I recently received a very interesting set of questions/observations from a reader. Basically, the question was – Why do we have to be either liberal or conservative? Why is being a bit of both a problem?
The reader was referring, I believe, to a recent article where I made some observations on President Elect Trump’s bent toward the left despite him holding some conservative positions (e.g. life, 2nd Amendment). The point of the article was to make clear that it is possible (though hardly productive) to be a Republican and even hold certain conservative positions without truly holding to conservative principles.
The question is, why does it matter? So Trump is a bit liberal on this and that. Does it really matter? As long as he has the big stuff right, can’t we live and let live?
Live and Let Freedom Die
And therein lies the problem. At the very core of liberalism is a belief that freedom is toxic and cannot be tolerated.
Of course, a liberal would never come out and say that, however let us allow the evidence to speak for itself. A quick perusal of the Democratic Party Platform will serve to showcase their antipathy toward freedom.
Just the Facts
Take for instance the left’s push for a federally mandated minimum wage increase and mandated corporate profit sharing. Freedom says that businesses know best what wage they can pay employees. Freedom says that businesses (which, shockingly enough, are made up of individuals) will operate in their own best interest and therefore make decisions that will increase their profitability. Freedom says that that profitability will end up benefiting others within the business cycle.
However, liberalism says that it’s too risky to let businesses make their own decisions. Liberalism says that the government knows your business better than you do. Liberalism says that you cannot be trusted with the freedom to make your own decisions as a business owner.
The platform also speaks of protecting the rights of the LGBT (QIAP…?) community. Freedom says that community is no different than any other in America and therefore deserves the same rights protected in the same way under the Constitution.
Liberalism says that if you do not accept and applaud the LGBT community you are a hate-monger and a homophobic bigot. Liberalism says that you cannot speak what you believe to be the truth, even when done in a loving manner. Liberalism says it is “hate speech” and must be shut down. Liberalism says that your right to run a business on the tenets of your faith is subjugated by the “right” of a person to your business’ services.
The Democrats hold to “securing reproductive health, rights, and justice”. Freedom says that an unborn child in the womb has the same rights as every other American, including the right to life. Freedom says that the child’s right to life is not dependent on the mother’s feelings toward the child, or the manner of the child’s conception which was completely out of the child’s control and no fault of the child.
Though they claim to oppose the death penalty, liberalism says that a mother has a right to choose whether or not another human being lives or dies. Liberalism says that the unborn child’s freedom is of no consequence, that the child has no rights.
Guaranteeing universal healthcare is a cornerstone of the Democrat/liberal agenda. Freedom says businesses are free to provide insurance to whom they see fit. Freedom says individuals are free to make a choice whether they want/need health insurance or not. Freedom says that healthcare is not a right. Freedom says individuals have a responsibility to take care of the less fortunate.
Liberalism says that you do not have the ability to know whether or not your want/need health insurance, therefore the government must punish you if you do not have it. Liberalism says that the free market is too “unfair” and therefore the government must step in to insure fairness.
And believe me, I could go on.
Spot the Difference
Now don’t get me wrong, the intentions of liberal policies may truly be good. No one wants to see another human suffer. However, their solution is government stepping in to solve the problem and it just doesn’t work.
What is the difference between a liberal and a conservative? At the root, it is not differences in policy or procedure. At the root, liberalism says that government is to provide for our rights, while conservatism says government is to protect our rights. In order to provide for our rights, government must be large, extremely powerful, and increasingly intrusive. In order to protect our rights, government needs little power since it is limited by a Constitution to certain enumerated powers.
As we’ve seen, liberalism doesn’t trust you to make your own decisions and deal with the consequences. And when you can’t be trusted to make your own decisions, the government must step in. When the government steps in, it continues stepping in. And it never stops. The end result will be complete control. The death of freedom.
A belief that freedom is toxic and cannot be tolerated is completely antithetical to the belief that freedom is the foundation of good government. Liberalism finds its motivation in fear and sets the government up as the cure to that fear. Conservatism finds its motivation in independence and sets government as the defender of that independence.
In many ways, life is a compromise. However, allowing a little liberalism is like only driving with your eyes closed on Tuesdays. It won’t take long until that little compromise will have completely removed your ability to drive ever again.
NOTE: Something I wanted to make very clear: although I believe liberalism is misguided and ill-advised, this does not mean that I would ever write off someone who holds to those beliefs. On the contrary, some of my best friends hold political beliefs completely contrary to my own. The key is to see every individual as a fellow human being. However, this doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop in my effort to persuade others through rational, reasoned conversation. ~JP