Coming Out: I Am A Conservative

I started getting these ‘feelings’ when I was a freshman in college. As with most people, it was a time of experimentation and intellectual stimulation. I would spend late nights with all of my friends smoking hookah and getting drunk until sunrise. We would discuss everything under the sun.

Politics were a hot topic during these late night discussions. The 2008 elections were right around the corner and George W. Bush jokes were a big hit. We would delve into healthcare, international relations, and economic policies. This is when I first noticed that maybe… I was a little different from all of my friends. All of their political preferences just didn’t appeal to me.

Ever since I was old enough to have the capacity to think in a political context, I considered myself a liberal. I am pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and pro-marijuana. Those were the only issues I thought mattered. Sure, there was something contradictory nagging me at the back of my mind, but I was too embarrassed and uninformed to acknowledge its presence.

In the past several years my knowledge base has grown from severe political unawareness to only slight political unawareness. I support the decision to send troops over to the Middle East. I don’t think a national healthcare program will be at all functional. I also happen to believe in strong state governments and weak federal government. My social stance on most issues still remains relatively liberal, but when it comes to everything else, I tip heavily to the right.

I have known that I am undoubtedly a conservative for some time now, but I still find myself shrinking in shame anytime something remotely political is brought up. People assume that because I listen to the same music, read the same books, and dress the way they do, I believe in the same political ideology. I’m done living a lie! Conservatives exist among us 20-somethings, and it’s time that we’re accepted for what we are. It’s time we break free of the stereotypes the Republican Party, Sarah Palin, Fox News, the Tea Party, and Confederate flag lovers have imposed upon us. It is time we stop living in the closet.

I’m not trying to convince anyone to believe the way I do. I’m not that politically active, and don’t ever seek a political debate. I’m just asking the majority of my peers, who happen to be liberal, not to completely dismiss my point of view due to it’s connotations. I promise I’m not contagious. I just want to let my freak flag fly. TC mark


More From Thought Catalog

  • statusandapager

    is that a pseudonym

  • JJ

    You're a freak.

  • Guest

    Congrats! You are part of the confederacy of dunces that are ruining the country.

  • Cameron Chapman

    I know I'm going to get hate for this, but I'm gonna post it anyway. It was Winston Churchill who said, “If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” I think a lot of us just get over the heart part a lot faster and start listening to our brains. I'm about as socially liberal as one can get, but when it comes to everything else (with the exception of foreign policy) I'm pretty conservative. But, being 20-something, even saying the word still makes me shudder.

    • Wjsalm3

      except that Liberal and Conservative meant completely different things to a 1940's englishman than it does here in the United States…

      • Lisette Nijboer

        True that.

        In the contemporary Netherlands (where I live) the Liberals ARE the Conservatives.Not that they have the same opinion about everything as Liberals or Conservatives anywhere else in the world. Politics are just completely different in any country, in every other decade.

      • Charles Reinhardt

        Yeah, this. I'm Canadian, and for the most part I think it's safe to say that for people from other countries, the American brand of conservatism is synonymous with insanity.

      • meelar2

        Also for many people from the US!

      • Bourdillon

        Actually it has always meant roughly the same thing. America's political system today isn't particularly unusual or special. It wasn't Churchill who said it however, it was Francois Guisot.

      • Bourdillon

        Actually, the two terms meant pretty much the same as they do today; ideologically, modern-day American politics isn't particularly unique or special. It wasn't Churchill who said that however, is was Francois Guisot.

    • Teukros

      Churchill didn't say that.

    • Teukros

      Churchill didn't say that.

    • PhermonousFan

      Winston Churchill? The same guy responsible for the disastrous Gallipoli campaign? The guy who failed to be re-elected because his politics were abhorrent outside of a wartime environment?

      I don't think that quote (if it's even real) carries the weight you think it does.

    • STaugustine

      “It was Winston Churchill who said, 'If you're not a liberal at twenty
      you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no

      If you think this is surprising, instructive or revelatory in some way, you don't know much about Winston Churchill, who was far from a force for progressive values.

