really believe from the public while conservatives inevitably seem to be trying to correct some misperception that has been spread about them.
So, as a creature of the Right and as someone who knows other conservatives well, I’d like to do something a little out of the ordinary. I’d like to take the time to explain what we conservatives are NOT so that people who aren’t that familiar with conservatism can know when they’re being fed a plateful of baloney about what we believe.
Conservatives don’t dislike minorities: Few things outrage conservatives more than the fact that liberals are forever accusing us of hating this or that group for the flimsiest of reasons. Yes, there are a few racist conservatives, just like there are racist liberals and moderates. However, judging by the number of race-based attacks on minority conservatives by the Left, the Right as a whole is considerably less racist than our brethren on the Left.
Conservatives don’t want women kept barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen: Conservatives have much more respect for stay-at-home mothers than the Left does and therefore, we don’t look down our noses at women who want to be at home with the kids while their husband works.
For people who say that means conservatives just want women to be subservient to men, I have two words for you: Sarah Palin. She’s a working mother shooting for the second most powerful position in the land. Conservatives love her and liberals hate her in large part for the exact same reason: she’s a living, breathing stereotype killer.
Conservatives aren’t anti-science: One of the great ironies of modern life is that liberals, a group that regularly tries to whip up scientifically unjustifiable hysteria for political gain, has consistently tried to brand conservatives as being “anti-science.”
Have you ever noticed how that plays out in say, the global warming debate? On the Right, you have people constantly quoting actual studies and scientists as they make an argument while on the Left, they’re quoting Al Gore and telling you sketchy stories about how the polar bears are all going to die if we don’t do something right this second! Honestly, which side sounds like it’s more interested in actual scientific facts as opposed to political propaganda masquerading as science?
“Conservative” and “Republican” aren’t necessarily the same thing: Most conservatives are Republicans, but much to the chagrin of the Right, far too many Republicans, even ones claiming to be conservative, don’t act in a conservative fashion.
For example, during his time in office, George Bush has been ferociously criticized by conservatives for out-of-control spending, expansions of government power, and his stand on illegal immigration. That’s not to say that conservatives don’t agree with the Republican Party on most issues — because we do — but you should never forget that “conservative” and “Republican” are most definitely two different things.
Conservatives aren’t theocrats: People who aren’t Christians — or alternately are believers, but don’t take their faith seriously — sometimes accuse conservatives of wanting to disregard the Constitution in order to implement a theocracy.
Never, in my entire career as a writer, have I seen a prominent conservative advocate such a thing and never, in my entire life, have I met a single conservative who believes in doing such a thing. This idea has slightly less resonance on the Right than making Nancy Pelosi House Majority Leader for life.
Conservatives rig the elections: This is a theme that has been taken up by the Left after their chosen candidates went down in flames during the last two presidential elections. However, if conservatives are rigging elections, why in the world did we allow the Democrats to take over Congress in 2006?
Moreover, if you look at cases of election malfeasance where someone is actually prosecuted for doing something wrong as opposed to imaginary cases where something “must” be going on because the wrong candidate lost, you’ll find that the Left is much more likely to engage in election fraud than the Right.
Conservatives don’t want to pollute the environment: Here’s a little secret you will seldom hear from environmental groups: the environment is in pretty good shape here in the United States. We don’t have Bejing-like pollution in the air, uninhabitable radioactive wastelands like the Ukraine, and people regularly drinking contaminated well water like you’ll find in India.
This is where the Left and Right differ. Conservatives are concerned about clean water, clean air, and a clean environment while the left-wing environmental groups have become increasingly hysterical over trivia and dubious problems, like global warming, in order to keep their fundraising going. So. if you’re interested in environmental issues that might actually have some measurable impact on your life and your health, the Right is just as concerned as the Left about the environment.
Conservatives aren’t in the pocket of the rich: When it comes to the rich, the biggest difference between the Left and the Right is that conservatives don’t resent successful people for their success. Add to that a healthy respect for capitalism that isn’t present on the Left and you get a generally favorable attitude towards business and successful people.
That being said, it is the Right, not the Left that is the greatest foe of corporate welfare and businesses that profit from illegal immigration. That’s one of the biggest reasons why, despite what you’d expect, big business is much friendlier to the Left than you’d think given their socialistic attitudes.