Monday, October 28, 2013

When is a Conservative liberal?

We have political liberals and political conservatives. We can break this down to liberals wanting more government with conservatives wanting less. Yet in life we find many conservatives who are very liberal in their life. Many conservatives are smokers, while we have liberals who are for smoking bans.

A political liberal might be more the party type, while at the same time calling for stricter laws on alcohol. A political conservative might or might not be a partier. Both conservatives and liberals are guilty of calling for bans, although each might call for the ban of books or movies on opposite ends of the spectrum.

We can be sure a political liberal isn't always liberal thinking and a conservative isn't always conservative in how they live their life. Some see conservatives as people who spend their lives in church and are teetotalers. You would think they didn't smoke, wear short skirts, or expose cleavage, but we find many conservatives that do these things. Not all conservatives are social conservatives.

We find political liberals who are devout Christian who live very socially conservative lives. On the other end of the spectrum we find political liberals who spend much of their life partying, drinking, or using drugs. We should ask how can both groups be considered liberal? This can be answered by breaking down both political groups to interventionists and non-interventionists.

We have both socially conservative Democrats as well as liberal Democrats. For the other side we have socially conservative Republicans and fiscally conservative Republicans. Socially conservative republicans are against gay marriage, while socially conservative Democrats may or may not be for gay marriage, but are likely to at least be for civil unions. Fiscally conservative Republicans are also more likely to be for gay marriage or at least civil unions.

Are you finding this confusing? It often is. We find people who proudly wear the same label having different beliefs. We often find that some place labels on others that don't fit. Too often Republicans place the liberal label on Democrats when the progressive label is more fitting, while neither label accurately describes their beliefs. I think looking back few would find anything liberating or progressive about the Great Depression, yet that is the defining period in history for progressive Democrats.
No matter the political ideology we find both interventionists and non-interventionists. Can someone truly say they are for less government when they are interventionists? We cannot have it both ways. We cannot be for less government in some areas and more in others. Must we choose a side and be either interventionist or non-interventionist? I dare say few will fall completely in one category.

I do believe that if we are going to say we are for less government we should strive to be non-interventionist whenever possible. No ,matter our political belief we should stop and look at every situation in the light of interventionist or non-interventionist. I believe if we do that we will often see the world in a different light. I personally have done that later in life, but never thought of it in these terms.

Who really wants government or the neighbor telling us how to live our lives? Sometimes even the homeless or the poor are happy with their lives. Recently I learned how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program come into existence. When the federal government offered poor Appalachians foods stamps they refused because they were proud self-reliant people. When offered seeds the Appalachian farmers gladly accepted them. The government never to be denied decided that if they tied food stamps to free seeds the poor farmers would be forced to accept them. The government was right, the farmers accept SNAP if it meant receiving new seed.

Forced intervention is the way of big government, no matter the label under which it was elected. No matter the party we find those for big government. Today we have a government that too often sees itself helping if whether we want it or not. Now I ask, do you want an interventionist or non-interventionist government?

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