Back when I identified ideologically somewhere on the spectrum of Conservatism, more specifically Libertarianism, I believed the following eight items to be true:
1. Darwinism as an excuse for why welfare is bull.
2. Defense of racism through statistics.
3. Why isn't there a "Straight Pride?" Or a "White History Month?"
4. Gay people need to tone it down.
5. Hard work equals wealth.
6. People without health insurance or a degree are lazy.
7. The flag and anthem get unconditional respect.
8. My opinion on LGBT, racial and sexist topics mean more.
Now, let me debunk my own past tense beliefs...
1. Defending the removal of social programs through Darwinism
Survival of the Fittest might honestly be the keystone of conservative logic. The idea that Darwinism is "every man for himself" is bullshit though. I was told that the weak dying off was good for the human race and that if they can't keep up, it's their own fault. It's defended by looking at nature. Update: nature doesn't have a system of currency or economics. There aren't billionaire mice making living tough for snakes. Darwinism is survival of the species by natural selection, not the survival of the richest animal in the forest. If all the poor people died off, the rich would have to go run the machines themselves; and they SOOOO don't want to do that.
2. It's not racist - it's evolution and statistics
This is still a major part of people's defense of a black man taking a bullet when he was unarmed. I followed pages and had friends that told me, "Well blacks commit a lot of crime. So they're going to get shot." They would point to the statistics of black crime, but don't want to have the discussion on why black communities are so often poor despite being in large cities. When faced with more research on what's leading to the continued oppression of black citizens and theier economic troubles, I stopped being a scumbag. Although I resisted this reality for awhile; not wanting to think I was wrong and the liberals were right.
3. Why isn't there a "Straight Pride?" Or a "White History Month?"
Forgetting that as a white man with European ancestors, I ignored St. Patrick's Day, the 4th of July, Colmbus Day and the fact that my Christian ancestors pretty much gave me 1-3 weeks of holiday in December. My logic was that since I didn't have the exact opposites of the things that black people and the LGBT community had, I was somehow oppressed or they were getting special treatment. They're not.
4. If gays weren't so flamboyant and in your face, there would be less criticism
Funny how the same group of people that scream freedom want others to tone it down because it makes them uneasy and they think they're icky. Much of homophobia doesn't come from the bullshit "religion" part of their brain, but the sheer fact that people who think gay is weird or wrong simply didn't grow up around homosexuals and have resisted contact with anyone who isn't like them. As a conservative, I lived in a bubble; and I liked it that way. Once I left that bubble, I'd drape myself in rainbows and vote blue.
5. If I work hard, I'll eventually become rich
Biggest myth ever perpetuated onto the American people. Unless you're working hard outside your hourly/salary job on investing what savings you have or coming up with some million dollar idea, you will die with a chunk of savings and a MAYBE a car you bought brand new. Without a degree, you're pretty much fucked. There's tens of thousands of laborers in this country that will leave their kids with just enough to bury them after breaking their backs for decades. Even worse, we blame them for not "working harder" to gain this nonexistent wealth.
6. If you don't have the things needed for a good job and to not fall into debt, you just aren't working hard enough
Whenever someone says they can't afford health insurance, they're told to work more to pay for it. Whenever someone says they can't afford a car, they're told to work more to pay for it. Whenever some says they can't afford college, they're told to work more to pay for it. Not even including the cost to raise a child, god forbid they have one. Apparently it takes 2 full-time 40hr jobs, school/study time and 2 roommates to survive in America. When you only debate these issues as 1-issue topics and don't look at how difficult it really is to grow up without advantage, it's wicked easy to stay Republican. People are asking for permission to use the bathroom at 17 and then the next year they're being told it's college, military or McDonald's. The United States is well aware of this, and that's why people choose military so often. While not a terrible option, understand that the US has chosen to leverage people's lives over being broke for the rest of your life.
Being broke is a part of so many families lives. People that are born into a family that can't afford to send them to college hit a wall at 18. Not getting a degree puts them in a position where minimum or slightly above minimum are their options. That barely affords you housing. Then you're told you need to buy a car, insurance for that car and insurance for yourself in case you get sick. If you don't, you're just lazy. I don't think I have to tell you that $8x40(4) doesn't go very far after rent and groceries. There are plenty of lazy people, but blaming them for a country that has tailored the economy to turn them into servants clinging to survival is a wicked dick move; and just bad math.
7. If you don't respect the flag and the anthem, you don't respect America and freedom
This phony patriotism is hollow and I loved it. I was dead sold on the idea that the anthem is for freedom and the flag is for the military. While it's fine to cheer on your country and makes sense to respect and honor the military, the flag is not military-exclusive. Also, it's pretty hypocritical to cheer on America while ignoring that freedoms that exist for some don't exist for all. I was more worried about flag ethics than I was if my fellow Americans were taken care of and had opportunities. I would've been PISSED at an NFL player not standing for the anthem; but I also ignored that sometimes this country treats it's own unfairly and that some people don't have as much pride in a piece of cloth as I do. Even if they're making millions, they can still be effected by what either themselves, or people they are connected to, are going through.
8. Being a straight white male, I'm being objective instead of emotional
Straight white men, this included myself, love to play the role of devil's advocate under this idea that we're somehow more informed and more connected because we see it from the outside. Biggest crock of shit I ever bought. It wasn't until I began living around and with others that I saw just how differently people are treated based on sex, race and lifestyle. Worse yet, my position was always, 100% dismissive. This bullshit is still majorly ingrained in society. It's crazy watching people try to tell others that their experiences are false and claiming America's problems are simply made-up or self-inflicted.
While these beliefs and opinions are certainly not held by every conservative, and conservatives aren't necessarily always Republican, this is what I grew up believing, was taught and was attracted to while calling myself a Libertarian. I read my old posts and have to delete them in some attempt to erase the dickhead I was. Anyone that told me different "just didn't get it". Again, it's unfair to paint every Republican and conservative with this brush, but it's not unfair to see this type of behavior still very much alive in the right-wing rhetoric.
I'm not pumped having grown up such a scumbag, but as someone who did, I'm glad I know better now and can be an advocate for a country that progresses and benefits all of its citizens.
Editor's Note: This column was originally posted to Dan Paswell's Facebook page. It was edited and republished by 990WBOB with permission from the author.
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