Why “The Conservative One”?

The start of any writing endeavor requires a fair bit of thought. For me, I wanted to start with a name that had meaning behind it. I thought for too long and then forced myself in a couple seconds to write down the first thing that popped into my mind, The Conservative One.

Why ‘The Conservative One’? I wasn’t sure at first. However, the more I thought about it, the more it began to make sense. Over the years, I’d always been the most politically informed among all my friends. I do have friends that are interested in politics but they aren’t conservative by any measure. In my circle of friends that I have had over the years, I was always referred to as the ‘conservative one’. Everyone knew that I was conservative because I’d interject conservative thought whenever I could. They’d just tolerate me briefly, let me say my peace, and move onto the next stupid topic.

Ironically, I was a much more liberal thinker (if you want to call it that) before starting my graduate studies in business. My economics professor, who also happened to be a pastor, helped me understand the basic principles of economics and how the implementation of free-market economics is the best vehicle for bringing the largest amount of people out of poverty. This class gripped me to the point where I couldn’t stop reading books about it. Then I started diving into books about the makeup of government, the Constitution, American history, and even philosophy and theology. By the time my MBA was completed, I was a hardcore conservative.

Throughout my MBA, I’d become passionate about theology, Christian apologetics, and philosophy through a number of different conversations I had with non-believers and hundreds of books I read to prepare for better dialogue. I enrolled in a Masters of Biblical Studies program shortly after graduating with an MBA. After two years of graduate level education in Biblical studies, I further understood the basis for my conservative Christian worldview.

After roughly nine years of constantly studying topics related to business, politics, and theology, I found little interest in talking about sports. I was ‘the conservative one’. The downside to being the ‘conservative one’ is that you’re constantly told that you shouldn’t talk about politics and religion. I disagree with that sentiment. I feel that since this arbitrary rule was mystically enacted, people have forgotten how to discuss these topics with grace and civility.

As the ‘conservative one’, I’m happy to voice my opinion anytime with anyone about anything. I am informed enough about these issues where I don’t have to resort to hostility when I feel uncomfortable. I encourage you, the reader, to be ‘the conservative one’ in your group of friends and family. Read books, watch lectures, talk to people who agree and disagree, be gracious and kind in discussion yet firm and assertive when necessary. The Lord tells us to “love our enemies as ourselves.” That is tremendously difficult but we would be no better than the fools who slander our names over a mere disagreement. Anyone can be ‘the conservative one’, not just me.

Are Leftists Champions of Tolerance?

People of all political backgrounds find that polarization is exhausting and stressful. The Pew Research Center found, “more than one-third of social media users are worn out by the amount of political content they encounter, and more than half describe their online interactions with those they disagree with politically as stressful and frustrating”

I entirely agree. It’s exhausting. I’ve had my fair share of political discussions (a charitable way of phrasing it) that result in a fruitless outcome. You end up asking yourself, why the hell did I participate in this discussion at all? Is all this ideological division affecting the way we interact with each other personally? An interesting survey conducted by Dartmouth suggested that these political divisions have been socially adverse for students. As it turns out, leftists aren’t nearly the champions of tolerance they claim to be. In the survey,

“… undergraduates were asked if learning that another student had political beliefs opposite from their own would affect a range of possible interactions with them. Forty-two percent of respondents said that knowing this would make them less likely to befriend them, while 54 percent said it would make no difference. More than two-thirds of student respondents (70 percent) said they would be less likely to consider dating someone with opposite political beliefs from themselves. About a third (30 percent) said learning someone had opposite political beliefs would make them less likely to trust the person. The influence of personal politics does not permeate academics as much; only 19 percent of respondents said they would be less likely to study with someone with opposing political views, and for “working on class projects with them” it was 18 percent. Overall percentages like these mask sizable partisan differences — Democrats were consistently more likely to indicate conflicting politics negatively affect potential relationships. While 82 percent of respondents who identified Democrats say they would be less likely to date someone with opposing political beliefs, only 47 percent of Independents and 42 percent of Republicans said the same. Similarly, 55 percent of Democratic respondents said opposite political views would make them less likely to befriend another student, compared to 21 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.”

Republicans were roughly twice as tolerant when it came to dating and befriending individuals of opposing political viewpoints. That’s a revealing takeaway. On a more anecdotal level, Will Witt of PragerU interviewed Democrats about their willingness to befriend Republicans followed by interviewing Republicans about their willingness to befriend Democrats. Sadly, these interviews reinforced the findings of the survey conducted at Dartmouth. Political intolerance is virtually one-sided and is largely rooted in leftist ideology.

When conservative commentators, such as Ben Shapiro, have to enter universities with a safety team so that he may safely deliver his lecture, leftists should begin to question the message they’re promoting. If they want to appear tolerant, they shouldn’t affirm the tactics of Antifa, Black Lives Matter, some segments of the mainstream media (MSM), LGBT activists, etc… when they weaponize their resources to ruin the lives of those that disagree with them.

I could go on ad infinitum with examples of how conservatives have been treated uncharitably in our modern culture by leftist activists. Voicing conservative opinions are unpopular, even among conservatives sometimes, because they grind against the accepted cultural norm. Nobody wants to publicly affiliate themselves with conservative thought for fear of blowback from friends and family. That is how we know tolerance is not a trademark of the left. They’re championing conformity, not tolerance.