      Here's old Winnie on his buddy Addie H  (aka  the Teutonic Charlie Chaplin):

      “While all those formidable transformations were occurring in Europe,
      Corporal Hitler was fighting his long, wearing battle for the German
      heart. The story of that struggle cannot be read without admiration for
      the courage, the perseverance, and the vital force which enabled him to
      challenge, defy, conciliate, or overcome, all the authorities or
      resistance’s which barred his path. He, and the ever increasing legions
      who worked with him, certainly showed at this time, in their patriotic
      ardour and love of country, that there was nothing that they would not
      dare, no sacrifice of life, limb or liberty that they would not make
      themselves or inflict upon their opponents.”

      Next I suppose you'll be quoting LBJ.

      • Bourdillon

        So what? Are you trying to say that it wasn't a struggle for the Nazis to come to power? Are you honestly trying to suggest by posting that quote that Churchill actually liked Hitler? Unless I'm completely misunderstanding your point, that has to be one of the dumbest things I've ever read.

      • STaugustine

        “Unless I'm completely misunderstanding your point…”

        No doubt there.

        Have a look at the quotation in the comment I'm responding to here, then consider the quotation featured in my response, compare the two, infer from this context the gist of my response… which had nothing to do with whether or not there was a “struggle for the Nazis to come to power”.

      • Bourdillon

        I'm looking at it but I'm evidently still not getting it. What exactly are you trying to say? Do you think Churchill liked Hitler?

      • STaugustine

        I'm saying it's not exactly shocking (whether or not the original quotation cited was his) that Winnie's outlook is not skewed to the left of John Lennon's. The context being this:

        “I know I'm going to get hate for this, but I'm gonna post it anyway. It
        was Winston Churchill who said, “If you're not a liberal at twenty you
        have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

        I was critiquing the good lady's choice for a fount of wisdom; that's all.

      • Bourdillon

        That's fair enough, though I don't think the quote you posted has much to do with politics. It's fairly historically accurate.

  • ryan chang

    seemingly intolerant comments that criticize a human being for believing in something that s/he feels is correct by seemingly 'level-headed, “non-dunce”, tolerant liberal' individuals who also believe in something that they feel is correct (which, ironically, enacts the stereotype pointed out by the article) yet can't find a neutral or positive way to discuss ideology should surprise me, and i want to be surprised, but i am not.

    • Katherine

      I know of no political philosophy, liberal or otherwise, that states that it is unacceptable to criticize someone for their beliefs. That's what politics is about. That's also what comments sections are for. You disagree with someone, you say so. You've bizarrely confused “tolerance” (of innate differences, over which individuals have no control) with “always say something neutral or positive, even if you vehemently disagree.” If someone writes a poorly-executed article of little substance and demands to be accepted for her ridiculous political positions, then it is perfectly acceptable to refuse to engage with any of the non-points made in the article and resort to name-calling. (What WAS the point of the article? “I think national health care is a bad idea in spite of the fact that it works quite well in other countries but I'm not going to tell you why and I demand that you LOVE ME!”)

      • ryan chang

        maybe im reading into this article too much, but it seems to me that the author prefers watching Fox News and other conservative media outlets because it makes her happy and also feels right to watch it, pure preference, family guy vs. the simpsons. and yes, there's little in this article that addresses the author's beliefs in a theoretical/philosophical sense (just stereotypes), so the level of 'worth it'-ness to vehemently disagree w/the author (of which i agree w/you, not opposed to debate/criticism) is extremely low. name-calling seems unnecessary. the last part of your comment, “what WAS the point of the article” seems sufficient if you were to make a comment re: the article not in reply to me. 

      • Katherine

        Uh, well, yeah, obviously committing to a political set of beliefs is a preference, but if one is going to write an article defending one's beliefs, one should state how one arrived at those beliefs. She did nothing of the sort. (That would also be true if one were to write an article defending “Family Guy”; publishable criticism has to have a little more merit than stating “I dunno, I just like it.”) Whether or not it's worth it to comment, well, I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. I felt it was worth it to disagree with the author; I get irate when people write articles of little substantive value that get published (because there are plenty of terrific writers out there who don't get the opportunity to share their thoughts). You feel there is little point in disagreeing with the author, and yet you appear to deem it worthwhile to disagree with the commenters.

