Humans generally aren’t good with freedom; most of us can’t even handle a day off. Very few people attack their idle time with productive fervor. Most spend days off sleeping in, procrastinating as long as possible, and rushing through necessary tasks followed by a late-night Doordash artery murder to cap off a day of bad decisions. Our ability to flourish as a species is hampered by our natural tendencies to break down the behaviors that do us good.
These tendencies are real problems for conservatives because those behaviors are the ones that allow for the exercise of liberty. Freedom doesn’t exist by itself; only by building a culture of responsibility and self-governance can we hope to preserve it. The culture of freedom requires us to exercise that responsibility in many ways, but there are 3 specific roles conservatives must fill to ensure that happens:
This has always been the most important job. This isn’t a call to immediately run outside, marry the first person you see and make it happen. It’s a call to realize that our values are only going to last if we pass them on to the next generation. Good or bad, left or right, doesn’t matter. Everyone from Stalin’s pioneers to the local Sunday School is out to capitalize on the minds of the next generation. Conservatives have to beat them to the punch. We can’t be effectively involved at the highest levels of government without being involved in the most fundamental governmental unit: the family. Politics, fame, money, power, influence—all these things pass away. However, if we pass conservative values onto the next generation and teach them to do the same, those values can live forever.
One of the most prominent narratives on the right is the war for freedom of expression in academia. From student antics at UC Berkeley to struggles with administrators at the University of Minnesota, the need for improved discourse in American universities is clear. This is not a call to “cancel” left-leaning professors or protest left-leaning speakers as such ideas are immature and only degrade free speech. Rather, it is a call for conservatives to be willing to consider academic careers, especially as educators. The argument for retaking culture applies here; if the right is willing to complain about bias in the educational system we ought to be willing to attempt to be the change we seek.
In the words of Tim Pool, “Journalism died a while back.” Whether you hate legacy media with a burning passion or watch Fox News religiously, there is a growing sentiment that large news corporations have fallen out of touch with the public and are becoming unfit for consumption. Conservatives do not need to agree on this to capitalize on it. There are countless opportunities for journalism available in high school and college, and many can lead to a legitimate career as evidenced by Andy Ngo and others. Capable journalists with a moral worldview can be the way to usher in a new age of media rooted in a commitment to the accurate portrayal of reality.
Freedom is a counter-culture. Freedom is hard. But, if we care about passing down conservative values, we have to be willing to work to build a culture that guards those values. Influencers and catchphrases are all very well, but if we can’t establish conservative values in the classroom, in the media, and in the home, we doom the movement to the unmarked grave of futility. It is imperative that we hold the culture line now like never before.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.