I’m 17, and I’m a Conservative
I’ve grown up my whole life in the state of Michigan, so I’ve seen firsthand what it’s like to struggle. I’ve seen others struggle and I’ve witnessed it in my own family. In the past, I’ve seen my dad become an unemployment statistic several times. Most recently, back in November. This time was the hardest (for me anyways). I was at the age now where I could fully understand the gravity of the situation. I remember my mom telling me after school and I broke down in the hallway, I knew how much it meant to my dad to be working and providing for our family and now all of a sudden he couldn’t. My immediate (selfish) thought was “What are we going to do about Christmas.” Quickly, I realized that this Christmas was going to have to be about what I needed not necessarily about what I wanted. Christmas was scant this year, but I wasn’t disappointed. I learned a valuable lesson during this time: thankfulness. It’s a shame something like my dad losing his job had to happen for me to realize all that God has blessed my family with. Not once was my family without food or shelter. God provided for our needs and he has continued to provide for them.
Since that time my dad has started his own DVD business. I’ve learned from my dad what it means to work hard and never give up. I’ve watched my dad work his tail off to get new customers and stay up until 4am working on a project. Anyone who has started a business knows that the first year is the most difficult, and that has proven to be true for my family. He had a part time job selling power chairs and scooters, but that fell through this summer because of the changes going on with Medicare. My dad continues to search for a part time job until he is confident enough that his business alone can bring in sufficient money for my family.
My mother is doing her share as well, in addition to teaching during the school year she started a part time job doing data entry. She’s been working 3x a week this summer, and will continue to do so during the school year, going from teaching all day to working about 5hrs at night. Life hasn’t been easy, but we were never promised it would be. Not by God, or by government. God tells us life won’t be easy, but with His help we will make it through. Neither the Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence promises the American person success or complete happiness. We may pursue happiness, but whether we end up happy or not depends on how badly we want that happiness.
I’ve attended a private Christian school and a Baptist church my whole life, so I’ve been taught what is right and what is wrong. I’ve been taught to have good morals and obey authority. But I learned a lesson from a teacher this past year that I hope I never forget. The lesson is: regardless of your great upbringing, family background, and the fact that you call yourself a Christian does not mean you are exempt from failure. Whether it be failing God, family or yourself. All of us are liable to becoming the scum of the earth no matter what our history or how wise we think we are. That is why I feel it important as a young person to nail down what I believe and WHO I believe in, God. Every night I pray that I stay on the right path, not just the right spiritual path, but the right path for my life.
Since I am still in high school my life experiences are limited. And it has become increasingly apparent to me that I’m one of the few teens in this country who has a passion for what is happening. I have found it difficult to relate to teens my age, since none of them know what is going on, nor do they care when I try to explain it to them. I usually get a response like “Haha, Obama is the Antichrist” or “Obama’s so stupid”. That is not the point I’m trying to get across when I tell my peers that our freedoms are being taken away from us! I believe I get these responses because first of all, they probably don’t understand what “cap and trade” is or how big of a deal “nationalized healthcare is,” and secondly, they don’t think it will have any direct effect on them and a lot of kids haven’t read important documents like the Constitution so they won’t know when freedoms are being taken away. When talking to my peers I’m not asking them to have the sudden urge to run for political office or sit around watching the news all day. I simply wish they would take the time to educate themselves instead of sitting in front of the computer or Xbox all day.
I also find it hard to relate to some classmates during the school year. I don’t know what I have in me that has wired me so differently, but I cannot for the life of me get some of my classmates to understand why I study, do homework, and actually read the books being assigned to us. Do I think myself any better than these people because I do my homework? Absolutely not. But these are the people I fear will be sitting on the side of the road one day if they don’t get their act together. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve seen what great results come from working hard. I wasn’t blessed with a 4.0 brain but I was blessed with a work-ethic. And I think work ethic will get you farther in life than a 4.0 brain or an Ivy League degree. I’m not the kid who sits in class and doesn’t take notes, doesn’t study, then takes the test and gets an A. I’m the kid that sits in class, takes way to many notes, studies her butt of and gets the excitement of seeing that red A on her paper. For me that is more rewarding than the first kid I mentioned. I never have been nor do I want to be who person that gets everything handed to her. I enjoy working hard because I enjoy seeing it pay off.
I believe the above explanations help shape why I’m a conservative. My values, traditions and outlook on life have helped me realize what it is that makes me a conservative versus being a liberal. Being a conservative or liberal is a choice YOU have to make for yourself-you aren’t told what you are-you decide. I think that is something the youth in America is struggling with. In todays society it’s become more and more popular to be a liberal. Suddenly having morals is “uncool”. It’s cooler now to follow the crowd, and become someone you are not. That is why it is imperative that you find out who you are, who you believe in, what you believe in and why, and at a young age.
I’m a conservative because I believe in freedom, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, the power of the individual, freedom, the free market, small government and most of all RESPONSIBILITY. As a conservative I understand what a tremendous blessing it is to be living in the United States, but I also realize the huge responsibility that comes along with it. The Bill of Rights is where we find things that are considered “rights.” But the 10th Amendment reminds me that we don’t all have a right to everything, like healthcare. Healthcare is a responsibility, just like owning a car or house. I believe competition is good for the country and for the American. I’m a soccer player so I’ve got that competitive drive in me and I think if Americans get used to just being handed things our country will become less competitive making more people lazy, which will harm this country greatly.
As a teen what scares me the most about the direction our country is headed is when I hear men well into their 60s-70s say things like “Well, I’m just glad I’m old and won’t be here much longer. It’s the younger ones I fear for. They’ve got a lot coming.” I see where this country is going and I realize that the youths future is being decided for them and that should scare every teenager. I know history and I know “those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” -Edmund Burke. So my message to teens is: KNOW YOUR HISTORY. Educate yourself, learn about the Founding Fathers, learn about paths other countries have gone down and how it’s failed them. Learn about the Constitution. That way you’ll be able to see when someone is taking something away from you that they don’t have the right to do. I’ve got my whole life ahead of me but I’d like to have the ability to make my own decisions in the future.
I’m 17, I’m proud to call myself a conservative, but even more proud call myself an American!
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