Being a Conservative in Today’s Society

by LeRoy Demarest

            I think I have only one question. How come in today’s society Republican’s are pictured as one of two people?  Either we are redneck white-trash moron bigots whose only desire is to go to war with everyone or we are rich aristocratic socialites who only care about money, destroying the earth, and ourselves.  A couple of weeks ago I read an article in the flyer that described conservatives as kind only to our own people.  Two days later I read in the Phalanx that conservatives are rich and only care about tax cuts and going to war in Iraq.  And just the other day as I watched the morning news Ted Danson was interviewed about the progress of his present show “Becker”, however the interview quickly diverged from “Becker” to his political views and the fact that George Bush was elected not because he was a good leader but because he was the kind of person that we would want to go out and have a beer with.  These events and others have left me exasperated and dumbfounded.  But before I explain why (and I’m sure that some would wish that I wouldn’t), let me say that I believe in the First Amendment right to Freedom of Speech as much as anyone, with that said, here we go.

So do conservatives really only care about their own?  For starters, that statement is not only quite ambiguous, but untrue.  Conservatives founded most of today’s charities, such as: the YMCA, the Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity. These charities are blind to social status, religion, and or ethnicity.  However, so that I don’t sound like a reminiscent fool trying to drudge up some sort of “conservative glory day”, let us look at Habitat for Humanity. Just a little over a quarter of a century old this organization has built well over 100 000 houses for over a half a million people in low-income families all around the world.  Without these houses many face housing problems that include holes in the roof, walls and floors, no type of indoor plumbing and no heating or air-conditioning of any kind.  The families chosen for these houses are not rich, or from any specific race or religion.  I don’t know but I think that’s pretty impressive for just caring for your own kind.  The comment was also made that we wished that bums and slackers would just get their acts together.  Well there is some truth in that.  As the son of a carpenter I was taught to work hard because that is the true mark of a man. And what does that mean; basically that you can do all the talking you want but the walk is the important part.  I was taught never to think that the world owes you anything because you’re here, this world doesn’t owe you a thing (with the exception of your rights as a human).  Everything is earned including respect.  So in regards to slackers yes they need to get their act together.  Someone who sits at home and does nothing but feed off of others when they are completely capable of working themselves are nothing short of parasites.  However,  “bums” are obviously different.  Not to be stereotypical but often times there is a need of some sort that needs to addressed.  And therefore programs like job training, soup kitchens, and homes are good and needed.  However, to just give a person money does not ensure that their situation is bettered in any manner.  So instead of giving a “bum” a fish we need to teach the “bum” how to fish as it were.

Continuing on, I guess I missed that “get rich when you become a republican” boat, because I presently owe my soul to Sallie-Mae and the Government through student loans.  But, there is no doubt that tax cuts help others besides the rich.  The first tax cut that Bush had passed paid my families insurance, the second allowed us to do some much needed remodeling in our house.  My family is no way dirt poor but we are definitely part of that lower middle class and I’m happy to be there.  Also I don’t understand that because people are conservatives they are war-mongrels.  I don’t want to see anyone die, but sometimes it is necessary to step in.  Imagine what could have happened if we left Hitler to continue on because we didn’t “understand where he came from” or Slobedan Milosovich because “we should accept everyone’s views”.  Some times even if we don’t want to we need to stand up for those who don’t get heard, like the thousands upon thousands of people that were killed by their leader Saddam.  It reminds me of a saying “if good men do nothing that is evil enough”.  I am also not a proponent of revenge, but you have to stand up for yourself or you will continue to get knocked down over and over again.

So disregarding this information which one am I; the redneck or the aristocrat?  Well, I do drive a tractor on campus and I split wood for heat at home I guess that’s why I am a republican white trash moron. I will even admit that I am that terrible nine-letter word, Christian. But before you condemn because of what you read at least let me put my money where my mouth is.  I am by no means perfect or even close and do I not claim to understand everything.  But this is who I am.  I am a biology major who plans to go to graduate school for wildlife conservation or zoology, I recycle probably more than most democrats do; which blows that whole destroyer of the earth thing away.  I am a very active member of the Salisbury campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity.  Where I have helped to build and finish six different houses for six different families (many of which I have never really met) since I my freshman year, that seems to shoot holes in the good only to their own kind doesn’t.  Since I’m none of these common Republican clichés, I must be a bigot or something like that right, not hardly!  I have friends, not just acquaintances, but true friends from all over the world and from every major religion.

I am in no way Mother Theresa or Gandhi, I will probably never save the world, but I am a decent person.  And I have grown tired of stupid generalizations and always being portrayed as an idiot who does not have one ounce of altruism in his soul.  Greed often enough feeds the soul of every one (man or woman) regardless of political views, race, and creed…  Neither political party can always be right and that’s the truth, period.  In closing I’d like to know what the problem with being conservative is!!


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