In order to WIN any contest, any endeavor, any challenge, the first step is to know and understand the heart of your adversary. Not just know who they are, but to know “what they are” and what makes them tick. Know and understand them, really understand them, understand their core ideology and beliefs. When you know the emotional position the opposition carries walking into the conflict you can prepare yourself, and your position, for success.
I’ve had some truly shockingly cruel, hateful, and insensitive things said to me purely because I believe in limited government and fiscal conservatism. At times I have felt despair because “they” want me to believe my views are in the minority. The opposition knows that inherently my beliefs reflect my concern for others and they use this against me.
I believe that we should be self-reliant and personally responsible, but I 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. Then we are happier people, or at least more likely to be happier.
Which brings me to my pondering’s. I think 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.
This is an important distinction and so I repeat, “fear is at the core of liberalism“.
Control is a reaction to fear. I 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 these people seek control as a means of trying to create guarantees and safeguards against those circumstances they fear. (*Think about re-distributive wealth policies).
Liberals try to control the world and people to enable their comfort and happiness. Which, as we know, is an endless quest. (*Think about fear created with Global Warming alarmists). 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 – shockingly – 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, I think, particularly in 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.)
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. We want the same in return, but President Obama and his progressive policies are specifically counter to this belief. Hence, at an undefinable emotional level, conservative Americans are responding with outrage to these policies.
These policies seem, and are, diametrically in opposition to our inherent values, and views of self reliance, responsibility, personal accountability, freedom, and liberty.
This is where Democrats (or progressives) mis-view Republicans (or conservatives) 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 such as 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 government, 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. Our current economic malaise is a specific outcome of following this approach, with the best of intentions, too far.
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 government, 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 hatred 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: Charity
In my 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. I believe 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 disempowering those who they’re meant to help.)
In summary: Yes, I do think liberals are dangerous to our republic. Because their very ideology directs their thinking in a very angry, negative way. This is what drives their actions, this is what drives their position. It is all based upon fear, a lack of faith, and a toxic selfishness.
This is why their attacks are so vicious and filled with hate. This is the nature of our opposition. This is the fundamental ideological separation between “them” and “us”. It is imperative to understand this central distinction. We are at a point of critical mass, the conflict is right here, right now. We have to face it head on, without compromise, and provide no quarter. We have to set down our inherent compassion and fight, really fight.
We are not just trying to win elections, we are trying to avoid a collision of Titanic proportions that will sink our nation and forever alter the course of our future. We carry ourselves into this field of conflict not because of self interest, but because our children, our grandchildren, heck every generation needs to be able to experience the joy of freedom. A freedom of their choosing, a path of their choosing, insuring their “Life – Liberty – and their Pursuit of Happiness” is never at risk.
Deserve victory. Strive valiantly.