Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Conservatives vs. Liberals

Michael Medved's latest article takes on this ancient conundrum. Liberals he says reflexively blame society for society's failures. If someone falls behind, it is proof that society is unfair. He then explains the conservative position.
Conservatives and libertarians, on the other hand, view success or failure as the inevitable consequence of different levels of talent, hard work and productivity. While acknowledging that a few lucky slackers may be born into fortunate circumstances that they never earned, or that some virtuous and gifted individuals can suffer reverses or tragedies that they don’t deserve, right wingers believe that worldly advancement (particularly in the USA) comes for the most part from focus, toil and smart choices. They therefore resent government redistribution programs for taking hard-earned wealth from the people who deserve it most and giving it to those who merit it least.
Weak. If I were to write a parody of the Republican/Conservative point of view just to make fun of it I might come up with something like this.

The truth is that, as a liberal, I don't believe that all inequalities are the fault of society; in some cases people are just lazy or make bad choices. In other cases, there are systematic problems that can be addressed. So rather than believing that all problems are caused by society (as Medved believes that I believe) or believing that all (or nearly all) problems are caused by the individual (as Medved believes), I believe that some problems are caused by the individual, but there are some systematic weaknesses that can be cleaned up.

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