When Edmund McIlhenny founded McIlhenny Company in 1868, he intended to make the best hot sauce around. It wasn’t hard at the time because hot sauce really wasn’t much of a thing. Louisiana was known for its use of peppers and vinegar, but there weren’t mass produced hot sauces in every other parish as there are today. Louisiana had only been a state for less than two generations and Buffalo wings wouldn’t be served for the first time at Anchor Bar for another 96 years.
In his lifetime, McIlhenny oversaw the production of 350,000 units of his TABASCO® brand Louisiana hot sauce. Today, as many is 700,000 units will be bottled, and by “today,” I mean literally today alone. The per-day production peaks around Christmas time.
Conservatives can learn a ton from this company and how it has done business for the last 16 decades. It’s as American as a story can get, thriving on the entrepreneurial spirit and firm in maintaining its traditions through consistent processes and proper innovations. At least, it’s what an American story used to be. Today, too much emphasis has been placed on the progressive perspective of changing quickly and abandoning ideas that have always worked. It’s up to America’s conservatives to change this shift in how the nation does business and revert back to the tried and true philosophies that were usurped for not good reason other than leftists realizing they could usurp them.
First, take a few minutes to watch this video about how TABASCO® is made today. It’s interesting even if you don’t notice the tenets of conservatism prevalent throughout. But you’ll notice them. You’re a conservative, after all, and we tend to notice such things.
Did you catch all of the unintentionally inferred conservative principles? It’s okay if you didn’t. I don’t mind commenting on them myself…
Same ingredients, modernized process
The most glaring attribute of TABASCO® sauce today is the dedication to making it with the same ingredients they used from the beginning. But it’s more than the ingredients that make the sauce so great. The process is scaled through modernized processes but don’t deviate from the original concept. They didn’t take shortcuts in any process that would fundamentally change the product, while still allowing for mass production innovations entering the picture when appropriate.
It’s important that the same peppers that were used from the beginning are the base for the sauce today. All too often we hear of new recipes or replaced ingredients that allegedly make things better. Those of you old enough to remember “New Coke” are familiar with what can happen when you take something that works and attempt to “fix” it. This is one of the biggest problems progressives in America create. They abhor anything they consider to be old and incessantly try to change the ingredients that have helped America thrive for over two centuries.
As conservatives, it is incumbent on us to be cognizant of the unnecessary changes progressives continuously push while also keeping an eye out for innovations. They can keep the things that work the same as they’ve always been while improving on inefficiencies in any given system. If there’s anything that screams for conservative innovation, it’s our tax system. Raising or lowering taxes is a political debate between Democrats and Republicans, but acknowledging that the system by which taxes are issued, filed, and collected needs bipartisan revamping. We have the technology to streamline it. Let’s do that.
Passion for tradition, pride in results
It’s conspicuous that the founder’s family continue to own and operate the company. And it’s not just the long line of McIlhenny CEO’s making decrees from the top. In the video the reporter seemed surprised to learn that the gentleman in the bottling plant was a descendant of the founder’s as well.
Now, by no means am I suggesting the same type of nepotism apply for conservatives in government. No, I won’t be voting for Jeb Bush or Ivanka Trump (both of whom are left-leaning) any time soon. But tradition goes beyond family, and the passion for the company by the employees interviewed was easily apparent. They love what they do and take pride in the product they deliver to tens of millions of people worldwide.
We need this passion to resurface in conservative circles. President Trump has done that to some extent, bringing conservatives together to embrace his presidency and promote the concept of keeping America great. But this passion needs to extend beyond President Trump and even beyond politics. We have an opportunity to take our passions and finally realize many of them in ways that weren’t as easy in the past. For example, conservatives have seemed to abandon the battle against ubiquitous pornography on the internet. This needs to change and we now have the moral high ground upon which to change it.
Mixing in diversity
One of the most impressive ways the company has expanded without losing its core is by growing their peppers in Central and South America as well as Africa. There just isn’t enough land available in Louisiana to fit the need, so the company found similar soils and climates to expand production. To keep things consistent, they use a clever process of mixing the peppers from various countries equally into each batch so as not to change the original intended flavor from bottle to bottle.
This is where we get into a bit of symbolism. McIlhenny Company was forced to diversify their pepper growing operations for the sake of growth. Conservatives need to do the same thing as we share ideas with new generations of Americans. I’m a legal immigrant myself and came to the conclusion I was a conservative before finishing middle school. This wasn’t preordained as my mother was a progressive hippy leftist and my father was a Bible-thumping conservative. In the end, the ideas of conservatism won me over.
It’s unfair to say conservatives are made up of old white males. That’s simply not true, but there is definitely an unfortunate reality in the idea that conservative principles are not properly shared in communities and with cultures that have been taken over by Democrats over the decades. We need to expand the reach of our message. I’m a firm believer that the majority of Americans of all cultural backgrounds are either conservatives or conservatives waiting to be awoken.
Long term, big picture thinking
Before you bought your TABASCO® sauce, it sat in a barrel for three years. Imagine if conservatives would start planting seeds for the advancement of principles today knowing the benefits would not be realized for years, even decades? It’s not hard to imagine if we look to the left. They’ve been doing it for a long time, indoctrinating kids to become the next registered serving of Democrat from the moment they entered Kindergarten.
We need this badly. The only things propping up the ranks of radical progressives are the indoctrination launched in school and through Hollywood that is perpetuated and reinforced at university and through mainstream media. We have the stronger ideas by far. We have the better results delivered when our proposals become policies. It isn’t even close. Yet we still focus on the short term solutions to problems of today while leftists are building their army of tomorrow.
If conservatives started thinking like Edmund McIlhenny and his family, we could put an end to the progressive scourge that has allowed socialism to creep into the collective consciousness. Our nation’s future depends on conservatives playing smarter.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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