This is not destined to be a deep thinking treatise on Conservatism along the lines of a thinker like George Will, rather a tongue in cheek look at what makes Missouri, a deeply red state, the home of conservatism. You don’t choose to be a Conservative, you are shaped by a philosophy. Learned minds, like the great scholar Michael Oakeshott, a champion of the right said; “to be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown,…the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, and the limited to the unbounded”. I am proud to be a Missourian and Ozarkian. Here is why.
Conservatives have an aversion to rapid change. Handed down wisdom, honed through experience and tradition is very comforting. As a Missourian, I see a good, tight barbed wire fence as a terrific alternative to raising stock in a confinement operation. The Lord made pastures, not steel and concrete buildings for our critters.
The U.S. Constitution works just fine in it’s original form. As a Missourian, I follow the rules. I don’t question signs that say no trespassing. I always rely on gender specific restroom signs. I have no desire to be beat senseless by another Missourian for venturing into a ladies room. It is why we have sign boards and paint …….to help us avoid the inevitable ass kicking if we don’t pay attention.
Conservatives have a sense of morality. In Missouri if you reject Christianity, keep your mouth shut and keep to yourself. It will promote your well being in the Show Me State but will do nothing to lessen the pain in the fires of hell later on. Missourians are schooled in the “right thing to do” early on.
Conservatives embrace free market capitalism. In Missouri, you sell your watermelons for a fair price and understand that if they are inferior, we’ll pass the word and you’ll soon have all the sorry watermelons you can eat.
Conservatives believe in national exceptionalism. We believe America is the beacon on the world hill. Missourians will fight to preserve our nation’s way of life, and elect our representatives who will provide a logical voice in the representative form of government we embrace. We believe in a strong defense and have no problem with a gun in every home. We leave it to the individual to determine how many guns and what kind they should be. Period.
Conservatives embrace “red” American cultural cues. Missourians believe in getting about in our own car as opposed to mass transit. We embrace country music and have no taste for arugula, preferring instead plain mustard, salt and pepper on real beef and not some God awful “meat” made from synthetic protein. There are a lot of pick-up trucks in Missouri because they are practical.
Conservatives have a disdain for American liberalism. In Missouri, we reject multiculturalism, identity politics, affirmative action, gender norming, welfare, European style social policies, and electric cars. We have an aversion to being stuck in a snowdrift with a discharged battery to keep us warm…one day maybe but certainly not today and at the direction of an inept government.
Conservatives believe that taxes should be lower and government smaller. In Missouri, we’ll throw you out of office if you do not hold to this principle. As I write, our Governor has convened a special session to study the return of excess tax revenue to the people, not find a new way to spend it.
Conservatives believe the budget should be balanced. In Missouri, debt is managed. If you cannot cover the costs, you do not put more cows on the ground. In Missouri, you do not buy an extra load of melons if there is little chance of selling them. We tend to be risk adverse and rely on conventional wisdom. We also tend to be fiscally pragmatic.
Conservatives believe in the value of skepticism, doubt and humility. In Missouri, we’ll ask you to show us what you are talking about and judge accordingly. There is a very small market for snake oil in Missouri.
In short, Missourians tend to oppose change for the sake of change. We tend to be moderate and cautious, much preferring subtle adjustment over rapid, unnecessary change, new concepts or things that have yet to be tested. We’ll attempt to fix a broken lawn mower rather than toss it for a new one, know the value of a gallon of paint and are quite content to live modestly and express skepticism. Finally, I must remind my readers that Ozarkians are a sub-culture of Missourians. The primary difference being in our tendency to outright reject bullshit artists like the current administration. In the Ozarks, bullshit artists fish alone!
Have a great week!