The True Root

   I live not far outside of DC.  On the 12th, many citizens of a conservative slant came out to protest the state of things in all forms – from health-care to illegal immigration.  It was all there.  Much of it was pointed squarely at President Obama – fairly or not.  Lets be fair and not leave out Congress with their August approval rating of 31% .   Echhh. 

  The question I pose is this:  What is the one issue that is the core of this conservative movement?

   My answer:  In the end, it boils down to personal liberty in all forms.  This is manifested through minimal government involvement and taxation.  Reasonable people recognize that you can’t be completely free of government.  Things like public school, roads, unemployment insurance, emergency services, and the rule of law all help support our society even if we don’t need every aspect as often as others.  Most people grudingly pay their taxes and abide by the law.

   Government spending and oversight goes awry though, when a societal segment benefits without paying into said system and/or the benefits go too far at the cost of further taxation and rules.  Illegal immigration, the public option, rampant welfare; they all neatly fall into this classification.  Not only is this ‘more’ government, it is government that in essence provides for those who do not pay in alongside increased oversight and regulation.  While this is a rub of mine, its not the main one…  I personally believe that we do have a limited social contract to try and help the less fortunate.  My rub is with those who refuse to help themselves.   I believe in having equal opportunity, but NOT equal outcomes.   There are plenty of opportunities and programs to be had in this great country of ours.  However, I am under no illusion that I should provide for someone because they are too lazy to pull their own weight after society has done its fair share to help them, especially when there are so many opportunities for the disadvantaged if only they would take them.

    That then, becomes a double whammy to liberty.  Not only are some undeservedly taking the money out of my pocket,  government proposes further programs to ‘help out’  – those opportunities I just mentioned above, BUT these program  lack a stick to the promised carrot. 

    Actually, thinking about it, I get the stick instead.  A perfect example: a health-care fee for those who chose not to participate.  Even if you are young and healthy  and cannot afford or do not want health-care right now, it is now my responsibility to subsidize others.   I am chosing not to participate in the market.    That’s like charging an uninsured motorist’s fee to someone who choses to walk and not own a car. 

I can hear the retort now – “well what if you get hurt?”   My response is simple – I’ll sign an agreement that says I can ‘only’ get the same treatment as the lowest members of our society – the illegal immigrant.  

Sign me up.

P.S. – I got on this topic based on a question posted on Linked-In.  You can see my answer among others here:

http://www.linkedin.com/answers/government-non-profit/government-policy/GOV_GPO/547357-28148743?browseIdx=3&sik=1252960625639&goback=%2Eahp%2Each_GOV*4GPO

– G.S.

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