Like most of us, I was raised conservative. No, scratch that. I was raised very conservative. I grew up in a stricted but loving household with Christian values and went to church-run school for 10 years. My last name also suggests that I received another kind of conservatism in the form of custom and tradition. I no longer consider myself a conservative at this point - a product of my interaction with the wider spectrum outside the conservative eggshell and the self-thinking process that shaped who I am today - but my upbringing ensures that there’s a part of me, no matter how small, that remains a conservative.
It is my understanding that conservatism transcends the division of belief and religion. For instance, I believe I’ll find more similarities of mindframe between two conservative people with different Abrahamic religion than what I’ll find between a conservative and a liberal who holds the same religious belief. It’s the rigorous preservation of tradition that, for me, defines a conservative, be it a religious, social, or even political norm.
As an entity that comes out and thrives on status quo, conservatism has an advantage as the default mindset of the majority of the populism. It has a massive headstart. This is something that our more liberal friends tend to forget when we’re about to engage on more progressive campaigns. Conservatism is a product of slow-cooked pot that has been going for decade after decade. It just cannot be changed overnight. What would happen, you think, when you square up to other people and tell them what their parents told them is not only wrong, but also stupid? You’ll get smacked.
I raised the more liberal eyebrows at one event when I said that being conservative is not wrong. I stand by that statement. Just because I dont agree with them, doesnt necessarily mean they’re wrong. On other hand, something that I’ve been working on lately is trying to understand them. I’ve written about this numerous times and I realize that I havent figured it out yet. Not entirely.
But one foregone conclusion that emerged since the last time I penned a thoughtpiece here is how ignorant we’ve been to think all conservatives are the same. We generalise anybody on the right of us and put them in one basket while actually there’s a diversity among them. We’ve been unfairly labelling everybody on the right as intolerant, radical, extremist, and other unpleasant adjectives. I’d like to urge us to stop doing this because just because some people are less liberal, they don’t automatically become intolerant or radical.
I’ve made it clear that among my top to-do list these days is to extend the cordial relationship and network with people outside my socio-political bubbles. Not all conservatives are the same. Some conservatives are less conservative than the others. And it’s within the range of possibility to actually find a common ground and work our way up together. We belong to the same nation and we fly the same flag. I believe we’ll find more things in common than what we used to believe.