This has been the latest topic of discussion for Bob and I during the week.....how did we become "Republicans"...with more or less conservative values, and how did others... become liberal (more or less) "Democrats"? Well, it was somewhat easy for us...our parents were die hard, dyed-in-the-wool Republicans....and we both feel that "personal responsibility" is where it stops and starts. Having said that, we don't care what color you are, what country you hail from, or even what your personal preferences are...you still have an obligation to be personally responsible for yourself, your dependants and your choices. Having said that, we don't feel that we should be made to pay the price for anyone else's LOUSY choices in life, nor them for ours. On the other hand, we do feel a moral and personal obligation to contribute to those who have a mental or physical deficit, that is not reversable, and strive, with pleasure, to fulfill this obligation. We do not, however, subscribe to the theory of "transfer of wealth", which removes both the choice and the personal joy of helping others.
Since we are, more or less, moderates, we thought it would be very interesting to have the conversation about " liberal" vs "conservative" values, with some of our very dear liberal friends...yes, indeed, we do have some of those...lots of them, in fact, and we think the world of them. Now, I won't name names, as I sure don't want to embarass any of those liberals by naming them here, in this, most famous and widely read blog! :)
In so many instances, we feel that many of the disadvantaged are "disenfranchised" by the very politicians who dangle the carrot of "entitlement" services before them. Is this a ploy by the same politicians to remain in power and retain "job security"? We can only wonder about this! But for the educated and informed "liberals'....how did you get there? How did you decide that any government power could and should transfer your wealth to others who have made different choices in their lives, resulting in a, perhaps, less than satisfactory life style? (In this statement, please let me say that we specifically exclude those with a true disability or impairment, in which instance, "choice" does not apply...the hand they were dealt was flawed in the womb or by other irreversible instance)
How can one choose any form of socialized policies, whereby your own concious choices and enhanced work ethic, provided you with a different lifestyle than that of others? Did you work harder or smarter? or use your resources more wisely? Did you save and sacrifice, while others were spending and playing? And if so, why must you pay the penalty for those who did not choose to do so, or perhaps, did not have the mental tenacity to further themselves in the same manner? How does this influence personal growth and incentives for betterment? Increased levels of expectations?
It often seems that it is the "conservatives" who are "giving" their tenth to charities and Churches, giving their time and talents for the betterment of the disadvantaged, most often doing it "quietly" (without a lot of fanfare), while the "liberals" are mandating "entitlements" that are paid for with "someone else's money", diluting the work ethic and ingenuity that made this the great country that it once was. And, yes, that was the past tense intended.
Does where you spent your formative years, or earned your livelihood, make a difference? Is there something different seen in the South, or the Mid-West, inside the Beltway, in Southern California or upstate New York, that shapes your mindset?? I think that this does, indeed, make a huge difference in how we view the "entitlements" and the process. Would my mindset be different if I had grown up in Long Island? The answer, is yes, I think. Having been blessed to travel all over the world and to spend much time in many areas of this country, we have seen first-hand the different mind-sets and circumstances that we all bring to the table. Just think, I might be a left wing, Yellow Dog Democrat, if only I weren't born in the South and raised by my Republican Momma and Daddy! Well..... maybe not! :)
How many moderates are put off by a dogged "Republican" social policy....forcing theological dictates on the masses? It would be most interesting to know the answer to this question. How much does the issue of "Choice" play in this matter? I've no clue what the answer is! Oh, but what debates can come of these topics with our friends on both sides of the aisle!!
For those who would choose to remove "God" from the equation.....how can you entertain any issue of "right or wrong", "entitled" or not...if there is no supreme being guiding your conscience? Who, then, gave you the abililty to discern between your "right or wrong", or any right to intervene on your own or any one else's behalf? If there is no "supremeness or Godliness" then how can there be any sense of wrong, or disenfranchisement? What or who, would be the dictator?
At heart, we are truly fiscal conservatives, and mostly political moderates. We absolutley disagree with Socialism (remember Margaret Thatcher...you'll soon run out of other people's money). We are also "live and let live", non-judgemental folks...we don't expect anyone to think like we do...nor do we think that anyone else should expect us to think as they do.....and most especially, they should not expect us to pay for their way of life or their way of thinking, nor do we expect anyone else to sustain our lifestyle!!
No one is ENTITLED to anything...life is not always fair and if you think it should be, then you just as well get over that now, because it just ain't so! To a great degree, we make our own "luck", based on the choices we make in life. (The Parent Lottery is a discussion for another day!) We strongly believe in "Providence", but we need to recognize and co-operate with it!
Why all of this rambling today?? Mostly because we have been doing so much soul searching and conversing about the current state of affairs "inside the Beltway" associated with "Health Care Reform". I could write volumes about our concerns, ideas and opinions about this heated topic, but, in it's basic form, it all really comes back to the things I've just said.
Am I my brother's keeper? Absolutely, but whatever have I accomplished if I allow him to pull me down into the gutter with him, because he refuses to pull himself up? Nothing. The difference is that there are now two people in the gutter!
So, now will someone please tell me....how do you become a "liberal"? I am genuinely most interested in this answer??