By Mike Cronin
There is a piece making the rounds on Facebook, supposedly authored by Ron Howard, that gives a rundown of the liberal platform. I’ve pasted it below, with my own critiques and comments added in bold text.
Ron Howard Right off the bat we’re subjected to the celebrity fallacy: If a liberal celebrity, like “Mr. Motherhood-and-apple-pie” Opie Taylor/Richie Cunningham himself says it, it must be correct, no? Well, Ron Howard didn’t write this. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/ron-howard-i-am-liberal-essay/
January 24 at 5:41 AM
I’m a liberal, but that doesn’t mean what a lot of you apparently think it does. After reading the post: Yes, it actually does.
Let’s break it down, shall we? Because quite frankly, I’m getting a little tired of being told what I believe and what I stand for. Spoiler alert: not every liberal is the same, though the majority of liberals I know think along roughly these same lines: Yep. We know.
- I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. PERIOD. You might get me to go along if you could narrow that down. 10% or 15% of the population might reasonably be called “the weakest members.” 50% or 60% is ludicrous! https://taxfoundation.org/60-percent-households-now-receive-more-transfer-income-they-pay-taxes/
- I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. It’s neither. Healthcare is a SERVICE, which is offered by businesses employing highly educated and trained professionals. Somehow that’s interpreted as “I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all.” No, Obamacare was/is interpreted by “liberals” as “taking care of ___” when in actual fact it is the government issuing commands to the healthcare industry. That is fascist by definition. This is not the case. I’m fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it’s impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes “let people die because they can’t afford healthcare” a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. Then unshackle it completely from government intervention. You can’t make anything cheaper by adding government bureaucracy to it! And no, I’m not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen. We don’t care what you are willing to pay for; we object mightily that you use the coercive power of government to make everyone else do the same to assuage your conscience.
- I believe education should be affordable. It doesn’t necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I’m mystified as to why it can’t work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt. College was more affordable before liberals got it into their heads that everyone has to have a degree and a government grant or loan to pay for it. Colleges keep raising the price of education because liberals keep rewarding them with more money when they do! And college students are adults with other options. If they choose to saddle themselves with student loan debt, then they should be required to complete the life lesson in personal responsibility and pay back the loan!
- I don’t believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don’t want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I have met two families where the adults don’t work at all, or work below their potential, in order to keep Uncle Sugar sending the benies their way. One was doing it so their kid could keep qualifying for a Pell Grant to pay for college (see #3). I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. Abject poverty has been our natural state since we descended from the trees. In every society and every form of government a few get extremely rich and/or powerful. The best feature of capitalism, which is what we are SUPPOSED to have here, is that it makes it possible for anyone to create wealth, and competition in the free market makes prices of goods and services drop low enough for even poor people to afford the necessities (as long as they choose not to squander what they do have). Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist. No, what makes you a statist (whether communist, socialist, or fascist doesn’t matter) is feeling that achieving the goals of fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, and affordable education requires government intervention and massive wealth “redistribution,” even as you ignore the fact that you can’t make anything cheaper by adding massive government bureaucracy to it. You also evade the fact that the only place wealth is “distributed” is in graphs from economists, because in the real-world there’s no magic wealth distribution fairy. Wealth is created, and it belongs to those who create it. One other thing: What is a fair share? The only answer liberals ever seem to have to that question is: More.
- I don’t throw around “I’m willing to pay higher taxes” lightly. If I’m suggesting something that involves paying more, well, it’s because I’m fine with paying my share as long as it’s actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare. Virtue signal received. Don’t think you can compel the rest of us to do the same.
- I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. No, it simply reveals that you don’t understand economics, rights, how business works, or the effects of government intrusion into the market. Like any other thing a business has to pay for, labor is a cost. When business has to pay more for labor than it is worth because the government compels them to, they must buy less labor, or produce less product/service, or raise prices to compensate – or go out of business. Any way you slice it, that means fewer jobs and/or lower pay, increasing the number of people who need the benefits you so “generously” want the government to compel everyone else to pay for! What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion-dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn’t have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends meet, and minimum wage should be enough for someone to work 40 hours and live. How about instead of commanding businesses to pay minimum wages or “livable” wages, we encourage people to not adopt lifestyles that exceed their means?
- I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOT illegal; *compulsory* prayer in school is – and should be – illegal). All I ask is that Christians recognize *my* right to live according to *my* beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I’m not “offended by Christianity” — I’m offended that you’re trying to force me to live by your religion’s rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia law on you? That’s how I feel about Christians trying to impose biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don’t force it on me or mine. Agreed!
