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Donald Trump at a rally in Reno, Nevada | Flickr
Donald Trump at a rally in Reno, Nevada | Flickr

Con­ser­v­a­tives seem to have for­gotten that there is some­thing out there to con­serve.

The concept of a nation is not some grand abstraction. America is not an idea. America is a country, a people, built on sweat and blood with a dis­tinct identity rooted in lan­guage, history, customs, tra­di­tions, religion, and morals. America faces a crisis. That which defines her is being sys­tem­at­i­cally decon­structed.

The American people are being replaced courtesy of a porous southern border and a sui­cidal immi­gration policy which invites those who don’t share American values en masse. If con­ser­vatism wants to remain elec­torally rel­evant, this issue must be imme­di­ately addressed.  A shared lan­guage — foun­da­tional to social harmony — is no longer a demand of society. American history has morphed from an exper­iment in self-gov­ernment under God to a story of racism and bigotry. The per­vading public opinion is that America’s customs are irrel­evant, her religion arcane, and her morals obsolete.

Our greatness, we are told, lies not in what truly char­ac­terizes us as a country, but in our tol­erance of the assault on these very things. We are great, not for our greatness, but for our pas­sivity in asserting and defending that greatness. Not only must we let the defining aspects of our civ­i­lization die, we must drive home that sword our­selves.

Against 16 expe­ri­enced com­petitors, Donald Trump mus­tered an unmatched Amer­i­canism. Boldly declaring “Amer­i­canism, not glob­alism, will be our credo,” he promises to protect those sacred things which define America. He cam­paigned on a pas­sionate belief in the inherent goodness of the American people, a recog­nition of America’s irrefutable beauty, and a des­per­ation to con­serve it.

Trump may not be a mas­terful rhetorician or an esteemed intel­lectual. Perhaps this is nec­essary: the pru­dential sur­render from our detached “con­ser­v­ative” elite has con­tin­ually failed the people. The typical con­ser­v­ative platform of worn-out plat­i­tudes is mean­ingless when Amer­icans yearn for identity, when they see everyday the American spirit’s struggle to survive. This is why our next pres­ident can only be a tough-talking realist with a vis­ceral ded­i­cation to the American soul, wholly devoted to the good of the people. It must be someone willing to fight fire with fire, resorting to the out­ra­geous not for the sake of the out­ra­geous, but because he knows exactly what is at stake, and what it will take to win. Trump’s very can­didacy embodies the fiery spark left in our nation’s fight to survive.

Trump has shown his com­mitment to a gov­ernment that serves “We the People.” While his opponent demands alle­giance — “I’m with her” — he offers alle­giance: “I’m with you, the American people.”

His “America first” approach reestab­lishes national sov­er­eignty. Trump reminds us, “I am not running to be pres­ident of the world. I am running to be Pres­ident of the United States.” His “law and order” platform addresses the most pressing fears of Amer­icans, reaf­firming the most fun­da­mental role of gov­ernment — the pro­tection of its cit­izens. He is com­mitted to slashing admin­is­trative over­reach, cutting taxes and reg­u­lation, elim­i­nating wasteful spending, repealing Oba­macare, enhancing reli­gious liberty, local control of edu­cation, sen­sible foreign alliances, gun rights, the pro-life movement, a secure border, and des­per­ately needed immi­gration reform. And lest we forget, the Supreme Court hangs in the balance. Trump’s nom­inees have the oppor­tunity to engrain con­ser­v­ative policy into our national fabric for decades to come.

If a “con­ser­v­ative” is a rigid ide­o­logue spouting catch­phrases about a sup­posed alle­giance to the Con­sti­tution, then Trump is not the arche­typical con­ser­v­ative. But, if a con­ser­v­ative is someone ded­i­cated to con­serving that which defines America, then Trump is con­ser­v­ative in a sense far above the weak-kneed excuse of “con­ser­vatism” today.

Keeping the status quo may prove Trump’s pre­diction true: “Four more years of this, and we may not have a country anymore.” America is not an undif­fer­en­tiated mul­ti­cul­tural blur. America is a country. And her current path can lead only to col­lapse; she will inevitably fall with a shudder, a ghostly outline, a mere shadow of her former self, the edges intact but the sub­stance absent. We must heed Trump’s call to unite as “one people, under one God, embracing one American flag.” So let’s make America strong again, proud again, safe again. Let’s Make America Great Again.

 

Grisedale is a sophomore studying pol­itics.