Monday, December 8, 2008

Conservatives vs. Liberals, Democrat vs. Republican, Personal Responsibility and my daughter.

During the electoral campaign, my daughter was paying attention for the first time in her young life the arguments and debates between Obama and McCain. During one such news broadcast, she asked me what’s a conservative, and a liberal and what is a democrat and a republican. I found myself at awe that a12 year-old had the insight to ask such a question instead of just accepting the public education propaganda about the two. I shouldn’t had been surprised that she would ask me because I’m known for speaking my mind and have a reason behind that answer good, bad, or indifferent. I knew the day would come, just not so soon. For now, I just wanted to work on one element of conservatives. Mainly about the war record of McCain vs. Obama and the big buzz words that permeated the whole election: socialism.
Answering the question proved to be more intricate that I thought. How to explain to a 12 year old without using all the big and academic words to define the said terms, so she can have clear understanding. I have some thought about how I considered myself to be a conservative and why. She knew there were fundamental differences since her mother considers herself to be a true liberal and hence why her parents ended up divorced as well as the difference from her stepmother from her bio mother and how she gets along her dad so much better. But how do you come up with a definition when definitions change all the time and a media that gladly capitulates such confusion?
The most fundamental foundation of a conservative as a person who believes that individuals have free will and take responsibilities for the consequences resulting from their choices and actions toward the group and that these responsibilities are given to us from a higher authority. They believe that individuals should be free to choose for themselves and incurred what consequences bestow them. It’s the main reason why they are the ones that will fight in the military and will take responsibility to protect the lives and freedoms of the whole, in this case the country.
Conservatives believe that only people that help themselves should get aide. What good is it to throw them a fish like these stimulus plans and bailouts we keep hearing about? All it does is alleviate the problem for a day and doesn’t get to the core of the CAUSE of the problem, which is a TOTAL LACK OF PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Wouldn't it be better to teach them how to fish and feed them for life? What? That's too much work? What’s to keep history from repeating itself or even to discourage the crooks from stealing from the treasury or private enterprises from changing their failing business models? Why should the voters stop voting for a raise while they don’t work or contribute anything to society? Why should criminals fear the law when they get a slap in the wrist? Why should terrorist fear us when we prosecute the victims or the police that protect us from them? The biggest issue of all of them, why should a person work if they get rewarded for being non-productive.
The latter of the list was one that my daughter could really empathize with the most. Her aunt and grandma both live with them as with their mother, her husband and their daughter. Their aunt who moved in EIGHT YEARS AGO was doing so temporarily till she found work and got back on her own feet. Then the court ordered child support and the welfare checks came in and having free food and rest was a bit too good. Then their grandma, who has a son, their uncle, that is only one year younger than my daughter lost her job. She lost it mainly because it was more important for her to flirt on the Internet than to actually do her job. That was nearly a year ago and she’s still there. She too gets free room and board as well as checks from the father and government. My daughter, who’s just 12 years-old, has conceded that they’re never going to leave or even be productive. There’s no incentive to as her step-father is the one obligated to take care of all of them. Alas, her first lesson on why socialism fails as I asked her what would happen if the whole group were given the same benefits. One of the lessons for her on the difference of a Liberal vs. a Conservative.


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