The heart of the conservative

During the 2010 election period, I heard a commentator state that what really defined those calling themselves “conservative” was that they didn’t want change. This had the ring of truth to it, in my mind, but I decided to test it on my Republican friend. When I threw the idea out to him, he said, “That’s absolutely right! We were much better off in the ’50s and ’60s, and you know it!”

I let his response go unanswered, circumstances being what they were at the time. But what I wanted to say was, “Who do you think was better off? Not women. Not gays. Not Blacks or Latinos or any minority. The ones who were better off were white men with jobs who were running things.”

That’s the basis of conservatism, whether applied to politics or religion: don’t change it; keep things the way they’ve always been. Keep it grounded in the literal truth (“as I interpret it”) of the Bible, the Constitution, or whatever.

But the world changes! Like it or not, it does. Society changes, family changes, business changes. Our personal needs, wants and achievements change. So why should our government policies and society codes not also change?

It’s called growth.