An interesting piece copied from a Facebook posting this morning had a compact ‘discussion’ as to the differences between conservatives and liberals. I am forwarding it to you via my blog:
If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!
If a conservative doesn’t like guns, s/he doesn’t buy one. If a liberal doesn’t like guns s/he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, s/he doesn’t eat meat. If a liberal is a vegetarian, s/he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative is down and out, s/he thinks about how to better her/his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to care for him/her.
If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, s/he switches channels. Liberals demand that those whom they dislike be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, s/he doesn’t go to church. A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and Jesus silenced.
If a conservative decides s/he needs health care, s/he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his/her health care.
If a conservative reads this s/he’ll forward it so his/her friends can have a good laugh. A liberal will delete it because s/he’s offended by it.
This little exercise resonated with me and I suspect it will do the same for you. It tends to come down to the simple reality that conservatives often do for themselves while liberals expect others to do for them. Beyond that, liberals also want to disrupt the conservatives’ ability to fend for themselves by restricting options us conservatives might rely upon.
We were born as infants who had no preconceived ideas about the world we’d just entered. We couldn’t talk; we just cried when something was needed be it a change of diapers or food. We were taught about this world by parents at the beginning and by others whose job it was to educate us and who had been selected for that job by those same parents.
It seems that it would stand to reason that if our parents were of the liberal persuasion, we’d grow up to be of that persuasion. Similarly, if they were conservative we’d tend to grow up to be conservative even though we couldn’t define that in either case. Along the way, we were influenced by all with whom we interacted for good or bad. I don’t recall that my Dad and Mom were political in any sense. They voted but I never knew for whom and it didn’t interest me at the time. They didn’t attend a church so I didn’t either until later in my life when I met my wife to be and her parents who were regular church attendees.
In spite of that upbringing, I tended for some reason to think along conservative lines. I experienced the military way of life early on. I married early on and that certainly was a significant influence on me as a person. When we moved into the Greater Milwaukee area as young marrieds, I began to be more politically conscious and probably my military experience had the effect of making me more conservative. Both my wife and I worked to make ends meet (we came from families that believed strongly in the work ethic even though they seldom mentioned that) and I think that is probably when my conservative bona fides formed and grew as I became more aware of the political world and the differences between the Democrats and Republicans I knew at the time.
I wear my conservative badge proudly and defend it vigorously. I am not so blindly conservative that I can’t see flaws occasionally in a candidate espousing but not living conservatism. Late-comers to this political persuasion need to prove to me they are what and who they claim to be, and I make the determination by comparing them to my experience since that is the only real way to do so.
I have learned that being an irrational ‘anything’ politically is not good. That lesson is, unfortunately, reinforced today when I watch some in Washington who claim to be conservative act far differently than I think they should if they were really conservative.
In the final analysis, we each were formed over time and were subject to various influences. I am no different. My influences have stood the test of time for me. I have strayed a bit but found my way back to where I belonged all along. The siren’s song does not do anything for me anymore. Conservatism has stood the test of time in my life and I try to help others understand that process if they are still trying to determine where they belong politically.
The best thing us conservatives can do to help others find themselves politically is to persist in walking the walk as well as talking the talk. We must be consistent. No one can fake conservatism, even though politicians ofttimes seem to think that is possible. The facade crumbles quickly when the fight begins.