For a long time, I was of the opinion that ‘classical liberal’ was a completely useless term. People have been using the term to differentiate with progressive lunatics that have in recent years hijacked the mainstream Left. I would say, “You’re either a liberal, or you’re not.” True though that may be, I’ve come to realize I was a bit wrong about this…
Those who identify as ‘classical liberal’ are associated with the right-wing, by both the Left and the Right. I don’t know if that’s quite accurate. However, as I get older, I am finding that my opinions on how society should operate lines a lot more with the American Right than with the Left, yet I am still a liberal, in the sense that I staunchly follow the ideology. Also, I identify as one. So, how does that make sense?
Conservatism is contextual. In order to be a conservative, you must, well, have something to conserve. This is why conservatives in America are vastly different from conservatives in, say, Saudi Arabia. Different societies, with different histories, and thus different norms to conserve. Whereas liberalism is not contextual, and is merely an ideology concerning freedom and safety for all people.
Saudi Arabia is a far less liberal (here meaning ‘free’) nation. There, women are not equal to men, freedom of speech is not a universal right, and you don’t even have the freedom to leave Islam. America, on the other hand, was founded by people who strongly believe in freedom even if it means saying or doing things you don’t appreciate. It was founded by people who believe in maximizing freedom and safety for its people, where the people choose their leaders, where leaders do not have absolute power, and where these laws extend to everyone regardless of one’s race, place of origin, sex, lifestyle, religion (or lack thereof), etc. In other words, America was founded by liberals.
The point I’m making is: In America, conservatives are conserving the liberal society that America was founded to be.
I’ve understood this for quite some time. I still insisted on labeling myself simply liberal , rather than ‘classical liberal’ because America has never been perfect in its liberal ways. I mean, come on, we claimed all men are created equal, yet we had slaves for a hundred years. There are always improvements to be made. I refused to identify as conservative because America has a long history of starting wars, persecuting Native Americans, persecuting blacks, and it took us until 1920 just to give women the right to vote.
That doesn’t mean we’ve never done anything right, though. There are many, many things about America I want preserved. The freedoms I have are at the top of the list. But, there are also things like our traditions (namely Thanksgiving and Christmas). In addition to that, there is the fact that nations need some rigidity to keep being great, if they are great.
(This is where I start sounding like a conservative)
We need a primary language. Imagine opening a book and the words inside randomly switch between English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Laosian, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese Chinese, Russian, Italian, and Japanese. You’d be confused as hell, despite the author having some very impressive talent. Then after being confused, Leftists would call you racist for not liking that confusing mess of a book.
Imagine our buildings never having any consistent style of architecture, and they were always a mix of multiple styles at once? Imagine entire skylines full of buildings like that.
Imagine reading a map and instead of seeing the name of locations based on what your people call them, each location would include every single name every other country calls them (and if you didn’t like that, you’re called racist).
It’s not racist to have your country stick with one language primarily. It’s not insensitive to only occasionally use different styles of architecture. I could use example after example, but point is, having commonalities is what brings people together. Diversity enriches nations, but there still need to be common denominators to give everything structure, to have everything make sense, to have everything be orderly, and to have everything be … beautiful.
There’s nothing virtuous about hating your own people. It’s still bigoted, you’ve just convinced yourself that you have the ‘good’ kind of bigotry, just like every other evil person throughout history. Seriously, nobody ever thinks of themselves as evil. Besides, I’m glad other cultures have their own, well, cultures. I love the commonalities people in other parts in the world share with each other. This makes the world more beautiful, not less. Without conservatives in China, or Korea, or Egypt, or Finland, those places wouldn’t have any culture to enjoy. Everything everywhere would be a giant jumbled mess. Ugly, confusing, and unstable.
I must add the fact that not all cultures are equal. Some are absolutely better than others. There is example after example after example of people who go out into violent, unstable countries thinking that every place is the same, and they just end up getting killed. People in Western nations like America, Canada, or the UK, are now starting to believe that other countries are just like us, with the same freedoms and the same rules of law. Roads are safe to walk on here without bodyguards or a personal handgun, but not in most places. Women can drive, hold jobs, and leave the house without a male escorting them here, but not in the Middle East. Men get punished for rape here, but in some places, female victims of rape get punished instead. If you think every place on Earth is the same, you’re a fool.
Given this context I’ve provided, this is the part of me that is undoubtedly conservative for America, to an extent. It’s certainly not because I was born here. I’ve put in a lot of thought and research into how America is the best, and this is the conclusion I’ve drawn. I don’t think America is best simply because I was born here, I think that because I know I got lucky being born here. I love the culture we have here in America, and since America was founded by educated people with liberal philosophies, that makes me a liberal at heart and an American conservative in practice.
I am also conservative in the sense that I am trying to conserve what America has always been. We’ve always had freedom of speech, we’ve always had leaders with limited terms in power, we’ve always at least strived to treat all people equally (though we were never 100% perfect at that). Currently, the Left is trying to destroy everything we value and replace it with a system that would be far more oppressive. Thus, I am trying to conserve our liberal values, before it gets replaced by communist values.
Hence, I’m a classical liberal, not just an ordinary liberal.
There are still some things to improve here, but for the most part, we’re doing much better than the other places. I certainly don’t believe we need to go back to the 1950s, let alone the 1850s. I certainly don’t believe that we should keep things the way they are simply because that’s how we’ve always done them.
I hate war, I hate guns, I hate religion, I hate treating the environment like we can’t harm it (or that it doesn’t matter if we harm it), etc. In that way, I’m quite different from people in America who identify as conservative. But I certainly love my country and want to preserve, for the most part, the way it’s always been. I’m a liberal, who embraces the classical values of what my country was established as from over 200 years ago.
Fuck open borders, fuck socialism, fuck feminism, fuck veganism, fuck forced diversity. And you know what? While I’m at it…. Fuck abortion.
We have always been a great nation. We have always been better than the rest. It needs to stay that way. We need to stay both strong and free.