A TreeHouse Theory….. The Connection We Share.

The Conservative Tree House may be called a Last Refuge for each of us for different reasons.  Whatever trail through the woods brought us here, we have shared the turmoil of storms as we have been finding our voices as individuals in this growing community

Perhaps you’ve had some truly shockingly cruel things said to you purely because you believe in limited government and fiscal conservatism. Perhaps you not only to believe that we should be self-reliant and personally responsible, but also believe that when we are allowed to depend on ourselves, we are stronger, more successful, take greater pride in ourselves and our work, and are more likely to make positive contributions to society. And then we are happier people, or at least more likely to be happier.

Which lends to the following theory: Fear is at the core of liberalism, and love/trust is at the core of conservatism. Liberalism is about control. Conservatism is about self-empowerment.

Control is a reaction to fear. Think in terms or politics and society – the fear behind liberalism is the fear that someone might withhold things (opportunities, money, whatever) from me, fear that if you live your life in a way I dislike that it might affect my life, fear that if you get that job, there will be nothing left for me. Fear that if you make tons of money, it’s means there’s less money out there for me. So people who believe in liberal ideologies seek control as a means of trying to create guarantees and safeguards against those circumstances they fear. Liberals try to control the world and people to enable their comfort and happiness. Which, as we know, is an endless quest. Trying to control others does nothing in the way of making oneself happy. By extension, voting in this mindset so that government can try to control others will also – shocking – not lead to a happier, more comfortable life.

The conservative (and moderate, independent, but for the sake of expediency, the conservative), on the other hand, relies on himself to meet his own needs. And the trade off of being free to live his life as he wishes is also understanding that he has to make peace with how you live yours. By extension, aware that he wants to be able to hold onto this liberty and freedom forever, the conservative votes accordingly, so that everyone can remain free and in charge of his or her own life.

But here’s the crucial difference, perhaps, particularly where misery on the left stems: The conservative does not worry, so to speak, about you. The conservative knows that you were born with the same access to self-love, self-empowerment, self-determination and self-reliance that we all were, no matter the circumstances into which you were born. (Think about the millions of people this country has allowed to crawl up from poverty into prosperity – the conservative KNOWS this is possible.) And the conservative believes that if you want prosperity, or a good job, or a good education, you can make it happen – but you have to work hard. The conservative hopes and intends that the free markets bring you all of the affordable and positive opportunities and resources that you need. The conservative also knows that on the other side of that hard work is great reward – material and, more importantly, emotional, spiritual and mental.

The conservative understands that not only is it a waste of time to try to control you, it’s actually impossible. Humans were born to be free. And if we put a roadblock in front of you, you’ll find another way around it. So we see attempts at control as a waste of resources, energy and time at best, and at worst, creating detrimental results that serve to hinder people’s upward mobility or teach dependence. We see much more efficiency, as well as endless opportunity, in leaving you to your own devices. And we want the same in return.

This is where democrats mis-view republicans as heartless. But really, the conservative believes that there is one and one path only to sustainable success and independence – and that is self-empowerment. All other avenues – welfare, affirmative action, housing loans you can’t actually afford – ultimately risk doing a disservice to people as they teach dependence on special circumstances, the govt, or arbitrary assistance (that can disappear tomorrow). And the real danger – they will ALWAYS backfire, and leave the recipient in equally or more dire circumstances. Any false improvement will always expire.

The conservative believes in abundance. The liberal believes in scarcity.

The conservative believes man is born free and will be who he is, no matter what arbitrary limitations or rules are put on him. The liberal believes man is perfectible, and by extension, believes a society at large is perfectible, and command and control is justified in the quest to a “perfect” utopian society. (Sounds familiar!)

The conservative tends to be more faithful – and not necessarily in God, but in the ability of the individual to find great strength in himself (or from his God) to get what he needs and to be successful. Therefore the conservative has an outlet for his fear and disappointment – trust and faith in something bigger. The liberal believes the system must be perfected in order to enable success. Therefore disappointment is channeled as anger and blame at the system. Voids are left to be filled by faith in the govt, which they surely then want to come in and “fix” things.

And therein lies the roots of love and fear respectively. For the conservative, when life presents great struggles, he knows he has the power to surmount them. Happiness stems from internal strength and perseverance. For the liberal, when life presents great struggles, the system failed, therefore they were at the mercy of a faulty system, and they believe that only when the system is fixed can their life improve. Happiness is built on systemic contingencies, which they will then seek to control or expect someone else to.

