Real difference not understood
Published 9:36 am Tuesday, April 1, 2003
Living humanity so often has a way of attaching personal definitions to given situations which so often really have little relationship to the true subject. Then so often if there is any chance of attaching an ugly or even distasteful smell, then if by chance politics should be involved, then ugliness seems to prevail.
Old Joe's definition of liberal and conservative might veer a great distance from the actual truth, but old Joe is a stubborn being and the wild definition suits his attitude toward life just fine. So he sticks to his own cornfield definition.
An example we saw once said that it was determined that in a given area there were some 25 families suffering from hunger and a move was afoot to feed them. The liberals would say "feed them immediately regardless of cost." The conservatives would say "another day or two will hardly hurt; let us investigate thoroughly, determine the level of hunger existing and determine the cost before offering relief." So let it be admitted that in government liberals usually will spend more than conservatives and often the liberals will offer new programs which conservatives generally oppose. Such was the case years ago when the so-called liberals proposed a Social Security system here in the United States. The conservatives opposed. But in the days when Franklin D. Roosevelt made many groups to attack this or that, all liberally conceived, the courts would not agree. They were difficult days and the Great Depression was making life uncomfortable in many respects.
Neither liberal nor conservative is a dirty word. In American politics, both words as applied to government and politics have both good and doubtful meanings, determined by the attitude of him or her who is doing the talking. So to learn one's personal definition of either word, it must be said that in general liberals in government say "do it now," while conservatives might say "don't fix it unless it's broke."
So everyday citizens of America need to realize that to classify all Democrats as liberals and all Republicans as conservatives is totally wrong and basically unfair.
Democracy gets much of its strength from the daily outpouring of positions and opinions as expressed by our elected officials, Democrats and Republicans alike, liberals and conservatives alike. The U.S. Congress in arguing any legislative matter adds a bit to the strength and greatness of democracy. So often the message comes from elected human beings who do not parade as partisans but only as Americans.
We are not worried about the future of America or the future of either major political party. Let us still feed the hungry and let those in power know and feel the full support of those who elected them.
This America of ours is a great nation. When people offer bitter criticism, we too want to say "if you don't like it here, be gone."
Without reservation, we like it here.