Conservatism in the modern day

Christian Chase, Herald Contributor

I like to say that if more people truly understood what it means to be a conservative, they would align more with it than they’d imagine. In today’s world, misinformation and a lack of understanding has unfortunately led to conservatives getting a bad reputation. The true values of conservatism are pretty simple: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, national security and sovereignty, and the inherent value that every person is given the right of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. I believe each person has each of these rights and freedoms which should be protected above all else. 

Unfortunately in today’s society, conservative values are not known or understood, mainly because they are suppressed in education systems and demonized by those who disagree. While I know many disagree — and they have the right to do so — it is a disservice to close students’ minds to other ways of thinking simply because of personal opinions. Yet, this is what is happening on college campuses everywhere, which has caused a mass generation of closed-minded students that rarely hear different opinions, and cannot tolerate a different one when they hear it. Right here lies a stark difference; while I disagree with many things my counterparts on the other side of the aisle believe, I openly welcome the conversation and I would fight like hell for their right to say it. This is what needs to change in society. It is okay to have different opinions, in fact, it is a really great thing. If everyone thought the same, we would never come up with innovative solutions to problems and life would be more boring, in general. There is strange rhetoric now, that if one disagrees with someone, the other person is wrong. This may be the most dangerous thing we face in today’s world, as very few people agree about everything. 
What we need to do is stop being quick to judge those we disagree with and work to understand where their beliefs originate from; there is much we can learn from each other. I have been a conservative for many years for these reasons. I value opportunity and freedom, and believe the best way for someone to succeed in life is to give them an opportunity and the skill set to succeed. I value what others say, and I value their right to say it more. I believe individuals know how to best live their lives and spend their money, and that government has overgrown its boundaries by an uncomfortable amount. I value that anyone can come to this country (legally) and have opportunities that simply do not exist elsewhere in the world. I value an economic system which has stood the test of time and has the unique ability to bring someone from utter poverty to wealth and prosperity. And above all else, I value the men and women who risk their lives everyday and make unbelievable sacrifices to protect this country, these values and every single American.

Regardless of opinion or party, we are all citizens of this country, we all have ideas and values and we all have the right to liberty and prosperity. That is why I am a conservative and these are the values I subscribe too.