One blames himself. The other blames anyone and everyone but himself.

And there it is. There’s where the meanness comes from. The liberal ideology causes that person to cast anger at the world when things go wrong or appear “unfair.” He constantly chooses only to see the “injustices” – and that makes for a very miserable, mean, blame-casting existence.

One last point that we have seen over and over and over with many (not all) of our liberal friends: Extreme stinginess and cheapness.

In our conservative community growing up, we were always taught that you give when people are in need – make donations to the Red Cross when there’s an earthquake, donate to charity when you can afford it, etc. Even if it’s just $50 here and there – it’s the right thing to do. Conservatives see this as the responsibility that comes with gaining from the capitalistic system; if you happen to benefit greatly from the system, it’s your duty to give back.

The liberal, on the other hand, does not seem to share this same viewpoint, at least not in my experience. And perhaps think this is linked to believing in scarcity, and that your dollar comes at the cost of mine. So it seems that liberals, on some level of consciousness, feel guilty about not being voluntarily charitable. Therefore, to write off their guilt, they outsource their “generosity” to the government by voting for wealth re-distributive policies. Thus, the liberal cheats himself of the joy and addictiveness of direct generosity. (Not to mention – re distributive policies ALWAYS end up dis-empowering those who they’re meant to help.)

However each of us got here, it’s probably a fact that we have the turmoil of those storms in common, perhaps some unease that we could share and always, we also find fresh ground to cover from day to day. We’re developing valuable relationships as we trust one another in our community in the woods.  The chatting in the branches encourages, strengthens and equips for some serious walking.

We think the Treehouse is a good armory for those who doing long distance walking for the sake of our nation.  We hope you’ll think so, too.  Find yourself a good branch….or  just pull up a rock to the campfire.

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26 Responses to A TreeHouse Theory….. The Connection We Share.

  1. sturmudgeon says:

    What an absolutely WONDERFUL post… Thank you so much!

  2. Andrew says:

    Great thoughts. Being aware of fear and hope is so crucial to understanding people’s choices, even our own. What really disappoints me is when I do see conservatives jumping on our own fear bandwagons too. People spending endless time and resources trying to make sure gays don’t get married, that someone isn’t smokeing marijuana, or having an abortion, etc. I think that smaller government is only possible if we really, truely embrace the notion of Liberty and Justice FOR ALL.

    • Amanda says:

      I agree. Republicans risk alienating many moderates and libertarians who wish for a smaller government but recoil from issues that really don’t belong in the political arena (religion, marriage, etc.)

    • pateriot says:

      With Freedom ad Liberty comes responsibility. My father said that my rights end were someone else’s begins. Attempting to redefine a term doesn’t not change it’s meaning. You cannot kill someone else simply because you live in Liberty… and attempting to redefine someone by their age and dependence on you for their life, does not make them less human anymore than attempting to re-define them as 3/5th human makes them less human and therefore not qualified to be protected under the law.

      Likewise attempting to re-define marriage as something other than what it has always been defined as does not change it. I may attempt to redefine what a tree is to include humans, but I am still not a tree… nor are you.

  3. NM Pancho says:

    oh.
    I guess I did come to the right place.
    I’m a treeper and didn’t even know it.

    I think I should have read this page first, but a couple of months later is better than never at all in this instance? Yeah, well, I never said I was a genius. I work hard though.

    I need to find me a smooth rock. I’m going to be around learning stuff for awhile, if that’s ok?

  4. John Taylor says:

    I want to know about who designed and built the tree house in the photo, and where I can get more info about it. John johnrtaylor474@yahoo.com

  5. someone needs to tell our Gov. this one or the NEW YORK TIMES

  6. Joseph Keesling says:

    Powerful… Thank you for the post and its inherent truth. We have some really tough days ahead, especially if there isn’t a significant change in the coming 2012 election…

  7. Well said, my friend! Well said!

  8. Michael says:

    The best, most succinct and accurate distinction of conservatives and liberals I ever heard:
    Conservatives- I, me, mine sums them up perfectly……….My house, MY $, MY taxes, MY taxes, MY money, MY taxes, MY $, MY benefits, MY God, My family, MY church, MY country, MY,MY,MY, MINE, I, ME, MINE. This creates a division and a pseudo superiority under the guise of pride and patriotism.
    Liberals: We, Us, Our, everyone(including conservatives) OUR Taxes, OUR Country, OUR GOD, OUR Church, OUR brothers and sisters, US, WE. We are ALL, ALL brothers and sisters.

