Quote of the Day:
Clarity is conservatives' best friend. If most Americans were clear about the differences between Left and Right, they would not vote Democrat in nearly the numbers they do. The Left understands this, which is why most left-wing rhetoric is dismissive of conservatives' character — "sexist," "intolerant," "bigoted," "hateful," "xenophobic," "racist," "Islamophobic," "homophobic" — rather than conservatives' positions. By focusing on conservatives as people and characterizing them as bad, the Left successfully deflects attention from its positions.
So that's why they smear us? Our ideas are better. It's an intriguing proposition.
In his article on clarity and conservatism, Prager argues that the defining difference between the left and right is how each sides understands the role of the state or government.
The left believes that the state should be society's most powerful force, affecting the way we educate children, obtain our health care, etc. The left believes that government should have a sort of supervisory power over most aspects of our lives. The right, on the other hand, believes that government should do only those things (national defense, for example) that individuals or groups in society can't do.
Prager lists seven logical outcomes of the big government position that, if presented with clarity, he belioeves should be enough to make people realize the folly of the left's love of government. I have selected three of his list but urge you to read the whole thing:
Number Four: Taxes are constantly increased in order to pay for ever-expanding government. But at a given level of taxation, the society's wealth producers will stop working, work less, hire fewer people or move their businesses out of the state or out of the country.
Number Five: The big state inevitably produces large deficits and ever-increasing — and ultimately unsustainable — debt (national, state and city). This is only logical. The more the state hands out money — to state employees as salaries and pensions; to government agencies (education, environment, energy, transportation and myriad others); and to individual citizens (monthly cash welfare grants, rent subsidies, health care, unemployment benefits, education, college loans, meals, food stamps, etc.) — the more the government employees and agencies, and the citizens who receive government aid, will demand. None of them has ever said, "No more, thank you. I have enough."
Greece's unpayable debt is only the beginning. Unless big governments get smaller, they all eventually will collapse of their own weight — with terrible consequences socially, as well as economically.
Number Seven: Finally, the moral impact of big government on its citizens is awful. Not only do people stop taking care of others — after all, they know the government will do that — but they stop taking care of themselves, as well. And the more people come to rely on government the more they develop a sense of entitlement, which then leads to a nation of ingrates.
Although Prager's hypothesis that we nearly need to clarify these matters is hopeful, I am not sure I agree. If given a choice between an immediate government benefit and nothing, how many people would reject the benefit, even if they know that ultimately too many government programs develop a harmful dependency?
Still, it's worth a try and I don't know what we can do besides making our points and hoping that, if we clarity, we will persuade.