There are a number of reasons why many young people shy away from conservatism.
The most obvious is that they have been exposed only to leftist values — from elementary to high school, in movies, on television , on social media, and now even Disneyland.
Less obvious, but equally significant, is that they were never adequately exposed to conservative values. Since at least World War II, most parents who had conservative values either didn’t think they had to teach them to their children, or simply didn’t know how to do it.
Most still don’t know. If asked for conservative values, most conservatives will have a blank.
In light of this, I present here, and in subsequent columns, a list of defining characteristics of conservatism.
We’ll start with the most important conservative value, freedom.
Conservatives believe in individual freedom. (There is no freedom other than individual freedom.) This was the primary value of the American experiment. While many countries have included the word “freedom” in their mottos and national anthems, no country has emphasized freedom as much as the US.
This is why:
- The French designers of the Statue of Liberty gave the statue to the USA.
- The iconic symbol of the USA is the Liberty Bell.
- The only inscription on the Liberty Bell is a verse about freedom from Leviticus: “And thou shalt proclaim liberty through the land to all its inhabitants.”
- Americans praise their country as the “land of the free men” and the “sweet land of freedom”.
- There are even Little did all US school children know by heart Patrick Henry’s cry, “Give me freedom or death!”
- Chinese youth who opposed to the communist takeover of Hong Kong they carried the US flag.
And that is why the founders of the United States of America were adamant about the state — the national government — to be so small ueno and limited as possible. The bigger the government, the less freedom. Big government and big liberty are mutually exclusive.
Furthermore, liberty is not the only victim of big government. Human life is also a victim. Every genocide of the 20th century, the century of genocides, was committed by big government. Without big government, 100 millions of people would not and could not have been murdered, and a billion would not and could not have been enslaved. (There was one exception: the Hutu genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda, which was tribal in nature. Tribal culture, like the leftist, emphasizes the group over the individual.)
To limit size and the power of national government, the Founders delegated most governmental powers to the states. They did this in the Constitution by specifying the powers of the national government and stating that all others were delegated to the states.
In addition, they increased the power of the states by making presidential elections to be decided by the states. — the Electoral College — instead of the popular vote, and the way they structured the Senate, one of the two branches of Congress. They gave each state equal representation in the Senate, no matter how small its population.
The left’s opposition to the Electoral College and the Senate makes perfect sense. It is the power inherent in big government, not freedom, that animates the left. The defining characteristic of every leftist party and movement in the world has always been a larger and therefore more powerful government.
Freedom is both a liberal and a conservative value, but it has never been a value leftist. Freedom cannot be a leftist value because the more freedom individuals have, the less power the government has. On the other hand, the weaker the state, the weaker the left.
This is especially true for the greatest of all freedoms, namely: freedom of expression.
Freedom of expression is a fundamental conservative value, and has been a fundamental liberal value. But it was never a leftist value. Therefore, wherever the left dominates — government, media, universities — it ends dissent.
The reason is simple: No leftist movement can survive a free exchange of ideas. Leftist ideologies are based on power and emotion, not reason and morality. So leftists cannot afford honest debate. They do not argue with opponents; they suppress them.
For the first time in US history, freedom of expression is seriously threatened. In fact, it has already been seriously reduced. With the rise of the left, the inevitable suppression of free speech is taking place.
May liberals — who have always valued freedom, including freedom of speech — vote for their great suppressor, the left, it is the tragedy of our time. The reason for this is that they have forgotten what it is they stand for. They only remember what they believe to be against, namely conservatives.
So the next time a liberal or leftist friend or relative asks you what conservatives stand for, say “freedom”. , especially that of expression. And explain that this is why you fear and oppose big government: because big government and individual freedom cannot coexist.