      • STaugustine

        “You feel there is little point in disagreeing with the author, and yet
        you appear to deem it worthwhile to disagree with the commenters.”

        There should be an F- key preset for this comment.

      • RAH

        chill.  just someone sharing their perspective.  i enjoyed reading it and seeing how other people think.  also enjoyed your comment for the same reason. but you seem kind of mean, and angry.  which is making me feel… mean… and angry.  gotta chill, gotta chill.

      • Katherine

        I can be mean, when it's called for. I get angry sometimes, when it's called for. I'm nice to the people in my life, though. When it's called for. Go smoke some weed. I prefer to be nervously on edge, it helps me get shit done.

      • RAHHHHHH

        Sweet.  I don't smoke weed; sleeping pills, yes.  I'm on my fifth cup of coffee.     I'm on the edge too.  I just get angry at the right people for the right reasons.   No need to get mad about some girl, I think.

    • STaugustine

      “seemingly intolerant comments that criticize a human being for believing in something…”

      The “something” in question is connected in very real terms to real deaths and on a scale worthy of the term “genocide”.  Whether the Believer is passionate and fully-conscious of his/her Belief System's ramifications or merely ignorantly complacent, the result (a mass cultural movement supporting wars abroad and shocking inequalities “at home”)  deserves a bitch-slap. I love the “level-headed” Americans who believe in a “neutral” or “positive” way to discuss an Imperialist Ideology: let me guess: are you the (passive) beneficiary of this Imperialist Ideology or on the wrong end of all those predator drones? Rhetorical question.

  • dip

    literally every young person ever: “Oh I'm socially liberal but FISCALLY conservative :D”

    • mopey P

      You mean every young upper middle class white person ever

    • Heather

      Yes, because having three wars in the Middle East right now is just so FISCALLY conservative.

      • PhermonousFan

        Cheap oil and strong presence to influence foreign producers? Sounds fiscally conservative to me.

      • AaronWB

        Bomb the crap out of Asia? Sure, there's always money for that, any good conservative would agree. 

        Healthcare, medicaid, school funding, infrastructure, clean energy? Socialist boondoggles!

      • dip

        Yeah we really shouldnt even have an army. We'll talk it out :]

    • Amber C.

      I don't understand this. If you are young, I'm going to assume you don't make a lot of money. If you don't make a lot of money, there is literally ZERO REASON to be “fiscally conservative.”

  • guest


    This is like the 100th article that I read that completely lacked any substance…. I'm not talking about the subject, because I was legitimately interested from the headline, but the lack of passion… of interest…. of research…. There's never any payoff in these articles. Never any WHY… As in, WHY do you feel that way? WHY should your audience care… For instance… Why is a de-centralized government better for the Nation? Why do you support sending troops to the Middle East… which conflict specifically (there are a ton)? 

    Your article sounds like a weak rant that you recorded into a hand mic while you were on too much dunkin doughnuts coffee while driving to work.  

    Anyway… maybe I'm wrong… is this a site where anyone can post an article??

    • PhermonousFan

      This article is just as weak as every other article. The only reason this author is getting called out is because they're opinion is unpopular.

      • PhermonousFan


      • Cool chic

        Go away grammar nazi

      • Lol


    • STaugustine


      • Pfft

        kat is shitty, but this is worse.

  • Jnsmolin

    Conservatism is like the young punk Nicholas Cage in Valley Girl.
    Seriously, in my experience, having conservative leanings (while maintaining socially liberal attitudes) is an easy way to look edgy, even (or especially) in a forest of others.

  • Bee

    I feel you pain! Socially I'm moderate with a slight lean to the right but when it comes to economic/foreign policy/etc. etc. I'm pretty close to 100% Conservative. Thanks for writing this article and saying what so many in their 20's are meant to be ashamed of in this decade. :)

  • Francisco García

    You should give “Legacy of Ashes” by Tim Weiner a read before blindly supporting the American invasion of th Middle East. I'm just saying.

