The conscience of a Denison conservative

MAX SIWIK ‘18

Special to The Denisonian

Donald Trump does not represent me. For much of my young life I have worked hard to share and defend the principles of conservatism.

A movement that was once built on ideas is surrounded by fear and anger. For much of the Republican Primary, I failed to take Trump’s candidacy seriously.

I thought my fellow Republicans were smart enough to see through the flare and the lies.

With respectable candidates, such as Sen. Marco Rubio and Gov. John Kasich, I believed voters would be rational and eventually come to their senses.

I was wrong.

It is not difficult to point out the character flaws of Donald Trump. Time and time again he’s proven himself to be sexist, xenophobic and a narcissist.

But as a conservative on this campus, I feel it is best that I explain to my classmates that this man does not represent all Republicans.

I’m speaking up to share my views on conservative values in a time when I feel they are being misrepresented.

At its heart, the conservative movement is built on principles and ideas, not anger and fear. It believes in the principles of our Constitution that protects rights and limits the power of government. It is committed to free enterprise, the only economic model where everyone can climb without falling. It believes in a strong national defense and the Christian values that formed our nation.

I adhere to Jack Kemp’s vision of compassionate conservatism that stresses optimism and inclusivity. Trump does not fit any of these values. He was in favor of the stimulus package, the auto bailouts and the bank bailouts. His trade policies are farther left than the beloved Bernie Sanders.

This type of isolationism would create economic consequences not only in the US, but all over the world. His Muslim immigration policy not only violates the first and second amendments, but disrespects the millions of Muslims living around the world. And his immigration plans for Mexico are saddening and disheartening.

The purpose of this article is not only to explain Trump’s lack of conservative qualities, but to better explain what that term means. As the dialogue worsens on this campus I feel it is best to return to the fundamentals.

Conservatives and liberals must better understand each other. The only way that can be accomplished is through conversation. What makes America so great is that you and I can openly disagree with no consequences.

Conservatives and liberals should be more willing to engage on campus so that they can work to respect each other’s views. Each side wants what is best for the American people.

Jack Kemp once said “the purpose of politics is not to defeat your opponent as much as it is to provide superior leadership and better ideas.”

At the end of the day, we all want the same outcome: a vibrant and successful America.

Max Siwik ‘18 is a political science major from Cleveland, Ohio.