- I don’t believe LGBT people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the *same* rights as you. Agreed. But consider: the battle for gay marriage wasn’t about rights, it was about permissions. The battle should not have been for the “right” (aka permission) to marry, it should have been to bar the state from having any say in the domestic partnerships between competent, consenting adults, except as regards fraud and contract enforcement.
- I don’t believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN’T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they’re supposed to be abusing, and if they’re “stealing” your job it’s because your employer is hiring illegally). I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc). Perhaps you feel this way, and we aren’t far off. However, your political masters want easy immigration and illegal immigration for another reason entirely: to turn red states blue.
- I don’t believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It’s not that I want the government’s hands in everything — I just don’t trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices/etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they’re harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation. The Constitution made law-making the purview of Congress. We need laws to prohibit/prosecute fraud, endangerment/wrongful death, and enforce contracts. The Constitution doesn’t give unaccountable bureaucrats authority to create regulations that carry the force of law – and that vastly over-complicate modern economic life.
- I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I can’t get over an election, but because I’ve spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past. Guess what? Both parties have saddled our once capitalist republic, ostensibly under the rule of law, with fascism, socialism, and communism. We now have a mixed economy under the rule of influence.
- I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege — white, straight, male, economic, etc. — need to start listening, even if you don’t like what you’re hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that’s causing people to be marginalized. I think you’ve been listening to too many race-baiters and intersectionality theorists. On the whole, things have been getting better, not worse. Yes, racism and misogyny still exist. But we ended slavery, then we ended segregation, and now we have a society where non-white/non-males have reached or can reach the pinnacle in virtually every high office and field of achievement, including CEO, Astronaut, Doctor, Professor, Special Operations, Cabinet Secretary, or even President of the United States.
- I am not interested in coming after your blessed guns, nor is anyone serving in government. Wrong. You are utterly misinformed:
- “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.” Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke
- “I don’t believe people should be able to own guns.” President Barack Obama, during conversation with economist and author John Lott Jr. at the University of Chicago Law School in the 1990s
- “If I could have gotten…an outright ban – ‘Mr. and Mrs. America turn in your guns’ – I would have!” Senator Diane Feinstein, author of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban
- “Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of all Americans to feel safe.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein
- “When we got organized as a country, [and] wrote a fairly radical Constitution, with a radical Bill of Rights, giving radical amounts of freedom to Americans, it was assumed that Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly…When personal freedom is being abused, you have to move to limit it.” Bill Clinton
- “If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government’s ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees.” President Bill Clinton, August 12, 1993
What I am interested in is the enforcement of present laws and enacting new, common sense gun regulations. Got another opinion? Put it on your page, not mine. Where is the “common sense” in proscribing the rights of every American in order to make the already-illegal even more “illegal-er?”
- I believe in so-called political correctness. I prefer to think it’s social politeness. If I call you Chuck and you say you prefer to be called Charles I’ll call you Charles. It’s the polite thing to do. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you’re using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person? I don’t go out of my way to hurt others. Neither will I be shoved out of my path because someone who is desperate to earn victim sympathy points actively seeks to be offended by something I am, say, or do – or because facts are inconvenient.
“Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict codes and rigid rules. I’m not sure that’s the way to fight discrimination. I’m not sure silencing people or forcing them to alter their speech is the best method for solving problems that go much deeper than speech.” ― George Carlin,
- I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else. “I believe in funding” = “I believe the government should make you pay for__.” One of those huge “windfarm” windmills costs more to make and maintain than the value of the electricity it will produce in its lifetime. That is not sustainable. Solar only makes sense in sunny places. Sustainable, but not widely available. Nuclear fission is the only viable sustainable option with current tech, but the waste and supposed danger terrifies greenies. We need fusion.
- I believe that women should not be treated as a separate class of human. Agreed. They should be paid the same as men who do the same work Individually, they are. As a group, they don’t choose to do the same work. should have the same rights as men and should be free from abuse. Agreed. Why on earth shouldn’t they be? Then why on earth would you not want them to be able to carry a gun, or vote for politicians who don’t?
I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I’m a liberal because I think we should take care of each other. No, you’re a liberal because you FEEL so strongly that “we” should “take care of each other,” that you use the government to compel others to “care” the same way you do WITHOUT doing the required CRITICAL THINKING. That doesn’t mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don’t believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved. What if some of that preventable suffering has nothing to do with who has a given amount of money, but instead is an outcome that will always be with us because some individuals make choices that lead them to suffer?
Copy & paste if you want.