Post-Election: A Palpable Fear Of Change For Conservatives

I’m a big fan of routine, of knowing how things work, and not needing to constantly re-adjust my expectations. And I think this is true of most people. But post-election, it seems fear of change for many (white) conservatives is palpable. Conservatives see a rapidly changing America, and it scares them. Their fear is not based on a tangible threat, but rather a sense that America is heading to a different and unknown destination. I get it; change is scary. The unknown is scary. I get that people prefer the devil they know. — But should this fear of the unknown hold us back from embracing what makes America unique?

As a white male, I do not feel threatened by a shrinking white population and a growing minority population. I do not feel threatened by people in positions of influence and power because they don’t happen to be white. I see President Obama as representing what America is in 2012 just as I see Abraham Lincoln as a representation of what America was in his time.

On this past Election Day, Bill O’Reilly said, “It’s a changing country, the demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America anymore.” What exactly is “traditional America”? In a country as diverse as we are, that has advanced as far as we have, how could we possibly define a “traditional America”? It’s a moving target at best. What Bill O’Reilly is really saying is that America looks increasingly less like the reflection he sees in a mirror, and that scares him. That is the palpable fear of change for conservatives. But no matter how intense this fear, conservatives are powerless to stop time. They will not roll the clock back to a idealistic 1950s America that never actually existed. They will not change that America is becoming increasingly diverse with each passing year. Conservatives need to find a way to cope and then accept this change, which will require that they do a little changing themselves.

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