The entire anti-racist movement sweeping leftist and academic circles (but I repeat myself) is, ironically, racist. It makes everything about the color of one’s skin. It assumes issues of race are one-size-fits-all, and that everyone who shares the same physical characteristic is, in all other ways, also the same. In truth, even the black community is not aligned on what racism is, how much there is, and what the solutions are.
In the face of this onslaught, conservatives will predictably try and defend themselves, trying to convince their accusers that they’re not racist. Of course, the more they protest, the more Democrats and media will conclude they are.
Instead of being on defense, which is clearly a position of comfort for conservatives, they need to go on offense. And the stage is set for conservatives to beat Democrats at their own game.
Rather than isolate blacks and limit the scope of the conversation, Conservatives have a wonderful opportunity to expand the idea so it applies to everyone equally and proactively make one of their guiding principles being kind.
Democrats have seized on racism, and predictably use it as a wedge to divide us, claiming moral superiority on their side while using it as a tool to dehumanize conservatives and justify removing them from society. The fact is, people are cruel to each other for all sorts of reasons, and race barely cracks the top 100. It’s just a vehicle.
The real foundation driving the desire for a society free from racism is kindness. What people are really saying is, why can’t we all just be friendly to each other? Conservatives should seize on this and proactively bang that drum for the next four years.
There’s no downside. God knows America could use it right now.
It’s been well-documented that America is more divided now than nearly any other time in history. We’re way beyond civil. Tempers are flaring and tolerance is all but gone. Real violence is taking hold, and people are getting hurt, whether physically or in their personal lives.
Trying to get people to stop being mean to people of other races assumes that people are being mean to others because of their race. Far more often than not, it’s just not that simple.
The thing about proactively driving a kindness initiative is that not only is it needed, but it also applies to everyone. No one is excluded. Expecting people to treat other’s with kindness and patience means we expect absolutely everyone to treat absolutely everyone else this way. No excuses.
Naturally, this is aspirational. We’re all human, and sometimes we come in hot. Sometimes we have a bad day, receive bad news, or just aren’t paying attention to what we’re doing or saying. But that’s why patience is one of core principles.
Here are the principles of the kindness initiative:
- Be kind to one another
- Give others the benefit of the doubt
- Trust people until they give you a reason not to
- Have grace and remember that everyone makes mistakes
- Share constructive feedback with people because it shows you care
- Encourage the opinions of others and reward people for having the courage to share their thoughts
- Reward people for speaking their mind by listening and showing excitement they shared
- Respect the unique experiences that inform people’s worldview
- Expect negative consequences for bad behavior and understand they serve as a learning experience
- Actively appreciate the people who help or support you
I could go on. There’s a million ways to say it. In the end, it’s all based on the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And if you didn’t catch it, it’s basically a defense of the First Amendment.
It sounds obvious, but the opportunity is sitting there because no one has taken up the mantle and is proactively taking the idea to the masses. It’s there for conservatives to own as a guiding principle and take to the country.
It would also give people a choice. Do I join the Democrats who are dividing us with anger and resentment, or do I side with the conservatives who are trying to get everyone to settle down, have grace, and exchange ideas with one another without fear of retaliation or humiliation.
Sharing your innermost thoughts is one of the hardest things to do for so many people, and this would encourage all of us to seek new ways of thinking that either alters or solidifies our worldview. Neither is a bad thing.
Conservatives are notoriously the worst marketers in the history of marketing, so this isn’t going to be easy. But people aren’t just looking for policy solutions right now. They’re frustrated. Many just want everything to cool down. Many just want to relax and be left alone. A lot of people don’t want to think about politics all day and all night.
For those people, the conservative kindness initiative would be a welcome bandwagon they’d be more than happy to board and enthusiastically support.
I know this sounds a bit hippy and kumbaya, and I’m not talking about blind, naive kindness. I’m referring more to the kindness most conservatives show others in their daily lives. A tolerant, non-judgmental, “I don’t care what you do or say so long as it doesn’t negatively affect me” way. I’m referring to mutual respect.
And yes, Democrats are up to some pretty heinous tricks trying to not only demonize conservatives, but to make them disappear. I’m not suggesting you can’t or don’t fight that fight. We all learned plenty from George W. Bush’s 8 years of getting punched in the face with no retaliation.
Conservatives are in a perfect position to own this because for most, it’s their natural state of being. This just codifies or formalizes it, and puts the Democrats on defense.
Sure, many Democrats will make fun of it, but by doing so, they’ll just be cementing their role in creating the problem we’re trying to solve. And of course, conservatives don’t have to make it overly serious, either. There’s plenty of opportunity to make this a clever and humorous appeal.
Conservatives have traditionally been horrible marketers – unable to articulate their vision and mobilize support. This is an opportunity to turn the tide and bring people together behind the rest of the conservative vision.
Conservatives can multitask on this one. They can go on offense and define Democrats while advocating for kindness. Democrats have proven it. They’ve spent 30 years accusing Republicans of what they’re doing. But in this case, conservatives actually are what they’re suggesting we all be.