Two New Year’s Resolutions for Conservatives
Two New Year’s Resolutions for Conservatives
Whether or not you believe in the benefits of New Year’s Resolutions, a new year is still a good time to reflect on where we are and how we can go forward stronger and more effectively. As we’ve seen from recent events, some on the left are often quick in their attempts to not only silence but to obliterate anyone whose beliefs are not in line with theirs. Many times conservatives cave to the pressure. If we can’t stand our ground as conservatives, we may as well throw in the towel now and save ourselves a lot of time and trouble. With that in mind, I offer two resolutions – only two. Both are doable, and they are woven together. Read the post below, decide what you can do, and make 2014 the year you do something concrete to advance conservative values.
RESOLUTION #1 – Be informed
First, do you know what basic conservative beliefs are? Can you clearly articulate them? If not, that’s your starting point. There are some excellent articles (on both the right and left) that break it down in easy-to-understand language. Do an internet search and spend awhile reading. The terms “conservative” and “liberal” are not set in stone. They mean different things to different people. Read enough to determine the common themes and decide what the terms mean to you. Don’t rely on only one source of information. Watch, listen or read a variety of sources. If you get your information from only conservative sources you won’t have a clue how a liberal thinks. It’s quite an eye-opener to read liberal websites. I spent years thinking, “How on earth could someone (a liberal) think that way?” Then I started reading a liberal blogger, and I began to understand the values and thought processes involved. You have to know how a liberal thinks or you won’t be able to argue or state your case effectively.
Check out right-leaning web sites like Fox News, The Drudge Report, New York Post, Instapundit, Townhall, WorldNetDaily, National Review, and Hot Air. Then read some left-leaning sites like CNN, The HuffingtonPost, Politico, NPR, The Democratic Underground, Slate, Daily Kos, and The Daily Beast.
Choose a topic and compare the coverage on that topic. How did the left come to their conclusions? How did the right? What basic beliefs and world views led to each conclusion? You’ll start to get a feel for the differences in values and thinking.
RESOLUTION #2 – When communicating with a liberal, calmly stick to the subject without name-calling and without becoming defensive.
Obama and the left might want to get in our faces and bring a gun to a knife fight, but we know a better way to handle differences of opinion. We believe strongly that we have right and history on our side; we don’t have to fight dirty to win.
Both liberals and conservatives have folks who stereotype the other side. Their method of discussion involves hurling insults, name-calling and marginalizing the other side. We won’t get into which side has more of those people. However, that behavior is indicative of someone who hasn’t done their homework, and that’s a major weakness. If you do it, stop it. Those behaviors only hurt our cause.
The best way to handle a verbally abusive person (a bully) is to respond calmly with facts. Avoid knee-jerk reactions to rants. Take the high road and take a deep breath; then respond calmly with researched information. “That’s not accurate; let me tell you what really happened.” “Here is what I believe and why.” “What is your source for that information?” “I’ve researched the topic, and this is what I’ve learned.” “If you study the actual transcripts/documents, you’ll find that . . . ”
Find conservative authors and commentators and follow them. Read their articles and listen to them. Three of my favorites are Charles Krauthammer, John Hayward and Bill Whittle. Whittle, for example, can take a liberal point and turn it around to show the fallacy of the point and how the conservative point of view is the better one. Check out his website and watch some of his “Virtual President” videos. Actually, watch any of his videos. He quietly and matter-of-factly counters a liberal argument with information, facts, humor and statistics. He knows his stuff!
An important thing to remember is that you won’t convince a die-hard liberal to change his/her thinking. However, there will be other people following your conversations. There will be independents, there will be people who call themselves liberal simply because they think it’s the cool thing to do, there will be the fence-sitters, and there will be conservatives who haven’t done the research you have. Those people will tune in to your online discussions with the die-hards, and they can be influenced. They are your audience. They are the ones who will be turned off if you resort to name-calling and insults. They are the ones who can be swayed by rational and intelligent debate. They are the ones who make these two resolutions so very important.
It’s the start of a new year. There are critical elections coming up later in the year – elections that can shape the future of our country. It is vital that we conservatives stand up proudly for our values and beliefs. I wrote about Bill Whittle because he can calmly and intelligently present his case (resolution #2) because he is informed (resolution #1). See how it all ties together? Go and do likewise!
Note: Since you’re reading an online blog, you apparently get at least some information from online sources. That’s why we stuck with online information sources for the purposes of this post. Of course there are others sources you can use as well – television, radio, newspapers, books and magazines.