Bridging the Gaps for FreedomSubmitted by principle_first on Mon, 02/04/2013 - 20:51
It may be that the words "conservative" and "progressive" - by your definition - are complete opposites of each other. But if I may, let me try to convince you that they are more alike than you might initially think if you just take politics out of the thought process. But let me say this about politics, and this will be the only negative thing I say; the words “conservative” and “progressive” have been polarized and taken over by power-hungry, establishment politicians on both sides of the political spectrum who share in the belief that their will – not that of the people’s – should determine policy and the direction that our country should go in. They’re called elitists. They are those individuals who think they should use all the power at their disposal as a way to achieve some greater good; the ones who think they have the answer to all society’s ills. They use the words “conservative” and “progressive” as a way to define their agendas so that it may attract the support of the casual voter who makes his or her judgment based off the amount of appealing catchphrases they hear from one candidate or another. Sadly, these politicians do an awful job of explaining what these terms mean by their actions and as a result, we come to the conclusion that one cannot be both a conservative and progressive at the same time. And this is the great illusion.
But enough negativity, I want to explain why - or better how - I am both because I believe that they are strong virtues to have. I am conservative in my understanding - meaning that I believe in the principles of Life and Liberty. I believe that no one has the right to impose their will upon a man’s ability to pursue happiness as long as his pursuit does not infringe upon the ability of another’s. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights ensure this. These things do not need changed and should be preserved. This is the true meaning of conservative and by this definition, it is a strong foundation on which to stand. The moral fabric of society depends on such preservation. It is the reason for all that is good and it has allowed us to create and invent things that are only possible by the unregulated imagination of one’s own mind and spirit.
A progressive: an advocate of change and improvement. What is wrong with change that improves the condition of man? I say nothing. But freedom does not need improved upon for it is the ultimate condition of man. Progress that undermines life and liberty…is no progress at all and is a step in the wrong direction. But change that advances the ideas of liberty is good for all individuals and is progress uninterrupted by the societal hindrances of class, race, and hate.
Politicians have done a good job at altering the visions of conservatives and progressives so that their paths head in opposite directions but I believe this will be straw that breaks the camel’s back for the United States if we cannot correct this. There are many problems we face today and as we bitch about political correctness, preserving our moral foundation and progressing the human condition take a back seat to individuals who seek to control the will of a people by manipulation to fuel their self-righteous inclinations. Some might define progressive as the use of, or interest in, new ideas. I say freedom is the newest idea in an age when government intervenes in our lives at every chance it gets.