I was having a conversation with my wife yesterday about political issues and such I had this thought. Now, I am not a liberal so I cannot say for sure what liberals are thinking, but I will venture my best guess, in an effort to understand those with different opinions. Any liberal who reads this should feel free to chime in and correct me where I’m wrong.
I think the goal of many liberal policies is to change the circumstances surrounding a person. They want to make sure that someone is given the resources to ensure that they will succeed. I think resources is the key word here. They want to make sure that the public schools are given enough funding, that they have the financial resources towards college, that housing projects are in place, etc… Liberals put emphasis on community in making sure that people are not disadvantaged with respect to other people.
Conservatives see things somewhat differently. Their focus is on opportunity, and they focus less on the resources aspect. Conservatives don’t focus on making sure everyone starts out equally, but they want a society in which someone has all the opportunity for upward mobility. Conservatives have a high belief in the power of the individual, even in tough circumstances.
Keep in mind, this is not an either/or. I’m not saying liberals have no faith in the individual and conservatives believe there is no role for the community. It is really a question of extent. The
These two philosophies seem to butt heads in the area of government programs and in the economy/business. The individual and community are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but they can be competing entities.
Liberals believe that government programs are needed to help the individual be successful, whereas conservatives believe that too many government programs can actually hinder someone’s success.
In the area of business, security and opportunity struggle against each other. Liberals believe that business must be more regulated in order to provide security for the average worker. Conservatives believe that less regulated business leads to more upward mobility for the average worker.
Liberals believe in providing resources to the average individual in order to help them succeed. They want to shape the person’s environment. The conservative is less concerned with resources. They aren’t concerned so much with providing things; rather they want to remove things standing in the person’s way. Their goal is to provide an environment of freedom where more things are possible.