Why are you Right? Yes, you, conservative person. Can you answer that question?
I think it’s so important that I wrote a book about it – How to be Right: The Art of Being Persuasively Correct. Because if you can’t be persuasive about why you are right, then we, the United States of America and the Republic for which it stands, are lost. So, here is the simple answer to why you are Right: It is a more practical, generous, and compassionate way to live. Let me explain:
There have been a bunch of academic studies on how those on the Left and Right approach problems. They pretty much all come to the same conclusion. The Right tends to be risk averse, more concerned about external threats like tyranny and terror. Conservatives – get this – tend to be conservative. They are less likely to play with fire, in just about every sense: financially, artistically, sexually. They are cautious about changing traditions (sometimes to a fault), which is why they cling to that crazy Constitution they like so much – and to their guns and their religion.
We conservatives also focus on what we can fix, and accept what we cannot – which is one of the many reasons we’re not obsessed over global warming. With Radical Islam we know what the threat is, and that it’s a lot worse than a few missing polar bears (I know that makes me sound mean – sorry polar bears).
Liberals, the research tells us, are generally more outgoing, more likely to try new stuff. They are open to new ideas (though not school choice, or flat taxes, or a market based health care reform), and are less likely to feel threatened by unfamiliar things. This is why, in general, they seem to have more fun. They are more likely to try drugs, for example (which is fine, as long as they don’t end up throwing up in my toaster). In short, liberals are pretty liberal. They feel free to take risks that the risk-averse usually end up paying for – over and over. Which explains the necessity for conservatism. We are the clean-up crew.
Liberals may seem to have more fun (and many do), but according to polls they aren’t as happy as conservatives. And with all the fun they’re having, I’ve never quite figured out why the angriest people I’ve encountered in my life have been liberals. Maybe it’s because short-term fun doesn’t translate into long-term happiness. Marriage, families and religion do that and those are the things conservatives most value. Liberals tend to live for now. Conservatives for later.
A risk-averse conservative is more likely to save money. He is more likely to protect his investments. He is more likely to protect property, and advocate for rule of law and preservation of individual protections. And he offers no excuses for looting. Instead, he empathizes with the Asian, Arab and black small businessman whose convenience store, laundry or restaurant goes up into flames during the riot that liberals reflexively endorse as an “understandable response to injustice.”
Of course, conservatives aren’t risk-averse in everything. But they take risks with their own lives, not with the society. Conservatives risk all to build businesses. That risk, however, is rooted in a fact-based belief (not faith) in the free market. If people want the product or service you’re supplying at the price you’re asking, you will succeed and the risk will pay off.
Over time, it’s conservative risk-taking that creates a civilization, by building families, businesses, and nations. All of which creates more wealth – wealth that can then be used to help those in need. You need money to make money, but you also need money to give money. Conservatism makes what liberalism takes.
So, for example, for liberals to get their minimum-wage hike, first we need conservatives to build businesses, to think like businessmen, to sacrifice their own salaries in order to pay others; to sleep on floors if necessary in order to break even. Then when they make a profit, and things are going great – when the calm sets in –liberalism can appear and say, “How dare you not pay these people a living wage?” Once the tables are full of diners, and bills are being paid, and you’re thinking about opening a second joint, liberalism arrives to demand its cut. Think of it as a protection racket. Sort of like the Gambino family, but without loyalty, job prospects, and track suits.
In short, conservatism doesn’t compete with liberalism – it sustains it. Without conservatism, there is no liberalism. And so when a liberal asks you, “Why are you a conservative?” simply say, “So that you can be a liberal.”
I’m Greg Gutfeld.