[politics] Your thought for the day

You can analyze much of American politics and policy, not just healthcare, by keeping in mind that the guiding principle of virtually all conservatives as well as many others is the dread fear that someone, somewhere, might be enjoying an undeserved benefit at their expense.

10 thoughts on “[politics] Your thought for the day

  1. Jay, you could just as easily flip that one over.

    Say, that the guiding principle of virtually all liberals is the dread fear that someone, somewhere, has a better life than someone else — and that it’s the role of the government to redistribute, regardless of whether or not anyone on the taking end of that redistribution has actually done any work for that they’re getting.

    1. Jay says:

      Actually, I’d say the hope that everyone, everywhere can have a better life than they do now — and it’s the role of government to help people who can’t yet help themselves, to the benefit of everyone including those paying for the help.

    2. Jay says:

      And to be slightly more serious about my deliberately snarky observation, I blame American Calvinism for whatever underlying truth there is in it. The idea of “deserving” is embedded in both my sarcasm and yours, and in a larger social sense, I really don’t think that should be the issue.

  2. Sounds awesome on paper, Jay. Alas, what looks awesome on paper doesn’t always pan out the way it should.

    1. Jay says:

      Which is no reason not to try. I mean, we tried party line conservativism from 2000-2008. Look what it got us. It would be nice to try party line liberalism. Sadly, that wouldn’t be coming from the Democrats…

  3. Meran says:

    But that’s no reason NOT to try betterment of everyone anyway..

  4. I’m with Amanda Marcotte in that what unites both Social and Economic conservatives is the deep-seated fear that somehow, somewhere, someone is experiencing a pleasure reserved only for them that deserve it. And the notion that “dessert” (in the legal sense here) hasn’t evolved at all with the economic uplift we have experienced in the past century.

  5. Jay, I know more than a few small-c conservatives who would greatly argue against the idea that the events of 2000-2008 had anything at all to do with true conservativism, versus the so-called “neo” version, which incorporated many policies and ideas antithetical to more common-sensical version.

    I tend to agree with Jerry Pournelle. Any kind of “conservativism” that isn’t founded largely on the concept of shrinking government and reducing the tax burden on the American people, is not really ‘conservative’ at all. So, in this sense, 2000-2008 was definitely not conservativism — as I see it — though I also understand why liberals of the small-l and Large-L variety could care less about nuance, when discussing the Bush administration.

    Which, of course, begs the question: are Republicans really conservative, or has Republicanism become its own entity, with conservativism gradually being kicked to the curb?

    1. Jay says:

      In this, we probably have substantial agreement. But now we’re down to labelling…

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