Progressive Conservatism

by Harley Voogd

I think the best definition of Conservatism is this: The conservation of the progress which has already been made. And when I write “the progress which has already been made” I’m not just referring to the last thirty years; I’m referring to the last five hundred years. When talking about individual people, thinking in terms of decades is fine, but when we are talking about civilizations, we must talk of centuries. Think of what the western world was like before the Great Reformation, and compare that to today. Would we ever want to go back?

Yet, it would seem some people in the western world today really do want to go back. Read this article entitled Want Equality? Curtail Free Speech. Yes, some useful idiot actually wrote that. Now, these morons would call themselves Progressive, but when one writes, “Our Government should look to criminalise not only Islamophobia, but racist rhetoric and the criticism of feminism and LGBTQAA+ rights,” that’s anything but progressive — it’s regressive.

In Canada, a motion (M-103) was passed recently which directs the government to investigate and act against Islamophobia. Now, when I type that word, Islamophobia, on my computer, my spell-checker red flags it. Why? Because it’s not a real word. And that is the problem with M-103 — it uses a term which is not properly defined. What exactly is Islamophobia? If we break the word down and define the parts, it means: an irrational fear of the ideas of the Islamic religion.

When I encounter those who defend M-103, every time I find that they are unable to distinguish the idea which is Islam from the followers of Islam (Muslims). That’s an important distinction — one is an idea, and the other is a group of people. If we want to live in a free society we must be able to criticize ideas. Martin Luther created a freer society when he openly criticized the state of Christianity in his day. It was not easy for him to do that, and because he did, we now live in a society where we are free to criticize. But, for how long?

Listen to Canada’s Heritage Minister defend M-103 in this video. She only gets confused…

Another good example is the exchange between Ben Affleck and Sam Harris on the Bill Maher show…

Once upon a time there was a political party in Canada called the Progressive Conservatives. That sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s actually a very good term. Progressive conservatism is the idea that, while we do want to progress socially, we do not want to do so at the expense of the progress which has already been made. What has made the western world the best society to live in so far in human history? Where does our wealth come from? What economic system has allowed us to become so wealthy? (Hint: free market capitalism.) Where do our freedoms come from? What system of government has allowed us our freedoms? (Hint: a system in which the rights of the individual are elevated over the group.) We need to conserve those things and protect them from those who would dismantle them while trying to create their utopia in which no one will ever be offended.

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