The funny thing about conservatives is that we are often dismissed as relics of the past. People, especially on the left, are too eager to paint us as somehow throwbacks to a simpler era. They say that not with any love in their hearts but in derision. Seriously. They say that because they want to point to the simple-mindedness of conservatives.
They are saying all these complexities have happened in the world, and the world is a completely different place from twenty to fifty and definitely a hundred years ago, why are you so focused on principles? Why are you so focused on these traditions? Focus on the here and now because we’re constantly engaged in this cycle of creative destruction. There are new jobs being created, new technologies and get with a program.
I don’t know about you but showing up to work on time is one tradition that worked well in the past, currently works now and I suspect will continue to work long into the future. Having kids, marrying the mother of your kids, taking care of your children, working hard to provide for you children, ensuring that they’re properly educated, fed and clothed and carrying them through until the point they can take care of themselves is not outdated.
It definitely holds a candle to the common alternative, which is to let the state take care of you. The idea of responsible parenthood paid off in the past, is currently paying off for people now and is probably going to continue to pay off in the future.
In fact, according to recent research reports, the number one factor that determines whether people will be poor in the United States is whether they remain married. That’s right! If you are a single mom or a single parent, it’s going to be tough. It’s not impossible, but it’s going to be tough because you’re going to be faced with higher rates of poverty, higher rates of your children going to jail, higher rates of your children developing drug addictions and a whole list of social dysfunctions.
What underlines all these examples is the concept of tradition. The problem with liberalism is that we were so focused on the hot, new hack or the hot, new solution that is supposed to address everything and anything related to our seemingly complicated world.
Well, let me tell you if you slice and dice the complexities of the world, they really all harken back to old-school traditions and principles. We just have to have the right idea, and this right idea is not something that we have to wait for. It’s already here.
Great parenting worked in the past, works today and will continue to work in the future. Taking care of yourself, being responsible for yourself, not stealing, not lying, holding yourself to higher standards worked in the past, works today and will probably continue to work in the future.
Setting goals, breaking those goals into plans, putting work in to those plans, learning from your mistakes, pursuing those goals until your achieve them and scaling up works. It worked in the past, works today and will continue to work in the future.
Do you see the pattern here? That’s what we conservatives mean by tradition because it really all boils down to preserving society.
Unfortunately, there’s a tremendous amount of pressure now to basically to let the government solve everything. We have all this tremendous power as individuals, and there is this temptation to just abdicate all that and give the responsibility to take care of ourselves to something bigger and higher than us that supposedly knows better than us.
That model did not work in the days of nobility, it doesn’t work today in socialist countries and it probably will not work in the future. That’s human nature.