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What does it mean to be a conservative?
by Michael Chambers
First, we must look at the traditional definition of "conservative." In this case, I am referencing it in both a political and cultural perspective.
A person or political perspective which favors free enterprise,
private ownership, and socially traditional ideas. This perspective is generally contrasted with the "liberal perspective."
We must first look at the cultural perspective of liberal/conservatism in Alaska in order to gain some sense of understanding what political conservatism is in Alaska.
Generally speaking, the population of Alaska is split up into urban/rural populations. As with all other states in America, you will generally encounter a liberal cultural and political perspective in the larger population bases and a more conservative cultural and political perspective in the rural areas of the state. A stark exception to this generalization is the rural areas of Alaska which are predominantly native, conservative in their cultural roots but politically dominated by the Democrat Party and their liberal views.
The "liberal" cultural shift is becoming a predominant theme in Alaska as the vast majority of Alaskans now reside in dense populations compared to the rest of the state. Approximately 1/2 the population of Alaska lives in the Greater Anchorage bowl. When you add the populations of Fairbanks, Juneau and Ketchikan to this equation, you are approaching 2/3rds of the Alaskan population residing in urban environments. Three of these population bases have something in common, and that is, they all have University Campuses within their community boundaries. Generally speaking, whenever you have university settings, you will find a population of younger adults who generally tend to be liberal in both their cultural and political bias. This is one major reason why Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau are predominately represented by liberals and Democrats.
Before discussing the political polarity currently occurring throughout Alaska it should be noted that the increased population bases of Palmer, Wasilla, Kenai, Soldotna, and Delta Junction seem to be holding onto "conservative values" although there are some exceptions.
So, what is going on in Alaska from a political perspective and what is the current status of "conservatism" in Alaska?
You may make the first political mistake by assuming that Alaskan Republicans are conservative. In actuality, the Republican Party of Alaska has actively committed substantial harm to the definition of "conservative." Perhaps 1/2 of the Republican Party is culturally and politically conservative, but the other half are anything but conservative. Politicians who run as Republicans will not be held accountable to their Party Platform. This allows candidates to "use" the "R" insignia to gather support from the low information voter. One major challenge with the Republican Party is the donor class which drives donations for political campaigns. The majority of larger donations go to Republican candidates who promote larger government. The poster child for this reality is both Kelly Merrick and Cathy Giessel who received substantial contributions ( $25,000 ) from the union bosses of the AFL-CIO. These donations don't come without political strings attached.
Many so called Alaskan Conservative politicians never embrace the idea of limited government, and many have abandoned the concept of "traditional values." This is precisely why you witness Lisa Murkowski getting elected over and over again on an overt platform of codifying Roe Vs. Wade. She is certainly not the only Republican who supports abortion. Newly elected Senator Cathy Giessel let the voting population know that she is now Pro-Choice. Cathy fully understands the changing political climate in Alaska and she is willing to vacate conservative values in order to be elected while retaining the "R" label. Unfortunately, a large segment of Republicans elected to the Alaska Senate have abandoned traditional conservative values long ago. This is precisely why it was easy for a majority of newly elected Republican Senators to hand over the reigns of political power to the Senate Democrats. After all, their voting record is virtually the same. This crop of Republicans will join arms with their Democrat colleagues and increase the state budget, even in a climate of financial uncertainty.
The first order of business will be a substantial increase in the cost for Public Education. It is not a matter of getting better education results but a matter of receiving support from a union which has been actively engaged in destroying any semblance of "education accountability." Alaska has slipped to #3 nationally in funding public education. I predict we will regain the top position in funding and continue to remain at the bottom in academic achievement. It is not about producing educational excellence but soliciting donations for the politician's next political campaign.
Another financial diversion we will see is support to return to "Defined Benefits" for state workers which has the potential to
throw Alaska back into deficit spending and force future generations to pay for increased financial instability.
How do these "conservative" Republicans plan to pay for increases in Public Education and State benefits? It is called the PFD program. In other words, they are using your PFD for purposes of being re-elected. As long as these politicians shield the "donor class" from any new tax structure the top 20% wage earners in Alaska are quite comfortable with the taking of the PFD to pay for these pet projects in the coming legislative session.
So, ultimately, if the population base of Alaska continues to depend on the Republican Party to be the champion of conservatism in Alaska both from a cultural and political perspective, We will not witness conservatism at any level, local, state, or federal ever again.
The real loss is conservative cultural values. The institution of traditional marriage is lost. The government should never have been in the business of marriage in the first place. We now have over 50+ defined genders, sexual aberrations are now considered normal, and any rejection is considered a form of discrimination. The woke culture defines the white class as colonial supremacists', there is no definition of gender regarding sports and using bathrooms or showers. If men are socially accepted being bare chested in public then women should be afforded the same opportunity as well. Children are encouraged to have "gender conversations" with their public school educators and be "safe" in not disclosing these conversations with their parents. Our public libraries have pornography in sections available to our youth. Drag Queens are conducting story hour for young impressionable children. Our judicial system is predominated with liberal appointments with ZERO accountability. Dark money currently owns Alaskan politics!
Summing it up, unless we can wake up 50% of the conservative population who refuse to participate in elections, and become more strategically intelligent, I predict "conservatism" in Alaska will soon be a historic footnote.
We are quickly losing our conservative compass.
Welcome to the "New Reality."
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