RUZIECKI: Modern conservatives should follow 3 rules
Opinions Column: Conscience of a Co-Ed
Throughout my studies and personal endeavors, I have come to learn a lot about America. I have learned valuable lessons about how I believe this country operates best, and the functions that are desirable for the effective preservation of this great republic. Throughout the country’s history, there have been people dedicated to the preservation of these ideals that I speak of, and there have been many that have been dedicated to their downfall. These set of ideals, also known as conservatism, are responsible for making this country great, and why it has continued to be great to this very day. I consider myself to be a conservative with some libertarian-leaning tendencies, which has put me at odds with some members of the Republican Party. As my favorite sitting Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) recently described himself, “I’m sorta an independent conservative who caucuses with Republicans.” Jonah Goldberg, a writer for National Review, described himself as being, “A conservative (and by default) a Republican.” I believe that conservatives should follow in the molds of these men, or run a great risk to the tainting of conservatism. This is one of three lessons that I would like to share for my fellow conservatives.
First, I would like to discuss the pertinence of my first lesson. Do not let party identity fool you. I can not stress the importance of this, especially in the present era of President Donald J. Trump. As I have stated multiple times before, we are at a serious risk of Trump converting conservatism into his own personal views. Many Republicans have been very quick to back his agenda, putting conservatism at serious risk for perversion. Many people assume that just because someone is a Republican, they are a conservative. They are very wrong on this assumption. Take Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), for example. He has stated in the past that he was a conservative. A governor that has raised taxes, criticizes businesses and backs "Trumpism" at every term, is a moderate at best. Many Republicans have referred to themselves as conservatives, but have consistently failed to stand up for conservative beliefs. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is a great example of this. He was consistently viewed as a conservative firebrand, and, has followed a more moderate path to appease Republicans. Putting party above principles will lead us down a dangerous path, and one that will be hard to return from.
Secondly, in the era of “Fake News,” and "Trumpism," it seems hard to find someone who is willing to talk about conservatism in an honest and informative way. Be careful of who you admire. In the past, I have written about Tomi Lahren, and how she is a terrible voice for conservatism, and only schills for Trump. Lahren, who has recently been suspended from The Blaze for presumably spewing contradictory views on abortion, has never been a champion for conservatism. It is very easy to be fooled by “conservative” commentators, but the presidency of Trump has made it very easy to spot the frauds. While a basic understanding of conservative ideals is necessary, I’d like to offer another tip in spotting fake conservatives. Any commentator who defends everything that Trump does is not a conservative. It is that simple. Many things the president has done or said are indefensible, and no one should be wasting their breath defending them. Beware of the moderates, know your stuff and please for the love of God, do not listen to Sean Hannity.
Lastly, and perhaps most important, many conservatives are afraid to talk about their views in fear of irrational responses from leftists. Keep spreading the word of conservatism, and do your best to promote civil discourse. Most leftists, and even many on the right, do not go about their arguing in a civil way. Tomi Lahren is an example of this. I mention Tomi and no one else, because I find her to be one of the biggest threats to conservatism for millennials, and want to attempt and debunk her before she can do any serious damage. Anyway, we need to find a way to argue in a way that avoids character attacks, unnecessary yelling and irrational claims. If you’re arguing with somebody who calls you a racist for not agreeing with former President Barack Obama, just walk away. They are not worth your time if they cannot argue facts, and that should serve as a lesson to them as well. For those on the fence about conservatism, teach them the greatness of it. As former President Ronald Reagan said in his Farewell Address, “If your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ‘em know, and nail ‘em on it.”
Louis Ruziecki is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in political science with a minor in history. His column, “Conscience of a Co-Ed,” runs on alternate Wednesdays.
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