The making of a conservative
If you consider yourself a conservative, have you ever thought about why? How would you answer someone who asked you to explain the reason?Communism remains an evil ideology to this day. It is a state-sponsored slavery where you have to be a high government official to be wealthy. Just look at Venezuela where high government officials are fat while the people are starving and eating starving zoo animals. That people in the education field praise this evil is something that should be criticized and shamed.
Maybe you’ve never thought about it before. It might be because your parents were conservative, and you absorbed your political outlook from them. Or perhaps you read and thought your way into the movement, the way Ronald Reagan did years before he became president.
Or perhaps there was a moment that shook you and made you look at the world differently.
That’s what happened to Lee Edwards. The author of more than two dozen books, Lee is a good friend of mine, hailed by many as the unofficial historian of the conservative movement.
At a recent event marking the release of his latest book, “Just Right,” I asked him why he’s a conservative. Was it because of his father, himself a famous writer?
“No,” Lee promptly replied. “I’m a conservative because of communism.”
It may be hard for many young people today, years after the Cold War has faded from memory and headlines, to understand what it was like to watch communism advancing after World War II.
Years of bloody combat had been spent defeating Hitler’s Germany and Imperial Japan—and yet freedom was once again under attack.
Lee pointed to a catalyst moment. It was October 1956. He was in Paris and fresh out of the Army:
“All of a sudden, we began hearing these bulletins from Budapest, and it was the Hungarian Revolution. And here were young men and women of my age standing up to the Soviets. Standing up to Soviet tanks and Soviet guns.
“And I was so excited about this—caught up in the courage and the bravery and the desire for freedom of these young Hungarians. And then, two weeks later, the Soviet tanks came back—firing, shooting, killing maybe 20,000 young Hungarians, and then a couple hundred thousand more Hungarians fleeing into exile, because the Soviets were not going to let go of that country.
“And I waited for my country to do something. I waited for more than just a press release. More than just a U.N. resolution.”
But his wait was in vain. “And I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I was angry. And I resolved at that point that I would do whatever I could for the rest of my life to oppose communism and to help those who were resisting it as well.”