Raising the Standard at UGA since 2013.

From The Editors’ Desk: Why We Write

For most, writing is tedious, a painful undertaking that requires the expenditure of vast amounts of energy through the use of the human mind — more than we are willing to expend in most cases. For others, writing is a medium through which they can pour out their ruminations onto the blank pages. And still for others, it is simply a way of life. Here at The Arch Conservative, we do not write because we have to; we write because we love to. We work tirelessly to raise the standard on campus and advance the conservative cause wherever we can. We consider it our duty to spread the conservative message in order to combat that ever-rising tide of Leftism that would seek to stifle us in the pursuit of its goals.

The common stigma of conservatives is our apparent “similarity.” Many view us as a big, benighted group of traditionalists with no nuance or intellectual diversity whatsoever. This is a sad, grossly inaccurate fact, but one nevertheless that causes many conservatives great angst, as compared with their ideological counterparts on the Left. One could, we suppose, make the argument that it is only the Left that allows for intellectual diversity within its ranks. But this “tolerance” and commitment to “openness” clearly ends as soon as one dares to disagree with what they believe. This upside-down world in which conservatives are the ones characterized as nothing more than a monolithic bloc lacking any singularity is a myth that we here at The Arch Conservative strive to dispel. (Incidentally, listen to the most recent edition of “Deeper Look” to learn more about all of the various factions that fall under the umbrella of “conservatism.”)

The editorial staff here is not a cohesive, conservative unit. We pick each other’s brains and challenge each other’s beliefs in order to strengthen our knowledge and convictions. More often than not, we argue with each other about the merits of various conservative policies and ideas (mostly on our ever-entertaining Marketplace podcast, hosted by J.Thomas Perdue). Truly, then, we can hardly be classified as monolithic body devoid of intellectual diversity. As mentioned earlier, this is the unfair stigma we face. But rather than merely complain, we battle the bias with our pens; for we see writing as the principal and most effective means to advancing the conservative cause.

Conservatism comes in many forms, some more contentious than others. But no two strands are exactly the same. American conservatism, as a whole, places a high value on American traditions, individual liberty, and free-market principles. The similarities between the various schools of thought, however, largely end there.

There is “neoconservatism,” for instance, which places a high value on the promotion of democracy, America’s national interest in international affairs, and the use of the military to protect those interests. There is “fiscal conservatism,” which, as the name implies, firmly believes in lower taxes, prudent fiscal policy, and minimal government debt (along the lines of the classical liberalism school of thought). There is also “paleoconservatism.” While this school of thought has great veneration for tradition, limited government, and civil society, what is most distinctive about it is the extra emphasis it places on religious and national (and, by extension, Western) identity. Of course, another school of thought — and an ever-entertaining one at that — is known as “fusion conservatism,” or just “fusionism.” Fusionism combines the more traditionalist conservative views with the principles of economic freedom and right-libertarianism.

Of course, these are hardly complete pictures of the schools of conservative thought, and there are undoubtedly more out there that have been overlooked. But in the interest of time, it isn’t necessary to go into the minutiae of these schools here, though we do encourage readers to do their own research and self-reflection on these various conservative principles. This, then, brings us to the crux of the matter, namely, that which we desire to achieve when we write.

We do not wish to harshly criticize others for their intellectual leanings, but rather, we wish to poke, prod, and facilitate thoughtful discussion. Too often, it is assumed that there is only one morally and intellectually valid viewpoint (usually, the one espoused by the Left); and thus, the conservative view is drowned out, often by a chorus of slurs like “racist, sexist, homophobe.” Nevertheless, with each piece we write, we aim to be a beacon of elevated conservative thought. Although some might regard our efforts as futile, a losing fight on a leftist-leaning campus, we don’t allow ourselves to think in such terms. Rather, we embrace the challenge that comes with constantly opposing status-quo opinion. We may not always agree on principle, but in practice, our goal is always the same when we sit down to let the words flow onto the page: To raise the standard here at UGA.


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