Why Young Conservatives Can Be Optimistic About the Future

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Wednesday, December 2, 2020


Election week has come and gone and I must say, I’m optimistic of the future, regardless of the outcome. The past four years have been incredibly chaotic from a personal and political perspective. It was only four years ago I was a young, naive 18-year-old, about to graduate high school, and incapable of separating my own belief system from that of my family. Now, I graduate in December, finally realizing my time in college has nurtured my love for American politics, our Founding, and Conservative ideology. 

My time in class has always been best spent partaking in debate, reading, and writing in my Political and Legal Theory courses. I’ve learned so much about the documents responsible for America’s creation, the works of the brightest philosophers in Europe influencing the brave colonists fighting tyranny, the damning sins of America’s past, and the heroes that have lived up to America’s aspiring principles. All of this, combined with ideologically-diverse relationships, have allowed for a well-rounded and knowledgeable approach to understanding modern conservatism and its rivals. 

Over the summer, while trying to understand what to do in the Election, I became obsessed with the culture war in the U.S., as well as the adopted agenda of the far left that embraces “woke” ideology like Critical Race Theory, the notion of rampant “systemic racism,” positive rights, and equality of outcome being more important than equality of opportunity. Fall arrived and I left for my final semester of college where I finally made a decision. 

Instead of voting for a person, party, or even policy, I would support the closest representation of the principles showcased in the Constitution. I did this because I believe it is these principles that unite us as Americans. In his latest book, Ben Shapiro writes, “America’s philosophy of reason, equality, liberty, and limited government; America’s culture of individual rights and social duties; and America’s shared history that define our country.” These ideals, dating back to 1776, are the roots of the grand tree we now call the U.S. 

America has many moments in its history where sin outweighed glory: slavery, the Trail of Tears, Jim Crow, Japanese internment, and the refusal to provide equal rights to women and minorities for far too long. But the idea of a truly great country is rooted in growth through discourse, activism, and, eventually, legislation. It also means rising to the challenges we’ve faced over time. 

Despite its struggles, America has defeated Communism and Nazism, fought a war to free slaves, reached the moon, united in the midst of heartache from 9/11, pulled millions from the brink of starvation and poverty across the globe, and given (legislative) equal rights to all Americans. 

That is the most glorious part about America, overcoming our mistakes in order to form a more perfect union. 

It is this message of unionism and the presence of Constitutional values that is the basis for the Conservative movement. The ideology associated with it is in direct conflict with the extreme left values our nation continues to trend towards. Conservatives think the U.S., its core values, culture of rights, and unique systems set us apart for the better. The other side believes the U.S. is rooted in evil and that we’ll never escape that evil until you agree with every tautology they proclaim. They think positive rights are above those God-given rights that precede government. These two ideologies are the only available identities for the U.S. going forward and, as of now, it appears we’ve temporarily chosen. 

More than anything, this election was more so a rebuke of wokeism than a rebuke of Trumpismsomething nobody saw coming. 

The conservative movement has a bright future down-ballot. Compared to 2016, Trump was able to improve his numbers in almost every demographic, including most minority groups. These results are a direct rebuttal to the left’s narrative that, “Because you are X, you vote Y.” The past four years have resulted in a historically good economy, peace in the Middle East without degrading Israel, and the appointment of textualist judges, while simultaneously confronting the mainstream media’s bias. These achievements are theoretical conservatism coming to life. 

Conservatives must understand that adopting many of these policies, while moving on from Trump, may be the key to future victory. The formula is there; it’s now on young conservatives to work together to achieve a Union that remains true to the ideologies of America’s Founders. Do not be discouraged because of the presidential result but, rather, be encouraged about the future because that future is a bright one if we remain true to America’s values.

“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, 

but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

Ryan Rogers is originally from Fort Mill, SC, and is currently a Senior at Clemson University. He is majoring in Economics with a minor in Political & Legal Theory. After graduation in December, he plans to pursue a career in political journalism. Ryan is passionate about Op-ed writing, politics, US history, and European football.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Ryan Rogers

Ryan Rogers is originally from Fort Mill, SC, and is currently a Senior at Clemson University. He is majoring in Economics with a minor in Political & Legal Theory. After graduation in December, he plans to pursue a career in political journalism. Ryan is passionate about Op-ed writing, politics, US history, and European football.

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