Liberals: Scrooge or Santa?
Christmas is a time of giving -- a time when even those folks who aren't really well-off make an effort to help others. The question is, who in our society is really charitable?
There's a beggar on the sidewalk getting donations. Suddenly, one pedestrian pulls out a gun and tells everyone in sight to give money to the beggar. Once that's done, the man with the gun congratulates himself on his charity. In this case the pedestrians who voluntarily gave what was theirs were charitable. The gunman was not -- it wasn't his money that was going to the beggar -- nor were those who he forced to contribute for they had no choice.
That's modern liberalism. We know that conservatives, especially religious ones, give more of their own hard-earned money to charity than do liberals. Yet liberals constantly declare how much they care for the poor and how little conservatives care about anyone but themselves.
It doesn't seem to register with liberals that charity is giving what is yours, not forcing others to give what is theirs. Demanding that taxes be raised on other people is simply not charitable. Liberals are apparently people who want to be philanthropic with other people's money.
Do liberals think the government is more efficient than private charities? It would seem odd that liberals believe that some parts of government are horribly inefficient -- think the DoD -- while other parts are more efficient than private charities. If we just took the money the government spends on the "poor" and gave it to them, rather than laundering it through the government, each "poor" family would get $60,000 a year. Given that the average poor family is not living as though its members had $60,000 a year, it's clear that the government wastes more than any good charity that spends less than 15% on overhead.
If private charities are better at helping the poor, why aren't liberals calling for an increase in giving by Americans? Why are they talking about removing the tax deductions for charitable contributions?
The answer is simple; liberals don't care about the poor. Rather, liberals care about how they can use the poor to increase liberal power.
If liberals really cared about the poor, they'd be giving their own money to help them. What liberals really like is the power that comes from all that money going through the federal government. Those who depend on the government will vote for whomever they think will ensure that the money, or the free phone as the case may be, keeps flowing to them. Obama wouldn't have been re-elected if the people who live on welfare and those who don't pay any taxes couldn't vote for him.
Another way to see that liberals don't really care about the poor is the liberal silence on the impacts of welfare on the poor. Black families were more intact than white families until the "Great Society" induced black teens to have illegitimate kids; each child meant more money for the mother, but only if she wasn't married. Additionally, truly caring about the poor means trying to get them jobs so they can have self-respect, not keeping them dependent on the government. But all liberal policies work to increase dependency while doing little to actually help the poor be all they can be. That's why liberals aren't up in arms about the horrendous quality of education in big-city public schools.
The liberal way to help the poor is merely a thinly disguised technique to empower liberals by creating a dependent class. But being able to give away other people's money gives liberals a huge edge in the fight for America's future. What can conservatives do to derail the liberals' train to economic disaster?
Compassionate conservatism was rightly mocked because it tended to be compassionate in the same way liberals are: raising taxes on other people and using big government to help the poor.
Obama won, in part, because people think he cares about them. But Obama, like other liberals, doesn't really care about the poor so much as he uses them to impose his vision of America on all Americans. If there is any hope of turning this country around it is essential that conservatives get the truth out; conservatism helps people more than liberalism does, and conservatives care more for the truly needy than do liberals.
Conservatives have to win the hearts and minds of Americans by telling the truth: it's conservatives who really care for the poor, and it's conservatives who want every American to be able to live the American dream.
The conservative solution to poverty is to use crowd-sourcing -- that is, thousands of local charities that can treat each poor person as an individual, with the government as a back-up to ensure that no one starves. By letting Americans keep more of what they earn, conservatives empower the greatest source of charity in America: Americans. Instead of championing a massive federal bureaucracy which cares for the poor as much as the IRS cares for taxpayers, conservatives want to move charity to the grassroots level, where each person can be treated individually as best suits his particular circumstances.
Clearly, it will take time to achieve the conservative vision, but right now we must seek to convince the members of the Obama coalition that it's the conservative vision that will be best for them and their children.
The allure of free cell phones and food stamps is hard to beat, but the simple reality is that the free ride can last only so long, and it will never give people the lifestyle they really want. Welfare will never let anyone live the American dream. Eventually, every welfare state ends up like Greece, with massive suffering for everyone.
Conservatives have to drive home to every American what the long-term consequences of the liberal policies are. Sure, a lot of people will pick a free cell phone today, even if they know that it will mean they'll be dumpster-diving in 20 years, but a lot of the new Obama poor, driven into dependency by the Obama economy, want back the life they had and will be receptive to approaches that will give them hope for more than tuna fish and a monthly government check.
Conservatives have to counteract the constant liberal mantra that says liberals care, and conservatives don't. We need to highlight the huge charitable efforts of the private sector and compare the success stories of private charities to the Cabrini Green failures of government welfare. We need to get the Obama coalition members to ask liberals, "If you care for us so much, why don't you do anything personally to help us?" We need to get the message out that even moderates like Romney donate their own time to help those in need, while liberals like Obama always outsource their "charity." We need to show the rot at the core of liberalism: the desire for power not the love of neighbor that resides in most Americans.
For more of Tom's rants, see http://obvioustalk.blogspot.com.