Which America Do You Believe In?

Conservatives believe in smaller government, more personal responsibility, an individual’s right to self-determination, and the inviolability of private property.

Liberals believe in bigger government, government assuming responsibility for the welfare of the people, and the “equitable” redistribution of private property  (e.g., higher taxes, social welfare programs, land use regulations).

Conservatives see Americans as strong enough, resourceful enough, and intelligent enough to forge their own destinies, viewing hardships as challenges and taking pride in overcoming them.

Liberals see Americans as hapless children who can’t be expected to take responsibility for their own welfare, or that of their families, who must be provided for and sheltered from hardship and privation.

Conservatives believe Americans are generous enough to give a hand up to those who are truly in need, of their own volition, out of a spirit of genuine altruism.

Liberals believe Americans are greedy and uncaring, and that the government must extract money from those who have it to bestow upon those who need to be preserved from hardship and the struggle for existence.

Conservatives believe the fundamental role of the government is to protect the citizens from each other, from external enemies, and from abuse of power by the government itself.

Liberals believe it’s the role of government to protect the people from themselves, and from their own bad judgement.

Conservatives believe each individual is responsible enough to make their own choices and live their own lives with minimal government intervention.

Liberals believe Daddy knows best.


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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. To avoid confusion, perhaps you should preface every mention of “conservative” with the word “true”. The people who call themselves conservatives these days want the government to interfere with peoples’ personal lives about as much as liberals do.

  2. I find this sort of message to be patently offensive. “We good, they bad.” We need to get past this sort of mindset and realize that most Americans, regardless of their conservative or liberal beliefs, truly want what is best for all of us. They just have different opinions on how to get there. Does that really make one side or the other “bad”?

  3. I’m sorry if I offended you, Wiggles. I didn’t say liberals are bad. Just different. :)

    I have no doubt that they want what *they believe* is best for all of us. It’s what they believe is best for all of us that I have a problem with.

  4. No doubt they feel the same way. Who is to say that one side or the other has the only correct answer? Linear thinking may ignore that there may be two or more ways to get from point A to point B.

  5. boy daddy, why do you want to believe in such a two-dimensional political universe? You’re missing so much in that effort. For some perspective I think you will appreciate, take a minute to do this little quiz –

    The Political Compass:
    http://www.politicalcompass.org

  6. First of all, crowings, I’m not your daddy. :) Second, since you force me to admit it, this post is at least partially tongue in cheek. But, even with my tongue in my cheek, I believe there’s a hard kernel of truth in it.

    Thanks for the link. As I’ve always said, I’m one of those pesky libertarians (albeit a conservative one). Here’s my score.

  7. Speaking as a liberal, I’d like government to regulate business insofar as they break up monopolies and enforce health, labor and environmental laws.

    It seems to me that Conservatives want no interference in the above, but DO want government to keep gays from marrying, women from choosing when they want to have a baby, make everyone speak English, make protestant Christianity the official religion, and regulate EVERY PART of our personal lives. Conservatives are the ones that play the daddies- liberals just want an even playing field for all.

  8. My dear Godless Pinko, I think you misinterpret what it means to be a conservative. The most conservative position on any issue is the one that’s truest to the intentions of the founding fathers. Our founding fathers believed the legitimate function of government is to protect the people from each other, from external enemies, and from abuse of power by the government itself. It was never their intention for the government to protect people from themselves or to absolve them of personal responsibility for their own welfare and that of their families. It’s a pretty simple ideal. Free will and a free market.

    I’m just a renegade who wants to put a leash on government and limit its powers to providing equal protection under the law for all citizens, and maintaining basic infrastructure as necessary to keep society functioning.

    I have no problem with civil unions for homosexuals. But marriage is a religious sacrament, and some religions (or religious denominations) believe that homosexuality is a sin. Just because you don’t agree with their beliefs doesn’t give you the right to legislate that they must change or violate them.

    I support the right of a woman to have an abortion, up to the point that the fetus is viable. After that, it can only be justified if the life or health of the mother is endangered.

