An Honest Conservative
I've never defined myself as politically conservative. I used to say I was an anarchist and socialist and progressive and whatnot. I used to Occupy things. I've stopped attaching labels to what I think, say, or do. I attach labels to my feelings. These are universal.
If I did, however, imagine myself (male, age 31, white) in the shoes of someone who defined themselves as a conservative in this country, here's how I'd think:
Climate Change? I'm not denying that the climate is changing. I'm denying the way we're going about all of this. I'm denying making people feel bad about themselves and how they view the world. We need to get off our high horses and recognize that nobody has all the answers here.
Science is one way to view the world. We can use science to find specific solutions to specific dilemmas, but it's not the answer to everything. Often relying on science brings other, new problems to light. That's not because science is not useful or untrue. It's simply not the whole truth.
If we halted or slowed down the rise of temperatures caused by CO2 emissions, and then started a nuclear world war as a direct or indirect consequence of our efforts to do so, what will we have we achieved? Let's agree on the objectives before we jump into the solutions. If climate change is a global issue, then let's take into consideration the entirety of human knowledge and wisdom -- from everybody on this planet.
Consumerism? I'm with you that we own too many things, unnecessary things. It's a waste, and I get that it hurts the environment. I want less clutter. I want less waste.
We need to consider incentivizing consumers to buy less instead of punishing businesses for selling more. Businesses are designed to maximize consumption. Nobody said people are designed to be consumers.
The reason why people keep buying ever newer cars and the latest iPhones and the trendiest clothes is because the happiness that they derive from these things tends to be short-lived. That is, indeed, the case very often. It doesn't have to be.
Brands don't sell you things, they sell you a vision of yourself using or wearing or displaying those things. They sell you an image.
It's our choice to buy that image. But it's also our choice to buy into that image. Nobody said we need to abandon our existing, positive self-image just because we saw a commercial for another item, even if it's the new and improved version. Are we not capable of deciding when and whether we want to improve our self-perception? Since when have we sold our souls to corporations and brands? I don't remember signing off on anything. Do you?
Education? This is where the mess begins. It's not that we teach evolution. It's not that we teach science and math. It's the