Friday, August 28, 2009

How do you become a "liberal"?..

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??

18 comments:

Patti said...

Very well said & we agree with you 100% Thanks for saying how we feel too!

greg and jean said...

You become a liberal when YOU think you are better equipped to take care of others than they are able to care for themselves.

To me it is simple arrogance.

For thirty years I worked in public education and watched as one failed program after another never addressed the needs of the students. We set up lunch programs....breakfast programs....afterschool programs...day care for their children...etc etc etc. The only thing we didn't do was expect that they would find a desire to learn so that they would take care of themselves.

There are those who benefit by 'passing out that fish' everyday instead of teaching them how to fish.

greg and jean said...

Oh I guess I should also have mentioned that I did not grow up a republican....i grew up a Humphrey democrat....heck I even worked on the campaign for and voted for George McGovern.

Then I got a job teaching in a public high school and quickly realized the the programs of Johnson's Great Society did nothing but keep my students 'on the plantation'. And that the only way they would be able to break away was to THINK and WORK for themselves.

MarkandRenita said...

Wow, what a post. Being a yellow dog democrat and a staunch union man, both UAW and NEA, I disagree strongly with much of what you say.
As a 30 year high school teacher I also disagree with Greg as to the effectiveness of the school lunch programs,(Not to mention the passage of the civil rights legislation by Johnsons Administration)).
But life is too short to discuss religion and politics.
Clear skies.

Norah and Howie Glover said...

I truly understand your frustrations; they are the same ones I felt when the conservatives were in power.

Isn't it wonderful that we live in a country were we don't all have the same mindset and yet we can coexist in harmony.

greg and jean said...

I don't consider myself a republican or a democrat. I believe that we ALL have to assume personal responsibility for our lives. Politicians on the whole are 'liars and thieves' - their job is to get themselves re-elected.

Prez Obama exemplifies the tragedy of politics. This nation was sick and tired of Washington politics and they looked to Obama as a refreshing change....he promised transparency and consensus building...he promised a new way of doing things....alas....IT IS THE SAME OLD CRAP...

Randy and Terry said...

Great post; you articulated my feelings as well. Thanks.

Chuck & Kathy said...

Thank you for saying what we too feel. Couldn't agree with you more. You are very brave to post and again I thank you, more of us have to take a stand and speak out. We love our country and can not let all our freedoms get stolen. God Bless America!

Bob and Molly said...

Hugs to everyone of you!
And Mark and Renita, we enjoy you both so much....it would be so good to sit and talk with you, to learn "from whence you come"...this is the reason for my post....we really want to know and understand a theory that is different from our own...(or perhaps, not really so different?)...understanding and communication is a wonderful thing!! Look forward to seeing you both on the road and sharing the stars with you! HUGS!!

MarkandRenita said...

It will be good when we can sit and talk, after all we all love blueberries and lobsters and Texas Bluebonnets, which are the really important things in life.

Jim & Nanc said...

I have thought about this a lot and can't answer in a short comment. I guess it has something to do with the definitions, conservative- support tradition and status quo, liberal-favorable to progress and reform. I do have one question what event caused you to think we are not as great as we once were? freeing the slaves, giving women the vote, social security, civil rights laws, or Reagan's tax cuts that caused the greatest transfer of wealth in our history. I will close with a bumper sticker quote I saw at the GJR. FOR TOO LONG TOO FEW HAVE TAKEN TOO MUCH FROM TOO MANY

greg and jean said...

Bumper stickers are always so funny...clear and concise.

Here is a quote I read the other day "you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it"

And a thought from Ten Years After - old rock band from the 70's song "I'd Love to Change the World" lyric .....'tax the rich - feed the poor - til there's no rich no more"

Government has never run anything with any efficiency. Education and personal responsibility are the only way to better oneself.

Allan and Jeanne said...

Excellent post on this controversial topic. You expressed it much better than I could have. The direction the congress is taking doesn't look very promising lately. I attended a town meeting in Vt. and many people were very unhappy with Washington.

We love God and our country and hope our government makes the right choices for our future.

We also have friends that have different opinions than our own. We can disagree without being disagreeable.

Dale said...

I too agree with everything you said. No matter who we are, we must look to ourselves first, not the government, in improving our individual situation. Our strategy began in high school, getting part-time jobs for spending money, working our way through college, scrimping and saving so we could provide our family with what they needed. We lived mostly on one salary, although both worked, just so we could save for our retirement and live the good life. We put two children through college the old fashioned way. We paid for it; they had summer jobs to pay for books and expenses. Success on all venues. Why now should I have to pay for those who had no goals and expect government handouts for everything? I also taught public school for 34 years and agree with Greg and Jean about all the failed programs which continue to be funded. And public education is focused on sending EVERYBODY to college. Sorry, but not everyone needs to go and not everyone will succeed there. It certainly exemplifies the theory that giving people things is not the answer. If they have to work for something, they "own" it.

Hope to see you guys sometime soon!

Dale

Anonymous said...

Bob and Molly

Please know that there are all kinds of Transfers of Wealth,,your Taxes get transferred by the Govt to whomever it sees fit. Banks, Auto Co. Farmers, Wall St firms all in the name of saving the economy from collapse. Hard working family farmers are nudged out of business but mega agri businesses who seems to be doin very well and still getting farm supplements. Did these farmers not work hard, or smart enough?

Anonymous said...

continued; who decides the "true disability" of anyone. What should be done with the poor who have made poor choices and raised children who may also make poor choices? Should they be shot down so they wont drag us down into the gutter with them? On healthcare, most of the fulltimer wanabees all have concerns as to how they will afford healthcare. You will find if you ever have cancer, that you cannot find any insurance that will cover that pre-existing condition were it to come back.

Anonymous said...

cont; I was a hard core conservative for many years, until I worked in some innercity areas that have plenty of hardworking, good people who are never gonna be wealthy and are gonna live paycheck to paycheck. I also believe that both major political parties will be continually corrupted by the money that pours in from Wallstreet,Banks,Auto Comp and very wealthy donors who just want to keep "those" poor folks where they belong. The middle class has all but disapeared. The rich are not getting poorer unless they give their money to a crook like Madoff.

Anonymous said...

As a person who voted Republican for the last 4 national elections, I am sickened by their loose spending ways when in power. The election is over, the pendulum has swung back toward the middle and will swing back the other way in four years. We as a nation will muddle through as usual, and we all will survive as best we can.

Respectfully,
Charlie