  • Teukros

    “It’s time we break free of the stereotypes the Republican Party, Sarah
    Palin, Fox News, the Tea Party, and Confederate flag lovers have imposed
    upon us.”

    In other words, you still have no idea what you're talking about.  Get out of the liberal echo chamber for a while — read Hot Air or Drudge or even the Wall Street Journal.  Learn the difference between “it's” and “its.”

    Maybe then you'll discover why Sarah Palin's not the detestable caricature your liberal friends harp on about, or why Fox News is as viable a source of information as any other mainstream outlet.

    • Francisco García

      What mistake did she make with it's and its? It sounds right to me.

    • mopey P

      Yea! When I think of conservatives and Fox News-watchers in general, I definitely think of highly educated highly-informed people who can read and who think about grammar a lot.

      Fox News/Conservative Radio Hosts are to Serious Conservatives what Michael Moore/PETA are to Serious Liberals. (Embarrassing.)

      Let's be real, of course you can isolate yourself in a 'liberal echo chamber,' but don't act like the mainstream conservative news outlets are any better because everyone will just laugh at you. The WSJ is great though.

    • Bourdillon

      Ah. Now I see where you get your information, my old friend, your views are less surprising.

    • Nick G.

      She used “it's” correctly. Don't worry, though. I can understand how someone who watches so much FOX News could make that mistake.

    • Pfft

      hahaha fox news and viable source of information in the same sentence! COMEDY GOLD

  • Bourdillon

    Disappearing comments…

  • Justin

    I don't care whether one is conservative or liberal, as long as they are informed and intelligent enough to defend that opinion.


      just a reminder: informed, intelligent people can be wrong

      • valentine_kitchenson

        There is no right or wrong answer, only dumb ones.

  • Auckland

    Articles like this are actually quite offensive.  You choose language – “coming out” as a conservative – that draws a direct connection to coming out as gay, and in doing so positions you as an oppressed, embattled minority that should be accepted.  But you're not an oppressed minority: nobody is going to beat or kill you due to a characteristic (homosexuality) that you did not choose.  The worst that could happen would be for your peers to disagree with you or call you a heartless prick over your chosen opinions.

    I think you can see why this comparison is offensive.  Furthermore, the political positions for which you demand tolerance are in and of themselves quite offensive to human beings.  You want Americans – especially poor Americans and children – to continue dying of preventable causes due to the lack of universal health insurance.  (If you disagree with this point, I will quote facts and figures in detail – the summary is that American health outcomes are worse than countries with more cost-effective socialized medicine.)  You want to continue killing brown people in the Middle East, in order to pursue some sort of vague imperial agenda.  You want to weaken or destroy federal environmental, labor, and safety regulations – a move that will kill people in industrial accidents and through increased emissions of toxic substances.  You choose to support a culture of death, and I refuse to accept you for that.

    • Aaaasssss

      Stop acting all Butt-Hurt over the idea of “owning” the phrase coming out, only if you are gay. The whole point is that you take responsibility for who you are and openly are comfortable with yourself in society. Its not about being Gay or Conservative. Its about being yourself and not giving a fuck what the rest of the world is going to think. 

      the rest of your points I agree with.

      • lazer

        Sorry.  Part of the equation, for many queers, is coming out when you're comfortable enough that people won't kill or harass you when you do so.

    • PhermonousFan

      I'm coming out as a person who thinks the comment sucks.

    • Michael

      Whoa, hoss! Nice little liberal guilt-tripping and dose of complete self-righteousness. It's people like you that actually made me reconsider my liberalism and move towards a more centrist/conservative ideology.
      And P.S. As a flaming homosexual, I have to say I rather enjoyed her analogy as coming out as a conservative.

      • STaugustine

        Didn't you mean, “As a flaming crypto-fascist, I have to say I rather enjoyed her analogy as coming out as a conservative.” Of course you did. “Hoss” is right, you're an ass:  closure.

      • fu

        Fascist, fascist, fascist, fascist, fascist, fascist.

