The Curious Case of a NJ Conservative

November 10, 2012

Hello, my name is Matthew, and recently I was offered the ability to express myself via the Conservative Fifty. Now, I know many are expecting some sort of post-election piece. However, I feel as though this campaign season dragged on, and that everyone is a little worn-out. That, coupled with this being my first post, I believe it is important to introduce myself, and discuss the political atmosphere of NJ. I believe that, in order to understand where my viewpoints come from, why I believe what I believe, and in order to understand my ideas, you should know a little about me and the place I come from.

Now, many people only know New Jersey from what they see on TV shows such as “Jersey Shore”, “The Sopranos”, and “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” I should make something quite clear now- most of that media comes from North Jersey, and most of the people are either North Jersey, or New York natives. I actually come from Camden County, South Jersey, which is very much different than the North, the reality is that New Jersey is more or less two separate states. The North is composed of people who work in and around New York City and its suburbs (as well as the Northern Jersey cities), and, as our former governor Jon Corzine put it, “South Jersey is home to a bunch of happy farmers.” This is an over-reaching and generalized claim I’d like to refute, but considering there was a horse ranch across the street from my high school, I may not have a leg to stand on.

Also contrary to popular belief, I am not even part Italian. NJ is home to a sizable population of Italian Americans, but I myself am German, English, and Irish.

Now, there’s a reason I bring up my ethnicity. The blood that flows through my veins tells a story of the history of America. My English ancestry comes from my mother, whose family came here in the 1630s, and settled in Massachusetts, they are known as the Rehoboth Carpenters, and some of their notable relatives include three US presidents, James A. Garfield, and the Bush family. We also have a very unique distinction, they were dubbed “The Family of Heroes”, since we had over 300 members of our family fight in the Revolution to found this great country. (In case anyone wants to call BS, I will provide links at the bottom of this post.) This makes the issue of constitutional rights, and the freedoms my ancestors fought for even more important to me, I owe it to them to do everything in my power to work towards the preservation not just of the country, but also the notions of individual freedom, and the rights to which we are all born to.

My German and Irish heritage is important as well, both came over in the late 1800s to early 1900s because of the promise America held. People forget how America was, and to some extent, is still perceived. In the old countries, where birth-right, political connections, and overbearing government were the norm, America was the one place in this world where a man was not judged by his parentage, but rather by his merit. America was the land of opportunity, people yearned for the freedom, and they knew that if they brought their skills and knowledge to this country, they could find success through their hard work. That is the most beautiful, and important aspect of this country, it is a place where those who are willing to work, or who are able to innovate would be rewarded for their efforts.

But what about NJ? We are well known for being a blue-state, and, I will admit, that has made things somewhat difficult for me. I will admit that, perhaps some of my views are somewhat liberal, I don’t have an issue with gay couples having the same rights as heterosexual couples, but a lot of that has come from being in the position of having to jump through hurdles to exercise my rights, my Second Amendment rights. I’m not sure what people from other states know about NJ’s gun laws, but they are absolutely awful for anyone who wants to legally exercise their rights, perhaps later on I’ll go into greater detail on this issue, but the trouble I’ve been put through for my rights has opened my eyes to what I perceive to be the greatest trouble in America, that results from the hard-core polarization we have been seeing in the past few years. Again, this is an idea that deserves greater attention, but I believe both sides of the political aisle have lost sight of what America is about, Freedom, and the rights of the individual. Generally, we push hard to use government to regulate the freedoms of others, and deny them of their rights. We have forgotten what the Founders told us, that the government is inherently the enemy of freedom and the people, but when we  the people divide ourselves, and push for others to have their rights denied, we are working against the ideas the country was founded on, and we all end up relinquishing our freedom and independence, bit by bit.

To return to NJ from that tangent, many would be surprised that there is, in some respects a swing to the political-center/right. Not in the traditional sense necessarily, as many NJ residents support gay marriage and things like that, I have observed some signs that the people of NJ may be starting to shift away from the traditional blue-state mentality. For example, two years ago, a small grassroots campaign formed to begin to push to regain the gun rights that NJ had lost in the 1960s, and which have continually been eroded since then, this group, of which I am a member, is the New Jersey Second Amendment Society. Even though they’re still fairly small, we’ve already had quite a bit of success in preventing NJ from stripping us of our rights, and the future looks bright for our organization.

I should also mention, I am a college student (which, if I ever fail to post something, it will likely be due to school, and I apologize in advanced.) So far in my experience in college, traditionally the bastion of both liberalism, and pseudo-intellectualism, I have been shocked with how many people there take an active interest in their constitutional rights. NJ will likely never be entirely “Conservative” however, there has been, to what I see, a strong move towards Libertarian ideals, which, I believe are quite close to those of the traditional conservative.

In the end, I thank you all for reading this. I hope that my beliefs and viewpoints will be enjoyable, and enlightening to read. More importantly, I view this opportunity to get my beliefs heard as a way for me to help this nation. Many people do not realize the dangers we face, and all Americans need to work together to fix the problems with our nation, and stop infringements on the rights that my family, and many others fought and risked their lives to establish. We are all Americans, and we need to get back to the original ideas of self-reliance, self-responsibility, individual freedom, and the belief that any person has a chance at success if they are willing to work, and strive to achieve it. The time has come for a new American Revolution, not one of conflict, but one of thought and action. We need to educate ourselves on the foundation of our nation, the rights we are guaranteed, and we must look back at the words of the founders and the enlightenment thinkers who inspired them. That is how we will be able to fix America, unite once more, and return ourselves back to the beacon of hope and freedom to the rest of the world.

Oh, and again, I want to mention, I’m  a broke college student studying biology. Between school, and working my low-paying retail job to pay for school, I don’t always have a  lot of time. I will do my best to keep this updated on as regular a basis as I can, most likely on Fridays, but my schedule may not be entirely regular.


Thanks for reading, and God Bless.


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