Raising the Standard.

Challenging Complacency

The previous four Fall Editions of THE ARCH CONSERVATIVE. Each can be found in the magazine section of our web page.

Fall 2016 is a time of big changes. Here at the University of Georgia, we have a new football program complete with a new coaching staff, a new quarterback, a new ticketing system for students, and a new season that has brought with it (at least originally) new hopes and high expectations.

In the United States, we are in the midst of a pivotal election, choosing between two presidential candidates who are unlike any we have ever seen before. One, a self-proclaimed businessman, loudly shouts his often offensive and nonconformist views with an unprecedented fervor and blatant disregard for decorum. The other, a former First Lady, senator, and Secretary of State, brings with her the same controversial and muddied past that many have come to expect of our politicians, but also brings a new card to the table as the first woman to run for president in a general election. No matter which of these unorthodox candidates we elect into office in 2017, he or she will certainly bring a change to the White House, and one much larger than any typical inauguration day changing of the guard.

In a similar manner to both UGA and the USA, The Arch Conservative is undergoing its own set of changes. With the graduation of Elizabeth Ridgeway, The Arch Conservative did not only lose our most recent Editor-in-Chief, but also the last member of our founding board. Now in our fourth year, we are striving to carry on the traditions and ideals set forth by our founders, while also bringing in an updated vision and archetype with our new editorial board. Though in sync with the conservative belief that established practices are inherently good, our magazine also recognizes that challenging complacency and improving upon the status quo is an important, if not necessary, part of growth and survival.

In a mainstream culture saturated by the misportrayal of conservatism as nothing more than barbaric regressivism, it is important to clarify what conservatism is and what it is not. Conservatism is reverence for the traditions and values that have helped society thrive for centuries; it is not the fear of a new future that improves upon old customs. Conservatism is the belief that gradual change is more productive than an abrupt upheaval of all pillars of society; it is not the belief that nothing should ever change. Conservatism is the belief that challenges create individual character; it is not the belief that individuals who face challenges are of lower character than those who have good fortune. Conservatism is a complex set of ideals that have come together through centuries of scholastic thought; it is not a few thoughtless phrases uttered by a politically incorrect populist as he rants behind the safety of a podium.       

Keeping these things in mind and remembering our magazine’s commitment to conservative ideology, our staff has reimagined and revamped parts of our magazine, to take it forward into the future while also maintaining the roots that ground us. With the help of our graphic design editor, Mallory Traylor, we have created a new and modernized layout for our print magazine. We believe that our new design holds true to our origins, but also helps signal a new era in our magazine’s production. Though things are changing, The Arch Conservative remains committed to its coverage of policy, conservative philosophy, and campus news, and stays committed to expanding our horizons through more coverage and increased frequency of postings on our online blog.

The motto of our magazine since its founding has been “Raising the Standard.” In the past, we have interpreted this as a challenge to our readers and fellow students to raise the philosophical and logical standards by which they reason, reflect, and opine on policy and culture. Now, we are challenged to raise the standards that we have created for ourselves. We are raising our standards in the quantity and quality of content we publish. We are raising our standards in the aesthetic of our design. We are raising the standards of how we convey and represent our political beliefs. And, hopefully, we are once again raising the standards of Conservatism, which, in the past year, has too often given way to the rising tides of the populism and nationalism that is sweeping up portions of right-wing politics.

— This article appears in the Fall 2016 issue of THE ARCH CONSERVATIVE.

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