This is going to meander a bit.
I'm not a conservative. I doubt and, in fact, hope I never 'age into' becoming a conservative.
I mean no offense if you happen to identify as conservative – you do you – but for myself, I can't see the value.
Conservative thinking, really by definition, focuses on conserving the status quo – either that, or actively reverting to the way something was in the past. So, to me, that whole mindset demands backward movement, either culturally, politically, or intellectually. Or all of the above, or whatever.
That doesn't work for me. Especially because the "conservative" umbrella is, today, often used to shield really shitty people who want to go back to a point in time that was demonstrably more terrible for groups that Aren't White (or Aren't Male, or Aren't Us).
Now, some folks might say "When I say Conservative, I'm talking about Fiscally Conservative." Sure. Okay. Except even back in those times (Eisenhower? Let's say Eisenhower.) there were still a pile of bootstrap infrastructure things going on that helped people out through government programs and project spending. So… I don't think the name really matches whatever they're talking about, but whatever. I can leave that alone, maybe.
But when people talk about conservative social policies, there's is just no common ground for me there.
There is no point in American history where people were more equally treated than we are today, and we are still Absolute Shit.
EASY EXAMPLE, WHICH I HAVE HANDY: In Denver, in 2015, the average black household made 57% of the average white household.
So, either there are unacknowledged biases that make it twice as hard for black people in Denver to earn a living, or black people are roughly half as intelligent and hard-working as white people.
(I'll give you a hint: there's a right and a wrong answer.)
Native American families in Denver only make 37% of the white family average. The same two explanations for this are available. Look HARD at yourself if you think answer is different than in the previous paragraph.
In Denver, most ethnic groups' mean income went up about 20 points from 2000 to 2015, which sounds great.
… except cost of living went up about 37%, if I'm reading data.bls.gov correctly. (Disclaimer: I may not be.)
Whites' mean income went up 52 points in that same time frame.
Native Americans went down 25.
That's comparing households. Per capita comparison is actually worse: per capita, only Asians make more than 50% of the white average, in Denver. They make a whopping 60% of the white per capita average. Everyone else is at or below half.
The report (this one: http://www.city-data.com/income/income-Denver-Colorado.html) doesn't talk about women compared to men, but I know from other reports we get that it's equally shitty.
I mean, teachers used to get GREAT pay until it became a largely female-dominated profession – now it's terrible, and layered on to that gender discrimination, there's this weird undercurrent of bias whereby being a male teacher in anything other than college is KIND of like being a male nurse to people outside the profession? It's a 'female' job now so OF COURSE that's bad? WTF?
We just suck. We're terrible, collectively.
And this is the BEST we've ever been.
So… no, I'm not conservative. There isn't one thing behind us worth going back for.
Take your rosy memories, if you have them, and build a better version up ahead.