Last Thursday I had the opportunity to see Dinesh D’Souza speak at the University of Minnesota. I was also fortunate enough to attend the annual Spring Freedom Club dinner that was hosted for him. It was incredible to be around people so dedicated to the progress of our nation and to furthering conservative ideals in an era where they’re silenced. The underlying theme of the entire day was the foundation of conservatism, liberty, and truth. How it’s being suppressed, how we view it, and what we can do to defend both as a nation.
It seems as if freedom is something we brush off as a society. My generation especially seems to be ok with trading freedom for forced “equality.” We don’t know what it’s like to lose our liberty, although we are continually suppressing it with political correctness. Truth is dead. If you want to see the left’s eyes glaze over cite statistics and objective facts. We have seen and continue to see society shift from priorities based on reason to feelings. Being politically correct and “woke” are viewed in higher regard than being factually correct. We are abandoning objectivity for subjective emotion. Thus, we have voters and candidates advocating for policy rooted in a false sense of virtue and disconnection of reality.
Dinesh pointed out, Republicans aren’t doing a good job of making the moral case for capitalism and liberty. I wholeheartedly agree. Democrats are extraordinarily good at emotional appeal. We live in an unfortunate reality where facts actually don’t change our minds. Starting with the Stanford studies in the 70s, research shows that reason and facts aren’t the swaying factors in changing one’s mind. In fact, it’s personal relationships and emotions. If your argument seems emotionally moral, there is no need to back up your viewpoint with substantiated fact. That is a large reason why my generation is the only age group in America with a majority that views socialism in a favorable light. Appropriating wealth and distributing it so everyone may “thrive” seems like the just thing to do, right? Getting rid of individual prosperity and liberty so the collective may prosper seems moral, doesn’t it? It would be, if that was the outcome. It turns out we saw 100 million lives taken in the twentieth century instead.
Do you know what makes our nation great? Liberty, personal choice, and voluntary sacrifice. Get rid of that and we live in an oppressive regime where nothing is considered morally virtuous because essentially nothing is a free will decision. Our decisions in a free society mean everything. They allow us to be propelled out of poverty, they allow us to help others, and they allow us to teach our youth what it means to be virtuous. Our individual liberty and truth are what guides us to prosperity and freedom. We owe to ourselves, to the millions of deaths before us, and to our future to protect our God-given freedom.
Like Dinesh said to a room full of devoted conservatives, “the facts are on our side.” Republicans are good at facts. Republicans are good at reason. Facts and reason are important, of course. However, they don’t win the culture war. They don’t win over the minds of millennials. What the right needs to do is build off the basis of fact. We need to make the moral case for liberty and free market society because the truth is it’s the most moral system we have.
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