As we swear in our new president amid protests and bellyaching, there are many questions about where this is all going to lead us. No one would deny that the majority of people across America, and across the world for that matter, woke up shocked the day after Election Day 2016. Even Conservatives who kept the faith, were not willing to bet the farm on a Trump victory. So how did Conservatism withstand the year-long onslaught from the left, and end up with commanding control of two branches of the Federal government?
Let me start off by saying that I am going to use generalizations, superlatives, and speak in black and whites, not greys. If that bothers you, then I suggest you do two things. First, understand that this is both silly and not possible to try to include all attitudes and opinions when you are discussing something that covers millions of people. There will inevitably be those who say, “Since I don’t feel that way, this writer must be an idiot!” Don’t be that person. The second thing I suggest you do is relax and read on. Whether the ideas expressed by others apply exactly to you or not, that in no way dismisses their validity.
For those of you who do not understand the meaning of the word “Conservative” in America today, let me help you. Democrats in the government and the media would have you believe that being a Conservative means “unwilling or incapable of change”, “intolerant of anyone who is different than you”, or “refusing to move forward”. In actuality, it does not mean any of those things. Being a Conservative simply means that you value the traditions of the past. Conservatives understand that the traditions of the past are the cornerstones which every single American has stood upon to get to where they are today. That is not an arguable point. Whether you believe as strongly as Conservatives do in those traditions or not, you cannot deny that this country was built upon them. Traditions such as natural rights, freedom, sovereignty of the individual over the state, the social contract, a free market, Judeo-Christian foundations of morality, and the belief in the exceptionalism of this country as the rightful and well-earned leader of the free world. These are the American traditions that Conservatives want to “conserve.” Conservatives believe that these ideas are to be revered, preserved, and fought for. Why? Because, as previously stipulated, they are the reason why every one of us has the truly amazing life we enjoy today in this country.
If you are now having a breakdown, and feel the need to inform me of all the American traditions that have been ugly and hurtful to people, then please try to remove such emotionalism from an intellectual conversation. Bringing emotional evidence to an intellectual discussion is puerile. So let’s not do it, please. Yes, there have been things in our American past that were wrong and downright despicable; things in our history of which we are not proud. Here is what you need to remember about those things – they were all done by people. People can be bad. People can hurt others. Any time that people are involved, there is the chance that they will do something terrible. It was people who killed Native Americans, people who owned slaves, people who destroyed lives in the name of weeding out Communism, and people who forced blacks to drink out of separate water fountains and used loaded weapons to block their access to white schools. It is people who abuse and beat homosexuals nearly to death. And it is people who loot and burn buildings while pretending to be supporting a cause. All these acts are committed by people, not ideas. These awful incidents are not traditions of America, these are actions by people.
When I speak of American traditions, I am speaking of ideas, not actions. What makes Conservatives angry, and what propelled Americans to so roundly reject a Hillary presidency, is the constant assault on those traditions by those on the Left. During the presidential campaign, a co-worker of mine (an admitted Liberal) said to me, “It is clear that our country is moving to the Left. The pendulum is swinging to a more liberal nation. Why don’t you Conservatives just accept that your ideas are dying, and give up?” On that day, I understood why Liberals make me so angry. It is not enough for them to think differently than we do. We must accept that they are right and we are wrong, and give up all the things that we hold dear; give up our very foundation and core beliefs. That’s the only thing that will satisfy Liberals. Conservatives must fully accept the death of their value system and embrace the Left wing’s value system in its stead. They will accept nothing less. I will not do that. Let’s just say that our American society is indeed moving to the left. That point is arguable, but let’s say that it’s true. The exchange of one value system for another in a society is not proof that the new value system is superior. Yes, there are examples where a certain new set of values has been proven to be verifiably better than the old set of values, but that does not mean you could argue that it is always the case. A very quick evaluation of history will tell you this. One only has to look at the changes in values that occurred in the Roman Empire, pre-WWII Germany, and the championing of the “White Man’s Burden” all across Europe during the Age of Imperialism to see that it would be an unsustainable argument to make.
There are many changes happening in the United States today that people on the left characterize as “progressive.” In many instances these changes contradict the traditions and values that this country was built upon. True Conservatives don’t hate Americans who support or vote for these changes. They just do not believe that supplanting the values and traditions that America was founded upon is a good path for this country. It’s that simple. That view is not rooted in hatred, bigotry, or fear. It’s a simple disagreement on what is best for this country’s future.
So be whomever who you want to be. Believe in whatever you want to believe in. That is a foundational tradition that America is based on, and one which Conservatives want to conserve. Just let me have my own beliefs too. To punctuate my earlier point, what makes Conservatives so angry, and propels people like Donald Trump to the presidency, is Liberal contempt for our values. From Hillary calling us deplorable, to Al Gore referring to Conservatives as the extra chromosome crowd, we are repeatedly told that if you hold Conservative values you are hateful, despicable, and mentally challenged. We are told this by the press, the media, celebrities, members of Congress, and presidential candidates. This is why Conservatives were so incensed in this latest election cycle. Issue after issue, Conservatives are demonized by Liberals for their conservative values. At times, it truly boggles the mind. Family, the life of an unborn child, protecting our borders, the right to defend yourself, responsible sex, and self-reliance. Do these sound to you like values that were created by Satan? These are not things that devils value, but you might think so if you listen to the way that Liberals characterize Conservatives who dare to stand up for these values.
One of the effects of Trump’s victory that has given Conservatives so much pleasure is the gallons of Liberal tears flowing since the election. This does not please them because Liberals are upset (well, maybe a little), but it pleases them because it validates everything that I have been saying here. How could Liberals not have seen this coming? In what universe do Liberals think that abusing people would not lead to vigorous pushback? Donald Trump did not win because Conservatives felt such a tight kinship to him, or a passionate ideological connection. I assure you, the vast majority of Conservatives did not, and do not, feel those things for President Trump. He won because of the vicious assault on our core beliefs, and the steady drumbeat of name calling and degradation by American Liberals. This is not a new machination in the Liberal approach to civil discourse. This goes back decades. Don’t forget Alec Baldwin inciting thousands of people to chant for the stoning of the family of the man who was appointed to investigate Bill Clinton’s criminal activity. A professor friend of mine, who is far wiser than I, was telling me recently that every year his students always ask him, “If Christians were so abused, persecuted, feared, and slaughtered for entertainment in the early days of the religion, how was Christianity able to survive and become the largest religion in the world?” His answer is simple. When you assault someone’s core beliefs, it only makes those beliefs stronger. Injury breeds resistance. Donald Trump defeated a person who by all accounts should have completely run away with this election because Conservatives have had enough injury.
Being unified as a country does not mean that we all have to agree. It does mean that we have to be respectful of each other’s viewpoints. It’s OK that half of this country believes in the complete opposite of the other half. Actual Conservatives, the kind who honestly value the traditions outlined above, do not hate you because you are gay, have had an abortion, or feel that there is a conspiracy of white police officers to kill American blacks. Be who you want to be. We support your right of thought and expression, and will fight to keep the government from forcing you to change. We just would really appreciate it if you support ours as well. We will never move forward as a country if anyone who disagrees with you deserves to be treated like dirt.