Things are changing.
The distinction between “left” and “far left” is getting more and more muddied. Center-left liberals may turn their noses up at hardline leftist activism, but they’ll go along with it and defend it with their last breath. Conversely, most true conservatives abhor the sort of “activism” espoused by the far right, and condemn extremism. However, the left has taken control of this dialogue of extremes, and has all but eliminated any practical distinction between conservatism and right wing extremism. As a result, there’s been a lot of chatter about conservatives believing this and advocating that and enthusiastically participating in the screwing-over of women, children, minorities, the disadvantaged, the infirm, the oppressed, the wretched, and the disenfranchised.
I’m not bringing it up because I’m particularly bothered by it, but because I’m afraid that our leadership is content to let the left define our own agenda. Our illustrious representatives address the constant vicious attacks in passing, but no one really seems to have the guts to really stand up for conservatism not only as an ideal but as a movement. Maybe it’s because they’re chicken, or maybe it’s because the majority of them have abandoned ship in favor of nice-guy politics; but either way, something needs to change. Embracing the status quo will mean the destruction of conservatism as a legitimate movement. We’re already in trouble in the eyes of the public at large; people hear “conservative” and they immediately think “racist, gay-hating, bible-beating warmongerers WITH GUNS! For God's sake, LOCK THE DOORS!”
I’m sure the problem at hand is obvious: this does not define, in any way, conservatism. The fact that people associate people like us with ideologies like that is conclusive proof of the pervasive nature of “progressive” thought—it’s hitting people from all sides, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. We can only hope to counter the barrage with our own solid talking points. What I’ve done here is provide a brief, three-dimensional look at some hot-button issues in order to encourage constructive dialogue. I can guarantee not everyone will agree with what I’ve said, but one of the beautiful things about being a conservative is not caring at all about the opinions of others.
The Liberal* Perspective: GUNS WILL KILL YOUR CHILDREN!
The Right Wing Extremist Perspective: I may or may not kill someone with this gun…and that is exhilarating to me.
Amy’s Conservative Perspective: See the Second Amendment. Furthermore, I could kill you just as easily with this knife/baseball bat/Bic pen/my thumb (come closer and I’ll show you.) So, seriously…shut up. If you’re afraid of guns, then stay away from them for everyone’s safety; but keep your hands off of mine!
The Liberal Perspective: We will rebuild communities…or else.
The RWE Perspective: Burn it down, and use the land for a training camp.
Amy’s Conservative Perspective: I don’t hate black people. Or Mexican people. Or people of Asian descent. I’m even alright with the Europeans. I think helping out struggling communities is okay, and that after-school programs are worthy of everyone’s support. What I DO hate, however, are race-hustlers who do nothing but look for fights. I’m all for helping out struggling families and at-risk children, but please, stop making it all about race. I don’t feel bad about being a white kid from the sticks, and I never will. Nothing you can do will change that. So please, let me volunteer and support the charities of my choice in peace. I want to help, but I sure as hell am not going to give my time and energy to an organization that is happy to accuse me of racism just because of the color of my skin. (I’m looking at you, ACORN.)
The Liberal Perspective: Would it be in poor taste to print coupons for this?
The RWE Perspective: Would it be in poor taste to shoot doctors over this?
Amy’s Conservative Perspective: Imagine the most disgusting, the most abhorrent, the most horrifying crime one could commit—the willful, intentional murder of a child. Now, imagine that a very large group of your peers has decided that murdering a child is acceptable if the child’s death would somehow add a measure of convenience, safety, or happiness to the life of his mother. That’s how the majority of conservatives feel about abortion. It’s not about privacy or sexual liberation or anyone’s “right” to have control over her body. It’s got nothing to do with politics, or ideological dogma. It does, however, have everything to do with that tiny person living inside someone’s uterus.
The Liberal Perspective: Save the whales, to hell with the people!
The RWE Perspective: BURN THE EARTH!
Amy’s Conservative Perspective: This one is difficult, because I’d like nothing more than to torpedo the boat the “Whale Wars” idiots float around on, then head back to shore and spray a can of Aqua Net into the air while burning a precious redwood and drinking bottled water (FOREVER in a landfill. FOREVER, people ) out of pure spite.
Okay, snark OFF.
But seriously. Common sense, people. Should we do our best to take care of dear Mother Earth? Of course we should! But enacting regulations to save the planet at the expense of the people living on it is asinine. Life is not an extended version of The Giving Tree; I firmly believe God blessed us with life on this planet, and intends us to use its resources to their full potential. We’re not going to hurt the Earth’s feelings if we drill for oil, use non-sulfate-free shampoo, or neglect to find a recycle bin for that plastic bottle (THE HORROR.)
My advice? Respect the Earth, but don’t be afraid to use it. Take care of the animals, but don’t be afraid to use them for food, or to defend yourself, your family, or your property against them. Clean up after yourself, and remember that you’re not the only one trying to survive here.
Oh, and one more thing. Al Gore is full of crap.
The Liberal Perspective: WHARGARBL!!!!111!!!!1!!!11!!!!!1!