    I don’t care what languages people speak. I think it’s great to be multilingual. But this is an English speaking nation and it makes sense for anybody who wants to be a citizen of this nation to speak the language of the culture in which they seek membership. It’s very expensive for the government to duplicate everything in English and Spanish. We don’t do that for other languages. It’s purely a practical matter.

    I have no desire to dictate anybody’s religion. As long as your religion doesn’t require you to commit human or animal sacrifice, or to strap a bomb on your back and get on a bus, it’s no businesss of mine.

    You are absolutely mistaken about conservatives wanting to regulate every part of our lives. Please loop to the beginning of this reply and iterate through it again.

  9. Yo daddy!

    I’m glad you checked that Political Compass out. I came up over on the commie-anarchist side. Now just one little thing. In your response to Pinko you opined:

    “The most conservative position on any issue is the one that’s truest to the intentions of the founding fathers.”

    First, this definition does not take into account the fact that “conservative” is a common political term in countries other than the U.S., including all those European countries that the U.S. culture is largely derived from. How might taking that into consideration change your understanding of the meaning of the political term “conservative”? You might want to do a little research on that.

    Second, as “truest intentions of the founding fathers” of the U.S. you cite:

    -to protect the people from each other
    -to protect the people from external enemies
    -to protect the people and from abuse of power by the government itself

    You may be leaving out a few key things there, such as the creation of an inherently flexible democratic system that they had faith in.

    I find it odd that you don’t seem to comprehend how “protecting the people from eachother” includes protection from those involved in market enterprises, or how that means ‘from ourselves’ in that sense all around; in protecting ourselves from “eachother” as a governing body, ‘we the people’, including those involved in market enterprises and their families, are protecting ourselves from ourselves.

    The founding fathers of American democracy and U.S. government had no intention of creating a system in which the people involved in market enterprises would be “absolved of personal responsibility” any more than anyone else.

  10. Ah, crowings, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re a commie. Perhaps, if you take the quiz again, you might be able to achieve a better score. :)

    Indeed, the meaning of “politically conservative” does change depending on the country. In fundamentalist Muslim countries, conservatives believe in Shari’a. But this, my dear friend, is America. (Thank God!) And conservatives here believe in the principles of our founding fathers, and in the Constitution they drafted for our governance.

    When you speak of the intentions of the founding fathers, with respect to creating a “flexible democratic system” (by which I assume you mean a republic, since that is the system they devised), you’re referring to the form and process of government, while I was referring to its function. The fundamental purpose of government is to secure our rights from being infringed upon. It’s easy to grasp how one might infringe upon one’s neighbor’s rights, and how excessive government might infringe upon the rights of its citizens. However, it escapes me how one might infringe upon one’s own rights.

    You lost me with “protecting ourselves from ourselves.” If I were to assault you, would you complain that we assaulted us? I guess it’s your collectivist tendencies that cause you to confound individual identity with group identity. Now I see why you scored so low on the left-right scale in the Political Compass quiz. (I’d be happy to tutor you — for a fee, naturally.) :)

    I don’t believe in absolving anybody of personal responsibility, whether they’re involved in a market enterprise or not. If a market enterprise causes you death or injury, destroys or absconds with your property, or defrauds you of your money, you have every right to legal recourse against them.

    And, BTW, I’m still not your daddy.

  11. Along with crowings, I too have problems with what one means by “conservative” and “liberal.” I’ve listened to the Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies and the fellow simply rants about “true conservatism.” Difficult to get a working definition beyond anti-Democrat and anti-liberal.

    I’ve attended meetings of the John Birch Society, the Libertarians, the Constitutionalists, and the Republicans. I’m not sure where I might fit in. I’m not inclined to define myself as any one of them.

    I think “liberal” and “conservative” relate to one’s attitude toward change, interpretation, and enforcement of the Constitution. One who advocates novel and expansive interpretations of the Constitution, government authority, and government activity is in my mind “liberal.” Those who are slow to change and resist novel and expansive roles for government, I view as conservative.

    Just two cents worth of opinion.

  12. A very rational pespective. Thank you, Jackson.

  13. […] presents Which America Do You Believe In? « Government is not your Daddy. posted at Government is not your […]

  14. If only your post were true…


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