I try my best to never be political on my blog, I do try, some times it creeps into my social media, mainly when I see a lunacy of an action, but writing a blog polarizes more than it ever heals and frankly with how partisan the USA politics have become the hassle of dealing with extreme supporters of the left or right, just isn’t worth it. Sometimes though I cannot be silent, and the Presidential election here in the USA has made it harder to be the silent observer and being a second generation conservative that silence has to be broken. So, for what they are worth here are my thoughts of being a second generation Conservative, a stranger in a strange land.
Second Generation, What?
Yes, you read that right. I identify politically as a conservative, but before you go off on a rant about how could you, after all you write stories about Teddy Bears, you’re an artist, you’re a writer, you’re supposed to be a Liberal, I will offer this explanation.
You see my father is a conservative in the UK, I grew up with conservative values of personal and fiscal responsibility, my home town Melton Mowbray is a huge conservative town. My father also taught me to listen to both sides of the argument, to gather my own opinions and always be your own man. Thankfully I grew up in the UK, so at least I had the mostly unbiased BBC News to fuel my growth.
Many folk are surprised when I say I am a conservative, mainly because my views, seen by some here in the USA would be seen as Liberal. When really, to me. Conservatism has always been about the middle ground, about making things work for the better and never to marginalize, to blame others for failings. To me, being a conservative was about being responsible.
These conservative values don’t seem to translate to the USA version of conservatism, indeed hardened GOP supporters are surprised and angered when I tell them, that the UK Conservative party is more like the Democrats, than the Republicans. This leaves me in an odd politically here in the USA. Let me explain.
I am a UK Conservative, which means…
To my Liberal friends I am a raving bigot.
To my Conservative friends I am a raving liberal.
When really I am about common sense.
In the broad sense I am stuck in the middle, quite literally in my definition of a conservatism.
About three years ago I was doing contract work, my agency asked if I wanted to step into a six-week contract with the Heritage Foundation. I looked them up, saw that they were a conservative think tank, and thought, well… I am a conservative, why not? Over those six weeks I learned more about the Heritage Foundation, what it was really about and I grew sickened. I really should have looked more into them and it remains a black-stain on my employment record which I am not proud of.
You see, I though the Heritage Foundation was, well, about preserving Heritage and promoting American ideals. What I found was an organization that posted dealt with untruths, promoted values that were hollow and the first time ever I found myself in a work place, were I couldn’t actually be me. I spent those six-weeks in a propaganda office for the Alt-Right. Along the way I was tested to see if I was worthy of full-time employment, I failed those ideological tests, because I cared what happened to people, and I cared deeply about the truth.
I was perhaps to naive.
My point of view was simple, both sides do so much crap wrong, why do we need to make anything up? Was this the naked face of conservatism in the USA? To gain power by any means necessary? The USA is a democracy, not over-boiled Game Of Thrones episode. Those that crave power, and will say, and do anything to get it, are to my mind the very folk you don’t want to give power too.
Am I Conservative?
Yes, but not what the USA says is one. I don’t know what I am politically in the USA, my value system doesn’t mesh-up with either party. I believe in common sense, I believe in personal responsibility, in fiscal responsibility, but also to help our fellow-man. Most strongly I believe we will never be free unless everyone is treated equally, only then we will truly become great.
Here Is What Cap Says
It is no secret that I am a huge Captain America Fan, he encompasses the American Dream, what it can be if we lift each other up, instead of putting each other down. It is an ideal we should strive to live for, here is Cap in his own words.
It comes down to this, we have to stand up for what we believe in, our core values and answer to our conscience as we make our way in this world, and from this point forward this is what I have to do.
Don’t Do Nothing
In less than 24 hours we will see the inauguration of a President-Elect Trump, who by his past history alone has shown how wholly unsuited he is to this role, a man who has bullied his way to this office, has deep unsettling ties to a belligerent foreign power, and craves power. No matter how much I hope I am wrong, I fear the USA, the great experiment that it was will come to an end in Trumps hands.
How did this happen? I know the election numbers, that really less than a half of a half voted him into this office, so this half of a half saw something they liked, something they wanted, something in Trump to place him as President. This half of a half can’t all be raving loony racists and bigots, they were regular folk just like you and me. We have to have conversations again, deal with truths and accept opinions, or we are done. If the vote for Trump was to break the status quo, then we all have to be on watch to make sure we don’t slide back into it.
No longer can men of good conscience stand by and do nothing, this Saturday I will be with my daughter at the Woman’s March on Washington, I have never been in demonstration, and joined an act civil outcry in this manner. I don’t know what to expect, I have my fears that this could all go south, but I have my hopes that this march, along with others that will surely follow will show, that power is in our hands to effect change, to improve our lot. To make sure those that govern don’t get away with anything that enriches them and harms us.
To stand up for something that is right, even with the whole world is shouting that you are wrong, there is nothing nobler I can think of doing.
It is all in our hands now…. And yes, I am scared.