I responded, “It’s a think tank devoted to restoring the founding principles to our national life.”
“Oh,” she said. “Ultra right wing…”
“Uhm exactly which of the founding principles do you disagree with?” I responded.
I have made it my habit to never admit to being a conservative unless I am allowed to define what that means. It is routinely and wrongly asserted that the conservative objects to change. Frankly it is a fallacious argument the new left routinely makes and one conservatives far too frequently – and to our detriment - neglect to refute. The fact is that to conserve has never meant simply arguing for the status quo. Conservatives might be more properly understood if we referred to ourselves as conservationists.
Like conservationists conservatives are not content with current conditions. Rather they are both seeking to prevent the depletion of some treasured resource. Both Conservatives and conservationists act to defend and protect; to restore, to supervise and nurture those things essential for the survival of a society or culture. Preservation is achieved through education and prudent management or husbandry.
For many citizens stepping forward and demanding that we conserve trees or some rare species of bird is looked upon as a noble undertaking. It is a pity that some of those same eyes view the act of conserving, defending, restoring and supervising the prudent management of the principles upon which this nation was founded as a whacky or evil endeavor.
Equiano was correct and the power of that small idea – to quote a young Muhammad Ali – “Shook up the world!” I would submit that conserving that idea and the principles which grew from it are as important as conserving our natural resources. Better yet I contend that idea and those principles are our greatest natural resource.
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