Read the Bills Act Coalition

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Contemporary Conservative Redux

Reposted from column written by Jody L. Wilcox 10/27/2007

After the events of 9/11 and the war declared on terrorism, I took a long look at my conservative values and put them under the microscope to analyze if they held up to other conservative icons (or the traditional conservative model) or if my upbringing, my age (I’m 38) and my generation (GENX) has affected my world view regarding politics, economics, religion and personal relationships. The answers surprised me and caused me to rename my earlier “catch-all” blog to this more focused blog and to name GenX Conservatives, this site as well myself, The Contemporary Conservative.

Con•tem•po•rar•y Pronunciation Key - [kuh n-tem-puh-rer-ee] Pronunciation Key - adjective, noun, plural -rar•ies.

1. Existing, occurring, or living at the same time; belonging to the same time: Newton's discovery of the calculus was contemporary with that of Leibniz.
2. of the present time; modern


1. A political or theological orientation advocating the preservation of the best in society and opposing radical changes
2. A political philosophy or attitude emphasizing respect for traditional institutions, distrust of government activism, and opposition to sudden change in the established order.

What is a contemporary conservative?

This is a question that each one of us should ask ourselves each morning in this ever changing world that seems to be quickly spiraling out of control.

Whether you call us new conservatives, Rush/Reagan babies, South Park conservatives, conservative Libertarians, clones, open-minded conservatives or something less nice, the new conservative movement for people aged 25-43 is on the rise and will be evident in the next three election cycles (yes I have my crystal ball out and ready.) As we move to a more pure and real conservative mindset in this country that is not based on party affiliation or past perceptions of what is to be “a Conservative" we will again see a rise the conservative movemtnt in the United States. The contemporary conservative is a person born post baby boom that grew up with various liberal ideas thrust upon them as stated fact in the media, public schools, government policy and the like as the previous “left leaning” baby boom generation began to take power from their more conservative parents. The contemporary conservative also grew to adulthood during one of the most prosperous and dynamic periods in US history the 1980’s. Politics, worldview business outlooks, end of the cold war and changing family dynamics of the 1980’s and early 1990’s taught a very different lesson to GENX’ers than to previous generations about success, love, relationships, values, expressing views and facilitating change. The counter balance to the liberal slant being taught through our institutions was the Reagan administration (and by continuation the George H.W. Bush administration) which I would argue was the most influential conservative voice(s) of the last 60 years (apologies to William F. Buckley Jr., Rush Limbaugh or Glen Beck) and a beacon of America’s hope for the free world. When Reagan facilitated the collapse of the cold war and the end to the Soviet Union (and Berlin wall) it was as much a victory for conservative thought as that of President Reagan, United States, Germany or those behind the Iron curtain. This was also the era where the genesis of internet, information super highway giving you instant data at the click of you fingertips, fast paced news gathering, cell phone and a general pace increase of life which the contemporary conservative has taken full advantage of to explain in less lofty terms what conservatism actually is and how it gives every citizen of the U.S. (and the world) a change to forge a path to a better life free from an intrusive government and the dictates of a modern day caste system that prevent a person to rise above their circumstance and achieve the American dream.

The contemporary conservative didn’t necessarily grow up with the conservative mindset, but came to it through the study and observation of the "perceived" and real hypocrisy that is the liberal mindset and thus turned to more long reaching ideas for change. We observed the "radicals" of the 60’s and 70’s that sold out their naive ideals to make a yuppie profit in the 80’s (when those liberal leaders realized that socialistic programs don't work for long-term sustainability) leaving those that followed them needy, dependent and worse off then before they ideas were implemented. The liberal paradigm shifted again when these affluent hippies started to have to make a living on their own when they left the safe confines of college, communes or the support of their parents. These ex-hippie yuppies began to work, in the very system that they once saw as evil, to be productive members of the country they lived in yet despised since they had to work for what they wanted instead of just having it given to them as their birthright. The yuppie obviously started to resent their need to actually participate in the free market to put a roof over their heads and food in their family’s stomachs and thus the genesis of the rich resenting hypocritical liberal was born...a person working against the very system they partake in due to their belief that they are above and an exception from the very system they look to implement. No current liberal that is fostering socialistic ideas on the national level would actually participate in those ideas themselves: Congress has opted out of national healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid. Can you imagine Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi ever living in public assisted housing, trying to make ends meet with a Welfare check. Because these politician’s see themselves, above it all, looking down on those that they claim to help but must secretly despise since they never try to lift them out of the situation but just give them enough to survive they create a class of people dependent on the government and what they give them. Creating dependents is not they way to run a free country; fostering and giving everyone the tools to succeed and prosper is the way to run a country.

