I’m going to do a lot of offending in this column so viewer discretion advised if you are a snowflake on the left or right. The problem in the Conservative movement that needs addressing is the number of young Conservatives rising to prominence who lack any real depth or articulate principles. I dub thee “Frathouse Conservatism” because the problem largely stems from campus organizations. I am 22, so this isn’t some Gen Xer ranting about Millenials and Gen Z. In fact, I do not boast about how much better I am. Rather I point out the cause of the problem and point to the solution.
Rejection of Worldview
Western civilization is founded on the intersection of Athens and Jerusalem. The founding father’s took ideas of John Locke. Read this excerpt from the Second Treastie Chapter 2:
that self-love will make men partial to themselves and their friends;
and, on the other side, ill-nature, passion, and revenge will carry them
too far in punishing others, and hence nothing but confusion and disorder
will follow, and that therefore God hath certainly appointed government
to restrain the partiality and violence of men. I easily grant that
civil government is the proper remedy for the inconveniences of the
state of Nature, which must certainly be great where men may be judges
in their own case, since it is easy to be imagined that he who was so
unjust as to do his brother an injury will scarce be so just as to condemn
himself for it. But I shall desire those who make this objection to remember
that absolute monarchs are but men; and if government is to be
the remedy of those evils which necessarily follow from men being judges
in their own cases, and the state of Nature is therefore not to be endured,
I desire to know what kind of government that is, and how much better
it is than the state of Nature, where one man commanding a multitude
has the liberty to be judge in his own case, and may do to all his subjects
whatever he pleases without the least question or control of those who
execute his pleasure? and in whatsoever he doth, whether led by reason,
mistake, or passion, must be submitted to? which men in the state of
Nature are not bound to do one to another. And if he that judges, judges
amiss in his own or any other case, he is answerable for it to the rest of
The Conservative worldview is largely pieced together by John Locke. Mankind in fallen. Government can’t correct mankind’s fallen nature, because government is made up of fallen men. Fallen men, if given arbitrary uncheckable authority, will commit injustices. Therefore it is most ideal that government be limited in its purpose. It’s purpose is to protect inalienable rights and to navigate violations of said rights.
Conservative worldview hinges on accepting the premise that mankind is fallen. One need not be religious to accept this premise. Many Conservatives unknowingly accept fallen nature to be true while others fully embrace this premise. The Frathouse Conservative supplements this premise if not outright rejects the notion altogether. Instead of mankind being intrinsically flawed, the state is intrinsically flawed. This substituted premise often results in the same conclusions as far as policy goes, but rejecting a fundamental pillar of the Conservative worldview is the root of Frathouse Conservatism’s inferiority.
Rejection of Mission
Frathouse Conservatism confides Conservatism to simply small governance. This directly stems from the rejection of the fallen nature. Conservatism, in accepting mankind’s state, necessitates the pursuit of living to a higher standard. All of the founding fathers believed in living high moral standards, despite their diverse religious beliefs. The founding fathers wanted no part in debauchery. Frathouse Conservatism may instead celebrate immoral behavior under the guise of limited government. More distinctly, Frathouse Conservatism is ready to lampoon deviant moral behavior.
Frathouse Conservatism is not as purposeless as it may seem. The movement does contain a mission, however vein it may be. The best way to phrase it is in their own words “owning the libs!” In accomplishing this, there are no boundaries or lines not to be crossed. The use of personal attacks is often substituted for substantive argument. A classic example of this is Tomi Lahren who believes that social issues are a waste of time. Her column on social issues showed a very misinformed understanding of the last three presidential elections and a concern for only illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is an issue where conservatism favors one side. There are many worldviews that could come to the same conclusion that America needs to curb illegal immigration. Some people are concerned about security, others cost. There’s also a principled belief in rule of law. And of course nativism exists. Not all of these are necessarily conservative. But the mission of Conservatism isn’t to win elections as Lahren suggests it should be. The perpetuity of Republicans in office has shown to be a detriment to Conservatism. Rather Conservatism seeks to better society, largely through small governance. Jesse Kelly understands the mission in how he responded. Ben Shapiro’s response was also worth noting
Nope. We win by protecting human life, or our victories aren’t victories. https://t.co/RKzoYIyz9Q
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) July 8, 2018
One Trick Ponies
If were ranking top issues for the Conservative cause, opposing abortion is one of them. But not everyone on the side of life is a Conservative. In my experience arguing abortion with the pro-abortion, there arguments shift from logical fallacies to denial of moral personhood for all of the unborn.
Logical fallacy. Also, many women are pro life. Try again.
— Raymond Fava (@RaymondFava) July 10, 2018
So your argument is to deny the moral personhood of the unborn?
— Raymond Fava (@RaymondFava) July 10, 2018
These types of arguments do not have substantial logical backing, especially when placed in perspective with cultural practices and norms. The pro-abortion side is simply not the logical side of the debate. One doesn’t have to be a Conservative to come to this conclusion. Many people can articulate well thoughtout pro-life arguments. This doesn’t make them a great Conservative. A great Conservative can articulate Conservative positions on various issues with intellectual consistency. The Frathouse Conservative cannot.
Abortion is not the only trick these ponies may know. It’s similar to libertarians who are libertarian because of marijuana. There’s also immigration (back to Tomi Lahren) and race (Candace Owens). And then there are the snowflakes whose mission is to trigger the snowflakes. And upon being challenged, they hit that block button on twitter. And of course there’s the everyday Trump bandwagoners like CJ Pearson who wants to line his own Paypal account.
Tactics of the Left
Candace Owens is a classic example of a Frathouse Conservative. She is very capable of explaining why she walked away from the Left. There is nothing wrong with that. What I have issue with is two things:
- Her reliance and profiting from Identity Politics
- Smear on those who think differently
We get it, you’re black. Ted Cruz is hispanic. You don’t see him using his race to pander to “his” group. Conservatives should not be seeking attention for their race, rather, they should be seeking attention for their ideas and merits. Candace Owens has little of either. She can explain her life story. That’s fine, but she’s wrong to assume black people can’t freely be Democrats. Further more, her tactics are of the Left.
The Left has successfully employed identity based labels to attack those they disagree with. Owens employs the same. Conservatives should stay away from these tactics.
Frathouse Conservatism aims to own the libs. The libs do a good job at owning themselves and eating their own. The Frathouse Conservative places too much uniqueness in themselves. Demographically speaking, the coming generations of voters are likely to be more Conservative because Republicans are having more kids. The baby gap has been written about for over a decade now. After all, the Left supports abortion, gay marriage, and free birth control. These three things are not conducive to bearing children. Mathematically speaking, it is likelier for a child now to be raised in a Republican household. This doesn’t mean, they will grow up Conservative. However this does mean a young Conservative, like myself, is nothing special or surprising. Sorry to disappoint.
The solution begins by first realizing that a young Conservative is nothing unique, therefore not seeking attention for it. Don’t go to colleges that suppress free speech(yes this is something you can research), and don’t treat college like a summer camp. Work during school, and if you’re not working during school, you better be more articulate than Amanda Kemp and half the writers at Lone Conservative. You have the time.
With that said, everyone wants to be Ben Shapiro, but no one wants to put in the same work that Ben Shapiro put in. Shapiro is a hardcore writer and reader. The Frathouse conservatives on Twitter are typically neither. And through reading and writing, education and practice, the Frathouse Conservative can graduate to being an actual Conservative.