There is a fundamental misunderstanding between liberals and conservatives that has plagued this country and its politics for decades, and I don’t see it ending in the near future. To me the line is quite clear, and involves the way each group sees fit to build the best possible society. From a liberal perspective, caring about others who are disadvantaged and acting in ways that benefit those in need will create social and economic equality and a better standard of living for everyone. Conservatives, however, see things differently. Caring about oneself and achieving economic success will inspire others to work harder and build a life for themselves; caring for your own possessions and ignoring the plight of others will lead to prosperity. This week the House considered what has been called a “housing bailout bill,” and the reaction of conservatives illustrates their mindset perfectly.
New Jersey Congressman Scott Garrett characterized the bill as a handout to fiscally irresponsible Americans, objecting to the $300 billion dollar package for aiding citizens who didn’t make responsible financial decisions to the detriment of those who did. What he neglects to realize is that those people who didn’t make responsible decisions were led to their failures by predatory lending practices which require government attention. The system failed these people because it was run by money-hungry capitalist slimeballs more concerned with their own bank accounts than the lives of their fellow Americans. ((By which I mean Republicans.))
Hopefully with the coming election we’ll end this era of me-me-me politics and domestic policy and start talking about what we can do together for the good of all of us. That’s the only we’re going to make progress towards a fair, just, and equitable society.