Kopp Column: You’re An Individual, Not A Group
Who are you? You’re reading this political blog so I ask you, who are you? How do you define yourself?
Political pundits through the last election have divided us in to groups such as conservatives, neo-cons, libertarians, liberals, socialists, Marxists, immigrants, Latinos, Americans, Native Americans, Democrats and Republicans. Do you see one of those groups as being your group? If so, that’s very sad because you are not that group. You are an individual with power, privilege and priority.
In a political discussion or event, if you see a person, then you may be a conservative.
In a political discussion or event, if you see a group, you may not be as conservative as you think you are.
You are important because you are an individual, not because of your job, income, blood line, social status or group to which you belong. You may belong to a group, a state, a country, or a demographic, but you are NOT that group, state, country or demographic. You are a person. Gender, race, social status, age, sexual orientation and physical abilities do not increase or decrease your value. Your greatest value is because you are you.
If you are a conservative, you know this to be true. If you are a conservative, you know you and I lose our individuality when we are lumped together with others and treated as a group. Individual needs as well as individual abilities are erased when seen merely as a member of a group. Rules and limits applied to the group limit the individual, especially when the rules or limits may be inappropriate or utterly useless for you or I as an individual.
That is why conservatives do not see America as a mass of local agencies called states that are subservient to the federal government.
That is why conservatives do not agree that people are to be rewarded with welfare, affirmative action or special titles and bonuses merely based on racial, gender or economic distinctions. Individuals are to be rewarded for their own individual effort, not for being part of class of people.
Programs are wrong if they give one class of people an advantage over another class. They do not respect individuals. That leads to inefficiency and a “less-than-excellent” system.
This means also that persons with limiting physical conditions are to be equally valued and respected as anyone who does not have the limiting physical condition. Precisely, that means not just disabled, but also the elderly, and especially the unborn are valuable humans.
Conservatives lose debates and elections when they forget individuals and push issues. When the person is forgotten in a debate and policy becomes the issue, conservatives lose their battles. Elections as well as debates are won one individual at a time.
The belief in the value of an individual is at the core of a true conservative’s world view. Every other conservative belief stems from this one belief. Ignore this one conservative belief and you will lose the strength of your belief in property rights, personal freedom, and personal responsibility.
Mike Kopp has exercised hi political muscle as a media director to two statewide campaigns, a television political reporter, a lobbyist, and staff assistant to the Senate Majority Leader. He is currently a communications director working from his home in Wilton, ND.Tags: conservatism, ideology, philosophy