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  • Norman Young

Why the Right Is Not 'Nice'


Have you ever wondered to yourself why conservatives are so mean? Do you remember the Tea Party movement's opposition to Barack Obama as hateful and mean-spirited? Did the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States cause you to think that hate might be a core component of conservatism? Well, I am not going to tell you that you are wrong, exactly. But, perhaps I can help explain what's going on.

The first thing to understand is that we conservatives are not naturally this way. Conservatives prefer the status quo, almost by instinct. For instance, when friends are having a heated argument in a social setting, those with a conservative temperament are the ones most likely to change the subject. Instead of taking a side in impassioned situations, conservatives would rather say something "nice" to defuse the situation and restore normalcy.

The same holds true in the political arena. Politicians with a conservative temperament prefer to stick to tradition and niceties to avoid rocking the boat whenever possible. When a political interest group gets upset and begins making demands, the truly conservative impulse is two-fold: 1) to appease the interest group and restore normalcy as quickly as possible, and 2) make the fewest number of structural changes as humanly possible while accomplishing that goal. Take the transgender issue, for example. Whatever one's individual beliefs are, the conservative instinct is to just be nice—which means accommodating others by