The Contemporary Conservative is skeptical by nature and rejects short sighted, easy “feel good” policies that only serve to boost the egos of those who propose them and not help those people in need for the long term. We contemporary conservatives tend to be pragmatic educated thinkers that see that “common-sense” approaches inherent in the principles of lower-taxes, managed spending, strong defense, securing the borders, strong local government are the most efficient ways to achieve what every American wants, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. We do not think that it is the job of the Federal government is to take care of each citizen from cradle to grave…we are self reliant and expect others to be so as well. With that being said, most contemporary conservatives understand that we should help those less fortunate and are not against programs that accomplish this in an effective way. Through acts of kindness, efficiently run government programs, and donations to non-profit groups that help those around us, we can assist those less fortunate but only if it gives them a hand up and not a hand out. The “Absolutes” in today’s society and strict ideological rhetoric don’t always work and can hinder progress in solving the issues we all face. We, the contemporary conservative, believe the important work is to ensure that the solution implemented is fair, cost efficient and not duplicated else where no matter where it comes from.

We are first and foremost fiscal conservatives and all political ideology stems from this believe. Although we may be of a particular faith this may not be the driving force in our political viewpoints though God is always in our hearts, minds and souls.

The contemporary conservative understands that every program the government enacts is funded by our tax dollars and that the government should be more careful stewards of our money since they are representing their constituents with every vote they cast. Contemporary conservatives view themselves as conservatives in the everlasting tradition of the Founding Fathers who put forth a set of political ideas, republicanisms, which all groups, even today’s extreme liberals, have made use of and not other more confusing terms as libertarian, right-wing, Republican or paleoconservatism.

I believe that the contemporary conservative is not inherently linked to any one political party (although I can’t fathom ever voting for any of the current crop of democrat politician) but to a philosophy that fosters the self reliant strength needed to be successful in life and is summed up so eloquently by Edmund Burke ...“[I]t is to the property of the citizen, and not to the demands of the creditor of the state, that the first and original faith of civil society is pledged. The claim of the citizen is prior in time, paramount in title, superior in equity. The fortunes of individuals, whether possessed by acquisition or by descent or in virtue of a participation in the goods of some community, were no part of the creditor's security, expressed or implied... [T]he public, whether represented by a monarch or by a senate, can pledge nothing but the public estate; and it can have no public estate except in what it derives from a just and proportioned imposition upon the citizens at large”

Finally, we contemporary conservatives will forge a new path for true social change that will have lasting impacts for ALL citizens that will be free from having to dole out favors, support and government programs to garner support for those ideas. The Government that relies on only giving enough to keep certain segments of the population dependent on them for their very survival (welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, government run healthcare) for support, will only have that support until those segments realize that the government is actually preventing them from reaching their true potential. Once a person becomes self aware of their own worth, they will they will strive to break the shackles that bind them to an endless cycle of dependence on someone or something beyond their control. The Contemporary Conservative will also not easily buy in and in most case refute the myths we were taught like: that the 1960’s was a great (if not the greatest) decade for social change in the U.S. (not true, social change should be the USA’s middle name and most socially and fiscally liberal ideas enacted during that time directly caused the recession of the late 70’s), that all corporations are run by lying, cheating, money hungry crooks (most are honest, that the free enterprise system only help a few select individuals, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer (the average income has risen for all Americans, that unions help workers, evolution is a fact (it’s a theory), that global warming is caused by humans and not just part of a natural cycle of warming and cooling, that teachers are under paid, that the press only reports the facts, and that the government can tell us how best to live our lives (when in fact they work for us) Any other myths you can think of? These myths and many more will be refuted, debated in a civil manner and put to rest on this blog The Contemporary Conservative and in my personal political activities.


Jody L. Wilcox


Anonymous said...

Jody- we do not have enough "conservatism" on our Board of Supervisors here in CC frankly. We sit with two so-called independents that are basocally Democrats who sought office in a traditionally pro-Republican area by using the (I) label. This worked particularly well for Mr. Gecker who did not even face Democrat opposition in his race against Donald Sowder.

We need young contemporary conservative minds in CC sitting of the BOCS. I would hope we would see that after all your efforts with the CCRC that your name end up on a ballot very soon.

How about 2011? Your in the Mataoca district right? And Alter of Freedom is in Midlothian.

Jody L. Wilcox said...

Thank's for the compliment and I do agree with your assessment(not about me but about the current state)...unfortunately there is more to running for office than just conviction....2011 is a way off so we'll have to see.....Alter should definately run(as I have suggested on his blog several times.)just to shake things up a bit.