How far apart are conservatives’ and liberals’ political beliefs? Can the two ideologies ever work together to run the country and produce bi-partisan legislation?
The core values of the liberals and conservative values are made up of a mixture of myths, traditions, interpretations of the Constitution, and views ingrained in respective cultural exposures. The respective core values of liberals and conservatives are not easily put aside. Thirty or forty years ago, I wouldn’t have thought the dividing line was so hard to cross. After all, I was once a strong Democrat, a member of the NAACP, and suspicious of capitalism.
Now that President Obama has succeeded in dividing the people into two angry camps with his income distribution, class warfare, and anti-business rhetoric, the nation is more divided than at anytime since the War for Independence and the Civil War when families, towns, and states were divided into Tories or revolutionaries, slavery or non-slavery states, and unionists or secessionists.
President Obama and his progressive party have helped me understand how members of the same family could pick up arms against each other and fight to the death. People only reach those extremes when their core beliefs are threatened. For people to feel so strongly, they have to believe their nation, way of life, freedoms, and futures will be destroyed if the opponent wins. As a conservative, I believe we are approaching that point. Two more terms of the progressive party would continue the breakdown of constitutional barriers, our two-party system, individual freedom, our national security, and national sovereignty and would certainly destroy the America I know and love.
What are the conservative core values? The starting point is that conservatives mistrust government and believe the bigger the government becomes the more it is distrusted. Why? Because it is only the government that can take away our individual and collective freedoms.
A federal government is necessary, but the difference between liberals and conservatives is how big the government should be and what it should do. Conservatives believe that the federal government should only do what the states or people (the public sector) cannot. The job of our representatives is to constantly adjust the size and scope of government to protect rather than diminish freedom. This historic distrust of government is what fathered the Second Amendment guaranteeing the people’s right to bear arms. The best explanation of this right, to me, is that slave owners had guns, slaves did not. Every totalitarian government has always taken weapons away from the people. Anyone wonder why?
Conservatives believe capitalism is the only economic system that allows people to establish and run commercial enterprises that provides growth to the national economy and jobs for the nation’s workers without endangering individual freedoms as a socialist- or communist-managed economy always has. Capitalism is not a perfect system and it needs some regulation but it is the only economic system that meshes with the power of the free market.
Another core conservative belief is that individuals are better stewards of their money than the government. Therefore, taxes should be as low as possible. Low taxes enable more savings and spending by people that feeds the growth of the economy. Everyone with an income should pay some income tax. Higher taxes on the rich are acceptable as long as they are fair and far short of confiscatory. Death taxes are unacceptable. They are clearly part of a redistribution of wealth program. No card-carrying conservative believes a government can spend its way out of a depression or recession. Government spending does not create wealth. Also, no corporation is too big to fail. Government bailouts waste the nation’s wealth.
Welfare for those who need assistance such as the very young, disabled, aged is necessary. Social Security, a program fought by conservatives during FDR’s tenure, has turned out to be a good program. It needs to be made solvent by some simple changes. In FDR’s time, 65 was old. No more. The age of qualifying for social security needs to be gradually increased. Again, that is the kind of thing our representatives are sent to Washington to work out.
Conservatives believe in a strong national defense and distrust any move toward giving any part of our sovereignty to any international organization.
For most of our brief history we have managed to govern by parties with different core beliefs working together for the good of the people. I believe we can get back there. My personal belief is that term limits on our senators and representatives would make all this much easier. Professional politicians, regardless of party affiliation, are too engrossed in their own careers and re-election politics at the expense of the nation.
Written by the author of “Insights: Transforming America — Is This What We Fought For?” available now as an ebook, in paperback or hardcover on Amazon.com or BN.com. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80. If you think this message is important, please share it.