    You could not be more blatantly inaccurate in your description of caring for each other as in (“feed my sheep”.)
    I have been in volunteering organizations for over 24 years now and have been a volunteer administrator/coordinator in 2 very large organizations and numerous others. The number of volunteers who count themselves as conservative is extremely low and moderates/independents are slightly more but, those who count themselves as liberals/left leaning, make up the major majority of volunteers in our great nation of “hands on” volunteers.

    And you state this: “Conservatives see this as the responsibility that comes with gaining from the capitalistic system; if you happen to benefit greatly from the system, it’s your duty to give back.”
    But, you probably are well aware that though you are correct that it IS our duty, most people just don’t! Liberal or conservative.

    I have shook the hands of 3 of our presidents and many, congressmen/women and heads of state. I deal with statistics in huge numbers and the stats show that it is almost right down the middle from both political sides when it comes to “personal giving” financially.with a slight lead on the conservative side.
    But, when it comes to actual hands on volunteering and helping out others physically, it is overwhelmingly liberal or left leaning people who lead the way.

    O pray and support our president (no matter what political side they are on)and our administration, our troops, our military commanders, the enemy and for my fellow brothers and sisters on the conservative side of politics and I always will.
    I am a life long Christian(Mennonite), a PROUD, 7th generation, Irish/Scottish descent, AMERICAN, a husband, a father, a business owner, a small farmer and a lifelong licensed hunter. Many of the liberals I know, say I don’t fit the stereotypical liberal bill but, I am and always will be a liberal.

    Us, Our, Them, WE, WE, WE, W E!
    My dear, conservative brothers and sisters, We are ALL brothers and sisters!

    • Well, all I can say is that I’m a pretty invested volunteer myself, and my experience is just the opposite, Mikey. Ninety-five percent of the volunteers I know are conservative. And all known studies support that, not your assertion. But I suppose it depends on where you volunteer, doesn’t it?

    • zmalfoy says:

      . . . unfortunately, Mikey, long experience as both a liberal and a conservative has shown me that 90% of “we” talk is a disguise for unmitigated envy and greed.

      I don’t trust anyone who insists on using any sort of “collective” language– humans are not heard beasts, and should not be treated as such. To do so is to make slaves of all. The only way to take care of the macrocosm is to take care of the microcosm, like when working with fractals. Once the individual is straightened out, the rest follows. This is why conservatives speak in the singular– we can only do our best, with ourselves and our own communities, and we must allow all other individuals to do their best with themselves and their communities. Only once this happens can there even be an “us” to speak about. . .

    • oriana88 says:

      Michael writes, “Liberals: We, Us, Our, everyone (including conservatives) . . .” On what planet does Michael live? He also addresses sundance: “ You could not be more blatantly inaccurate in your description of caring for each other as in (‘feed my sheep’.)” Well, no Michael, it’s you who are “blatantly inaccurate”.

      An article by George Will, “Conservatives More Liberal Givers” was posted at Real Clear Politics in March, 2008.

      START QUOTE:

      . . . Don R. Willett, a justice of the state [Texas] Supreme Court “The belief that liberals care more about the poor may scratch a partisan or ideological itch, but the facts are hostile witnesses.”

      Sixteen months ago, Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University, published “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism.” The surprise is that liberals are markedly less charitable than conservatives.

      If many conservatives are liberals who have been mugged by reality, Brooks, a registered independent, is, as a reviewer of his book said, a social scientist who has been mugged by data. They include these findings:

      — Although liberal families’ incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

      — Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

      — Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

      — Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.

      — In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.

      — People who reject the idea that “government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality” give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.

      Brooks demonstrates a correlation between charitable behavior and “the values that lie beneath” liberal and conservative labels. Two influences on charitable behavior are religion and attitudes about the proper role of government.

      The single biggest predictor of someone’s altruism, Willett says, is religion. It increasingly correlates with conservative political affiliations because, as Brooks’ book says, “the percentage of self-described Democrats who say they have ‘no religion’ has more than quadrupled since the early 1970s.”. . .

      END QUOTE

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html

      Michael, as Justice Willett said above, “the facts are hostile witnesses” to your thesis. It seems that you’re operating on the liberal principle that FEELINGS TRUMP FACTS. I suggest back to the drawing board for you!

      Thanks, sundance, for the encouraging article.

