Thursday, October 26, 2006

9 Reasons I'll always be a Conservative

In all fairness to my earlier post, "10 Reasons I'll Never Be a Liberal," I found the opposing view at a blog called Villanous Company. I probably could have written it myself, but Cassandra says it much better.

She writes:
What It Means To Be A Conservative

1. Conservatives believe that while many matters are open to debate, there are also some eternal truths. We do not believe right and wrong are flexible concepts, wholly dependent on one's frame of reference.

Like Liberals, Conservatives are skeptical of censorship and celebrate free and open debate. Moreover, we understand that in a society where people use threats or intimidation to force their views on others, enforcing the rules is needed or our rights become meaningless.

One cannot "fairly and open-mindedly consider the truths of others" if speakers are shouted down or forced off the stage, no matter how distasteful their ideas may be. The way to defeat inferior ideas is with better ideas, not with brickbats or heavy-handed threats of government censorship.

2. Conservatives believe we have an obligation to live together peaceably and tolerate each other's differences, but we have no duty to subsidize, support, or lend our approval to choices we find wrong or destructive. Responsible adults understand we must all make our own way in life. While we have no right to interfere with the lives of our neighbors, they have no right to reach into our pockets and ask us to pay for the consequences of lifestyle choices we find difficult to understand or approve of.

We do not ask them to change what they are doing. We only ask that they not expect us to fund lifestyles we don't agree with. Live and let live. This, to us, is the true meaning of tolerance.

3. Like Liberals, Conservatives believe individuals ought to participate in public debate. However we are not inclined to force them, or round them up like cattle come Election Day. We believe voting is an individual responsibility, and we have seen what happens when liberals load first-time voters who don't understand how to fill out a ballot, or know the names of the candidates or what they stand for, onto buses on election day to swell the ranks of Democrat voters.

These people are not stupid, but they are not prepared to vote and the nation is not well served by sending an uninformed electorate to the polls. The nation is also not well served when the parties exacerbate racial tensions at election time.

4. Conservatives see government as a social contract in which individuals freely and intelligently barter some small part of their freedoms for mutual protection from the more rapacious elements of human society. This is a factor which Liberals often forget, preferring to take the benefits of government protection while giving up none of their freedom. This is an unworkable proposition. With their inherent suspicion of all authority liberals cede too much power to the press, setting up a completely unelected and unaccountable fourth branch of government which openly defies the law with complete impunity, releasing classified information at will, blowing federal terrorism investigations, interfering with law enforcement, and defying grand juries. Liberals are fond of talking about reproductive freedom and choice, but their rhetoric conveniently ignores the fact that men have exactly zero reproductive choice:

Legally, from the point of view of a woman: the fetus is a lump of tissue which may be excised at will if she subsequently regrets having conceived a child. It imposes no obligation or legal duty unless she chooses to accept it.
Legally, from the point of view of the man: the fetus is a human being which must be allowed to live, even if he subsequently regrets having conceived a child. It imposes an absolute and irrevocable legal duty, regardless of his wishes in the matter.
This one, I don't really agree with all that much. I'm still pro-choice (see my comments at the end of the article)

5. Conservatives believe that justice ought to be blind. There should not be different laws for whites, blacks, Latinos, females, gays, or other demographics. We are not blind to the fact that humans can and do discriminate, but we do not believe the law should, in addition to the thousand injustices and inequalities which exist in nature, impose additional unfairness via our justice system.

How does a human system weigh unfairness? How do we compensate individuals for the hardships imposed by skin color? Gender? Nationality? What if there are offsetting factors? What then? Does that rich black kid who ends up at Harvard get the same compensation as a poor black kid from the inner city? How about the poor disadvantaged white boy from West Virginia with the alcoholic parents? Does he get nothing, just because his skin is the wrong color? Isn't that institutionalized racism? Or is it just Liberal values in action? Equal protection is often what liberals call a "code word" for making exceptions in treatment based on race or gender. Enforce the laws strictly, across the board, regardless of gender or skin color. Period.

