“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” When you look at society today, it would not appear these truths are self-evident at all. Colorado has a civil rights commission that expects you to be treated differently based on your skin color or sexual preference. Government bureaucracies have exploded and seek to regulate every aspect of our lives. People and even some elected officials are openly advocating for communism and for the removal of private property rights. These truths are still every bit as self-evident; they are just being repressed by those who advocate against them. These people show their true self-evident core, and they expose their accidental conservatism through actions that support the tenants of conservatism: rule of law, intellectual & individual property rights, school choice, and free market capitalism. This accidental conservatism is often and easily seen in the actions of our celebrities and movies, but each and every one of us shows it because Liberty is engrained in every human being.
At the height of the Me-Too movement, the phrase “believe all women” became a popular tag line. This line was adamantly used against Brett Kavanaugh to defend the complete lack of evidence against the Supreme Court nominee. Many conservatives pointed out how we should instead have better rule of law and advocated for policies and positions to help women who have been wronged get their justice. Many were also fearful that this dangerous idea would lead to women lying about their situation to the detriment of the institution of justice for women who have been wronged. Enter Jonny Depp and Amber Heard and a trial that momentarily gripped the nation. We heard of the plagued relationship between the two Hollywood stars, and it was interesting to watch as conservatives slowly started siding with Depp. Conservatives rallied for Depp who openly joked about a Trump assassination many years ago. But conservatives saw this as an excellent opportunity to highlight that there should be such a thing as truth, and that truth is not dependent on a person’s gender, age, net worth, or any other variable. Johnny Depp also believed that it was wrong to be accused of something he did not do. When the cards were on the table, he abandoned the progressive ideology of relativism and became a figurehead of the conservative’s belief in what rule of law should be.
When Taylor Swift was a relatively obscure 15-year-old, she signed a record deal that gave the record label ownership of her masters (the ability to control how or when a song is used). This typical deal turned out to be incredibly lucrative for Taylor and for the record company and for many years there was little issue. Then in 2019, Taylor claimed the record label was preventing her from using her own songs at the American Music Awards and from using her old music in a documentary. She offered to buy back her masters, but the record label refused, and she signed with another company that would allow her to own her own masters for any new music recorded. She was very upset that they would not sell her back her own music, songs that she wrote and created herself. Since she wrote her own music, she found a convenient loophole that allowed her to give herself publishing rights to those songs. So, she decided to re-record those songs and regain her right to do with her intellectual property as she pleases. She saw the importance of being able to own her property, her work, and the product of her mind. She saw in a very tangible way, the importance of individual property rights and why those rights are the bedrock of the American Idea.
In the wake of the Uvalde shooting, it was no surprise to see the celebrities and progressive left advocate for gun legislation. One in particular, Kim Kardashian, tweeted “Yesterday 19 children were murdered by an 18-year-old, and I find myself heartbroken, disgusted and furious about how little has been done by lawmakers to enact gun laws that protect our children.” But Kim does not leave the security of her children up to lawmakers; she takes control of the security of her children. She sends her children to a private school that hires its own personal, onsite security personnel. She unknowingly champions a policy that conservatives have been advocating for a long time: school choice. Parents should be able to send their child to where they think is best. Parents should be able to demand that their schools take more active measures to protect their children and if the schools do not comply, the parents should be able to move their children wherever the parents see fit. But even beyond the school choice Kim unwittingly supports, she also hires her own armed, personal security team. Thank you, Kim for advocating with your actions what most responsible gun owners have been advocating for years!
I recently re-watched a movie that I have avoided since it came out, due to its overt political ideologies: WALL-E. Watching it under a principled microscope actually revealed a huge issue conservatives have been talking about for years: cronyism. In the movie, they flash back or show the megacorporation Buy n Large (BnL) as being in charge of everything. While the point they were trying to convey was anti-consumerism, what they actually showed is how powerful a corporation can get when it has a monopoly on the market and is able to control the politicians. It is not ironic at all that an apocalyptic world was brought about by a weak government run by a megacorporation, an antithesis to the free market that conservatives believe in! This is why having a free market is actually better for the planet. Look at the difference in pollution between communist China and America. One has free market factors at play that encourage environmental stewardship of our planet based on the demand from individuals and who they choose to do business with, and the other does not. It is obvious when you walk into a business and see them making their case of environmentalism, whether it is recycled paper bags or even packaging that has seeds in it that we have a society that cares deeply about the planet we are leaving for posterity. WALL-E would be an entirely different movie had there been a free market to turn to even after the damage had been done and the planet needed cleaning.
These are all very public cases of accidental conservatism, but I have found that even more cases abound in everyday life. It is easy when complaining with others in the line at the DMV to talk about the inefficiencies of government bureaucracy. Even the most socialist Uber driver in America would likely dissent if asked to give their car to you. If the group took a vote and voted that the next round of drinks should be free, do you think the bartender would think absolute democracy is the best way to run a business much less the country? I implore you to go and find all the accidental conservatives that you can, relate to their inner self-evident truths and show them why the American Idea is worth choosing and defending.