With traditional pragmatic conservatism politically ascendant throughout much of the western world, many liberals are growing curious as to who we conservatives are? Many liberals suspected we didn’t exist, that we had become extinct. Now that they realise that their views are becoming increasingly fossilised, they have gone from curious inquiry to making wild assumptions. Here are just some of the stereotypes that I’ve encountered along with an explanation of reality.
Conservatives are philistines
Is that why I’m a classically trained musician? Is that why I could (perhaps still can) play not only in a classical setting but in a rock, jazz, and improvised setting? Is that why my favourite pastime activity is listening to music? Is it why I write articles about Abstract Expressionism and its relationship to Socialist Realism?
Conservatives have just as much an interest in the arts as anyone else. What is sad is that much of the arts community has been colonised by a hard, preachy liberalism that ironically stifles free expression. Whether one finds a particular chord on a piano pleasant or the particular hue of a painting moving, does not have a causal relationship to ideology.
Of course, cultural Marxists like Theodor Adorno attempted to assign ideology to everything in the arts. His particular motivation was a desperate attempt to quash the democratisation of music listening, made possible with the advent of recorded sound. Luckily he and his comrades failed. If one looked at my record collection I doubt anyone could determine whether I was a Communist, Liberal, Conservative or apolitical.
Conservatives are stupid
I could say the same for liberals as I believe liberalism as an ideology is deeply stupid, but there are many highly intelligent liberals. One’s political beliefs are predicated on many things: philosophical enquiry, past experiences, one’s background, but not education.
Interestingly, like the arts, academia has a disproportional amount of liberals in the ranks, but actually less so than in the arts. That being said, I’ve never felt academia is an accurate barometer by which to measure intellect. I prefer to see whether one knows crucial facts and if they can come up with a clever analysis. Nothing more and nothing less.
Conservatives are overly religious
Actually many Conservatives are not religious. Some are outright atheists. Most simply don’t make a song and dance about it as it is only in places like Saudi Arabia and Qatar where atheists face persecution. This cannot be said for Russia, former Soviet states, the west or places like China which remains a Communist state.
Conservatives hate free expression
Not at all. As victims of liberal censorship in political debates, we are all too aware of the problems associated with censorship. Instead, many of us simply think that vulgarity and smut should be kept out of the public sphere as it corrodes public morale and can poison young minds. That being said many conservatives are free speech absolutists, just as many liberals are. I respect free speech absolutism, but I am not part of that branch of the club.
Conservatives look a certain way
It is true that many conservatives wouldn’t walk down the street looking like a transvestite with a bull-ring in the nose and a flowerpot chained to one’s mouth, but there is no uniform. Conservatives who deliberately dress in a certain antiquated manner actually do the rest of us a disservice because it feeds on the pejorative liberal stereotype of conservatives as being stuck in the past.
I personally have no sentimental feelings about the past. But, to quote Barry Goldwater, “We must, and we shall, return to proven ways– not because they are old, but because they are true”.
Change for the sake of change is something liberals are somewhat addicted to. Saying that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, isn’t called nostalgia, it is called pragmatism.
Conservatives don’t have any fun
I can think of nothing more fun than mocking people like John Kerry, Jen ‘can’t answer a question’ Psaki, Samantha Power the most ironically named woman in history, Barack Drone’Bomba and the rest. So liberals – be careful, the next time you’re at a bar, the laughing man next to you may just be a Trump fan or like me – a top secret, covert Putin agent.
Conservatives are intolerant
Intolerant of criminality, intolerant of the vile and the disgusting and wicked, yes. Apart from that, most conservatives couldn’t care less.
So there you have it. We’re generally a harmless lot. Most of us don’t want to invade other countries. We respect other cultures and wish others to do the same to ours, whatever the culture might be. This is the essence of conservatism, not a lifestyle or belief but a way of looking at life.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.