By Mike Cronin
I have been accused of being a conservative. I am not, though I could more easily ally with conservatives than with liberals, and I find conservatism less objectionable than liberalism. Here is my take on the tenets of each movement.
Progressivism/Liberalism/Socialism: A corrupt philosophy that promises…what, exactly? A “more just, verdant, and peaceful world?” Some of its key tenets:
Greedy politicians can protect us from “selfish” business people.
Wealth is not created by productive effort; it is magically distributed unfairly and must therefore be redistributed until it reaches some undisclosed ratio to be determined by the (greedy) politicians mentioned above. Similarly, outcomes are not the products of input, but of luck. In order to achieve equality, those with better luck (i.e. more wealth/higher income) must give to those with worse luck until parity is achieved. The “fortunate” are to be penalized for productivity, while the “less fortunate” can, of course, be forgiven for certain criminal activities meant to register their displeasure or to make the transfer (as long as the greedy politicians gets their cut).
Group identity is more important than individual rights – so you can gain synthetic sympathy proportionate to the number aggrieved populations you can “identify” with. For example, if you’re merely female, or of a minority race, you are just a run-of-the-mill potential Progressive. On the other hand, can you identify as a minority, transgendered, homosexual, handicapped, low-income, single-parent, Muslim illegal-immigrant? Hallelujah! Mazel-tov! (But be careful – if you become too unique, then you’re an individual, a pity party of one, and therefore the enemy.)
Free speech only exists for the benefit of fellow Progressives – and includes the power to force everyone else to listen. Publicly-funded broadcast systems are built for this purpose.
The purpose of government is to shape society. The law must be interpreted to reflect the rule of the majority over the minority (especially the minority of one – the individual). To that end, public schooling exists to create a mass of people smart enough to operate machines, but not skilled enough in the arts of critical thinking to question their shepherds. School choice, charter schools, private schools, homeschooling, and merit-based teacher advancement threaten the agenda, so they are to be resisted. Since they do exist, we must spend more on public schools to counter their influence.
Reality is a collective illusion created in the minds of the masses, so morality is pliant and facts don’t matter. We’ll fund science that promotes our agenda, and quash science that does not. If we all wish for and work towards the same Shangri-La hard enough, evil and inequality will go away!
Conservatism is a movement that seeks to preserve (or restore) what it perceives to be the founding principles of the country. To that end, the actions of the conservative movement suggest the following Conservative tenets:
Conservative politicians are “right,” all other politicians are evil.
Wealth is created by productive effort. The most productive among us are “blessed.” The government will help them “give back.”
Individual rights are more important than group identity…unless we are talking about the right to do something immoral, like using illegal intoxicants or engaging in prostitution.
Some free speech that opposes conservative values can be tolerated, but only late at night, or behind a pay-wall, or in a walled-off part of the store, or in special zoning areas…while some publicly-funded places, such as schools and courthouses, are legitimate venues to promote Judeo-Christian values.
That the purpose of government is to shape society, and the law should promote Judeo-Christian morality, not just protect individual rights. To that end, schools must be allowed to promote religious concepts.
Reality was made by God, and the Lord works in mysterious ways. Science is the realm of Progressives/Liberals/Socialists – our political enemies, so it often contradicts Biblical truth and is mostly to be discounted…unless it can be used to refute our leftist colleagues.