I’m a Conservative. No surprise there. I take my political and religious beliefs very serious. Of course, like most anyone, I do differ on some issues (I’m unsure about the death penalty), but if you have me take a political quiz I’ll almost always come out “Conservative”.
Because of this, I feel the need to call out inappropriate and destructive ideas that are prevalent in the underbelly of the Conservative movement. That doesn’t mean Conservatives as a whole adhere to or respect these ideas, but all too often they are afraid (or unwilling to speak out against it).
To Be Silent of Evil…
To ignore these malformed ideas is to be an accomplice to their ideology. Many of these ideologies are mean-spirited, hateful, or downright evil. This goes against the cores of Conservatism, especially from the perspective of Constitutionalists and the Religious Right.
To allow these loud mouths to go unchallenged leaves the false impression that we as a movement are supportive of these things. It undermines our position, pushes away independents (who are necessary for winning elections), and provides ammo to critics. These people need to be silenced (at least within our sphere of politics…let them have their own malignant party). If we don’t kill the cancer, the cancer will kill us (If it wasn’t obvious, this is FIGURATIVE. We shouldn’t really kill anybody…)
Without further adieu…
I’m not talking about overly sensitive political correctness. What I am talking about are people who feel it’s okay to make nasty comments about a person’s race or culture. Popular targets anymore are Blacks, Hispanics, and Arabs (especially, Muslims). I think it’s fine to civilly debate and challenge culture. Without a doubt, Islam is not a peaceful religion and it has more issues than I can even begin to point out. But it makes me look like a hateful, ignorant loser if I start flinging racial slurs at the President or other people because of their religion.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican, and for over a hundred years the Republican party led the country in fighting for racial equality. Colorblindness is an integral part of the Conservative ideology. We believe that all men are created equal, and that the amount of pigment in their skin has no effect on their worth or ability.
Likewise, being a Muslim doesn’t make you a bad person. There are a lot of good people who are lead astray. Many Muslims, especially in America, do believe in many of the same things we do. From a Christian standpoint, I know they aren’t going to heaven unless they repent and accept Jesus, but it doesn’t make them my enemy. In politics and social issues, they can very well be my ally. Even if they are my political enemy, being a bigoted jerk does nothing but undermine my moral high-ground.
The last thing we need is to give evidence to our critics that we actually are racists. We aren’t. There are many people who are Black and Hispanic who we hold in high esteem. Unfortunately, these facts get lost when Conservative websites are covered with xenophobic rants.
2. Conspiracy Theorists
I think Conspiracy Theories are worth talking about…to a point. There are some things in current events and history that do seem to conflict with the commonly accepted reasoning. However, this can only go so far before we become paranoid. Many of the popular conspiracy theories (chemtrails, 9/11, birthers, etc) can all be debunked and explained with very simple, reasonable logic.
Occam’s Razor is a principle that dates back to before the birth of Christ. Very simply, it’s the principle that the most simple answer is also the most likely answer. It’s not always accurate, but it is statistically and logically more often going to give us the answer. It can be applied to a whole host of things from science to philosophy.
Chemtrails, for example are easily explained away by misconceptions about aircraft and the upper atmosphere. Logistically, the idea the whole planet is being coated by a mysterious poison via jet airplanes is impossible.
For Birthers, the location of the President’s birth is irrelevant. His mother was an American which is sufficient enough for “native” American citizenship. Thousands of children are born to one American parent overseas and their citizenship is rarely debated.
I could go on, but I won’t. The thing is, most of these conspiracies are from ignorance. When I hear something that’s too good to be true (or too shocking), I put the breaks on and start looking for logical, rational explanations. It usually only takes a few minutes to find an entirely plausible explanation. (try slamming a few billion pounds of cubic force into a 500,000 ton Skyscraper and see what happens… spoiler: Once you know the physics and weights involved it’s amazing the twin towers last as long as they did.)
I’m sorry, but a blog or a YouTube video doesn’t make someone objective or authorities on the truth. Yes, maybe they are seeking the truth, but just because you’re seeking doesn’t mean you’re looking in the right places, asking the right questions, or accepting the correct answers.
Since before the United States was a twinkle in the world’s eyes, mankind was already determining what “good logic” was. The Ancient Greeks were obsessed with it, and scholars throughout the millennia have tested and refined their work. They have almost universally been accepted throughout the centuries, languages, and cultures. Which is why many of these conspiracy theorists can easily be debunked just by looking at their “evidence” or “argument”. If you never have had any formal education in logic, take a look at this site. It has a whole lot of fallacies (or “bad logic”) that most conspiracy theorists thrive on.
Since this section is already too long, I’ll just summarize why this is a problem: It makes us look like uneducated, paranoid, ignorant lunatics.
3. Lynch Mobs
For a people claiming to strictly adhere to the Constitution and the Founding Father’s ideas of government, Conservatives more than any other group I’ve seen jump for the idea of roving bands of citizens violently enforcing “justice”. Because, apparently, spur of the moment riots where people are publicly tortured and executed is a civil way of handling problems.
The reality is, our Founding Fathers had a different idea in mind. It’s because of this inclination to passion and violence that they knew government was necessary. Some have this misconception that they believed all power should be to the people. Wrong. We have an electorate because they knew that people can be just as dangerous as government. We have a system built around checks and balances, and some of those checks and balances are for the people.
We are not barbarians. No matter how heinous the crime, we do not have the moral authority to execute justice with mob violence. We are a civilized society. As a society we recognize certain rights and those rights are inherited and not to be revoked without due process. Yes, even the worst criminals still have rights and are still “innocent until proven guilty”. It is arrogance to think that what we read on the Internet or hear on the news is grounds for us to take matters into our own hands.
This is bad why? Not only is it barbaric, but it also undermines the very thing we claim to be following: The Constitution. We can’t sit here and whine and groan about how the Constitution is being eroded, when we ourselves decide to ignore it when it is convenient. We are not monsters. We are better than monsters. We demonstrate that by having a law & justice system. Not by taking matters into our own hands.
4. Blaming Everything on Liberals
This is possibly the most prevalent. I joke about it a lot, but it’s a serious issue. Just read any news article and look at the comments section. Regardless of how disconnected the article is from politics, someone will be trying to blame it on Liberals or Obama or something. Give it a rest.
I don’t agree with their ideology. A lot of their ideas are downright destructive and dangerous, but it doesn’t mean that every problem America faces is the result of Liberal ideology. Believe it or not, Conservatives have caused a lot of problems too. And some things have nothing to do with politics whatsoever. Shocking, I know!
It’s stupid to sit there and mock the President for blaming Bush when we sit here blaming Liberals. There has to be a point where we say, “The buck stops here.” Admit our mistakes. Change. Move on.
Constantly blaming one political party makes you look ignorant and narrow-minded. It can’t always be one sided. It makes rational, reasonable people feel uneasy. If all the Conservatives do is blame other people, why do we want to vote Conservative?
I’m not claiming to be perfect. I’m sure I’ve made my share of political blunders over the years. I’ve said and done things that were less than the high standard I like to hold myself to. I know I’ve been a bad example at times, but it’s not an excuse. We have so many important issues facing our country like terrorism, killing babies, crime, jobs, and—I could keep going. Conservatives have a lot of the answers, but if we continue to allow people in our circles to shout out these hateful and idiotic things, all it will do is undermine the cause of Liberty.