This letter appeared in the latest “Inlander:” Titled Conservative Insult. “Mr. Reuter is politely insulting conservatives in his recent assertion (“Progressive Conservatism” 3/17/16) that, in doing what’s best for society, they ‘think the costs would be too expensive’ and ‘are abandoning the most challenging, immediate problems of our time.’
He rather well demonstrates the ease of tipping one’s hat to a straw man with his respectful tone, but his argument betrays the fact that he has never bothered to substantially digest any of the significant quotes by the great conservatives such as Milton Friedman or Margaret Thatcher. With any effort to truly understand the opposing view, he would see that conservatives do not believe that it is merely too hard for the government to solve society’s ills, but that when government seeks to do so by expanding its own power, even from the purest of intentions, it inevitably brings about more evil than good.
As soon as government gets involved, it is picking winners and losers. Lady Justice deliberately lifts the corner of her blindfold and tilts the proverbial scales. Multitudes of the able-bodied lay down their shovels at the offer of free bread, while the one who truly needs compassion slips through the cracks, and gets only a cold shoulder and an apology note from the computerized bureaucracy.
Is it really so crazy to believe that charity and welfare should be the domain of living, breathing affectionate, morally-convicted individuals, rather than the impersonal, perfunctory, often corrupt government? That is what conservatism is. If my taxes were not going to fund frivolous art projects around town, my tithe would be all the greater to go forth in support of my less fortunate neighbors,who I have been taught to love directly, and not through government ‘welfare.’
Actually J. Crow, your arguments are that of left wing anarchism, not of anything remotely having to do with “conservatism.” But I guess you figure the only way you can justify them at all, is by slapping an oxymoronic label on them. So I shall duly inform you of a few facts: first of all, government does not expand by itself. And second, it doesn’t become inherently corrupt by its own devices.
Republicans or GOP, but not “conservatives.” Republicans such as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, senior and Junior, all saw an expansion of government during their time in office. The winners and losers in each case,majority “rights” versus that of minorities, in order to systematically gut various civil rights laws. Republican governors in a number of states seeking to gut through the U.S. Supreme Court, voting rights acts. Further, to push religious intolerance against women’s rights, non-Christians, and those of the LGBT. the NRA as lobbyists over and above people desiring reasonable gun laws. Or for that matter, a pro-business agenda versus, the employed work force and the customers. Money as speech that furthers the corruption of government, through the “Citizen’s United” decision (Lady Justice deliberately lifting her blindfold, and tilting the scales). And how does it come to this? Because human beings who run the government, are more than happy to be less than morally-convicted, when money from lobbyists are waved under their noses. Government will expand at all levels, regardless of whether taxes are paid or not, because of assorted interest groups wanting to push their agendas through government. In short, the various factions we all know to exist, are not interested in solving society’s ills on their own. Instead, that is what they want government to do.
I can think of no greater insult to anyone than Crow’s declaring how “multitudes will lay down their shovels” because of an offer of free bread. No one is going to offer free bread, if the able-bodied are gainfully employed. But that’s the rub, isn’t it? People are not gainfully employed, and that is why they must depend upon “free bread.” Crow further asserts, that if his taxes did not have to go toward funding frivolous art projects… Then I shall also gather that he is too poor (from taxes) to tithe his church. A church incidentally, that ought to be extending charitable acts toward the less fortunate. Instead of using that money to build bigger and glitzier churches. Or putting the pastor in a private Lear Jet. Or providing the pastor with a fleet of limousines. Or building him a multi-million dollar mansion. Or using that money to fuel various GOP candidacies. So excuse me, J. Crow; one could write a book on every fallacy brought out by your argument. But this blogged sample will have to do, for now.