What Conservatism Really Means

Written by Suzanne Olden on August 21, 2013

We see them all the time, blurbs and memes about what it means to be a conservative. I saw one yesterday that came pretty darn close to nailing it. It said:

Growing up Conservative is special. It runs a hell of a lot deeper than just where you’re born. It’s a set of ideals passed down through generations. Sure it’s about lower taxes and less regulation, strong defense and adherence to the Constitution. But more importantly, it’s about being devoted to your roots, having a sense of tradition, of family, of hard work and each other for generations to come. Those, my friends, should be universal ideals. I’m a Conservative and proud of it!

But there’s more to us, and it’s not the demonized persona that the liberal media portrays.

Go to the comments of any column, blog or post on the internet of a conservative and you will find the most hateful remarks, cutting us down for being what leftists consider horrible people: “racist,” “homophobe,” “bigot,” and worse. We are called hard-hearted for wanting people to stand on their own two feet, stupid for doubting climate change or believing in God, and told that we are pro-life only while the child is in utero, then we tell it that it’s on its own. None of this is true, as any conservative will tell you. So what do we stand for?

Generally we believe in personal responsibility, small government, free markets, strong defenses and traditional American values. We believe it’s not the job of government to be in our business, but instead to butt out, while in limited circumstances protecting those who have no voice. We also believe that the family, the unborn and children deserve the protection of our laws. But it’s more that. We know what our Founding Fathers knew, that Americans are amazing individuals who, when allowed to be free of governmental interference, can do amazing things.

Issues are always there, but there are some that never change, like the value of life from conception to natural death being sacrosanct. The recent outrage on the right over the Gosnell trial barely being a blip on the national radar, and positive reaction to change state laws to protect women and the unborn at 20 weeks or older show just how much we take life seriously. Protecting the life and value of the elderly and disabled by fighting policies that would make euthanasia legal are also top of our pro-life list. Protecting life doesn’t mean handing out “free” healthcare and welfare programs that will bankrupt all, it means allowing private people and charities to step in to help, and when government must, making that help a limited hand UP not an enabling hand OUT.

And about those “freebies”, they aren’t. Someone has to pay. Government provided healthcare isn’t a “right.” Access to healthcare is something we should all have, as a first world country, but allowing government to run it is dangerous and fiscally irresponsible. The outrage at insurance companies saying what is and isn’t covered on their policies is disingenuous at best. Thinking that government won’t do the same thing in an even more restrictive manner, disallowing more types of treatments because of cost, is blind and stupid at worst.

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Suzanne Reisig Olden is a Catholic Christian, Conservative, married mother of two, who loves God, family and country in that order. She lives northwest of Baltimore, in Carroll County, Maryland. She graduated from Villa Julie College/Stevenson University with a BS in Paralegal Studies and works as a paralegal for a franchise company, specializing in franchise law and intellectual property. Originally from Baltimore, and after many moves, she came home to raise her son and daughter, now high school and college aged, in her home state. Suzanne also writes for The Firebreathing Conservative website ( www.firebreathingconservative.com) and hopes you'll come visit there as well for even more discussion of conservative issues.