We have created a world (or more truthfully, we have destroyed our civilization to the point) where actions no longer matter. The actor is everything. Left and right seem incapable of critiquing behavior without knowing the identity of the individual who acted.
Closely related is the “what about so-and-so?” defense. Forget about the morality or appropriateness of what your guy did. The other side’s guy did the same thing, so your guy gets a pass.
Eventually, we will get to the fringes of civility, where we will be forced to agree that there are some things that are beyond the pale. As awful as some behavior has already become, it’s staggering to consider just how blatantly evil actions will have to be before we can agree on what is unacceptable.
Will we test the limits of human depravity before we come to our senses? I hope not. The 20th century offers plenty of examples of how fragile life is. Wars, diseases, and despots all wreaked havoc on humanity. If we can channel our ambitions toward helping each other rather than dominating each other, there may be hope.
The word conservative should prompt the question: what are you trying to conserve? In short, conservatives want to conserve what works. One of the myths about conservatives is that they don’t want to change anything. That’s completely wrong. Take a conservative business owner and show him some cutting edge piece of equipment that will increase his productivity and lower his costs. He’ll order one and throw away the equipment he’s been using.
It’s really that simple.
We all are conservative in that we keep doing what works in life. Sure, we may tinker with details, but we generally don’t discard everything before we’ve found a time-tested replacement. Look at professional athletes. They do the same thing over and over and over. What same thing? The thing that works. Sure, they make minor adjustments, but you don’t see a hockey goalie, for instance, decide he’s going to meet the attacking players at the blue line instead of staying in goal. Minor adjustments to time-tested strategies.
That people find the concept of conservatism repulsive demonstrates how clueless they are about math, history, economics, science, and pretty much life in general. They don’t see the level of conservatism in their own lives. Do they drive to work the same way everyday, or do they experiment wildly everyday? I’m guessing they’ve settled on a route that consistently gets them to the office on time. Will they experiment with minor detours along the way? Perhaps, but the emphasis is on “minor.”
We don’t need to reinvent the wheel or to discover fire every generation.