        Just learned a new word and wanna throw it around? Both liberal and conservatives use fascist techniques in their collective campaigns, so keep your liberal arts-school buzzword to yourself, kthx.

      • STaugustine

        The first time I used the word “fascist” in a conversation was probably during coverage of the Watergate hearings.  Not quite a “new word” for me.  How long you been shaving, kid?


        hahahaha ANOTHER BADASS STEPS UP. Welcome to the party sir. Stack your ammo  over there and get on line. The party has just begun.

      • STaugustine

        Uh… no, Dude.  I'm sure you can do 2,000 pushups with an overweight transsexual hooker on your back, but your rhetorical chops aren't quite there (as evidenced up-thread). For me to engage with you, intellectually, would be somewhat akin to *you* getting in a knife-fight with a 115-pound hipster in flares and an androgynous hat. Ie: kind of demeaning to the exquisite level of your fearsome war-making genius.  But thanks for asking!


        Thank you Michael. Another brave soul comes forward. Who else has the fortitude and the guts? Half of you calling yourselves liberals will be slowly changing sides once you get out of the marxist classrooms and into the real world (i.e affirmative action, high taxes, (in)equal opportunity, reverse disrimination, high taxes etc etc).
             You want to bash my country, our country? Seriously MOVE THE FUCK OUT OF IT. GO IMMIGRATE TO CUBA, CHINA, SPAIN,  OR MAYBE GREECE -RETIRE IN YOUR 40's AND TRASH YOUR CITIES WHEN THINGS DONT GO YOUR WAY.  You pro-socialist hipsters make me sick to my stomach.  The greatest generation gave us a golden egg A GOLDEN EGG and you smash it onto the ground.  MOVE THE FUCK OUT OF AMERICA. SERIOUSLY. You cowards I bet not one of you has the balls to even be a cook in the air force nonetheless get any respect from me, my family or any of the REAL MOTHERFUCKERS I WAS SHOULDERED UP WITH IN THE US MIL. COWARDS.

      • Bema

        This is Thought Catalog, not the Fox News website.

        Please show some snarky respect for your fellows.

      • Bourdillon



  • brandollars

    What you're describing in no way describes the Republicans and “conservatives” of today. Most of what you say, I believe in too (except for national healthcare, which you offer no reason why you think it wouldn't work), yet these “conservative” ideologies are no longer alive within the Right camp. Do your thing and fight for moderatism, because that's what you really are.

    • brandollars

      the more i read this, the less conservative you are and the more ignorant of political ideologies you are…. sorry, but you don't know what you are because you don't know what those things you're trying to label yourself as are.

  • Elena Vasta

    Looks like you got the political debate you weren't “seeking”. Understand that no one is bashing you for being a conservative in their 20s; your article simply lacks intelligible and respectable support for any of your claims. Like someone else mentioned, you don't expand on WHY you're a conservative and WHY you believe in certain things.

    Maybe this website should be called 'Half-Hearted Thought Catalog'.

  • AaronWB

    I love declaring yourself a conservative but simultaneously disowning the Republican freak show (Palin, Fox, etc.). Shows how completely hopeless the conservative political movement has become.

    I guess it's hard to brand yourself when your main constituency is religious nuts and senior citizens but your governmental policy is designed solely to funnel money to corporations and wealthy people. That's the bizarre structural tension that spits out Donald Trump and Sarah Palin as viable presidential candidates.

  • Bema

    That was so brave, I hope your parents are okay with it.

  • Myemail

    But… you don't explain what your positions are on the issues that you claim you lean “strongly” to the left on. Which makes me think that you haven't really thought them through; anybody who says they favor “strong state government and less federal government” – well, that's an abstract enough concept that would encompass a lot of liberal ideology as well. It's like when people say they are “fiscally conservative and socially liberal” but don't bother to explain or understand the interplay between the two.
    Without any real evidence in support of your theory that you are a conservative and a fair amount of evidence (dislike of Palin, dislike of anti-choicers, support of weed and teh geighs) to the contrary, I'd say that you are too liberal for the Republican party (which isn't conservative anyway) and probably too liberal for the majority of the Democratic party. I mean, your liberal friends can take you at your word that you are a conservative (and there is much to admire about the conservative philosophy; nobody adheres to it though) or they can look at your voting record. Call yourself whatever you want but don't expect anything but disdain if you vote Republican.

