What are "Conservative values?"
In reading Carolyn Renee Dupont's book, Mississippi Praying: Southern White Evangelicals and the Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1975, I noticed that the term "liberal" was given to people who believed in and supported the movement, and "conservative" was the term used to reference people who wanted to maintain the "Southern way of life."
Conservatives framed their protests against the quest by blacks and supportive whites "in theological terms," wrote DuPont. They relied on "the Bible" and "biblical inerrancy" to support their belief in and support of segregation and white supremacy. Those who fought against segregation were "liberal" and were said to be heretics of the Christian faith. White Christian ministers said things like, "The heart of the gospel is not the treatment of others, but ..."Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ," Dupont noted. (p. 215)
While "liberals" said that segregation was immoral, Dupont writes that the "conservative understanding of the Gospel equipped them to render a complete and even mocking denial" of the legitimacy of the ministers who fought for integration and for the rights listed in the U. S. Constitution to be extended to African Americans.
Conservatives adopted without flinching "white-only" worship policies, and railed against those who criticized them for it. It was God who said, in the Holy Bible, that the races should be separate. It was a Conservative value.
Reflecting on that, and seeing what is going on now as regards the rights of LGBTQ individuals, as well as transgender individuals, I am again wrestling with what "Conservative" values are. Someone needs to explain them to me. Conservatives, it seems, are the ones who are most concerned about which bathroom a transgender person; Conservatives are the ones wanting to cut funding for Medicaid, which enables poor, primarily women, get health care. Conservatives are in favor of cutting food stamp allotments, who are more interested in funding mass incarceration rather than public education.
From my vantage point, "Conservative" values, using the Bible as justification, includes a fair amount of racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia. To be a "true" conservative, one must be anti-abortion (I say it that way because clearly, what anti-abortionists support is only the life of an unborn fetus, not the child after it has been born.) A Conservative believes in limited government, states' rights, and prefers that federal money be spent on building and maintaining the military, rather than on "entitlement" programs and other domestic programs that improve the lives of American citizens.
Overtly in the South, but certainly practiced in the North as well, ministers like Rev. Douglas Hudgins preached "a gospel that strengthened and renewed the underpinnings of racial subordination," according to DuPont. (p. 120) Rev. Hudgins and others encouraged "Christian America" (which for him meant white Christians) to resist the federal government. The Conservative value he sought to emphasize was states' rights: the federal government had overreached in supporting the goals of the Civil Rights activists. A Conservative value is strict adherence to the law, I have heard them say ...except if the law rubs them the wrong way. When the Brown v. Board of Education ruling was handed down by the U. S. Supreme Court, white school districts refused to abide by "the law," choosing instead to home school their children or form private schools. So, it seems that a "Conservative value" is a belief that laws which encourage the equal and humane treatment of people whom they think are not worthy of their support or respect.
Bruce Covert, in a New York Times opinion piece, wondered aloud about what is really being said when Donald Trump, the GOP presumptive nominee for president, says, "Let's make America great again!" Covert notes that that the America of which Trump speaks was one where women and minorities were kept out of the loop. "Women and minorities were largely kept from positions of power," he wrote. (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/16/opinion/campaign-stops/make-america-great-again-for-the-people-it-was-great-for-already.html?_r=0) Is it correct to say that a "Conservative" value is keeping people in their place? Conservatives, I am supposing, were all right with and are probably still all right with many people being prevented from aspiring to and reaching "The American Dream?" The GI Bill helped create the middle class following World War II. Covert writes that the government "spent more than $95 billion on it between 1944 and 1971, and...millions of people used its benefits to buy homes, go to college, start businesses and start jobs." Veterans had it pretty good - unless they were African American. Black soldiers coming home applied for GI benefits, but they were "routinely denied" as the federal government handed implementation of the GI Bill to the states. Writes Covert," Black veterans, made up of the more than 900,000 who served in World War II, had trouble. "Those seeking a college education were crowded into limited slots in segregated institutions. Even though mortgages were guaranteed," wrote Covert "black borrowers had to get a bank to lend to them, and most refused."
Conservatives, I assume, would have been and are in favor of policies and practices which are clearly racist and discriminatory?
I need someone to explain to me what "Conservative values" are. I may be wrong, but the very label "Conservative" connotes the expectation of being allowed to support white supremacy, at the expense of people who have been knocked down by the policies of this country.
Trump, says Covert, is "no small-government Republican." But isn't small government a 'Conservative value?" Are Conservatives, many of whom profess to be Christian, allowed and encouraged to be bigoted - to be racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic?
What are Conservative values?
Someone please help me understand.