Jackson inaccurate about conservatism
Sharon Jackson’s letter entitled “What is wrong with having a political agenda?” contains some serious flaws and downright inaccurate statements regarding the nature of conservatism as well as what Diane Moen wrote in her original letter.
First, political agendas can indeed be bad on both the left and right sides of the political spectrum and millions have died as a result of flawed or twisted political agendas, such as those of communism, naziism, Venezuela’s socialism and numerous other aberrations. They were all political agendas. This isn’t obvious?
Her contention that one cannot exercise one’s social conscience without a political agenda is astonishingly naive. It ignores the faith based social conscience of organizations and people such as St. Francis, Mother Theresa, Samaritan’s Purse, the Red Cross, St. Vincent DePaul the Buddha and innumerable others. Ghandi’s initial impulses were spiritual as well as political.
The idea that conservatism and conservatives promote the idea that society should not change, or that they are heartless is tiring, false and mistaken. It ignores the achievements of Conservative figures who promoted improvements and advanced society in significant ways. Examples you ask? Robert Borden, introduced first Canadian women’s suffrage in World War I. John Diefenbaker, Canadian Bill of Rights, first female secretary of state, first aboriginal member of parliament. Winston Churchill, proposed and began better conditions of Manchester workers and penal reform etc.
I’m not aware that Ms. Moen ever suggested that improvements can and should only come from improving people’s behaviour, but it does seem obvious that it is both pivotal and beneficial.
Pressure to end slavery came from many sources, most notably devout Christians of whom one was Wilberforce, (religious as well as political) John Newton, Harriet Beecher Stowe and others. It was not exclusively a political movement.
And that sense of “emotional satisfaction” you speak of is the province of the virtual signalling, moral preening left not conservatism. Following Ms. Moen’s lead could easily achieve a great deal. I just comes from a perspective you refuse to acknowledge.