By John Nadeau ‘18
I am a conservative. I am not homophobic. I am not a white nationalist. I am not heterophobic. I am not misogynistic. I am not xenophobic. My heart goes out to the marginalized, the poor, the victimized and the oppressed. My heart goes out to those desperately fleeing war-torn regions around the world and, as a member of the country that is considered the moral bastion of peace and prosperity around the world, I believe it is our duty to extend a loving and helping hand to these poor human beings. However, as Teddy Roosevelt once said, one must speak softly but, at the same time, carry a big stick.
While my heart, as a conservative, does go out to these refugees fleeing their countries, I believe that it is the job of the government to keep us — its citizens — safe, no matter the cost. While that may sound slightly Hobbesian, what else is it but the government’s duty to set up an environment that will allow its populace to thrive in peace? This does not mean I am afraid of Muslims or think that they are all terrorists. My thought is merely that if they were to pose even a small threat of carrying out attacks on American soil as they have in Europe many times the President should be allowed to explore all options to ensure that does not happen. One American life lost to terror is one too many.
I also believe in strong national defense, one that will make other countries around the world break into a cold sweat when they see they have caused us to take up arms against them. The job of the United States is not to apologize to the rest of the world for our omnipresence, but rather to make it clear to them that if their enemies do not feel our omnipresence, then they will be less safe and very vulnerable to being attacked. We are the nation of heroes that was able to throw off the shackles of an Empire where the sun never set, to staunch the flow of Naziism, and to tear down the Iron Curtain. We are the nation of entrepreneurs that birthed companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. These are things to be proud of — things that should cause Americans, no matter their race, gender, or economic status, across the globe, to hold their heads held high in pride, because they are members of the nation of heroes, icons and game-changers.
As a conservative, I also believe in the power of harnessing the potential of a free market capitalist system. I do not believe that the way to help the United States prosper is through excessive government regulation or over taxation of the rich. Rather, I believe that if government were to give its citizens, from restaurant managers to CEOs, the tools to prosper, it would be through tax breaks for business investment or business startup. Then the economy will grow, and quality of life improve. Along this vein, I also believe in giving people all the opportunities possible, to allow them to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and get back to work, ultimately getting them off of welfare.
To anyone reading this, my request is this: talk to conservatives, understand them, and realize that despite the stereotypes, we are not a group of old, white men looking to help our rich cronies. The only difference between us and the Democratic party is our view of the government and its role in my life and yours. At the end of the day, we are all Americans who bleed the same blood and want the same thing: to live in a more harmonious and cohesive society.