First of all, I would like to thank all the members of RedState for proposing answers to what I believe to be very interesting questions concerning this year’s Republican primary. They were all very helpful and insightful.
In that same post, I mentioned that I am 19 years old. The fact that I am both (relatively) young and a conservative seemed to inspire many of you and provide some renewed hope in the future of our country. Not too long after my diary was published, another conservative (18 years old) wrote about how the Republican Party abandoned him by selecting Trump as the nominee. It was encouraging and inspiring to see another young conservative who understands the disaster in nominating Donald Trump, and, consequently, placing him in the position of standard-bearer for the party.
There is no doubt that conservatism is under attack. We are now faced with two presidential nominees who have, throughout their careers and campaigns, demonstrated that they are not morally qualified for the presidency, even from a secular standpoint. Hillary Clinton would essentially equate to a third term of Barack Obama’s presidency, with the added threat of nominating multiple liberal Supreme Court justices. Donald Trump’s presidency would likely be one of megalomaniacal authoritarianism driven by his unprecedentedly-large ego. As it stand right now, I believe there is no lesser of two evils.
Despite this, I do believe there is reason for hope in the future of America. While conservative voters around the age of 20 are no doubt outnumbered by their liberal counterparts, I believe the young conservative base holds an advantage in many areas. Here are some of the thoughts I have been pondering in the recent weeks:
1. Conservatism is simply more logically tenable than liberalism. Liberalism is, at its very core, an appeal to emotion. It is based on the false premise that human beings are essentially benevolent by nature, and on the erroneous assumption that a perfect society can be created on this earth. There is much more to say on this topic, but I will summarize it here: young conservatives are likely to hold onto their beliefs due to the fact that their belief is grounded strongly in logically coherent philosophy.
2. Young conservatives tend to have a strong moral foundation. Many of them, myself included, have a solid faith founded in Christ Jesus and the Scriptures. There are Christian liberals, but they don’t constitute as much of the liberal voting bloc. Conservative Christians recognize that the Bible has a lot to say about society, human nature, and the rule of law. As much as liberals would love to separate anything remotely religious from the political realm, the founders strongly believed that Judeo-Christian morality and faith were crucial in the governing of this nation.
3. Young conservatives are typically more able to articulate their beliefs than their liberal peers. This has a lot to do with numbers 1 and 2. When a position has more logic backing it up, it’s and easier case to make. In my own personal experience, I have seen young conservatives around me excel at expressing why they believe the things they believe. I have seen young liberals attempt the same, but many of them lack the ability to express the core philosophies behind their opinions. Again, this is just my personal experience. It may not be the case everywhere else.
4. People tend to pay attention when young conservatives share their thoughts. The likelihood of your average 20-year-old college student being a liberal is about the same odds that Donald Trump will say something stupid on the news today. People don’t expect young people to be conservative. Many people, when they do encounter young conservatives, write them off as simply being brainwashed by their conservative parents. However, when young conservatives are able to clearly and intelligently express their beliefs, people take notice. People don’t pay nearly as much attention to “old white conservative guys on TV” as they do to young people who passionately believe that conservative principles are the solution to our country’s problems.
Despite the obvious strengths of young conservatives, the deck is stacked against them. They face a news media that is vocally opposed to conservatism and its proponents. Most forms of media, such as television, movies, music, etc. are all steeped in liberal beliefs and activism. Colleges and universities are largely populated with professors who have taken up the mantle of espousing liberal beliefs and condemning those of conservatism. More and more of these colleges are caving in to “social justice warriors” who seek to eradicate conservative thought and dialogue from their campuses in the name of “protecting people from hearing political beliefs contrary to their own that might, God forbid, require them to think critically about what they really believe.”
We live in a culture that increasingly props up the philosophies of the left. That may never change. But there’s no excuse for not fighting it. We have a strong set of principles and beliefs that motivate us to change our nation for the better. Young conservatives like Benji Backer and myself passionately believe in conservative principles – the same principles that this nation was founded upon, and the same principles that must be restored to the forefront of our nation’s consciousness.
John Adams, one of the great founders of this nation, succinctly stated, “Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people.” It is our duty and obligation as constitutional conservatives to communicate knowledge and truth to those around us, lest we lose that liberty forever.
If you’re interested, you can check out my theology blog at veritasmanet.com