I’m a Republican, I’m a Conservative and I’m a Christian. I am also an American citizen, I am a husband and I am a dad. These words describe my affiliation with various identity groups. Or do they? Just because I say I am part of a certain group, does it really mean I am?
There is no litmus test for the first two. Here in Idaho, we have many RINO’s and many liberals vote Republican while agreeing with nothing in the Party platform. I can mouth that I belong, but espouse political positions not truly representative of being Republican or Conservative. For the third only God truly knows, here on earth many cults call themselves Christian and many people attending a Christian church may be no different than the first day they walked in.
I have a birth certificate saying I was born in America, but today we have a president that believes anyone sneaking into our country or standing within our borders, is an American citizen. This president along with other presidents have been working to supplant the importance of my birth certificate with something they call a “Real ID,” which I do not have. For the last two groups I do have documentation proving I am married and that I am the father of a child, but interestingly the definition of what married means has changed and laboratories with test tubes have also brought forth new human life.
If we think about our American society, we have embraced imitations and definition changes of all sorts. Many people use margarine rather than butter, saccharine rather than sugar and some eat tofu rather than beef. I’d guess 70-80% of Americans who socialize online, have a fake online personality. In Spokane, Rachel Dolezal, a white woman, colored her skin, changed her hair and represented herself to her community as black person and as a result, appointed to lead the local NAACP chapter. If you’re a man with no hair, you can get fake hair, a woman who feels undersized can get fake breasts. I can get cubic-zirconium rather than a real diamond. I am not trying to make a case that everything fake is bad, but I am espousing that there is something to be said for the real thing and the blurring of what is real and what is fake should be concerning.
It seems that in every one of the areas of affiliation I first mentioned the real distinctions are lost in the prolific use of certain words. This blur serves no purpose other than to dilute and pollute the true and faithful identity of each. Obviously those outside of our affiliation camps have been purposeful in erasing our identity. The value and purity of the each identity is getting pretty hard to decipher except to those who really look.
A fake $100 bill, looks real to everyone except those who know what real $100 bills look like. When faced with someone who truly knows what a real $100 bill looks like, the counterfeit $100 bill becomes worthless. So to with a counterfeit conservative. So what can we do about it?
And now we get to the crux of this first article, if I claim to be a “United States Christian Conservative Republican Citizen, a married man and father to my child”, there needs to be a very clear and significant difference “already present in my life” proving that I’m the real deal in each of those areas. Additionally, I could be a good or bad example of any of these. If you go off the record with my wife she may agree with the term husband in describing me, but she could add the word “bad” or “pretend” before the title. Wouldn’t that change what I claim to be?
I am not a pro-football player just because I wear a Seahawk’s jersey. While this is my first time running for an elected office, I’m just one of four running for this seat and all of us say we represent Republican and conservative values. It really hit home why just listening to a candidate’s words may make it hard for everyone else to tell the differences between us. Candidates have a way of being whatever they need to be depending upon who is in front of them.
In this 7-part series of articles, my goal is to stimulate our thoughts and to provide clarity for what being conservative might really mean and more importantly how we can be a better example of it. The take away should inspire all of us to be better at being a true conservative.
Bob Bingham is the Founder of North West Property Owners Alliance (www.nwpoa.org) and a candidate for Kootenai County Commissioner (www.bob4idaho.com)