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Following the release of one of my more politically inclined columns, I
was accused by a reader of being an ultra conservative. The reader
based his comments on established stereotypes of conservatives which I
personally find distasteful. Such images have become rather old and
tiresome, but were still effective in last year's elections. These
stereotypes were concocted by the Media over time and inevitably raise
their ugly heads during election time. What concerns me though is these
images are simply fallacious and aimed at misleading people away from
the true issues at hand. Let me give you some prime examples of
CONSERVATIVES ARE PRO-BUSINESS, EVEN AT
THE EXPENSE OF SQUASHING ANYTHING THAT GETS IN THEIR WAY, INCLUDING THE
I think it is no secret that conservatives believe in the free
enterprise system, the land of opportunity, and an honest day's wage
for an honest day's work, but I do not believe they are as ruthless as
they are portrayed. They are unapologetic capitalists who want less
government control, not more. Conservatives tend to see government as
the servant of the people, not the other way around. This drives
anybody opposed to this way of thinking absolutely crazy, particularly
socialists and communists. It's no small wonder that capitalists are
portrayed as "fat-cats" who profit off the worker.
The reality is that you will find just
as many liberals in the board room as you will find conservatives.
Further, anyone who has faced the realities and risks of starting up
his/her own company, particularly a small business, is somewhat
inclined to appreciate capitalist principles.
CONSERVATIVES DO NOT SHARE AND WANT TO
CREATE A MASTER/SLAVE CLASS SOCIETY.
This is just plain bunk. First, greed knows no political ideologue.
Second, we're back to the capitalist argument whereby conservatives
appreciate hard work and reward accordingly. Look, it's simple, you
cannot do everything yourself; you have to delegate, empower, and
support your people, which includes compensating them accordingly. It's
just plain smart business. And third, conservatives give generously of
themselves for a wide variety of causes. Although they balk at turning
their wallets completely over to the government, conservatives gladly
lend a helping hand to those who truly need it. Liberals certainly do
not hold a monopoly on charitable causes.
CONSERVATIVES ARE ANTI-ENVIRONMENT.
It is generally believed that if you are a conservative, you have a
fundamental disregard for the planet; that you want to rape the Earth
and eradicate its resources. My question is, "Why?" This would imply
that conservatives are like some visitors from outer space here to
plunder the earth's resources and leave a dead shell. I'm afraid I
haven't seen the conservative flying saucer yet, and I think we are all
stuck on this planet together. In fact, conservatives have found such
things as conservation, recycling, and land reclamation are not just
good ideas, it's smart business.
CONSERVATIVES ARE ULTRA RELIGIOUS.
Show me a fanatical Bible thumper and I'll show you a conservative;
Right? Wrong. I can't begin to tell you how many liberals I have met
through organized religion. We often hear of the "Religious Right"
which primarily consists of Christian groups, but I don't recall where
it is written that a belief in Jesus Christ is a prerequisite for
becoming a conservative. In fact, I've met conservatives from just
about every religious faith imaginable. I will grant that conservatives
tend to derive their core values from their religious beliefs, whatever
they may be, but they are certainly not religious fanatics.
There is an interesting dichotomy here:
whereas conservatives are accused of unethical behavior in business and
the environment, they are also portrayed as religious zealots. I guess
the assumption here is that organized religion doesn't promote ethical
CONSERVATIVES ARE UNEDUCATED,
UNIMAGINATIVE, AND ONLY FOLLOW PARTY LINES.
There is a general belief that conservatives are incapable of
intelligent discourse, are crude and lack creativity, and thereby must
be told what to do. Gee, it kind of sounds like the goons in the Nazi
Party under Adolph Hitler doesn't it?
The notion that conservatives are
old-fashioned fuddy-duddies who resist change is erroneous. I know a
lot of liberals who have been unbending in their ideas since the
Since conservatives tend to have a
business perspective they are somewhat inclined to be freethinkers,
meaning if it makes sense to them, they'll buy it, regardless of who
sells it. They will also make it plain if they do not agree with you,
and perhaps this is what bothers their opposition. In fact, I find
conservatives to be more open to debate; for example, consider the
popularity of conservative talk radio programs (you don't see too many
liberal programs do you?)
CONSERVATIVES DO NOT HAVE A SENSE OF
For a long time, conservatives have had to endure all kinds of jokes as
communicated through political bumper stickers, cartoons, and late
night comedians. In the process I think they have developed some rather
thick skin and do, in fact, appreciate a good joke, although I admit
their humor is not as destructive as others. But what is good for the
goose should be good for the gander. Try poking fun at a liberal and
you are accused of blasphemy. Now that's funny.
CONSERVATIVES ARE RACISTS.
I'm not even going to dignify this with a rebuttal.
The concept of conservative stereotypes
is nothing more than brainwashing for the purpose of social engineering
by the Media. Young people are taught early on that being a
conservative is not "cool"...
"Did you know he is a conservative?"
"Really? He's one of them? Wow! That's
Behind the facade of the conservative
stereotypes is a deeply-rooted resentment to capitalism, which the
conservatives embrace. Anti-capitalists want to replace the system and
evenly spread the wealth regardless of how much effort a person exerts
to earn it. To conservatives, capitalism is the stimulus that
encourages people to become entrepreneurs; to move forward and take
risks, to boldly go where no one has gone before, to evolve, and
Like I said earlier, I have been
accused of being an "ultra" conservative. As an aside, a friend
recently pointed out to me, how come we do not apply this adjective to
liberals (an "ultra" liberal)? I guess it is another attempt to
stereotype conservatives as extremists (and liberals are not?).
It has been my experience that
conservatives take their fiduciary responsibilities seriously, they are
not afraid to be held accountable for their actions, they want to lead
a worthy and meaningful life, and possess an ethical makeup derived
from their religious beliefs. If this is what an "ultra" conservative
is, then I plead, "Guilty. Most guilty."
Sorry Janeane, the wiring is just fine.
"Show me a young Conservative and I'll
show you someone with no heart.
Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains."
- Winston Churchill
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unmarked belong to their respective companies.
Copyright © 2009 by Tim Bryce. All rights
About the Author
Tim Bryce is the Managing Director of M.
Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and
has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He
can be reached at email@example.com
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-03-02 11:52:37 in Personal Articles