Conservatives are wrong to think slow and steady always helps
By Matthew Fraser, Opinions Editor
At what point does ideology cross over into dogma? At what point does one’s adherence to a good idea become oppressive to others? And in some cases, when does one’s adherence to their belief system become detrimental to the wellbeing of others by way of negligence? What is often called “right wing” or “conservativism” brushes against these questions (at least from my outsider perspective) all too frequently. There are days when what is clearly well meaning from the people inside the ideology is interpreted as disregard or even apathy by those outside of it (Exhibit A: “Thoughts and Prayers”). Still, it cannot be denied that there is a lot of goodness or even righteousness in conservative prudence and austerity; mated to these benefits however, is a slow and seeping slide away from the difficult path that change uses to lead us to prosperity.
It is clear by just about any metric that we are living in a better era now than ever before; whether we consider access to education, global wealth disparity, mortality rates, or life expectancy, we are doing better now than ever before. Yet, we still live in the era of “Make America Great Again.” What always seems to lie in the conservative mind is an hour or a day of yore when the world was better than now. Some of today’s conservatives look to the days of yore when homosexuals were closeted, and the family meant Adam and Eve. This long held belief in the perfect past leads to a simple line of thinking regarding change: do it so slowly, I’ll be dead before it happens, or kill it with fire.
A study conducted by More in Common showed that conservatives on average have a better understanding of liberal policies, ideas, and goals than liberals do of conservatives. However, in a strange twist of fate, some conservatives have coupled an incredibly clear-headed analyses of their opponent’s desires with a mind-numbing ability to apply wrong and frequently incoherent stereotypes to their opponent’s motives. As someone who has read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, some conservative explanations for liberal motives look like a caricature of Rand’s antagonists. People too lazy to work and all too happy steal from the hardworking, degenerate knuckle-draggers whose sole goal in life is to oppose those who wish to make better for themselves and the world around them.
Granted, the progressive insistence on taking from the rich because all wealth is ill begotten certainly forwards these impressions, but it’s not the mindset of all.
There are times when caution and slow change are necessary and even with that in mind, there are times when no change is the best bet. Still, those ardently argue that climate change is not real or that God sends down sickness and typhoon to punish us for allowing gay sex are too opposed to change for the benefit of us all. And when one’s beliefs are so closely held that they permit expelling family for their transgressions, we must question the importance of those views. Don’t be fooled though, the left is far from perfect and they will be the topic of next week’s rant.