The RWE Perspective: ~points gun at the liberals, waits calmly for a reason~
Amy’s Conservative Perspective: No one should have to live in fear because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, affiliation with the military (yep, I said it), or any non-pervasive lifestyle choice. We’ve seen some horrific hate crimes; nobody is arguing that. But when it comes down to it, when a crime has been committed, it has been committed against a PERSON. Bringing race, etc. into the mix muddies the waters. It causes people to look for specific reasons for hate when none exist, and makes racists out of people who committed crimes against minorities without considering the protected status of their victim.
The Liberal Perspective: It’s free, except that it’s not! See how simple our plan is?
The RWE Perspective: When I’m finished with ‘em, they won’t need a doctor.
Amy’s Conservative Perspective: I do not advocate allowing someone to lie dying in their bed because they cannot afford to pay a doctor. I do not have a problem with hospitals treating trauma patients who could never in a million years pay for the care they will die without. I do not think it is okay to stand by while another human being is suffering and in pain. When it comes to looking out for people, I consider it tax dollars well-spent. However (I say “however” a lot…it drives my liberal friends CRAZY) I do not, in any way, advocate taxing the life out of more fortunate citizens so that the less-fortunate can milk the system for preventative care and “wellness” promotion. You know what I do to promote health and “wellness” in my life? I take care of my body. What a concept! Exercising and eating right can do wonders for a person.
I know what you’re going to say. “But Amy, some people have MAJOR health problems! Like cancer! Are you going to give those people an apple and send them on their way, you hateful fascist drone?????” No, I do not wish to send cancer patients on their way. This issue for me is tricky, and I don’t claim to have all the answers; but what I do know is that it is 100% out of line to force hardworking American citizens to foot the bill for universal coverage via some sort of “public plan."
The Liberal Perspective: Iran has some good ideas! And besides, those nuclear power plants are part of an emerging energy program.
The RWE Perspective: NUKE EVERYONE but us. Right now. I’ll push the button.
Amy’s Conservative Perspective: This one is really the mother load. I did a whole diary about it a while back, and I stand by what I said. I think that America is the greatest country on the planet, and I’d give my life to defend her. I don’t take that responsibility lightly; I’ve seen what happens in places where people don’t defend themselves and their ideals, and I’d rather die than live like that. I think that democracy and capitalism are good, and that if we’re not careful Socialism will take over and destroy this country. I don’t advocate sending in the Marines every time there’s an uprising in a foreign county, but I do think it’s okay to intervene when situations spiral out of control and threaten the security of this great country. I think President Obama is wrong every time he panders to foreign leaders who hold no respect for him, and that it is dangerous to screw around with people who actively sponsor the destruction of other countries. (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, you have been called out.) American exceptionalism has nothing to do with being “better” than others on a personal level; it only means that we believe that what we’re doing as a country is good, and that we want other countries to apply the lessons we’ve learned to what they’re trying to do.
I have been accused many times of being part of the “fringe.” According to some, I’m one episode of the "Glenn Beck Program" away from donning a swastika and marching on the NAACP headquarters. What I have learned is that people who say these kinds of things do not understand what it means to exist on the extreme fringe of any ideology. Those who truly exist on the fringe seek to achieve their ends through hurt, fear, and destruction. Right wing extremists seek to divide through violence, terror, and racial, “religious” (careful, now) and ideological tyranny. The far-left claims to achieve equality, but ends up creating social and political divides through guilt, theft (income redistribution, anyone?) and ideological capitulation.
Here’s what I know: today’s liberals confuse honest efforts for improvement with a desire for power and control. When they look at true conservatives, they confuse differences of opinion with hostile power grabs, and prudence of thought with laziness and ambivalence. They confuse our concern over their drastic policies with hatred, and an insatiable desire to marginalize and impugn.
(Of course, this is not true of any person who actually cleaves to rational conservative doctrine, but it’s so much easier to assume than to get the facts. But then again, if most liberals did indeed take the time to get the facts, they would not be liberals at all.)
Today’s liberals deny the fact that “fringe” liberals are in charge of many of the institutions they put their faith in; they claim that the liberals I speak of are not part of the majority, but part of the fringe. Let me just say, for all the token liberal trolls out there: if you say that what I believe to be the liberal majority is in fact the liberal fringe, then your fringe is pretty mainstream.
I am not calling for a frenzied power-grab by the men and women currently attempting to represent conservatives in this country. To be perfectly honest, we’re not ready for that. In order for something like that to work, the people in charge must be prepared to defend and be proud of conservatism. They must be prepared to defend conservative people, and not be afraid to stand up for the conservative constituency. It will take a lot of work. We’re going to have to stop doing stupid things like helping Nancy Pelosi ram through irresponsible legislation, or throwing wayward governors under the bus just as the left sinks its teeth into a delicious scandal.
The fact that sites like this exist and flourish is proof that the conservative population at large is ready for its own brand of change (and hope…don’t forget the hope.) The fact that “conservative” leaders beat around the bush and make deals and compromise on the most fundamental issues is proof that the establishment is not yet ready for an overhaul. It’s up to us to facilitate the change we wish to see, and to hold our leaders accountable for their choices and actions. It’s up to us to fiercely counter liberal lies with conservative truths, and to hold ourselves accountable so that conservatism can once again become more than a harried whisper in a room full of booming discourse and broken promises.
*Yes, I realize that not all liberals feel this way. Relax, and learn to recognize snark when you see it.
Crossposted at The Minority Report