You might be a conservative

I was asked the other day what the term conservatism means. I thought of the philosophical, theological, and political definitions I have read, and although they were all erudite descriptions, none of them seemed to be very practical. None fit the bill in describing a conservative—the person—and how to detect one.

With all due respect to Jeff Foxworthy, here are some clues:

• If you think individual actions have consequences and you must take responsibility for those actions, you might be a conservative.

• If you think states are a better place to resolve many issues rather than having the federal government make those decisions, you might be a conservative.

• If you think being more than $15 trillion in debt—much of it to China—is a bad idea, you might be a conservative.

• If you think not doing much about it other than watch the debt get bigger is an even worse idea, you might be a conservative.

• If you are sick of being called a racist\bigot\homophobe\misogynist because you disagree with some other people’s political views, you might be a conservative.

• If you think money spent in support of adoption is a far better option that paying for abortions, you might be a conservative.

• If you think having winners and losers rather than giving everybody a “participation trophy” teaches a good lesson about life, you might be a conservative.

• If you think people wishing to immigrate to the United States ought to do it in accordance with laws, you might be a conservative.

• If you are tired of being called a radical Christian because you believe in God and practice your religion, you might be a conservative.

• If you think “cutting the budget” should mean much more than just reducing proposals for future spending, you might be a conservative.

• If you believe that respect for the office of the president is denigrated by appearances on every comedy program and late-night talk show on television, you might be a conservative.

• If you believe that disintegration of the family leads directly to increased moral, social, economic, and educational problems, you might be a conservative.

• If you think that the same people who created the political ad showing grandma in a wheelchair being pushed over the cliff and then rant against “attack ads” is a bit hypocritical, you might be a conservative.

• If you think speaking and understanding English is crucial for a full, active participation in American life, you might be a conservative.

• If you wonder why everybody complains about the problem of repaying huge student loans but nobody questions why tuition rates are so high in the first place, you might be a conservative.

• If you would rather listen to candidates explaining their positions rather than name-calling pundits telling you what you should think, you might be a conservative.

• If you think it shouldn’t be too much of a burden to show who you are before exercising your right and privilege to vote, you might be a conservative.

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, I hope it helps in understanding where many conservatives come from. Oh, one more — if you have a sneaky suspicion there are more of you out there than there appears to be, you might be a conservative.

 

— John Bagladi is a retired federal contractor. He writes from Shannondale.

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One Response to You might be a conservative

  1. I would like to post a reply to Mr Bagladi’s column. My approach does not seek to criticize your personal views on the world, but show an alternative viewpoint.
    • If you think individual actions have consequences and you must take responsibility for those actions, you might be a conservative.
    Well duh, everyone shares those views, why are conservatives claiming this admirable trait as their own?
    • If you think states are a better place to resolve many issues rather than having the federal government make those decisions, you might be a conservative.
    For example, Slave states?
    • If you think being more than $15 trillion in debt—much of it to China—is a bad idea, you might be a conservative.
    If you think the national deficit is only important when there is a Democratic President, I agree, you may be a conservative. If you think Bush & Co. didn’t blow up the deficit with 2 unpaid for wars and tax breaks for the rich, you might be a conservative. If you believe China is to blame, you are an idiot, not just a conservative.

    • If you think not doing much about it other than watch the debt get bigger is an even worse idea, you might be a conservative.
    Please see above, only a concern when there is a sitting Democratic President. If the Republicans gain power, you’ll hear no more talk of deficits.
    • If you are sick of being called a racist\bigot\homophobe\misogynist because you disagree with some other people’s political views, you might be a conservative.
    If you are sick of hatred directed at elected Democratic Presidents with outrageous bogus claims of citizenship, religious affiliation, then you might be a decent human being.
    • If you think money spent in support of adoption is a far better option that paying for abortions, you might be a conservative.
    If you are against abortions, then do not have one. If you believe in small government and individual liberties, as conservatives claim loudly all the time, why are you invading a woman’s privacy to tell her what to do with her own body?
    • If you think having winners and losers rather than giving everybody a “participation trophy” teaches a good lesson about life, you might be a conservative.
    Wow, agree! Any dope can agree on that one!
    • If you think people wishing to immigrate to the United States ought to do it in accordance with laws, you might be a conservative.
    If you hire illegal immigrants to do your manual labor or other undesirable work, you have no credibility.

    • If you are tired of being called a radical Christian because you believe in God and practice your religion, you might be a conservative.
    If you act like a radical Christian, you might be accused of being one. I see no connection between mean-spirited social policy of the “conservatives” and the teachings of Jesus Christ. Was Jesus a conservative? I think not.

    • If you think “cutting the budget” should mean much more than just reducing proposals for future spending, you might be a conservative.
    Agree, and that is the basis for the Romney/Paul ticket. All talk, no specifics.

    • If you believe that respect for the office of the president is denigrated by appearances on every comedy program and late-night talk show on television, you might be a conservative.
    Define “every”. If you believe that the President (not the office) has a warm personality and connects with people, you might be a decent human being. If you like robots with no personality, you might be a conservative.
    • If you believe that disintegration of the family leads directly to increased moral, social, economic, and educational problems, you might be a conservative.
    Do conservatives never get divorced?
    • If you think that the same people who created the political ad showing grandma in a wheelchair being pushed over the cliff and then rant against “attack ads” is a bit hypocritical, you might be a conservative.
    Conservatives in the form of the Republican Party, invented, defined and refined attack ads. If you think Republicans never make nasty attack ads, then you may be a conservative.
    • If you think speaking and understanding English is crucial for a full, active participation in American life, you might be a conservative.
    Agree – is Redneck English allowed though?
    • If you wonder why everybody complains about the problem of repaying huge student loans but nobody questions why tuition rates are so high in the first place, you might be a conservative.
    This seems to be filler to take up space in this column and has no apparent political connection.
    • If you would rather listen to candidates explaining their positions rather than name-calling pundits telling you what you should think, you might be a conservative.

    Agree! And furthermore, would rather listen to articulated policies proposed rather than tear down the last 4 years of hard work, digging out the mess the Conservatives left this country in. So far, have not heard any specific policies, just vague promises from conservatives. Conservatives would have you believe that they are for small government (what is that exactly?), no government it seems. Then when they get into power they blow up the deficit, give their rich friends tax breaks and generally drive the car into the ditch based on discredited academic theories of economics. They get goobers to vote for them, then abandon any promises they made for the middle class. Pundits on FAUX News and Rush tell conservatives what to think.
    This is called giving the keys to the henhouse to the Fox (no pun intended to FAUX News).

    • If you think it shouldn’t be too much of a burden to show who you are before exercising your right and privilege to vote, you might be a conservative.
    If you think there is voter fraud every election, you are not very bright. There isn’t any. If you believe making it difficult for less-fortunate people who cannot travel, are old, etc but are entitled to vote, then you are a mean spirited conservative who is of the same ilk as the Pennsylvanian politician who quoted “voter id law, done to get Romney elected – CHECK”
    You may be a conservative but there is no place in that definition for considerate, decent human beings.

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