Opinion: What Are Conservatives Conserving And Progressives Progressing In?
If you were to ask what was the difference between Democrats and Republicans you would get a very simple answer. Republicans wanted smaller government but were for “necessary wars,” while the Democratic Party was a party considered to be anti-war and desired bigger government to regulate the United States of America. It was as simple as that, but over time, the Democratic party and Republican party narrative have evolved into something unrecognizable in 2019. What once was Republican vs. Democrat has now transitioned into conservatives vs. progressives. But, what does that mean in today’s society?
To figure that out, we need to understand the fundamental differences of both.
Conservatives believe in limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong National Defense. They believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals.
Progressivism is the support of social reform – a philosophy based on the ideas of progress – which asserts that advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization that are vital to the improvement of the human condition. Both sound like a great idea and both probably started from a good heart, but just like most ideas, they have been tainted and corrupted over the years from its foundation.
Conservatism has been labeled to go hand-in-hand with Christianity due to America’s foundation built on Christian principles that many believed to be parallel to “traditional American values” (which we will get to in another article). Progressivism has been labeled to go hand-in-hand with agnosticism – a view that the existence of God, of the Divine or the supernatural – is unknown or unknowable because of how science investigates the natural world, while religion deals with the supernatural and spiritual world.
A more uncomplicated way to summarize the differences is that conservatives are for cultural continuity and progressives are for cultural flexibility – which involves itself into sex roles, religion, political philosophy and economics.
Once again, what have conservatives conserved and what have progressives progressed in?
Let’s take a look at the conservative poster hero, Ronald Reagan. A man considered to be conservatives’ greatest president to have lived, yet passed laws that stripped gun owners of their rights. As governor of California, he signed the Mumford Act of 1967 that outlawed open carry of loaded firearms. As president, he signed the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act, which closed the NFA registration of full-auto firearms. In 1994, he also supported and urged Congress to pass the assault weapons ban.
I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for the defense of a home.-Ronald Reagan
What was Ronald Reagan conserving? Not the Constitution, as these laws walked all over the rights of the American people and the Second Amendment. How can we call ourselves conservatives if we can’t even conserve gender separation in our bathrooms and the United States has deforested over 751,255,000 acres of land with over ten million acres of timber harvested each year?
What are we conserving?
Next is progressivism. One of the presidents during the Progressive Era, Woodrow Wilson, was a notoriously-known racist with quotes such as:
The white man was roused by a mere instinct of self-preservation… until at last there had sprung into existence a great Klu Klux Klan a veritable Empire of the South, to protect the Southern Country.-Woodrow Wilson
The hero of progressivism also segregated many federal agencies and screened the first movie ever played at the White House, a racist film called “The Birth of a Nation” originally entitled “The Clansman.”
- 12192 in Syria
- 12095 in Iraq
- 1037 in Afghanistan
- 4096 in Libya
- 35 in Yemen
- 14 in Somalia
- 3 in Pakistan
Also, the national debt increased under Obama. Obama added $8.335 trillion to the public debt – more than any modern president – and in 2001, the public debt was 54 percent of GDP. By 2009, it increased to 77 percent.
What was Woodrow Wilson or Barack Obama progressing in? Not economic development or social organization to improve the human condition. How can we call ourselves progressives who are for science when we manufacture multiple genders, destroying reality for fantasy, and our democratic leaders are cheering for violence towards the opposition. Additionally, we have seen Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer dance because they believed President Trump was going to go to war with Iran.
To be honest, the only thing we are conserving is our ego, and the only thing we are progressing towards is a civil war if we don’t make a change and make it soon.