||I believe Winston Churchill is credited with the phrase, "If you are under 35 and a conservative, you have no heart; if you are over 35 and a liberal, you have no brain."
That quote makes me wonder what it is about the policies of these two groups that would make Churchill say this? I am only 30 and don't consider myself heartless. Why am I a conservative and what is it to be conservative? In my research on this, I came up with a hypothesis that it is easy to be liberal, and being a true conservative forces you to make difficult decisions which may create the label of heartless.
Liberals love to tout themselves as free, and indeed, MerriamWebster.com states the word Liberal is from Latin liberalis suitable for a freeman, generous, from liber free. However, another definition of liberal is lacking moral restraint. It also defines liberalism as a belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties.
The term conservative is defined as tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions, and conservativism as a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change.
Now that the terms are defined, let's break them down, liberals are free and generous, but maybe too much so. Since the political structure has changed so much in the last 70 years, many conservatives want an abrupt change to what it once was in regards to the limitations of government. Many liberals are perfectly happy with the establishment and want to continue the history of entitlements. These definitions only somewhat fit.
Let's next examine the history of the two political ideologies. Liberal philosophy is responsible for the American Revolution. It was the philosophy of change that caused the 55 brave men to sign their lives away. Indeed, the most staunch conservatives wanted to maintain the status quo with British rule. What about today though? It is the conservatives who are seen as revolutionaries trying to revert policies to back to those philosophies of those brave men. While liberals get their ideologies from John Stuart Mill, William Gladstone and Karl Marx, the policies of conservative are rooted in the teachings of Thomas Jefferson, John Locke and Thomas Paine. Why the change when these men were considered liberals in their times?
It has everything to do with the limitations on government control. Jimmy Carter said, "Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. People have the right to expect that these wants will be provided for by this wisdom." This displays the idea of socialism, that the government should provide all the wants and needs of the citizens. That is not the way of the founders. That would create a huge government and a high tax burden. Thomas Jefferson stated, "My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."
In examining Liberal policies today, we see ideas like protecting the environment, nationalized healthcare, & helping the poor. On the surface, these are all noble causes, and all men should work towards these goals. Liberals don't look beyond the tip of their noses though and see the consequences of such actions. The environment can handle levels of pollution. Look at a volcanic eruption, there is more crap in ash then in factory exhaust. We're still here! But by forcing companies or governments to reach unattainable levels of pollution control, the costs of products get pushed higher, or jobs get cut to reduce other costs to comply.
National healthcare is a great idea, except for the fact that it has failed in 7 other countries, and reduces the quality of care of everyone. Sure helping the poor is great, but at what cost and how much. I have no problem helping out when someone is down and out, it can happen to anyone, but the fact the people make careers out of walking to their mailbox is ridiculous.
It cracks me up when people like Barbara Striesand tell people to help the poor and do this and that with their money. Because of policies she supports I have enough trouble paying my bills and putting food on the table. When she liquidates all her assets, gives her royalties over tot he poor and lives off $40,000 then I'll consider what she says. Until that time, she and her liberal friends can suck my toe!
I'm a conservative because I believe government needs to be small, and provide only those items which private companies will not engage. Roads, defense, emergency services, education. There may be a few others (I include sealing the Border in defense) but these are the biggies. I'm sick of the government telling how I can live, where I can live, where and when I can go anywhere. I am sick of them wasting my tax dollars like they have a bottomless pit of money. I am sick of them wasting time on items households should regulate. Congressmen are so worried about internet gambling, but if they allowed gambling, it could be regulated and people penalized for violations. Plus, the revenues could be taxed.
It is tough to be a conservative and say no. Let's face facts saying no to endangered owls, sick kids and poor people absolutely makes us look heartless. But someone has to keep the big spenders in check, unfortunately, there is no one in the Capitol today who does.