I Am a Conservative; I Am an American

The sun rises above the U.S. Capitol building in Washington on Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

I am a conservative. I’m staunchly pro-life, pro-1A, pro-2A, (pro-Constitution as a whole), pro-liberty, pro-freedom, pro-democracy, pro-republic, pro-federalism. I believe in a strong defense and an America First foreign policy. I am pro-LEO and pro-military. I am also pro-equality under the law and pro-criminal justice reform. I am a former liberal who still has normal, civil conversations with my liberal family and friends. I don’t hate people whose views differ from mine. I try not to hate at all. I am a child of God and cling to that and to this:


“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

–Matthew 22:37-39

I love this country. I love its founding, its founding documents, its spirit. I love it in spite of its flaws and believe in working within the established framework to constantly improve it. Which doesn’t mean that I don’t support rattling that framework when called for. I just don’t support tearing it down. Nor blowing it up.

I am fully aware that politicians and elected officials are flawed human beings — as flawed as any of us. They are susceptible to corruption and cowardice and failure of vision. We elect them to lead and some of them rise to it and many of them don’t. Which is why the fact that we hold regular elections is such a beautiful, integral part of all of this. WE get to choose. WE get to chart our course.

It should go without saying but we’ve apparently crossed the Rubicon, fallen down the rabbit hole, and entered the Twilight Zone at this point, so I’ll spell it out: Those elections we regularly hold? They need to be free and fair and non-fraudulent. And any indication that they are not needs to be thoroughly investigated and addressed and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

I am not happy with the outcome of the most recent presidential election (nor the Senate run-off in Georgia.) This shouldn’t come as a shock to longtime readers but I did not support Donald Trump’s candidacy in 2016. I had serious misgivings about him. And yet, when the results came in on Election Night and he was declared the winner, I felt unexpectedly…relieved. I definitely hadn’t relished the idea of a Hillary Clinton presidency. Something happened over the past four years that surprised me a bit: Trump won me over — not with his personality or bedside manner, but with his results. I’m not here to relitigate his candidacy or his presidency but he earned my vote this time around and I gave it to him — full-well knowing that this wouldn’t sit well with many whom I love. But my vote is my vote and I gave it to the candidate who, despite his well-documented flaws, had implemented policies and achieved results most of which I agreed with and appreciated — despite being faced by intolerable headwinds. And I do mean intolerable.


The behavior of those who opposed Trump’s presidency at every turn, particularly those who justified their own bad behavior, hypocrisy — and even lawbreaking — with an ends-justify-the-means mentality, has been reprehensible. Similarly, the behavior of those who rioted (and I mean rioted, not marched peacefully) in the streets this year, who inflicted violence and mayhem on their neighbors and their communities — reprehensible. And that goes for the jackwads who stormed the Capitol today, too. Regardless of whatever they thought (or claimed) their agenda to be: No.

And while I’m scorning, I’ve got plenty for our “leaders” who’ve abdicated their sworn duty in favor of playing partisan Parcheesi and our “news” media and punditry who’ve utterly jettisoned the notion of journalistic integrity. And don’t even get me started on our tech overlords. Very few people of prominence have covered themselves in glory of late. Then again, neither exactly have we, the people. There’s blame to be shared and perhaps what we’re seeing is the end or near-end of a long-overdue reckoning.

I generally try not to be so fatalistic, or nihilistic, or pessimistic. Eeyore is not my spirit animal. It’s tough to keep him at bay in times like this, however.

There’s a reason why I generally prefer to write on sunnier topics — more than one reason, actually. First and foremost, my hope is to, in my own small way, put some positivity out into the universe; give people a reason to smile and maybe have some hope — it’s not much, but it’s something. But, to be totally honest, another reason is that it’s not all that controversial. It’s less likely to draw ire or criticism and (I’m going to let you in on a little secret) I don’t much like being the object of ire or criticism.


The result of that is that I often avoid “speaking freely” — here and even on social media. Some of that’s just tact, I suppose, but some of it is cowardice. Not that anyone is necessarily clamoring to know my opinion on much of anything. But I have this platform and people do read what I write, and the ugliness of today has compelled me to write on it, so I thought I should probably shoot you straight about who I am and what I believe in the process, lest there be any confusion:

I voted for Donald Trump in November and am disappointed in the outcome of that race. Just saying that is liable to earn me criticism and hate from some quarters, even from some who once called me friend — regardless of what they know (or should know) of me, my life, or my heart. I am also disappointed in his leadership since then, including today. Just saying that is liable to earn me criticism and hate from other quarters, even from some who once called me friend — regardless of what they know (or should know) of me, my life, or my heart. It’s a damned if you do and damned if you don’t sort of thing but I put my faith in a loving Savior, not a popularity contest. And frankly, I’m over apologizing for who I am and what I believe. So…so be it. (And amen!)

I fully support legal election challenges and a full investigation into colorable claims of fraud or inaccurate vote counts. The entire process should be transparent and subjected to serious scrutiny. I would like to see our state legislatures closely examine their voting laws and procedures and implement changes that will shore up the integrity of our elections going forward so that I — so that all of us — can trust that they are free and fair. We can’t keep careening from election to election like a bunch of brawling, drunken sailors. We can’t allow those elections to be corrupted and co-opted. Nor can we resort to violence and mayhem when we don’t agree with the outcome of those elections. What happened today was horrible and wretched and will leave an ugly stain on our country for years to come. And anyone who participated in the violence and destruction deserves to be unreservedly condemned — and prosecuted. I may be sympathetic to your frustration but once you cross that line, you’ve lost me.


I am a conservative. I (usually) vote Republican. I am an American and my heart breaks for my country right now.


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