In this age of instant communication, we have become exceedingly poor communicators. Outrage and condemnation are the default modes for public discourse. Only rarely do we find a fair, reasonable voice on today's issues.
We have to work on listening. With that in mind, I want to consider the term, conservative. As my pastor during my graduate school days said, right is right. And I agreed. I ascribed to conservative theology and conservative politics.
But if conservative means holding on tenaciously to the status quo, then I have to think again. There are clearly problems with the way things are. Women have been mistreated. Justice has been denied to large categories of citizens. Too many indulge their greed and take advantage of the poor or uninformed.
The term "conservative" sounds to a lot of people like, "defender of the status quo." So a conservative is one who wants nothing to change. The system is just fine. If the poor and disadvantaged would just get with the program, they would find their own slice of prosperity. The real world treats everyone the same, so deal with it. Stop whining.
I don't want to defend the status quo. I'm beginning to see the problems with our culture and society. I see injustice. I see my own privilege. I see how the good-old-boy culture has tainted politics, sports, and entertainment. I see the dark underside of capitalism.
Meanwhile, I do believe in small government, personal responsibility, traditional morality, compassion, and freedom.
It's hard to hear voices of reason now, because everyone is yelling. No one is listening. There is plenty of reason not to trust anyone, because everyone seems to be promoting some corrupt agenda. Maybe shedding the labels is a good place to begin. I'm not a defender of the status quo.