Defining Conservative
Let's Get Honest About Intent

It is intriguing to me how we use words in the world of politics that are divisive or negative, but some wear that term as a badge of honor.  For example, the word conservative.  I want to be clear; I am not talking about the use of the word in reference to investing in stocks or how doctors treat diseases.  The term, conservative, is not about how people dress or decorate their homes.  I am only using the word conservative from a political or social movement perspective.  In the Oxford Dictionary, the word conservative means: "averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values."

Name one social movement that conservatives started.  While you are thinking, here are some social movements that conservatives were "averse(d) to change or innovation and (held) traditional values." This is a brief history of America. 

  • Lack of religious freedom.  The Puritans came to America to create a pure religious community devoid of the beliefs in England.  When Rev. Roger Williams, who was a Puritan, wanted religious freedom for all, he was kicked out of Massachusetts Bay Colony due to the liberal notion that God loved all people.  Interestingly, Williams was an abolitionist also.  Interestingly, conservatives want to restrict Muslims from coming to America or maintaining their particular view of Christianity over everyone.
  • Slavery, segregation, and treatment of blacks and other minorities.  America has had slaves starting in Jamestown, VA in 1619.  After nearly two and a half centuries of slavery in America, we fought a Civil War to end slavery.  The North won the war and lost the peace.  The so-called peace is better known as a time of segregation and Jim Crow laws. During the next century and a half, blacks were killed due to being black.  In 2015, nearly 800 blacks were killed by police.  Protest movements like Black Lives Matter is not a conservative group.
  • Sexism, voting rights for women, employment equality, and control of their bodies.  As with racism, sexism has been around long before whites came to America from Europe.  However, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, which contains this racist and sexist sentence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...."  In fact, that sentence addresses both racism and sexism.  Blacks were not people, and women weren't mentioned.  It should be noted that Jefferson had issues with race and sex, and yet he could have sex with his slave, Sally Hemmings.  Women got the right to vote in a national election less than a century ago, and they are still attempting to control their own bodies without males telling them.  Birth control is a conservative, male-dominated issue, along with the rest of sexism.  The first bill that Obama got passed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.  Women were being paid on average 75% less than men for the same job and experience.  New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Denmark/Iceland, Canada, Russia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Germany, Republic of Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Great Britain, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Belarus, Netherlands, and Sweden gave women the right to vote before America.  In 1920, the women in Albania and the States got the right to vote.
  • Social Security.  As with women's right to vote, America was not a leader in setting up funding for issues surrounding social security.  For example, Germany had their system in place in 1889. This is a partial list and dates of other countries that had a system in place prior to the US: Belgium in 1900, France 1905 voluntary and mandatory in 1928, Australia in 1908, Great Britain in 1911, Luxembourg in 1911/1931, USSR in 1922, Serbia in 1922, and Chile 1924. It wasn't until August 14, 1935 that FDR signed the Society Security Act.  Again, conservatives fought against it and are still attempting to stop it. 
  • Environmental issues and global warning.  Again, the conservatives were not the leaders on any of these issues in America.  Recently, there was a Speaker of the House who said, "Listen, I'm not qualified to debate the science over climate change."  Apparently, he was not qualified to be a leader either.  In truth, he could not even lead the conservatives in Congress, which was his reason for resigning.
  • Dissing of LGBT.  Homophobia runs parallel to the issues of racism and sexism.  However, conservatives are against any issue addressing equality dealing with sexual orientation.  Period.
  • Healthcare reform.  The United States was the very last western country to get universal healthcare.  I was in graduate school in Edinburgh, Scotland in the late 60s and insured by National Health Program in Britain. 

America is not on the cutting-edge of social movements when compared to all of the Western world and many other countries across the globe.  We have been behind the rest of the West on nearly all social issues or movements.  In some cases, like healthcare reform, we were a century late.  Interestingly, Norway started universal healthcare in 1912.  However, Teddy Roosevelt attempted to get universal healthcare in the same year and failed, due to conservatives.   However, in 2014, 32-million Americans who were without healthcare insurance were covered thanks to Obama, who is not a conservative.


The archetype of conservative

The Donald is a conservative who said, "I like thinking big.  If you're going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big."  Perhaps the leader and the followers need to think...first.  You are entitled to your beliefs.  However, be honest.  Don't hide behind the term, conservative.  That term reflects one's thoughts on a long list of social issues like racism, sexism, social security, environment, homophobia, healthcare, and many more. 

However, there is another term, liberal.

Donald the Dumb

Donald the Dumb

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Forrest Gump Film Poster

Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

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