This morning at a stoplight I got caught behind a white truck with two stickers on the back window:
T****. Make America Great Again.
CONSERVATIVE. BECAUSE NOT EVERYONE CAN BE A FREELOADER.
These stickers side by side were such an oxymoron, emphasis on moron, that I decided that I’m taking the word conservative back from the conservatives.
I am so conservative, I am Ultra Conservative.
My students know never to begin an essay with a dictionary definition in my class, but school is out for the summer so here are some meanings of my new favorite word “conservative”:
- holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.
- sober and conventional.
I hold to the traditional attitude that people are responsible for what they owe. I pay my bills, and when I hire someone for a task, I pay that person fairly for their work so that they can make a living wage.
When in my adherence to my traditional values I wanted a religious education for my children, I paid for it myself and did not expect the government to help me with that with a voucher because I am not a freeloader.
I take care of my community because I have an old-fashioned sense of responsibility to contribute to my fellow citizens. I meet my responsibilities because I am not a freeloader who believes that anything I have achieved has been solely because of my own efforts. My God, the road white truck man and I were stopped on was built through collective resources. I didn’t buy the asphalt beneath our tires at the store and smush it on the road with my bare hands and neither did he, the freeloader.
I am conservative because I am cautious about the fact that the scientific process is not a tooth fairy to be believed in or not believed in. I exercise responsible behavior towards conserving my planet and its resources because I am not an idiot and also I am old-fashioned about not destroying Earth.
I am conservative because of my non-innovative belief that families are important and that children should not be stolen from their parents.
I am conservative because I believe that when one group of people does harm to or makes profit off of the unpaid labor of another, reparations should be made. This is Old Testament-level conservativism right here. Pay what is owed.
I am conservative because in deference to the unchanging nature of cause and effect, I believe that a citizenry with access to free education and healthcare would be a superior contributor to a strong economy than one that does not.
I’m so interested in conserving human life that I even have the incredibly narrow-minded idea that guns shouldn’t go to people who are terrorists and murderers.
And I am much too sober and cautious to tell lies to manipulate people and gain power, nor do I believe liars. Telling lies and believing lies are wildly irresponsible activities.
There is nothing conservative about the so-called conservatives. They should call themselves something else.
For the sake of accuracy, the so-called traditional conservative politicians should rename themselves the Irregular Careless. At least then in that one small way they’d be telling the truth.