Editor’s Note: This is part 3 of an 11 part series detailing the ways that the alt-right violates the 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative as laid out by Dr. Paul Kengor. Read part 2 here.
I don’t believe in karma, or in the whole peace and love mantra. I probably would not even be religious if I was not convinced of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I look at most things in life very skeptically. So when I hear people say something like, “we are more alike than we are different” I cringe a little at first. It sounds like the mundane sort of happy crap to be expected out of those incessant optimists. Since I am not an optimist, nor am I a pessimist, my next step upon hearing something like that is to analyze it as realistically as I can. Optimism is little better than an exaggeration of how full a glass is because to a realist, the glass has a finite amount of liquid in it.
When you think about the statement, “we are more alike than we are different” it is easy to call shenanigans. We see the differences all around us. It seems every other night, there is a protest somewhere and someone is upset about something.
I think about a group such as antifa. It is easy to speak badly of antifa. They give people a lot of negative things to say about them. I disagree with most of what antifa is and what they do. However, I am also opposed to fascism. Nationalistic socialism, or socialism with some sort of racial or nationalistic aspect is as un-American as communism. Antifa claims to be opposed to fascism. Insofar as that is true, I find myself in agreement with them. They lose my support the farther left they deviate from that otherwise positive goal. I also take an incredible amount of issue with their tactics, their means to the end of opposing fascism. Everywhere they go, violence and other nonsense follows them.
Contrast antifa with people such as neo-Nazis, Klansmen, or the alt-right. Not only do I disdain their end goals, “living space” to create a “white homeland”, but I also disagree with their intimidation tactics. Those gun toting, armor wearing, wannabe-commandos use indefensible means to achieve an indefensible end.
One of the 11 principles of a Reagan Conservative is freedom. Now, freedom is a vague term. It means different things to different people. To an antifa protester, freedom can mean the ability to live in a society that supports civil rights. Now I don’t know about you, but I can get behind that. We can debate what a civil right is and how the government ensures its existence, but no conservative ought to be against anyone who wishes to live in a society that protects civil rights. (You will notice I am using “civil right” instead of “social justice” just in case you thought I was getting soft).
Freedom to a member of the alt-right could be freedom from people of color. Sure, you could make an argument that somehow that counts as “freedom”, but you would have to be a very racist person to make that argument. You would also be wrong, but my thoughts on the matter won’t matter much to someone defining “freedom” that way. In any case, that is not the sort of freedom that Reagan or any conservative should stand for.
When someone says to you, “we are more alike than we are different” it only makes sense to be skeptical of that assessment. But upon closer inspection I have found that it is a true statement. Regardless of who you are or what you believe, the most American thing to be is a freedom seeking person. We are more alike because we can all agree on the same ends: Freedom, prosperity, and building a great nation. Between people like antifa and the alt-right, their means can skew their ends. But we are not entirely different. As conservatives our means can also skew our ends. We currently control the American government. We ought to keep in mind all those who seek freedom, regardless of party, and work with them towards those lofty ends of freedom and prosperity. We must at the same time work with all those who love freedom to ensure that those skewed ends do not enter into the equation and are left in the past.