Conservatives vs Libs: It’s About More Than Politics

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A common mistake made by those who don’t spend their days worrying about philosophy, politics, or the direction of the country is in assuming Republican and conservative are synonyms. This is far from the case, though the two often go hand in hand. While there have been Republican politicians who have furthered the conservative cause, there have also been those who haven’t. Hell, there have been many who would easily pass as Democrats, and there are always those who follow no philosophy other than the one that gets them elected or the one that fills their bank account.

No, the disagreement between conservatives and liberals goes well beyond whatever political issue happens to occupy the spotlight at any given time. We would do well to remember that occasionally; politics has a tendency to take on the hallmarks of a sporting event where voters take sides based on team colors. You see Democrats excoriate a Bush before turning around to praise an Obama for the same damn thing. And it happens the other way around, too.

It’s human nature; people want to get behind the guy they think is on their side. But it’s important for real conservatives to closely examine every issue to make sure that their elected representatives are working from the right playbook. To make sure this latest bill or this recent speech actually falls in line with conservative philosophy and isn’t just a ploy to cater to one lobbyist or another.

Conservatism Beyond The Voting Booth

To me, conservatism is about more than picking out names on a ballot. It’s a way of life. It’s a guiding philosophy that can be applied to every aspect of home life, family life, work life, and any other kind of life you can imagine. It doesn’t begin and end with your opinion on Obamacare. It doesn’t stop with your opposition to abortion or gay marriage. It is a celebration of individual merit, bravery, and the lessons of history. It is called conservatism not because it’s stuck in the past but because it rejects the notion of throwing away 5,000 years of collected wisdom in favor of whatever new, shiny idea comes along. It uses the lessons of the past and applies them to the issues of the present. When tested in its truest forms, it has never been found wanting.

As far as any of us know for certain, this is the only life we’ll ever have. It saddens me to see people buy into a philosophy that leaves their destiny for others to decide. Slavery is the darkest stain in our nation’s history, but there are millions of Americans who are scarcely better off than they would have been in chains. Dependent on the government, unable to believe in their own massive potential, they live and they die without ever testing their limits. That, to me, is the greatest sin of liberalism; instead of preaching dreams and hard work, it preaches victimhood and failure. If you want to waste your one life, living in the greatest country ever conceived, bestowed with more liberty than humans have ever had, blaming societal injustices for your station, have at it. I just happen to think there’s a better way.