  9. Michael says:

    I guess both “GRUNT” and Zmalfoy are trying for a mild insult by using “Mikey” instead of my full name Michael. Mikey is actually fine with me but, it is usually a sign that someone hasn’t the capacity to form a polite or well thought out response. Notice I use no twists in your usernames when addressing you two? I could have a heyday with Grunt……….. But, it wouldn’t be very polite.
    95%??? I am referring to outside volunteering( i.e. hospitals, nursing homes, burn clinics, cancer clinics, childrens hospitals, local food banks, Missions, The ARC etc…..) Not ones church. In THESE types of organizations, it is overwhelmingly left leaning.
    Zmalfoy, you said “The only way to take care of the macrocosm is to take care of the microcosm” and I agree with this statement too but, I would never say it’s “the ONLY way.” Just like Jesus set the example, so should we and where the bible says: “Let others do as they may, but as for me, I will
    serve the living God.” LIVE the example and others will follow.
    WE, US, OUR are all terms that Jesus used so if that is a collective Heard speak, then I am all for it since the master himself used them often.
    “This is why conservatives speak in the singular– we can only do our best, with ourselves and our own communities, and we must allow all other individuals to do their best with themselves and their communities. Only once this happens can there even be an “us” to speak about. . .”
    That is the exact antithesis of what Jesus and the bible taught and creates a separateness, a superiority, a classification which emphasizes our differences, as opposed to what we have in common, which is what I would rather focus on even if my above post doesn’t appear that way to you. We (as in everyone) have way, WAY more IN common with each other than not. And ESPECIALLY us, as fellow Americans and fellow Christians.

    Peace and Blessings to you two and ALL…….ALL, during this CHRISTmas time.

    • oriana88 says:

      Michael, you merely assert “I am referring to outside volunteering ( i.e. hospitals, nursing homes, burn clinics, cancer clinics, childrens hospitals, local food banks, Missions, The ARC etc…..) Not ones church. In THESE types of organizations, it is overwhelmingly left leaning.”

      Again, on what planet do you live? From Wikipedia, re Brooks’ findings: “91 percent of people who identify themselves as religious are likely to give to charity, writes Brooks, as opposed to 66 percent of people who do not. THE RELIGIOUS GIVING SECTOR IS JUST AS LIKELY TO GIVE TO SECULAR PROGRAMS AS IT IS TO RELIGIOUS CAUSES.” (Emphasis mine)

      In my city, virtually all the soup kitchens and overnight shelters for the homeless are found in churches and some synagogues—for anyone. Such enterprises run by secularists are about as rare as unicorns.

      Zmalfoy wrote, “This is why conservatives speak in the singular– we can only do our best, with ourselves and our own communities, and we must allow all other individuals to do their best with themselves and their communities. Only once this happens can there even be an ‘us’ to speak about. . .”

      Your response? “That is the exact antithesis of what Jesus and the bible taught . . .” Well, no, it’s not. The second Great Commandment is “Love thy neighbour AS THYSELF.” Jesus understood that a healthy self-respect, grounded in the love of God, is necessary in order to serve others sacrificially. The foundation of the community is spiritually healthy individuals and the families they create. Without these individual choices and allegiances, there is no community. Note that the dissolution of the family—a main goal of the collectivist progressives—has decimated our communities. And it’s Obama, the great divider, not conservatives, who has “emphasize[d] our differences, as opposed to what we have in common”.

      Michael, I appreciate your Christmas wishes. However, IMO, your full message here is, for some reason, both oppositional and a put-down, rather than altruistic. And your thesis is unmoored from reality. Wishful thinking and mere feeling are no substitute for the truth.

      All the best, and please consider the facts of the matter.

  10. DJ Johnson says:

    I am so happy that I discovered this site! We do need to stick together to get through the terrible economic/cultural storm America is caught in now. Love this place! You are so right about how conservatives, especially Christian conservatives, get called all kinds of nasty names. I have the battle scars (so to speak) to prove it. Keep the spirit my fellow Americans! God bless you all!

  11. Red says:

    Michael’s theology confuses the government with the church. He’s a theocrat and doesn’t even know it. Trust me, Michael, if Jesus had meant for our charity to come in the form of higher taxes, He would have said so. Be careful putting words in His mouth.

    • oriana88 says:

      Spot on, Red!

      Remember that Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 12:17) I think Michael’s theology is somewhat shaky.

  12. Pingback: Sky High, But Grounded: 16 Incredible Tree Houses | low

  13. howie says:

    It takes a village full of idiots to re-elect BHO.

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