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I am going to suggest something that is going to surprise many of you: As a proud conservative I believe I am more liberal than most of you listening and surely more so than most all of my peers in the halls of the Ivory Tower.

Let me explain.

I am a liberal because I believe the best education is one that liberates. It liberates us from the consequences of those things that are wrong and frees us to live within the boundaries of those things that are right.

I am a liberal because I believe in the liberal arts—an education that is driven by a hunger for answers rather than the protection of opinions.

I am a liberal because I believe in freedom—freedom of thought and freedom of expression, freedom to dissent from the consensus, freedom to pursue truth wherever it leads.

I am a liberal because I believe in integration and that you cannot separate head from heart, fact from faith, belief from behavior, and religion from reason.

I am a liberal because I believe in conservation. There are ideas that are tested by time, defended by reason, validated by experience, and confirmed by revelation. We do know that rape is wrong, that the Holocaust was bad, and that racism is to be reviled. Even though we cannot produce these truths in a test tube we hold them to be self-evident laws that no man can deny.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. told us in his letter from the Birmingham jail, our strongest justification for the ongoing struggle for freedom, liberation, and liberty is the conservation of the immutable virtues given to us by the laws of nature and nature’s God. Without such conservative ideas I’m not sure anyone can truly call themselves a liberal.