Small “c”. What is it? I am a small c conservative.
Well, for starters, it's nice when life WORKS. You know, bills paid, gas in the car, fridge full and to-do list crossed off. You know that best from those times in life when it is not. It’s usually at university where you end up in situations where you didn’t get enough sleep, partied too much, are ill prepared for an exam, et cetera. You learn about life when it goes off the rails.
Then you grow up. In a nutshell, you learn that to forego the wise things is simply, DUMB and no one wants to be dumb. So you opt for those things that work because the alternatives are so dismal, and secondly because it’s actually easier in the end to be responsible.
The go-to word is caution. Prudence. Measure twice and cut once. Don’t leave a debris trail with your life that will make you or anybody else sad. Care enough to do the requisite foundational work of life that underpins the rest. It’s called being an adult.
It is disconcerting when you look at your government and realize you’re the only adult in the room. Adolescent children like our current Prime Minister trumpet their positions with an ill-advised sense of virtue that has of yet been untried. It has not had to produce anything real, and it has not had to weather any storms. It is cheap grace.
Voluntarily doing the right thing is most important in the private weal. The honour system. Dating, you realize soon enough that trust is something good privately, that also defines a society when writ large. You have to be trustworthy one on one, then corporately as a family. Multiply that and you have a successful national enterprise, that is founded on small c conservative values. If you end up having daughters, you will come to understand the importance of personal honour, in ways that will keep you up at night. Its lack, is a plan you can study in ruination.
There are things in life that are predictable folly. What I see again and again in government is people who glibly are willing to take a working system, and without any real good reason, upset the balance or introduce factors that are untried. Baby steps please. It’s easier to ruin something quickly that has been running solidly for a long time than we might imagine. To do so is the mark of an amateur, and to do it repeatedly and in a large scale is criminal negligence. It squanders the care of our forefathers.
Sadly, politics is often no more than a shell-game which puts up policy as a trial balloon that will easily shift with the next wind as they court votes. Money as the grease of state follows, and it is all too easy when it is your money and mine, money that they can crank up by upping the ante and taxing you more. They devour the fruit, throw away the core, and move on rapaciously. Taxes are like that. They support a great dog and pony show in public, and a lot of horse-trading behind the scenes.
Small c is my personal banner, and yet I am less and less willing to associate that with any political party because politics has devolved into a straw-man game that plays to the cameras. The most evil pronouncements are often those which purport to be progressive. They scream virtue, while the basics go to hell in a handcart. Paying your bills and proceeding with caution is not very sexy for a politician, but it’s what matters in the end, a society that works best in the basics, for the majority.
What we value most in life must most often be protected FROM politicians. There is a reason the moniker “politician” is tossed out as an insult. To be a politician means that your values are mutable and shallow. Nothing depends on them. They are the cup of lukewarm water you spew out of your mouth.
There is much foolishness blowing about these days. I don’t need to affiliate myself with any of it. I can happily be small c at home, and that’s what I think I am going to do. Politics be damned. They will eventually pass away in God’s greater wisdom, and it might be that small “c” survives, alongside of everything else that is worthy. And that is a position I am willing to defend unapologetically.