The Minority’s Report: A Defense of Conservatism
By Andrew Kaake '14
I am a conservative. Oh yes, it’s that nasty C-word, signaling the presence of a narrow-minded, backwater racist. At least, that’s what I’m told. See, having been a conservative for a while, I think I have a bit better of an idea of what we’re about. So, for the duration of this article, I challenge the reader to see things from a radically different point of view. Will it be comfortable? No, and it honestly shouldn’t be. Having your thoughts and ideas challenged isn’t a comfortable thing. I hope that it will help foster some sort of understanding between the opposite ends of the political spectrum, at least on this campus.

I am a conservative. I am intelligent. No, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, there are many conservatives who reason out their viewpoints with impeccable logic. I will admit that not all conservatives are logical, but I also know that a similar problem afflicts those adhering to a more liberal philosophy. There are bad eggs on both sides. I believe that it is wrong to kill a baby, and that abortion is, by extension, wrong. This is a viewpoint that I can defend with several arguments. I also believe that it’s stupid to burn copies of the Koran.

I am a conservative. I am religious. No, I don’t go crying through the streets that the world and all the people in it are going to Hell. I actually kind of like people … well, most people. My faith does influence my politics. That’s really rather sensible, since it has a profound effect upon my life, too. On the other hand, I’m not intolerant. I’m not bigoted. I’m not a racist. I embrace diversity, and I don’t force my views on people. I do stick to my guns, but I don’t shoot down others because they disagree with me. Not all conservatives believe the same things that I do, either, but we rally around the points on which we agree.

I am a conservative. I am a supporter of freedom. I believe ardently in the minimization of the federal government. The reason that I want lower taxes is because I want less expenditure. Let’s trim the fat off of our defense budget, for starters. I also oppose government-sponsored social justice. Our federal spending has become a socialist sinkhole, which is contrary to the philosophy of the founding fathers — that provision for the weak and poor should be the primary business of the churches. As the federal government steps down, the state and local governments need to step up, and so does the individual. I believe in this democratic republic, where each citizen is allowed to change the entire face of politics, or to simply voice their opinion at the ballot box.

I am a conservative. I am not a stick-in-the-mud. I believe in progress, just not in a progression towards a way of life that is not espoused by our Constitution. I don’t think that either the Constitution or Declaration of Independence is archaic. They are the heartbeat of American law, and we need to return to them. I do, however, believe in advancement. America should be a world leader; we aren’t right now. Instead, we are alternating between world apologizer and world policeman. We are not a bad country or a bad people, but we need to make some hard decisions to rebuild our domestic and foreign policies. I am glad we are pulling out of Iraq; we had no business there. We are too militarily engaged and yet not respected for our might or diplomacy. At home, we must correct the economy. I choose to learn from history so as not to repeat it, and I have no desire to repeat the failed deficit spending of the Great Depression called the New Deal. Also, we don’t need to be taking economics lessons from Europe, but the recent political compromise in the English Parliament should teach us two lessons: First, vastly differing peoples can work together to legislate and lead and second, that the two party system is dead. The two-party system restricts the options of the American voter, represses political speech and leads to partisan gridlock and warfare. Thus, I advocate for third parties, particularly the Libertarian Party, as a way to more broadly represent the views of all United States citizens, both conservative and liberal.

I am, to quote one soundbyte, “slightly right of Genghis Khan.” However, even I hold some fairly liberal views. Keep in mind that while I consider myself to be a fair representative of many conservatives, we are definitely not all the same. I hope that this article catches the reader with an open mind, and that, perhaps, it will change some minds. I look forward to continuing to write articles that represent a different viewpoint, and I will enjoy the authentic political conversations and debates that they will cause; because, let’s face it, the one thing we need most in American politics is conversation between people who disagree.

Issue 03, Submitted 2010-09-22 00:14:50