Once upon a time, I was at a conference. Over beers with fellow attendees, the topic of conservatism came up.
“I just don’t get it,” said one of our company. I asked what they meant.
“I don’t get conservatism – I mean what is it about? What are they thinking?” I scrunched my eyebrows.
“Well on the most basic level it is about racism and sexism, right?”
“What?” came the slightly shocked reply. “That’s way too simplistic. You can’t just say it’s racism and sexism.” The others nodded in agreement.
Fast forward 45 minutes later and I had done my best to defend my position that while how they work is anything but simple or straightforward, it’s perfectly accurate to summarize the major causes of American conservatism as a commitment to and defense of white supremacy and patriarchy. (And, in retrospect, I would add imperialism.)