As I sat and watched the events of the weekend in Virginia, I kept thinking of the push of those who identify as conservative or are resistant to progressive. There tends to be a label applied to the participants in the Charlottesville violence; the word extremist gets used in many cases. Their cause is that of the conservative cause. From there, many different qualifiers are added to make people feel better with themselves. Do what ever you need to help yourself sleep better at night, but moderate, fiscal, and economic are just cute descriptors to say, “Well, I’m not bad as the racists, bigots, and other problematic people in these ranks.” Cute and effective.
The root of all conservatism is the idea that at some point in time there was a good and right way to do something. Regardless of the principal thought, a conservative feels that any change that has been made to the system has been flawed and there should be a reset to default. The issue that many have with that is that where is that default and how do you reset to that? Couple in the fact that there were fundamental flaws that allowed those systems to succeed that should not be revisited. Those labels allow people to hide these flaws and diabolical acts while supporting their fruits.
To the contrary, there are those who are not conservative in nature but still are resistant to progress. They may identify as liberal while essentially seeking progress that merely benefits the groups to which they identify. At their core, these “progressives” have a goal in mind and rarely can see beyond their own agendas. This is not to say that having a self serving agenda is wrong, but when your gripe becomes “I’m oppressed because another oppressed group is getting some attention,” you start looking like those entitled racists. I see this a lot from minorities when LBGT is the topic of discussion for example. Any progress towards total acceptance, which I never see happening because people are innately selfish, is for the greater good.
I have had my moments with change. I know I have a real problem when there is no forethought to implementing a change; at the same time, I know some change needs to be made regardless. I know there was no idea as to what the US would be like once slavery was abolished, but it was something that needed to be done. I am not smart enough to derive the solutions as to how the sudden emancipation of millions of enslaved people. That doesn’t mean it was not the right move to make. At the same time, I am also not well versed on all things LBGT, religious, or other civil issues. I do know that the answer is not to shun someone for who they are and definitely not deeming there identity as a choice and a platform for debate.