I enjoy having ideological debates with my left-leaning friends. What I have learned from them has really strengthened my conservative stand on most issues. Intellectual lefties are the minority in that camp; most liberals I encounter spew out a party line and when their ideological inconsistencies are pointed out they hurl invective and slurs and then walk away. Intellectual lefties, on the other hand, put reason into their arguments and sometimes they are right.
Real liberals, I have found, are compassionate people. It makes them feel good to think they are helping others. The problem is that they allow that compassion to go too far and that is the core of the problem facing our once great nation. Here are some examples:
1. There are certain things that only government can do and just because it is not expressly written in the Constitution does mean government should not perform the task.
This is partially true. There are things that only government can do beyond paving streets and picking up trash. Rural electrification is a great example. Back in the 1930’s, no private company was going to spend millions of dollars to wire up the countryside for no profit. What that New Deal program did though was wire up farms during the Great Depression doubling and tripling the output of those farms. As a result, the farms grew, more people were employed and grocery store shelves were packed with produce.
What the liberals do not get is that there is a Constitutional mechanism for this; it is called the General Welfare Provision. The “general welfare” means that the government action eventually benefits everyone. That provision, though, has been bent like taffy due to people’s compassion run amok. The general population benefits when the elderly and sick of mind are taken care of, but suffers when the able bodied are given food, healthcare, shelter and a cell phone with no expectation they will attempt to pay anything back.
2. Corporations are not people and they shouldn’t be treated as such.
Again, this is partially true. Corporations are not people, they are made up of people, but even a dead person’s estate can own a corporation. Corporations are structures built on profit and loss ledger books. Corporations do not have emotions and therefore do not care if their employees are young children working long hours around dangerous equipment. However, again, the liberal sense of compassion has caused a knee jerk reaction that has destroyed the manufacturing base of this country. It is very true that when capitalism is left to its own devices, the few profit and the many starve.
Government should have reasonable regulations such as a standard work day, workplace safety, age requirements and a minimum wage. However, what has happened over the past century is that the government has allowed unions to dictate virtually everything to the people who sign their paychecks. Unions have demanded and received unreasonable salaries, a system where no one can be fired for poor performance and out of control pension plans. As a result, the cost of American goods went up while quality went down. Trust me, the big three automakers did not set out to make expensive crappy cars in the 1970’s and 1980’s, they were crippled by a lopsided pay structure for a lazy and under-productive labor force. So, Japan enters the market with affordable cars that run forever and pushed American car companies to the brink of destruction.
In Augusta, we once had a thriving textile industry where thousands were employed. However, the companies could not stay in business when, due to regulations and union demands, goods from overseas we cheaper at retail than the cost of the raw materials stateside. The only thing those companies could do was move overseas themselves and the result here are a bunch of empty mill buildings ringing the Augusta Canal.
3. Equality is a human right and it is up to the government to insure those rights.
Yep, I agree. However, once again, my liberal friend’s sense of compassion has led them down an empty path. Equality enforcement has never been much a function of the executive or legislative branches. Sorry kids, Abraham Lincoln did not free the slaves; the Emancipation Proclamation was a brilliant document that actually did nothing. It took a Constitutional amendment to abolish slavery. While the Congress was able to use the Commerce clause to end legal segregation by private businesses, much of the drive for equality for black people came through the Supreme Court, ie. Brown v. Board of Education, Heart of Atlanta Motel v. The United States and Loving v. Virginia.
Take the current gay marriage debate. Most thinking people, both liberal and conservative, are coming around to understanding that equality under the law for gays and lesbians is right and proper and that government needs to insure that equality. However, since the federal government has no authority to issue a marriage or civil union license or any mechanism for issuing guidelines for states in this area, the issue will ultimately have to be addressed by the Supreme Court. Here is how it will happen, a couple of guys will get married in Washington D.C., then set up residence in Georgia. They will then get into a tiff and decide to divorce, since they are now residents of Georgia they can’t get divorced in Washington and they have standing to sue the state of Georgia for not recognizing their marriage license and not properly dissolving their union. The Supreme Court will likely find that Georgia was in violation of the Full Faith and Credit clause since the state recognized licenses from Washington D.C. involving heterosexuals. See how easy that was?
The problem of my liberal friends is that their endless compassion dupes them into believing pandering politicians who promise to demand equal treatment for gays. They buy into the line that liberal politicians are the only ones who care about human rights, and vote based solely on that one issue. What they get is a liberal politician that goes to Washington, pays back their donors with legislation in their favor, raise taxes on the very people that voted for them and do absolutely nothing to forward the issue of equality.
4. (And my favorite) The Constitution is a living document that should be interpreted by modern standards since the framers could not conceive of a world with airplanes and the Internet.
Actually, no. The Constitution was designed to be interpreted as a set of rules of what the federal government can and cannot do and those rules need no interpretation from anyone other than the Supreme Court. No, the Framers did not have airplanes, but the modern Congress has every right to create the FAA since it is in the general welfare for that agency to exist. The Framers had the same basic needs we have today; they needed food, shelter, healthcare ect. They did not feel though, that everyone has a right to those things and other people should pay for it.
Those are my four favorites, and there are plenty of others to list. I really enjoy debating back and forth with my liberal friends, like Ron and Benji, who approach things from a basis of intellect and the rule of law. It is too bad that too many libs out there (and the most vocal among them) can’t or won’t ground their opinions in reality and rather than have a reasoned conversation simply turn to calling me a racist, a hate-monger, an imbecile or my personal favorite – a faggot.