6. Conservatives believe people have a fundamental duty to help themselves and they will be stronger and better if they develop the habit of self-reliance rather than dependence on government. We don't believe people are helped by programs that sap personal industry and initiative and undermine family bonds, as Daniel Moynihan warned in the 1960s. Rather, we prefer to see the private sector handle charitable giving, perhaps with tax incentives to encourage donation. This is a more ethical alternative to forcibly appropriating the paychecks of the more productive members of society to support less productive members, regardless of the wishes of the former.

7. Most conservatives don't wish to see entanglement of church and state either. The difference between liberals and conservatives here is that conservatives understand the purpose of Establishment Clause was to protect the free exercise of religion, not to drive all mention of God from public life. Even non-churchgoing conservatives like me are offended by the ACLU's open persecution of Christians and Christian symbology. Not every historic cross on a county or city seal amounts to state sponsorhip of religion and the miscasting of abortion as a religious debate is beyond dishonest. There are atheist liberals who oppose abortion and religious conservatives who are pro-choice. The Left's near-obsession with, and paranoia about, religion is as good a proof as any that the Party of Tolerance and Diversity, isn't.

8. Conservatives understand that our individual liberties are bound up in many of those larger societal rights liberals love to decry. Try exercising your so-called "individual" rights (your sexual freedom, perhaps?) once the city you live in has eminent domained your home right out from under your feet, a lovely court decision for which you may thank the liberal half of SCOTUS and its stunning disregard for the original, and quite plain, meaning of the Public Use clause. There is such a thing as competing interests, like the tension between freedom and security. Liberals like to argue, because we already have security, that personal freedom should somehow be unlimited. But without the former we will not long possess the latter. They are inextricably intertwined.

Our fellow humans prey on the helpless and on children and liberals (in addition to championing some very valuable causes) have also championed some pretty worthless causes like the freedom to view child pornography (which is illegal) and the freedom of ten year old girls to get abortions without their parents finding out. Personally I am not convinced a ten year old girl really needs the freedom to have sex with pedophiles. She is not a "woman" yet, so it is neither a "woman's right to choose" nor a "woman's sexual privacy" that is at issue. But apparently this shocking opinion makes me some sort of snake handling Jesus freak, though I don't attend church and am something of a libertarian.

Not all individual freedoms are worth protecting.

9. In response to the liberal statement of belief below, conservatives believe government must protect us also. What we believe, however, is that liberals often assert the rights of individuals over the collective right of society to be secure, often to a degree that is unreasonable. A good example is the NSA wiretapping brouhaha. Most Americans when polled don't object to having the NSA monitor and sample from a large number of calls. They understand the risks and they don't wholly trust the government, but they also understand the risks of inaction, and on balance they trust our own government more than they do the terrorists. Liberals, on the other hand, have allowed their dislike of this administration to lead them to make statements like "the administration is more of a danger to our freedoms than the terrorists".

The bottom line is that they may well believe that, but they don't have the right to allow their subjective doubts and fears to imperil the rest of us, and unless and until Congress is willing to call a halt to the NSA program (and so far it is not) they need to stop with the conspiracy theories. The truth is that democracy is functioning exactly as it should. They are simply outnumbered and their side didn't win the argument. Get over it.

Liberals believe government must protect the safety and security of the people, for without such protection liberalism is impossible. This, of course, is less a tenet of liberalism than a reply to those who attack liberalism. The accusation that liberals are unwilling to protect the nation from internal and external dangers is false. Because liberals respect competing values, such as procedural fairness and individual dignity, they weigh more carefully particular exercises of government power (such as the use of secret evidence, hearsay and torture), but they are no less willing to use government authority in other forms (such as expanded police forces and international diplomacy) to protect the nation and its citizens.

10. Conservatives believe there is an inherent tension between the rights of the accused and the safety of law abiding citizens. Therefore government must intelligently balance the rights of accused criminals against the rights of crime victims and ordinary citizens to be secure in their homes and on the streets. There is no liberty without security. On the extreme end of the scale, when we have liberal judges defining pedophilia as a disease and letting defendants off because they're "sorry" (there's an inconvenient truth for you), something is wrong. This is about as fair to your average liberal as tarring all conservatives with the excesses of the religious right, but it is liberal philosophy carried to the illogical extreme: individual rights trumping societal rights. Yet liberals can and do tar conservatives with that broad brush - all the time.

