One day I looked up the definitions of liberal and conservative, to see what each believes. Amazingly, the definitions were identical – you could have switched them because they both said the same thing.
So why has the USA (United States of America) become the DSA (Divided States of America)? After all, we are all Americans, all citizens of this great democracy. So how come family members are literally unable to discuss their views without turning bright red in the face? We need to look at this because “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” There is enough strife in the world without bickering, fighting, and hating your own neighbors and kin. So let me take a shot at the question of why we have moved so far apart, by describing what I see as the perception of the two groups.
Conservatives are seen as the old guard.’ They believe that the old ways made us a superpower, and any change to that is threatening. Conservatives profited from years of U.S. success and growth, and continue to do so, but the perception of many is that, while these conservatives want to retain all their rights, privileges and profits, they don’t do much to offer those same advantages to the young, the poor, minorities and immigrants. Conservatives may be stereotyped as authority figures, but not seen by many as having earned the respect that would justify that authority.
Liberals are seen as accepting of everyone and their behavior. Certainly this acceptance is or should be a good thing, but it may include a deeper motive, which is to challenge and bring down all vestiges of ‘our parents’ generation, the establishment. So if parents favored church, then we disdain religion. If parents got married and started a family and raised their children, then gay marriage and transgenderism and free abortions are just as good. Drugs – legalize all of it. Immigration – just let everyone in (crimes and felonies, no problem). Welfare? Give it to anyone who asks. Money? The U.S. has a bottomless pit – besides, it is all coming from those rich conservatives, so if you don’t give everyone in the world, illegals and nations who hate us alike, $$ millions and billions, you are somehow selfish and petty. $20 trillion debt? Oh well …
How did I do? If you would add or change either definition, please reply. But the bottom line is – neither of the above stereotypes is accurate in a balanced way – they are both skewed toward the opposite poles, whereas the truth, the approach that will re-unite us, is the middle or moderate path. We must come together on the important issues and principles, looking for what we have in common instead of what we disagree on.
You ask “How could we do that when we are so divided?” To start with, we need to get our social issues (drugs, abortion, gay marriage, education, etc.) out of the hands of the federal government and deal with them locally (at the state level and below). Our Constitution clearly states this: “all powers not expressly given to the federal government shall be passed down to the states.” By eliminating these divisive and contentious social issues, we can proceed to:
1) get the intrusion, power-grabbing and drama out of national government and politics, and let us as people decide in our locale based on our beliefs and circumstances
2) Reduce federal government size to public-servant levels, and return the massive cost, waste and graft of the dysfunctional Washington machine to us to use as we see fit in all our communities
3) Eliminate the collusion, donations and bribery between government/politics and corporate/industry. To be clear – permanently sever all ties between the two.
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