  • Lazer

    i'm getting tired of this inane fucking website. what is more indicative of privilege (and apathy) than an ignorant muhfugga being a conservative?
    fucking hipster irony. i hope you editors publish this garbage just 'cause it gets views and generates lots of comments.  otherwise, fuck you too.

  • Marianna Elvira

    I have nothing against your political views, but this was far too short and barely delved into what your exact opinions are on “everything else” (what is “everything else”??? Examples, please) and how exactly you “tip heavily to the right.”

    • xra

      that's exactly what i thought. where's the rest of the essay?

  • Justin RM

    If you buy into the dichromatic discourse of “Left vs. Right”
    or “Conservatives vs. Liberals” then you are part of the problem. Quit acting
    like political parties are sports teams. By labeling yourself as “Conservative” you
    are accepting a brand, you are saying that the complexity of issues that we
    face on a day to day basis can be thrown under one useless umbrella term. The
    same goes for Liberals. Enough of this bullshit.  Be aware of the issues. Consider them on their own terms.
    Be critical. Think about them. Really think about them. Then—after much deliberation and
    existential anguish—make a decision. Repeat this process over and over. 

    • Justin RM

      P.S. That long blank space is one big audible sigh.

    • Ariel

      Agreed! There are good and bad ideas coming from both parties, well mostly bad ideas from both parties. But last I checked America is a mess, the economy sucks, our health care is a mess, and working on a military base overseas I've learned about all sorts of more exciting problems! And it's not getting better by yelling at each other.

    • Jocelyn

      *stands up & applauds*

  • Hannah Foster.

    When I started reading this, I was interested but, honestly, it tapered off and you didn't seem to get across anything of substance at all. I'm not asking for a list of every single view you have but I'd like something more than this because it's so terribly vague. Not only that, but I didn't feel like I learned anything new. Okay, everything I know about American Politics comes from the year I've spent studying it at A Level, so I don't pretend to be an expert, but your Political views don't appear to be as 'special' or as strange as you seem to think they are – your apparent socially liberal but fiscally conservative ideology basically puts you slap bang in the middle of the Blue Dog Democrats. You're camping out in moderacy and that's cool, baby.

  • gurl u know


  • Kobayashi

    Just answer one thing Kitty…. Why support sending troops overseas ($$$) to continue meddling in someone else's business, yet not support funding to at least TRY to improve America's less-than-stellar healthcare? As an American living in Sweden, I have seen first-hand the wonders of a socialized healthcare system. You can have your opinions, but my theory is: Don't knock it until you've tried it. Just because you “don’t think a national healthcare program will be at all functional” doesn't make it factual, it's merely an unfounded opinion formed from years of being fed bullshit from politicians. USE it, THEN tell me your opinion. Support your opinions with FACTS or I guarantee you will not be treated with respect.

    • Somone That Isn't You

      “In the past several years my knowledge base has grown from severe political unawareness to only slight political unawareness.”

      And I'd say you're still in the ” severe unawareness” category.

    • Bang Stick

      Maybe you haven't heard, the US gov't is already on the verge of going bust and the Healthcare the libtards fancy so much hasn't even kicked in yet.

      Knowing that all the above mentioned countries are going bust because of their healthcare systems, I'm going to have to pass on 'trying it'.

      I don't need big brother telling me how to insure myself.  They sure as hell aren't going to make any cheaper.

      • Kobayashi

        You “know” it? Really? Show me proof. I guarantee Sweden is not drowning in debt and the healthcare system is not weighing it down, the economy is booming at the moment. Iceland, Greece, and Spain are in deep shit due to bad bank loan practices, it has nothing to do with their “socialist” healthcare systems. The rest of Europe is doing rather well. Read a newspaper or flip on BBC once and awhile.

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