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home : opinions : opinions   April 30, 2016

11/13/2013 9:28:00 AM
Column: Conservative principles

Kevin Caufield
NT Reporter

In my quest to better explain conservatism I found a scholarship pledge created by Mike Rowe of the television show “Dirty Jobs” that nails a lot of it on the head.

Rowe called it his S.W.E.A.T. scholarship pledge. High school teens seeking the $15,000 trade school scholarship must qualify by signing the pledge and performing other tasks. You can learn more at And if you’re thinking about a blue-collar career, I suggest you do so.

Interestingly, the scholarship pledge could serve as a partial conservative manifesto because inside are many major beliefs all conservatives share and it may surprise you.

1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.

2. I believe that I am entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.

3. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.

4. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.

5. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.

6. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.

7. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every (bad) task there is.

8. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.

9. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.

10. I believe that I am a product of my choices — not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.

11. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.

12. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my (rear end) off.

I might include one more: “I believe that freedom without virtue, leadership without character, business without trust, law without customs, education without meaning and medicine, science and technology without human considerations can end only in disaster.”

Lately, conservatives have been allowing progressives within the GOP and the majority power structure from the left to label us as extremists, racists, sexists, bigots, and homophobes. But these are just labels straight from the Cloward-Piven playbook; simple ways to demonize your political opponent in order to retain political power gains and destroy your political opponent.

My hope is to better explain what conservatives stand for so that those without the time or drive to understand political mind games used to influence their vote can gain a truer understanding of what people who call themselves tea partiers stand for. Who knows, maybe a few of our Republican friends will rejoin the cause.

Kevin Caufield can be reached at (815) 220-6932 or

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: METALWORKER

How like a member of the Tax Enough Already party, hard core person at that.
A member of a TV elite crew with an army of attorneys, earning tens of millions a year , with a university degree telling the masses that an eight grade edu. is more than enough to dig a ditch for min. wage and U turn him into a hero.
A good actor, ehhh. fair, maybe.
Why not write an honest piece on him?
When he does an hr shoot he has a team of pros. set a site up. There are extras to do the bad and ugly scenes . He does nothing the first time and takes no risks. It takes days to shoot what a real workman has to do the first time in a pre determined time fram, a few hrs at most for less money than he makes in a few seconds.
How Republican of U.
What is conservative about him, or you for that matter?
My Lord and God, My savior, Jesus Christ himself was a liberal and would hang with the common workman and preach against those like you and the rep. party.
Read that book over and over and then show me where He said your way is the right way and yours and your parties is the right way.
Would you, could you please do that for me.
I do have an open mind, truly, I do.
Give me facts.

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