Conservative: Meaning

“Conservative,” according to Oxford Languages, is defined as averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values. To me, a conservative is a person who wants to preserve the past. Put differently, he or she wants ideas, concepts, and ways of living from bygone times to thrive in the present and the future. The implication is that the conservative is opposed to neoteric or “newfangled” ways of thinking and wants to reinforce what some would consider outmoded models of procedure.

But political conservatives active these days, especially those who support Trump, look to me like those who want to preserve the benefits of the well-to-do and the power, especially political power, of the wealthy. That means that they are actively working to making it more difficult for the rank-and-file to vote. According to Aljazeera, “This year, at least 27 states have introduced or enacted 250 pieces of legislation designed to restrict voting, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. This comes after a record year in which 19 US states enacted 34 restrictive voting laws in 2021.”

These efforts are driven by the Republicans. They know they are outnumbered by Democrats and can’t win elections by the free vote count, so they seek to suppress Democratic votes. Whether we like to admit it or not, that is a direct attack on American democracy.

So the meaning of “conservative” has changed. One result to make me more progressive than ever.

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