My Opinion

Conservative, A Conservative and far right

I suspect that to many Americans the above are one and the same. In fact, many Americans believe our government will be run by “far right extremists, in some quarters defined as anyone who disagrees with the left. 

I see myself as a conservative person, I do not fit a label of A Conservstive and I sure don’t fall over the far right cliff. 

So what is a conservative person… at least in my estimation?  Here are some of my views so you can see where you would be relative to one conservative person. 

🔹I believe that individuals who need a helping hand must receive it, but that help must be aimed at correcting a situation, not perpetuating it. I believe there should be an escape so that individuals who are able to better themselves can do so. 

🔹I believe that the vast majority of people (not all) finding themselves in economic and sometimes health trouble can attribute their condition to their own actions, inaction and life choices and that any assistance should consider that. 

🔹I believe that there is danger in government being too involved and controlling too much of our daily lives. The more government is involved in health care, education, housing, etc. the more the population becomes dependent and the more probable that government can impact our way of life. 

🔹I believe in fiscal prudence, in minimum debt and taxpayers paying for the programs and services they want.  I believe each generation should take responsibility for the liabilities it creates.  

🔹I believe all taxes should be at the lowest rate possible consistent with the essential functions of government. 

🔹I believe problems should be solved by focusing on the root cause, not the symptoms. That is, student loans are not the problem, they are a symptom of a dysfunctional education system. High health insurance premiums are not the problem, but a reflection of a uncoordinated system and unreasonable expectations of consumers. Increasing home ownership is not solved by pushing subprime lending or near zero down payments, but by increasing the ability of individuals to afford a home on their own. Increasing the minimum wage should not be the goal, but getting more people out of minimum skill jobs quicker should be. All government assistance programs should have a goal of lowering participation based on lack of need, rather than celebrating expansion. 

🔹I believe that more people need to understand nothing is free, that there are consequences for each action and that many things we attempt to deal with independently are interconnected. 

🔹I believe the fairest way to benefit all Americans is through strong economic growth and opportunity, not more assistance. 

🔹Finally, I believe we have lost a great deal of any sense of individual responsibility and accountability instead seeking others to blame and others to pay. 

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Categories: My Opinion, Politics

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7 replies »

  1. Good list. I would add the idea that government actions, programs, etc., be accomplished at the lowest level of government possible and practical, the one closest to the people. Education is a good example. The federal department entitled Education, is largely a waste of money and resources which has contributed to rather than reduced the dumbing down of learning.

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  2. I consider myself an economic conservative and a social libertarian.

    I do not believe that individuals who need a helping hand should receive it through a federal government program. If it ain’t in the federal constitution, it should not exist.

    I do not believe it is appropriate to adjust assistance to reflect the fact that a health/economic condition was a result of an individual’s own actions/inaction/life choices. That looks like an opportunity to create even more government bureaucracy.

    The only way to reduce federal government involvement in health care, education, housing, etc. is to either call an Article V convention and specify it is not in the enumerated powers or elect “far right” weenies who would embark on reversing nearly 100 years of federal government intervention in our daily lives. The challenge is that most of us would not agree with “far right” weenies on what aspects of federal government involvement should be scaled back. Instead of either of those two options, perhaps it is sufficiently adequate if we stop, STOP the federal government from taking new actions – no mas, no more! I am open for suggestions on how to accomplish that!

    Fiscal prudence will only happen if we force state balance budget concepts on the federal government, and take away from Congress their ability to buy votes. Where do I sign up?

    Define “essential” functions of government. Let’s start by scaling back federal government capability to the enumerated powers – as identified in the constitution. Want more enumerated powers for the federal government, amend the constitution! See which of today’s federal government initiatives will win the affirmative votes in 38 states!

    I don’t believe we want the federal government “solving problems” – whether aimed at the root cause or the symptoms.

    No, there is a lot of “free:” stuff – from the perspective of the recipient of federal government largess, and rent seeking.

    No, strong economic growth is always accompanied by increases in income and wealth inequality – so, no, strong growth will not benefit ALL Americans – because too many Americans measure their own situation based on comparisons with others. It ain’t fair! It just ain’t fair that Bill Gates should have tens of billions – all he ever accomplished is that one, simple thing …

    When you say “we” have lost any sense of individual responsibility and accountability, I believe “we” have been taught that others are to blame for our own failures. I don’t think there is any hope to get people to stop teaching such concepts or to admitting they were wrong. So, you want individual responsibility and accountability? Let people succeed or fail based on their individual efforts, without federal government bailouts… 100+ years ago, that was America.

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    • I’m afraid the people of a hundred years ago or even fifty and their view on life and responsibility are long gone. That decline began in the sixties and went straight downhill. Try raising the issue why women with substantial incomes should have “free” contraceptives and see what happens.

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      • JFK Jan. 1961:
        My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
        Today:
        My fellow Americans, what can you do for me? I am entitled to government largess because I am a victim of the 1%.
        The ideological battle is obviously being won by the politics of self interest.

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  3. I like your list.

    I would have to add to my list that I am a supporter of capitalism, that is if you work hard you should be rewarded. The government should encourage risks and help support those risks in order to expand the economy but currently the government just throws money at a problem without a plan. Furthermore, if you take risks you should be rewarded. If you fail, you fail and should not be bailed out. I do not believe that the government is entitled to redistribute your wealth from the work and risks that you took.

    At the same time I believe that the government has a duty to to protect its people from those taking all the risk at any cost. Reasonable environmental regulation is something that I could support as one example. I happen to like drinking clean water. I am old enough to know about oil slicks on the Delaware River and what an active Superfund site is.

    I believe that my two additional beliefs can meet in the middle somewhere but our current parties make you believe you have to be either left or right and that there is no middle.

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  4. I think this is a fair list that takes us out of the realm of semantics and is a voice of reason amongst so much name-calling. Here in the U.K. we have a political party named as the Conservative party where their main distinction from the opposite Labour Party was one of how the economy should be run; ie with minimum state intervention and via market forces. Nowadays though each brands the other as extreme right or left and the name calling begins!

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