What do conservatives stand for?

The word conservative is misunderstood and unfairly maligned.

Josh Villa

Amidst nationwide budget cuts, the word conservative has been thrown around as if it were a dirty word. To many on campus and around the nation, the image that comes to mind is something along the lines of radical, greedy, rich CEOs trying to oppress the working class to increase their own profits by supporting tax cuts for themselves and âÄúdraconianâÄù cuts to âÄúvitalâÄù government services for everybody else.
This couldnâÄôt be further from the truth. A true conservative (in America, at any rate) is just someone who defends the U.S. Constitution âÄî which protects rich and poor alike from the tyranny of excessive government and gives them the freedom to advance themselves.
The U.S. gained independence from the tyranny of the British in the late 18th century. The Constitution established by the Founding Fathers guaranteed the freedoms which provided the foundation of a nation free enough to innovate and become the most powerful in the world.
This is how we defend equality âÄî ensuring that everybody can advance themselves, which is why many conservatives are concerned about increasing taxes for the purpose of wealth redistribution.
We believe an individualâÄôs money is his property, and while taxes are necessary, they need to be kept to a minimum so people can invest in what they want, buy what they want or save for the future. Individuals should be able to do with their property as they see fit, not as a government bureaucrat sees fit.
A conservative fears that entitlement programs give people a false sense of security while giving them a worse overall return on their money than allowing the people to have responsibility for managing their expenses and investments themselves.
Conservatives have faith in the people of this nation. They believe that they are smart enough to innovate, to provide for themselves, to plan for retirement and to pursue all of their dreams. People can be trusted to run their lives better than a central planning committee could.
Furthermore, conservatives not only believe in the intelligence of the American people, but also in giving them the most freedom possible.
Some people may insist that that there are better forms of government besides what conservatives are fighting for, but that government has yet to materialize.
Indeed, it is our freedom that made America the most exceptional nation in the world and gave us the unbelievable quality of life we have today. While Bill Gates may have billions of dollars more than me, I know that I still have more liberty and a better lifestyle than anywhere else in the world.
Freedom allowed settlers to move west âÄî not government subsidies. Private entrepreneurs developed the light bulb and automobile. Now the government is banning certain kinds of light bulbs and attempting to move citizens from their cars to public transportation.
Conservatives recognize the necessity of government but also recognize the danger of excessive government, and we seek to protect all Americans from the tyranny of it. We gained our independence, in large part, because the colonists were being badgered by excessive government.
We havenâÄôt forgotten this. We remember the reason this nation was founded, and we want to protect that.
Next time you hear the word conservative, think of the unbelievable standard of living we have and the unprecedented amount of liberties we have âÄî conservatives are simply here to protect what we have.