Wednesday, April 6, 2016

4 differences between liberals and conservatives

Dennis Prager recently wrote a series of columns, beginning with "To Defend a Position, You Must Understand Both Sides," explaining the differences between conservatives and liberals.  He said, and correctly so, that "At the very least, you need to understand both the liberal and conservative positions in order to effectively understand your own.

Difference #1: Liberals Believe Man is basically good.  That's what liberals think.  Since everybody is already innately good, there is no need for religion to teach people how to be just and moral. Since they believe all people are innately good, when people do something bad it's because they were influenced by outside forces, such as poverty, despair, and hopelessness.  When black people riot and commit crimes it's because they live in poor communities.

Democrats often excuse violent crimes by saying things like, "It's the fault of society," or "It's our fault because we didn't help them."  This is why liberals tend to feel guilty when crimes occur, because they feel there might have been something they could have done.  If a teenager goes on a rampage with an assault rifle, they may say something like, "This happened because of republicans."  Meaning that republicans oppose bans on such guns.

Conservatives, on the other hand, understand the undeniable truth that people are born morally flawed. This is why conservatives believe religion, and the morals and values it teaches, is important to a functioning society.  Lacking a good religious upbringing, children are more likely to commit crimes and less likely to succeed in life.  When a person commits a crime it's because that person made a bad choice.  Religion essentially teaches people how to be good, and it teaches personal responsibility.  If you make bad choices, it's your fault, not the fault of society or anyone else.

Of course, the idea that poverty causes people to commit crime doesn't make sense when you consider that the vast majority of people who are equally poor do not commit crimes.  Many liberals explain radical Muslim behaviors by saying these people come from impoverished nations.  The fact that most radical Muslims come from middle class families, and Osama Bin Laden was a billionaire, seems to elude them.

Difference #2: The Left Rejects Many Basic Facts of Life.  Conservatives, on the other hand, understand the basic fats of life, and base many of their beliefs on them.  For instance, conservatives understand that man is inherently flawed, and therefore needs religion to learn how to become good.  The left doesn't understand this fact, so liberals are are more likely to lose their religion, or at least not see the importance of learning about religion at school.  This is why conservatives are more likely to appreciate religion, and liberals more likely to be secular.

Conservatives understand that poor choices result in people committing crimes, and so they enforce laws to make people responsible for their own actions.  Liberals think things beyond a person's control lead them to commit crimes, and so they may be more lenient toward them, and feel bad for them.  They may blame republicans.

Conservatives are more likely to acknowledge what has become known as politically incorrect truths, but what they refer to as facts.  For instance, blacks are overwhelmingly more likely to commit crimes than whites.  Indians are the only people to have lost a war yet are treated as the victors.  They are more likely to display confederate flags as symbols of southern life, or to support teams using Indian names such as the Redskins and using Indian war chants to rev up crowds.

Liberals don't see these undeniable truths, and so they see it as offensive to blacks to say them.  Liberals think it's offensive when whites name their teams after Indians and use Indian war chants.  Liberals think it's offensive to blacks to say that blacks commit most crimes.  The undeniable truths that conservatives see are elusive to liberals.  This was how the political correct movement was formed.

Liberals don't like to hear undeniable truths, so they come up with speech codes at school.  If you speak certain truths you are punished, or called a race baiter, homophobes, bigot, inconsiderate, or some other offensive name.

Liberals want to avoid pain at all costs, and so nothing offensive can be said.  This also explains why they use bumper stickers like, "War is not the answer."  They do not understand the undeniable fact that wars are won with guns and tanks, not with pens and good wishes.  For instance, the Nazi's did not voluntarily stop slaughtering Jews, the Allies came in with guns and tanks and bombs and forced them to stop.

Conservatives understand that the only way to peace is through strength.  This explains why conservatives like Ronald Reagan believe it's important to build up our military.  Yet liberals don't understand this undeniable fact, and they believe strength on our side can be seen as offensive by the other.  So if they get mad at us and hate us and want to kill us, then it's our fault.

Conservatives understand the undeniable truth that marriage means something; it is necessary to hold the fabric of society together; it brings with it culture; it teaches culture; it teaches morals; it teaches right from wrong.  Liberals don't see this, and so they don't see a problem with changing the definition of marriage to include men marrying men.

Difference #3: Liberals believe the way to a better world is by doing battle with society's moral defects (real or perceived).  This makes sense, considering they believe people are morally good, so if there is a problem with a person, it's societies fault.  So, the way to make the person better is by improving society.  Unlike conservatives, they believe a perfect society is possible, and so they are continuously aiming for this goal by championing for laws to direct people in one direction or another.

This explains why those on the left are more involved with politics.  They must make laws in order to get people to act the way they want them to.  This explains why when you hear the terms "activist" or "social activist" you are usually referring to a liberal.  They want to change society so that it is constantly "moving forward," as they like to say.  And their efforts to perfect society is called "social justice."

