Thursday, October 9, 2003

A Conservative's View

db was on a rant tonight on the board about how conservatives were taking this country over the edge of a large abyss. A couple others chimed in and of course, agreed with him. Conservatives are evil, bad, uncaring people don't you know. This was my response...

Are your party’s motives (providing you support one) any better? I think Bush is showing that he wants to preserve our freedoms from those who would love to threaten them. We’ve seen what 8 years of a do-nothing president brought us with respect to those freedoms.

I know it’s not nice to keep bringing up Clinton here but you’re forcing me to make comparisons and so I will. Tell me something Clinton did to uphold the constitution? Is preserving the right for partial-birth abortions your idea of upholding the constitution? Are those the freedoms you’re worried about losing? Please tell me how your life has changed in the wake of the Patriot Act. What is it you could do before which you no longer can?

For that matter, tell me anything the previous administration did which you’re proud of. Don’t tell me he created a vibrant economy because there isn’t any basis for that claim. He inherited it from Bush1 and left Bush2 with just the opposite. Frankly, I’d rather have a president with the will to go against public sentiment at the risk of being voted out of office, a president who isn’t afraid to make tough choices rather than one who needs to rely on focus group polling before deciding where to vacation.

You come across as one who feels Republicans are to blame for all the world’s ills. Is that really the way you see it? Sure, there are some greedy, money-grubbing conservatives out there who would sell their mother for a nickel just as there are liberals with the same love for money. Warren Buffet is one of the wealthiest men in America, let alone the world but he’s a Democrat. Am I to assume that he’s a bad guy because he’s made money off the hard work of others? I don’t assume that about Mr. Buffet and neither should you about other hard-working, business owning, people employing Americans who may be of a conservative tilt.

Why does it have to be that if you’re for big-business you can’t also be for the little guy? I want the little guy to do well…it’s what makes this whole American dream fly. The problem is that we all want whatever it is we’re after for the cheapest rock bottom price we can get it for. That’s fine but we have to realize that the cheap goods we enjoy come at a price to the person who works to sell them to us or to the person working to produce them. Take away a climate which helps to create jobs and you’ve got an even worse situation where the little guy can’t find work let alone buy things from the evil businessman. Who benefits then? Certainly not the conservative entrepreneur who’s risking his capital to try and make a living. I think we can all agree that nobody is out to keep the little guy down.

I’ve been an Air Traffic Controller since the PATCO strike in the early ‘80s. Reagan had the nerve to fire the controllers when they went on strike. As a controller, we’re forbidden from striking. We take an oath that we will never strike when we take the job. The controllers' union felt they had the nation by the balls but Reagan didn’t back down. Firing the strikers was the right thing to. It took us years to rebuild the system at a huge expense. Fast forward to 1998. Clinton gives the okay to rehire the fired controllers even though some are in their late 60s and early 70s. We need new blood desperately in this field yet we’re wasting our resources training rehired controllers, many of which have no chance of recertifying simply because the traffic is much heavier than it used to be and they can’t keep up. Clinton already had the union vote so it’s beyond me why he allowed them back. Not only is it a waste of resources to try and retrain them but in most cases, the rehired controllers simply put in the minimum amount of time required for them to secure a government pension and then they’re gone. Good for America? I don’t think so. There are more troubling aspects to this whole story but I won’t bother with them here.

I understand this isn’t foreign policy or macroeconomics I’m talking about but it’s a small example of a larger problem; a problem which neither side can claim to be above. It’s politics.

Why are we in Iraq? I wish I could honestly say all our motives are good and right but I can’t with 100% certainty say they are. We’ve all seen in the past how our good intentions have left us with egg on our faces. I said early on in a post to this board that I absolutely believe it all comes down to oil. We had an unstable dictator sitting on top of the earth's second-largest oil deposit and like it or not, oil is the lifeblood of this world. His rape, torture, and slaughter of his people made it that much easier for us to remove him. I’m not sorry about that.

I get the feeling from your post that whatever side it is you’re invested in you feel they’re taking the higher ground. Bush may be rocking the boat in an effort to make America a safer place to live (yea, I really do believe that) but If not rocking the boat while it’s sinking is a better approach then please toss me a life vest because we’re going down either way.

Neither of us are evil, uncaring people, David. I hope for a better world for my daughter than the one we currently live in. I know we can do better. There are always two sides to every story and each of our sides is never without its shortcomings. I hope this helps.

Kevin g

No comments: