What would our country be like if everyone was working to make our democracy better, which is the premise on which the founding fathers based our constitution? The thrust a political operative is to win elections; that is as it should be. Because of the wide range of opinion, political parties are important; they condense diverse opinions into two or more general philosophies. In the United States, the labels for those philosophies are conservative and liberal. When looked at around the world the labels change but the two philosophies are the same. Actually, it has taken a long time for the philosophies to mature or ripen to where they are in different cultures around the world. Anthropologists tell us that 50,000 years ago the first humans left the “fertile crescent” and migrated to the sub Saharan Africa and migrated out of Africa to all continents. Culture involved from bestial sociability to the politics of today—from animal hierarchy dominance or “peck order” to sophisticated politics of today. The traits recognized as conservative and liberal resulted from that evolution.
Conservatism is a reflection of selfishness or greed, terms we shun because their pejorative connotation but in reality we could not have survived as individuals if we weren’t “conservative”. On the other hand, liberalism is an outgrowth of conservatism. Without helping one another, without the classic mother child relationship, without the family relationship, or without the group relationship, we could not have survived as a species. We grew from individuals without order to groups with order; we became the political animals we are today. Therefore, conservatives based their philosophy on attempting to maintain individualism: something the name reflects. It implies no government is the best government. I heard the New Jersey candidate for State Senator, +Steve Lonegan say essentially that on +Steve Kornacki’s show Up on MSNBC this morning. He used the terms ‘free market’ and ‘deregulation’ to express the idea.
What he is really saying is that he, and others in his party are saying is that “they want to destroy liberalism”, the idea of people helping people. If he and his party were in charge there would be no Social Security, there would be no Medicaid, there would be no food stamps, there would be no disaster relief, and there would be no taxes except to pay for a huge standing army. There certainly would be no Obamacare. Republicans turn their back on the fact that health care in a free market was unaffordable. They ignore the depression of 1939 and 97, the savings and loan crisis, the house mortgage scandal, to name just a few. They ignore the storm Sandy and Katrina. They point to high taxes and to National debt as evidence that democracy is not working, which is the evidence that it is working. One of the definitions of altruism includes the idea that it is easy to give if it doesn’t cost anything but is not really altruistic unless it hurts the giver. Of course, down through the history of man, we agree to pay taxes but so what if we complain bitterly about it, we do pay. Liberals see the benefits that conservative cannot see because they do not see themselves as benefiting; obviously, they do. Remember the flack from the Obama statement, “You did not build that by yourself”.
Democracy is a form of government in which everyone participates. The objective was to govern which requires organization. Within society, people had diverse opinions about many different issues: states rights, foreign policy, economic issues, regional issues, the correct way to govern, and a big list of other etceteras. Both political parties grew out of the masses thus had conservatives and liberals in both. However, it seems the slavery issue was the most divisive domestic issue and international isolationism was the most divisive international issue. Once people follow innate tendencies and align themselves up according to these two tracts, the result was the sharply divided party affiliation we have to day. Individuals within each group reinforce the feelings of others in their own group—for example, people who listen to FOX News soon treat closely held conservative beliefs, some would call them radical beliefs, are no longer treated as just beliefs but as established knowledge. Individuals need no government; they can take care of themselves. When they say government is bad and has to be destroyed, they are saying that democracy is bad and has to be destroyed, which is precisely what Steve Lonegan was saying this morning—which is ridiculous. Everybody needs somebody; it is our genes.
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