Conservatives. People may cringe, snort, or roll their eyes at that term. “Conservatives are all old people with canes and outdated ideas” is the thought process of some Americans. The typical conservative is Bible-thumping, gun-shooting, and designer-tote-carrying. They cling to the Constitution, spending way more than they should on military buildup, and think that “ecological tote bags” are the bane of their existence.
That’s what people are telling me anyways–what they call “truths.”
Those “truths” can’t be further from the truth. Conservatives are not placed in one stereotypical category. There are a plethora of different ages within the conservative mindset. I know many conservatives across social platforms who range from 11 to 70. The assumption that conservatives are seniors or older is simply not true.
I have to laugh at the “outdated ideas” part of the stereotype. Those “outdated ideas” come from the Constitution – those thoughts that keep our country together through the good and the bad. Unlike other countries, our faded parchment has stood the test of time for over 200 years. Outdated ideas? These outdated ideas are what have made us the most prosperous country in the world.
While I am a Christian conservative (call me a Bible-thumper, if you must), many are not. I know two conservative patriots who are actually gay. It is not the lifestyle we live that binds us, but the drive to keep our country from socialism. I don’t care about any particular conservative’s lifestyle. They have the right to choose what they want to do because of the First Amendment. Some Americans do think that most conservatives are Christian who hate others who are not like them. That notion can be put to rest by talking to other conservatives casually. You will find that there are conservatives who represent all different kinds of religions.
Not all of us pack heat and carry a Marc Jacobs bag to contribute to capitalism. I do not have the right to own a gun yet and while I would like to, I know some conservatives who don’t believe in carrying guns because of animal rights. I don’t own anything designer to promote capitalism because I can’t afford it. The notion that conservatives flaunt Wall Street stocks and Prada shoes in the name of capitalism is pretty silly. I’m a college student–I don’t own Prada shoes!
Conservatives come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are more fiscally driven than others and some are more social issue-driven. To place a conservative in a form-fitting box isn’t right. Unfortunately, that seems to be happening more and more these days, especially with the Republicans messing up opportunities to cut spending and so forth. We are getting a bad rap because our politicians are not living up to the conservative ideals. But, all is not lost! If we conservatives become more outspoken, we can show the world that we are unique and change the stereotype.
I present a challenge to all conservatives: In what ways are you going to start being bold? Which issues are you going to fight for and fight against? How are you going to use your unique traits to save America?