Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
One of the biggest differences between a conservative and a liberal in America, I have found, is the propensity of those on the Left to concentrate on the negative. A good nation is not determined by its military strength, its population, or its size. Instead, a good nation is one that, on balance, has been a positive influence in the world. There have certainly been missteps along the way, but the good far outweighs those missteps as concerns the United States.
Many of my liberal friends believed it was the end of the world when Trump won the election in 2016. It reminded me of a South Park episode from 2008 when Obama defeated John McCain and all the McCain supporters held up in caves only to emerge and find the sun still shining after their self-imposed exile. How absolutely ignorant these people were and are to this day that they do not have an appreciation for our Constitutional form of government and its checks and balances. Not a single court order has been ignored by the Trump Administration. We have midterm elections to right the perceived wrongs of a previous election. And we re-elect our Presidents peacefully every four years if they so choose.
The detractors- the Left- likes to concentrate on the foibles and missteps of our history. A perfect example is the issue of slavery. Since our founding, it was a contentious issue. But they ignore the fact that slavery was not invented by nor was it intrinsic to America. They point out the “hypocrisy” of a slave owner like Thomas Jefferson in writing the Declaration of Independence while also be a slave owner. They fail to realize that Jefferson’s words were a stepping stone on the way to abolish an ever-weakening institution. Benjamin Franklin argued that independence was the first step towards the abolition of slavery and even helped form one of the first abolitionist societies. After independence, at least six slaveowners who happened to also sign the Declaration freed their slaves.
That is not to say the issue was not still contentious and, in fact, almost derailed the Constitutional convention. In the end, pragmatism- not principle- ruled the day given the circumstances of the time and the threats the fledgling nation faced from without and within. The Left will show their ignorance of history over the three-fifths compromise holding that up as proof that our founders were dehumanizing slaves. Imagine if those slaves were counted as whole people and how the balance of political power would have shifted dramatically to the Southern states where slavery was prevalent. Instead, a bloody Civil War was fought over the issue. Think of civil wars in other countries throughout history. Have any of them been over the abolition of slavery?
And for the greater part of this country’s history, freedom defined this country. It was a country where the lowest of the low can rise to the top and where innovation, invention and the entrepreneur were free to pursue their dreams. That atmosphere was established early in our history by the very people the Left wishes to erase from our history. There were disagreements between the mercantilists and the agrarian South, but the seeds of capitalism were planted and the world is much better for it.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair once stated: “I sometimes think it is a good rule of thumb to ask of a country: are people trying to get in or out of it?” There are many free countries in the world and two of them are our neighbors. But, we do not see too many people beating down the doors at the borders risking life and limb to enter Canada or Mexico.
Capitalist countries do not happen by mistake; they happen by design. When those on the Left decry capitalism and insist on some form of socialism no matter how they gussy it up or point to Europe as an example, they are not necessarily socialist or anti-capitalist. Instead, they are anti-American.
To be sure, this country has had its ups and downs with other nations in the past and present. Our strongest ally is probably Great Britain, a country against which we fought two wars. Likewise, that is the case with Germany, and a bloody war with Japan. This illustrates the inherent goodness of the American system. No nation, bar none, is more altruistic than the United States. We are by the far the largest donor of foreign aid in the world. For all the money put into other countries by our government, about 79% of all aid to foreign countries comes not from Washington, DC, but from private individuals, foundations, corporations and organizations.
The Left in America is akin to religious foreign extremists. They view everything as good or bad, of being black and white rather than seeing the gradations in between. No matter one’s religion, the color of their skin, or their ethnicity, people yearn to be free before they yearn to be “equal.” Oppression is oppression whether coming from a Communist government in Havana or a radical theocracy in Tehran. For those who hold equality above freedom, did they ever realize the stupidity of their belief? It is the minority that holds the power in these totalitarian states. That is equality?
To summarize, a 21st century American conservative realizes they live in the greatest country on earth and that American exceptionalism is a fact. They realize that this country has made mistakes in the past, but that one should not dwell on those mistakes or rewrite history by removing symbols of our past. They realize that the United States is a capitalist country and any attempt to undermine capitalism is anti-American. Most importantly, a 21st century American conservative will always be on the side of freedom since it is a necessary precursor to as close to equal we can get. Equality, on the other hand, if placed ahead of freedom results in the loss of freedoms.