Conservatives, on the other hand, believe the way to a better society is with the moral improvement of the individual.  They believe the person must constantly do battle against inner forces to make himself or herself morally better.  They are less concerned with politics.  They don't want to change American politics, they aim to preserve tradition.  They are, in essence, trying to preserve the religious fabric of a society.  They are the defenders of religion.  They are the defenders of traditional marriage in order to preserve culture.  They understand that culture is important in order to improve the moral character of each person.

Conservatives believe improving moral character is important, although this culture must be taught one generation after another; it must be taught by mothers and fathers.  This is why conservatives tend to believe that poverty in impoverished inner city areas is caused by the break down of culture.  For instance, the fact that 9 in 10 black children are born to unwed mothers explains why crime and poverty is so high among the black population.  So they believe the way to end black poverty is to find ways to teach these people better morals and values.

Prager wrote:
The noblest generation ever born still has to teach its children how to battle their natures. If it doesn't, even the best society will begin to rapidly devolve, which is exactly what conservatives believe has been happening to America since the end of World War II.
Liberals believe the way to improve poverty is to create "social justice" programs that provide welfare and food stamps to these people.  They believe the state can make their lives better, and thus make the world a better place.  Yet conservatives understand the basic fact that the state cannot teach morals and values, only culture can do that, and (again) culture is taught by churches and families.  But the build-up of culture, and making the world good, takes time, and so is a slow process. It must be taught by each generation.

Liberals believe they can fix culture fast simply by making laws.  Or, in the case of the United States, where they cannot force people to act a certain way, they create "negative incentives."  Negative incentives means that you tell someone they have to act a certain way, or do a certain thing, or they will not receive government funding.  For instance, hospitals won't receive funding unless they go to paperless charting, or schools won't receive funding if they don't meat government set goals.

Prager wrote:
The Left does not focus on individual character development. Rather, it has always and everywhere focused on social revolution. The most revealing statement of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, the most committed leftist ever elected president of the United States, was made just days before the 2008 election: "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America," he told a large rapturous audience.
Furthermore, he added:
Conservatives not only have no interest in fundamentally transforming the United States, but they are passionately opposed to doing so. Fundamentally transforming any but the worst society -- not to mention transforming what is probably the most decent society in history -- can only make the society worse. Of course, conservatives believe that America can be improved, but not transformed, let alone fundamentally transformed... The Founders all understood that the transformation that every generation must work on is the moral transformation of each citizen. Thus, character development was at the core of both childrearing and of young people's education at school... As John Adams said: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."... And in the words of Benjamin Franklin: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. Why is that? Because freedom requires self-control. Otherwise, external controls -- which means an ever more powerful government -- would have to be imposed."
He said that the old adage "You must fix yourself before you can fix society" holds true for conservatives but not liberals.

Difference #4: Liberals Ask the Question: Does it feel good? On the contrary, conservatives ask: does it do any good?"  Prager uses affirmative action as an example.  In 1987 a conservative New York Times editorial asked the question: Does a minimum wage do any good?" The answer was this:
"Raising the minimum wage by a substantial amount would price working poor people out of the job market . … More important, it would increase unemployment. … The idea of using a minimum wage to overcome poverty is old, honorable — and fundamentally flawed.”
So the answer was: no!  So the editorial suggested that the best minimum wage was $0.00.

A more recent post by a now liberal editorial staff at the New York Times championed for a rise in the minimum wage.  They did not pose the question: "Does it do any good?"  Instead, as liberals, they asked the question: "Does it make me feel good?"  The answer was yes.  It makes me feel good that I'm helping my fellow man by allowing them to make a better wage.  It makes the worker feel better because he is making more money.  The fact that my raise may cause my boss to go out of business, or to at least not hire any one new, or lay off one of my coworkers so I can get my raise doesn't matter.  Does it make me feel good about myself is all that matters to a liberal.

Another example Prager used was peace activism.  Does it do any good? No.  In fact, it actually makes matters worse.  If you get rid of all our weapons, and bad guys learn about this, then the bad guys will know that he can have his way with us.  During WWII the Nazis were killing Jews, and it wasn't a peace activist that got them to stop.  In fact, sending a peace activist to talk to Hitler would have gotten the peace activist killed.  So, does peace activism do any good?  No.  So conservatives won't do it.

However, the liberal asks, "Will it make me feel better?"  Well sure it will.  It will make me feel like I'm helping.  The fact that I'm making matters worse doesn't matter: I feel good about myself.  Does leaving Iraq do any good.  No, it only made ISIS.  But does it make Obama feel good about himself? Yes.

Prager concludes by saying:
Perhaps the best example is the self-esteem movement. It has had an almost wholly negative effect on a generation of Americans raised to have high self-esteem without having earned it. They then suffer from narcissism and an incapacity to deal with life’s inevitable setbacks. But self-esteem feels good.
And feelings — not reason — is what liberalism is largely about. Reason asks: “Does it do good?” Liberalism asks, “Does it feel good?”
There you go.

Further Reading: