A PRINCIPLED BUT COMPASSSIONATE CONSERVATIVE – Ray E Horton
I was thinking about labels we put on ourselves and one another. I like to be efficient in little ways, and conserve from waste of time and money and whatever else with which I am entrusted. I may not be all that good at it, but that’s still basic to my desired way of life.
My train of thought took me from the word “conserve” to conservative. Politically, I identify my leanings as Conservative. But what does that mean? One definition of a Conservative is: “a person who is reluctant to change or consider new ideas; a conformist.” I do not identify with that understanding at all, nor do I believe most Conservatives. Yes, there are status quo conformists out there, but a principled Conservative, especially if a believer, is always all for good change. But we want to conserve and preserve what is good and right. We want to build on a strong foundation, and not on the sand of ends justifying means.
A True Liberal is a Conservative
We want to conserve and preserve what is good and right. We want to build on a strong foundation, and not on the sand of ends justifying means
I believe most principled Conservatives are far more liberal, in the true sense of the word, than people who are often labeled politically Liberal. I see many so-called Liberals as focusing on change at any cost, willing to sacrifice good and right customs and values, even though such sacrifice may backfire and not bring lasting results. I identify more with the definition of Liberal that says: “one who advocates the freedom of the individual and governmental guarantees of individual rights and liberties.” That is the true Liberal, and it is more the mindset of those who are labeled Conservative.
Liberal can also mean “free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant.” There are bigoted people who don’t like anyone different than themselves. There have been many people involved in racial and ethnic hatred in our history who have been labeled Conservative because they don’t want to see change from a very bad but familiar system. Yet, now days, it seems that many so-called Liberals are the most intolerant of others. A true Conservative isn’t against change that is good and is tolerant of others who stand for freedom and truth, and even people who do not, but is not tolerant of the perversion of freedom and truth. They seek to be people of principle.
Going All Out for Good Ends
A PRINCIPLED BUT COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATIVE is liberal in the sense of wanting to go all out for good ends, and progress that brings real improvement in people’s lives. But I am Conservative in not wanting to reach those ends at any cost, sacrificing truth and values. I would say that puts in in the category of a “Compassionate Conservative.” Although George W. Bush had his faults, and has fallen into disfavor among many, I do identify with that label, which he popularized.