We just received the email below, from someone calling himself “Christopher Matthews.”We assume that the sender is not actually that Christopher Matthews–the liberal talk show host on MSNBC. We assume, in fact, that the sender’s name is a pseudonym playing on the name Chris Matthews.
But, anyway, the email contains a story meant to illustrate the difference between “Conservatives” and “Liberals.” It concludes that the “Conservatives” (as described) are good and the “Liberals” (as described) are bad.
Go ahead and read it. Then I’ll weigh in with my thoughts below.
A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be very liberal, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favour of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth.
She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch conservative, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.
One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs.
The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.
Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn’t even have time for a boyfriend, and didn’t really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.
Her father listened and then asked, “How is your friend Audrey doing?”
She replied, “Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She’s always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn’t even show up for classes because she’s too hung over.”
Her wise father asked his daughter, “Why don’t you go to the Dean’s office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.”
The daughter, visibly shocked by her father’s suggestion, angrily fired back, “That’s a crazy idea, how would that be fair! I’ve worked really hard for my grades! I’ve invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!”
The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, “Welcome to the conservative side of the fence.”
If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!
If a conservative doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a liberal doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat. If a liberal is a Vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.
If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation. A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.
If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels. Liberals demand that those they don’t like be shut down.
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church. A liberal Non-believer wants any mention of God and Jesus silenced.
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it. A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.
If a conservative reads this, he’ll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh. A liberal will delete it because he’s “offended.”
OK, a few thoughts.
First, this is certainly the way many “Conservatives” like to view themselves: i.e., as people who just want people to be free to be themselves, while Liberals want to impose their views on everyone else.
But of course you don’t have to look far to realise that this is deeply hypocritical and delusional:
- “Conservatives” like Rick Santorum want to restrict choice and freedom by enacting laws banning gay marriage, etc.
- Some “Conservatives” want to put the church back in the state (but only the Christian church, not the Muslim church or the Synagogue or Buddhist temple or other churches)
And, obviously, no intelligent “Liberal” actually WANTS to raise taxes–they just want to recognise the reality that we have a huge budget deficit and need to cover the gap somehow.
The idea that “Conservatives” are people who take personal responsibility for their situation and “Liberals” are always looking for a handout or helping hand is very deep-seated. It’s also, at least partially, true.
“Liberals” generally DO want the government to spend more to educate people and give them a helping hand.
“Conservatives” generally don’t.
Right? Is that characterization fair?
What about some of the other ones above?
What really IS the central difference between “liberals” and “conservatives”, anyway? (Or what SHOULD it be, if both political parties and viewpoints weren’t so deeply hypocritical and conflicted?)
Weigh in below…
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