Throughout the past few months I have found myself in quite a few heated debates with conservative activist, extremist and pacifist. There were conversations that took place face to face, while others were through social media post. Some of these conservatives were respected and loved family members and friends, yet others I have and never will meet in-person. There is one commonality during and after these engagements of idealism I would have, there always had the same questions rattling around in my head. My thoughts always journey down the same path and I was typically kicking myself for not inquiring.
I would love to know what makes a man believe that our country should not evolve politically, socially, culturally or educationally. I wonder if there is any difference between the beliefs of modern-day fiscal conservatives and the idealism that southern confederates believed to be right and good, which lead our country into Civil War. I think to myself, what is the difference between this person that is against the "Anti-Police Brutality" protesters and would they be the same conservatives who would have lined the streets to spit and throw rocks at Civil Rights Marchers in Mississippi and Alabama in the 1960s.
Perhaps my biggest question to any conservative today is; if you were born in a different era of America's short and violent history, at what time do you believe that you would have been a liberal? I am sure every conservative today has an era that they believe they would have been on the side of change but I highly doubt it that most would have thought any different.
During the late 18th century, America was in a battle for independence with the British. Ironically enough, a vast majority of the colonist in America did not agree with the Boston Tea Party, including then Gen. George Washington and Attorney at Law Thomas Jefferson. This event was considered an angry and unlawful riot and for a half century was referred to as, "The Destruction of Tea". It was not only the destruction of the East Indian Company's products that occurred on several occasions that was frowned upon by the populous but it was also the burning of several ships over the course of a year and assaulting, falsely detaining and hostage-taking of many of the ships crew.
Many today believe that the Boston Tea Party was the spark that ignited the people against the England's Parliament but it was not. After Gen. Washington publicly rallied for a tax that would atone for the replacement of lost revenue due to the misbehavior by rebellious colony citizens, America found itself in a military police state under British troops (the active Federal Government). On March 5, 1970, a street protest turned physically violent by drunken colonial aggressors against an overwhelmingly outnumbered small group of British troops. Eventually in fear for their lives these troops opened fire instantly killing 3 men on the spot and 2 others that later succumb to their gun shot injures. Yet this was still not the motivating factor that brought the country together and led to the Revolutionary War but it was the acquittal of Captain Thomas Preston and his 8 British troops which infuriated the masses and led to the final straw breaking the camel's back.
Two centuries ago participants in "The Destruction of Tea" movement were of the same values of those of Liberal beliefs today. They were anti-corporation, anti-militarized police state and anti-centralized banking and a small minority of people willing to fail in order to be free. They were considered criminals and protested violently and regularly. They were hated by conservatives but thankfully were never deterred by the opinion of the privileged masses
Unfortunately, like every other time in history, conservatives did not want change. They did not seek to evolve and were happy with the status-quo of life as it was. So once again, I ask my conservative brothers and sisters, in what era of America's history would you have been a liberal willing to put your life on the line for the freedom of all in this country?