Unintentionally this is almost turning into a series on conservatism. First there was Conservative Self Education, then there was Breeding Conservatism, and now this – Spreading Conservatism. Fair enough. I suppose it’s just a topic I know a lot about, and also a topic I care about. I think “passion” is what they call it.
Being a conservative is great. For me it means that I don’t just vote Republican and tow the party line, but that I also know the issues, have strong beliefs about those issues, and understand why I have those beliefs. It’s not enough to just go into the booth and blindly fill in all the boxes marked Republican. I mean, come on. There are other issues at hand here. For one, not all Republicans are created equal. Some are social conservatives, with liberal stances on fiscal policy. Some are fiscal conservatives, but social liberals. Some are a jumble of all the issues, and some honestly don’t belong in the Republican party at all – we call those RINOs. (Republican In Name Only)
So in the end, being a conservative certainly sets you apart from any old Republican. The differences are important, but what else is important is the attitude a conservative should have towards evangelism. When most people hear the world evangelist they think of Evangelical Christians. It’s similar, just forget the Christian part. An evangelist is someone who “spreads the word”, so to speak. The word could be anything, whether it’s the gospel, or conservatism.
It’s not enough to have beliefs. It’s also crucial to instill those same beliefs in your family, friends, and coworkers. If you truly believe that small government, and greater personal responsibility is whats best for our country, isn’t it also important for our next generation to hold those same beliefs? We as conservatives can’t expect politicians to spread the word for us. Thinking that they should spread the word for us would be kind of hypocritical, would it not? We must do it in our own lives.
But how do we get started? The easiest way to get people on your team is to talk to them. None of us are so sheltered that politics never come up in conversation. The news is something we all talk about, whether it be in a positive or negative light. Next time the subject comes up, explain your beliefs, and explain why you believe them. Be calm, non-abrasive, and friendly. Too many of the conversations we have about politics are straight up arguments. I’ve never thought that the best way to convince someone of your way of thinking was to debate them. In the end, you’ll probably just push them further in the wrong direction, and keep them from ever talking to you about politics again.
Once you have people halfway on your side, don’t just let them go. Continue to drop little seeds of conservatism on them whenever you meet. Say things like, “Did you hear what Obama just did?” Then start a conversation discussing how Obama’s most recent unconstitutional executive order affects all of us. When you’re switching channels, stop on Fox News. I personally always leave the TV on Fox News, so when someone else turns it on – BAM! – Sean Hannity! I do the same thing with the radio. Once the car is turned on it’s immediately letting glorious talk radio permeate through the speakers.
Don’t forget to encourage people to continue their education away from you. Suggest websites to them, forward them links, loan them books, and then let them go for a while on their own. If you’re always looking over their shoulder they’re going to be turned off. Occasionally start small conversations about the news, but don’t come to them every day and ask, “Hey! So, did you read that book I told you to read?!?!” No matter what your belief, you’re going to scare people away by doing stuff like that. People need to come to their own conclusions. Otherwise we end up with a world of mini-mes, just repeating whatever I wrote in my most recent blog post. That’s not what I want. Really.
To restate the original thesis – being conservative is awesome. It stands for freedom, values, personal responsibility, and big guns. It’s a lot of fun being a conservative and we should strive to share the experience with other people. Start a conversation, nurture the beliefs you are trying to develop, and let the person grow on their own.