I have always been conservative; it’s not that I grew up in an overly conservative house, I just think it is my default state. I am not overly religious, I respect religion, I respect the conviction of religious followers, however my conservatism is not derived from faith. Nor is it derived from my public school education, the media I consume, the city I live in. It can’t be pegged on books I have read, radio I have listened to, nor can it be contributed to an early indoctrination. Nope. Like I said, conservatism to me is my default state. I subscribe to logic, I apply that logic equally and judiciously to come to my conclusions. The same thought process I use to determine which toilet paper to buy, is the same thought process I use to decide how much of my pay check to put in my 401k, and both decisions share a stream of logic that is equally applied to my theories of social policy and which politicians I respect and which ones I despise.
Conservatism is my default state. Arriving at this state involved no affirmative actions, no teachings, no coercion, nothing like that; I did not seek it out, it did not find me, it has always been there. When I was a child, like most children, I had a sense of what was fair and what was not, and like most children I did not take “because I said so” as an acceptable answer. I guess unlike some, I never grew out of that. I am twenty six years old, and with every passing year the novelty of my conservatism wears a bit. As a teenager at family parties when the discussion turned decidedly political (as it tends to do), people much older than myself would marvel at my world view and appreciate how someone so young, despite the odds, could see the world with such realism.
I think it is that default nature of conservatism that makes “intellectuals” scoff. Unlike them, I did not have to seek my world view, I did not have to work at it, mine is not borne of academia, rather that of common sense, and there is nothing merely “common” about an intellectual. Their view is superior to mine because theirs is man-made, and man must triumph over nature. Their views have been bridled by wise men, men who in turn have made them wise; theories that have withstood the vigorous of hypotheticals and postulates; awards have been won, medals have been handed out, books written, and editorials penned. My views are not dazzling, perhaps they are even quite mundane; there is nothing particularly exciting about being personally responsible or spending only that which I have (and even being logical can sometimes get in my way, just ask my fiancee). However, I have never been a prude, I am not politically correct, nor do I take myself too seriously. I can watch the Daily Show and laugh or sit through a late night monologue without changing the channel (unless it’s David Letterman). In college, by day, I could be drafting a paper on the downfalls of affirmative action or the illogical position of abortion, and by night I could be organizing a keg race, or scouring the town procuring ping pong balls (all in the hopes of attracting the attention of the opposite sex, of which most would turn a concerning eye toward my Bush ‘04 campaign sign hanging on my wall).
Up until this point in my life I have always looked at liberalism as an illogical curiosity. An oft misplaced yet goodnatured philosophy that inevitably goes awry in Rube Goldbergian fashion. However, today I view it with scorn, before it was little threat, I never imagined the possibilities of my freedoms being so affronted, I never imagined group think en masse; now on the verge of insanity, our government has been overrun with nonsensical philosophy, and this time with the distinct possibility of it showing up on my doorstep; the pendulum has surely swung, and while I wait for Newton’s Third Law to firmly take effect, I can only sit here and make my voice heard, and vow to engage as many as I can in a serious conversation about our future.
I hope someone is listening.