To demonstrate that I’m not writing this article with bias for the sake of bias, I want to clarify that I do wholeheartedly, genuinely believe that liberals are light-years from being perfect people. They’re human just like anyone else. In fact, a few of my planned upcoming articles are going to be angry rants against (yes against) Black Lives Matter and vegans, and I’ve already written a post or two about how much I hate modern feminism. But to me, those things are not signs that it’s bad to be liberal.
What do these two words mean? The definition of ‘conservative’ is: disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change. Meantime, the definition of ‘liberal’ is: favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
A simple, easy look at a dictionary definition of these terms should be all the proof I need that being conservative is a bad thing. I mean, seriously, “limiting change”? Is it not obvious how detrimental to literally everything it is when you don’t allow things to improve? ‘Liberal’ simply means you favor progress, improvement, and achieving greater understanding. I should logically be able to stop my article here, but since I’m addressing Americans, I’m gonna need to add hundreds more words to get my point across, and even then, it likely won’t click with most.
Before I get to my main point, I just want to stop and ask: based on the definition of ‘conservative’ that I provided, why be a conservative, ever, if purely for the sake of “preserving existing conditions”? Really, are things so perfect in the US, or anywhere, that anybody thinks things need to remain EXACTLY as they are? Do people think we live in a utopia right now? Perhaps I’m taking the word too literally. Anyway, moving on…
Take one quick glance at human history and what do you notice? You’ll notice that human beings are great at being in conflict with each other and being ignorant of facts. The only reason that any religion, major or minor, exists is because for most of our species’ existence we didn’t understand much of anything. Religion was our first attempt at philosophy, and healthcare, and even government. Religion itself rose from ignorance. We didn’t understand what a germ or a virus was. We didn’t understand what causes earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, or solar eclipses. Now, we have grown in knowledge so greatly that we can virtually predict all these things with excellent precision (well, sometimes). We now know that the cause of natural occurrences is, well, nature. Not spirits being happy or angry with us. Now imagine if we had this kind of knowledge tens of thousands of years ago… The progress we would have made by now. We wouldn’t still be exploring the ocean depths, we’d be exploring other galaxies.
Naturally, we are all conservative-minded. Yes, I said it, because it’s true. We are all programmed from birth to follow patterns, and to mimic the behavior of others. It’s how we have survived for thousands of years, and it’s how we all survive on a day-to-day basis. Our brains operate similar to computers, in the sense that we are all capable of understanding new things, like running different programs, but if we don’t have the ‘software’ installed, it’s just empty capacity. We ACTIVELY need to push ourselves to improve, because if we don’t, we behave more like animals. Fear-mongering, bickering, stupid animals. In which case, we may as well not even have greater intellect than other creatures on this planet.
Were you raised by racists? Chances are, you too will be racist. Speak the language of the country you were raised in? Chances are, it’s because everybody else speaks the language too. Believe in God (or gods)? Chances are, it’s because the people you grew up around also believe in deities. Ever find yourself acting like someone else (intentionally or accidentally)? Well, the simple fact we are pattern-imitating animals is the reason for it all. Whether it’s wise or stupid, we do what those around us do, because something in our brain tells us that’s the safest bet. Obeying instinct is easier than asking questions.
So, no, we are not naturally inclined to override our primitive instincts. We are tribal, and we are born knowing nothing. This is the reason wars exist in the first place. This is the reason, as I said already, that religion exists. And it doesn’t matter who is actually right or wrong, because deep down we believe that following the crowd is the safest bet. Not to mention, learning things and changing our natural behavior takes a lot of effort.
This is also the reason racism (among other things) exists. We all come from different parts of the world, and over thousands of years, of course different cultures and languages and even skin tones will develop with different people living in different places. But since we are biologically programmed to cling to, and follow, the tribe that we were born and raised into, we are biased toward our own tribe. No matter where you grew up, unless it was by a completely mixed family, and literally all over the world, at least part of you will always be a little racist toward non-members of your race/culture simply because they’re not like you.
Anyway, this is the problem with Conservatism. It’s great for tribalism and ignorance, but it’s not good for, well, the greater good. This is why freeing slaves in the 19th century was a liberal idea and was an agenda that liberals needed to push. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, was the most liberal president the US has ever had. Democrats were the conservative party at the time, and they were on the losing side of history. Today, Republicans are the conservative party (which is not saying that Democrats these days are liberal), and Republicans are fighting against all manner of social progress, just as conservatives have always done. This is why it was very, very easy to predict that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president in 2016. He’s the most conservative-minded person I’ve ever heard of, and to the ignorant half of the US (conservatives), he was a goldmine. He made ignorance, bigotry, and recklessness popular again. Now remember, these are traits we all have naturally, and it takes effort to fight against it. Not to mention, sympathy. But not everyone is sympathetic to those who aren’t like them, and not everyone is capable of putting in the effort to not be ignorant. As much as I enjoy laughing at the absurd things conservatives say and do (which is everything), I can’t help but understand what’s wrong with them. They’re just human, and humans are animals.
It certainly doesn’t justify the way they are, but I at least understand it.
We need to stop killing each other. We need to fight against ignorance. We need to truly pursue happiness. Liberalism is the only way to achieve this.
One thing I hate more than conservatism is people who claim to be liberals who aren’t. Just because you’re a black person who hates white people, that doesn’t make you any better than whites who hate blacks. It’s still racism. Hating men, simply because they’ve had the most authority throughout civilization, is no excuse to want them oppressed in return. Equality is what liberalism stands for. Equality, safety, and happiness for all is what liberalism stands for. ACTUAL liberalism. When you favor one particular group over another, whether it be race, sex, or even mindset, that is wrong. Look, I agree that men are disgusting pigs and I generally strongly dislike men, but I would be no better than bigoted conservatives if I were to start actively pushing for women to have superiority over men. It’s just my opinion, and I leave it there. Same would apply if I were black and hated white people. Even if I wasn’t of mixed race, I would still support equal rights for all people, of all races.
THAT is being liberal.
And look, if you lack sympathy and you generally don’t care about people who aren’t like you, then fine, be that way. But do not call yourself a good person. And most of all, keep yourself out of all political discussions. Politics should be for figuring out what’s best for everyone. Keep out of the discussion if all you’re trying to do is bring others down while raising you and your tribe up higher. And certainly don’t call yourself a liberal.