Conservative Shame: Who Needs It

Dennis Prager said people come up to him in the airport and confess their secret conservatism, hidden from family and co-workers. It reminded me of an awkward moment during a training run. I was telling my sister about a Facebook conflict with a friend who objected to my call for action regarding the 2020 Presidential election. Hawaii and 21 other states wanted to remove President Trump and Vice President Pence from the 2020 ballot because of the income tax thing.

Changing the electoral process over one man is unwise. Taking away millions of people’s right to vote for a presidential candidate is unconstitutional and alarming. I urged leaving the electoral process alone, since we haven’t studied it enough and it’s currently our best option.

I really like this friend. As a race volunteer, he appears at the perfect moments in a difficult trail race to lift spirits with his music. But we disagree on politics. So. What. We should calmly discuss our opinions; it’s unnecessary to lambaste each other over what we think we think. Ridiculous.

Politics shouldn’t shred our running, outdoor-loving, neighborly relationship.

Surprise reveal?

When I explained that the he disapproved of my conservatism, the energy of the conversation with my sister shifted. I felt like I was coming out of the closet in the 1980s! Not my intention.

“I’m surprised you’re a conservative,” she said after a few shocked moments.

“Well, I read a lot. And listen to a lot of podcasts,” I mumbled, not expecting her reaction.

You are not surprised because you probably read a few posts. “Well, duh!” You might think. Apparently, she has not. Also, I don’t push against her opinions except to provide more information. Our diverse outlooks are molded by our 13-year age gap, our experiences, and our dissimilar husbands.

Our differences do not form the basis of our relationship.

My conservatism diverges from all of my oldest friends, and that’s fine. They may not know how much without reading my blog since I keep it to myself around them. It’s not relevant to our relationship.

Why did talking about my opinion feel like a big reveal? That wasn’t the point of my bringing it up.

Why is it not okay for loved ones to have their own opinions? Isn’t that a hallmark of family? She thinks this way, I think that way. No politics at the kitchen table, that kind of thing.

What matters

How we treat each other matters more than anything else.

When we die, people don’t say, “He was a smart man” or “He was rich.” Mourners talk about character and how the deceased made them feel. They remember his impact on others.

Our politics won’t matter.

Being right won’t matter.

Our values form the framework of our life choices.

Our actions determine our character.

Truth matters

Being true to ourselves matters.

Being conservative doesn’t mean we agree with all things Republican. It doesn’t mean we support all Trumpian words and actions.

It does mean we identify and develop our values in ourselves and our families. It means we work, worship, and live for something bigger than ourselves that inspires us to be kinder, more loving, better. We want positive, personal connections because we know that our coexistence is serendipitous.

This faith in our place in the world brings us peace, happiness, meaning, and belonging.

Image by Markus Spiske on Pexels.

Being conservative does not mean we must wave signs, shout our opinions, or belittle others who are different.

Bad behavior is not justifiable by any side.

Being mean and bullying others indicates a deep-seated dislike of self. Happy people do not feel the need to lash out.

We must not be ashamed of who we are.

We worked hard to get here.

Being conservative is about us and ours – family, community, church, and friends. It is not about you.

We welcome questions and interest. But,

If attacked,

We will defend those we treasure most – our loved ones. Things are replaceable. Our immaterial parts – faith, love, determination – only become more robust under siege.

Much more important than politics, conservatism describes choices and values we strive to live by. That’s nothing to be ashamed of.

My sister is strong-willed. Rather than try to change her mind about conservatism being a good or bad thing, I’ll continue on and welcome her along my journey. What else could a big sister do?

Things, people, and opportunities enter our lives at certain moments. We see or act on them only when we are ready.

Your Turn

What is one conservative thing you do that you should not be ashamed of?

Featured image by Pixabay on Pexels.

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