I copied the piece in it's entirety, and I also captured where it is in my link to the Villainous Company website, so that you can view the comments appended to this piece.

Like many of us, I have right-leaning and left-leaning reactions to certain issues....i.e., what makes me a LIBERAL Republican is my pro-choice stance, which is in direct opposition to most conservatives. It is my opinion that when she got too old to need an abortion for any reason, Jane Roe became a hypocrite, and I refuse to go down that pathe, even though I've passed my prime childbearing years also. I believe that abortion needs to be a safe and legal option for any woman who is pregnant with an unwanted or unplanned child. Until abortion was legalized, women still had them, they just died more often because of unsterile back street clinics, or worse, untrained "doctors" who shoved any and everything into a woman's vagina in hopes of causing a spontaneous abortion, not the least of which were wire hangers, which would perforate the uterus and cause massive infection, and in some cases, death. It needs to stay legal.

Of course, I don't advocate abortion as a means of birth control, and I'm sure there are women out there that abuse this procedure because they're too lazy or stupid to protect themselves in other ways, and further, I believe that if you're too stupid to know you're preggers before the first three months are up....well, too bad. You're stuck. And, make sure you give that baby up for adoption once it's born, because you're way too stupid to be a mother, and too irresponsible to raise a child. So, I guess in some ways, I'm conservative about abortion, too!


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm pro-choice. But to tell you the truth I don't want to pay for someone else's abortion.

I don't want to pay for a guy's Viagra tablets, either.

As to babies, I was brought up by a mom who was a realist. SHe thought people who did funerals for stillborns needed to have their heads examined. Her advice to me was: NATURE IS YOUR FRIEND. If you couldn't carry the pregnancy, NATURE did what NATURE DOES. So look at it this way. Life is tough. If a growing fetus can't hang on for nine months and make it out okay. Step back and understand WHY NATURE ALLOWS NATURAL SELECTION to stop something that's not growing all that well.

We just tend too much to believe in medicine. WHere for the most part the healthiest people depend less on antibiotics. ANd, more on common sense and bed rest.

Again, I don't get overly emotional on the falsehoods that its all rosy. Life's way too hard. And, some parents (before birth control), really worried about not being able to feed all the mouths that sex produced. So, no matter what BS you hear today, men want Viagra. They don't want to impregnate anyone either! It's a sex thing.

And, it's nice to hear honest talk about all sorts of stuff. Including sex.

What happened to that dialog? It got ripped off by a bunch of crazy feminists. And, blacks. Who thought they'd turn curriculums on their head. So we wouldn't hear, anymore, from "dead white men."

Guess what? They took a valuable inheritance from the past, and they gambled it away. For naught.

And, believe it or not this roller-coaster is always true! Even old aristocratic families ... if you follow the line for seven generations, have nothing left to show for it.

Exceptions? Sure. Winston Churchill was 7 generations removed from John Churchill. But most of the time, a person SHINES in his time. And, the progeny don't inherit the good stuff. Check out Marlon Brando's line. And, you'll notice.

By the way, as silent as the majority is, the BEST IDEAS are still holding. Americans don't buy into crazy credentials. And, they've never copied the crap that flowed out of europe.

Since we can see that a lot of stuff is hitting the fan; who knows what the future holds? Americans aren't going to give up. We're not french.

And, abortions are as old as the hills. Didn't take medical science to invent how to do it, either.

Now, when it comes to sex, people deserve all the consequences.

The feminists? Did you notice how they took Bubba's behaviors in stride? So, on the one hand, in universities they teach the kids (who stay awake), that all sex is rape. But Monica? She seduced the president.

Me? I just laugh.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Carter said...

"...With their[liberals] inherent suspicion of all authority..."
I disagree with that statement. Liberals are suspicious of conservative authority.

Another significant difference is that conservatives understand "equal opportunity" while liberals seek "equal outcome."

Also, conservatives act, which means taking responsibility, whereas liberals react, which means it's not their fault.

Why does a baby magically become a person's responsibility after three months? Why not two months, three weeks, six days, twenty-three hours, and fifty-nine seconds?

And to Carol Herman: Pregnancy is not a disease while genital dysfunction is, hence the reason for Viagra and not abortion.

9:28 PM  

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