Liberals and Liberalism

Posted: March 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

A respected South Carolina GOP strategist and marketer is taking on an admirable and humbling journey into oneself this year. He recently posted this blog update.

Having read it, I find some of its assumptions to be alarmingly indicative of some of the main things I disapprove of and fight against as someone who strives to push people to educate themselves before forming beliefs. His essay does offer one good theme: don’t choose sides just to choose sides; don’t sell your vote without knowing what you’re voting for first. But at root in what follows is the problematic assumption that conservativism allows people to be different while liberals push people to be the same. I’ve posted my reaction to this flawed argument below.

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There’s a difference between being a liberal and liberalism. I’d like to think conservatives believe in liberalism as well. A student of history will note that liberalism dates back to the times of John Locke and also serves as the platform for what the US stands for in the world: constitutionalism, democracy, free and fair elections, human rights, capitalism, and the free exercise of religion.

Whether you lean to the left or the right of the American political mold is actually a privilege of the system we’ve created. The author edges on wrong about robot-ism, if you will. Political history has shown that the ideological divide in our country is widening – not shortening. Sure there are yellow-dog D’s and straight-ticket R’s voting party line; but the American ideological strata is growing by decade. Hence the tea party and occupy movements; green party and libertarianism. This is evidence of people straying against their party’s platform.

Indeed, just as the author un-categorized himself as a straight-ticket R voter, there are Democrats who do the same. It’s unfair to presume anything different. So I do join you in not being a robot – but so do many others. I won’t get into the extreme skewing of what being a liberal means (the author perceives it as akin to Communism somehow; ahem, indeed, our very governmental structure and economy prevents that). However, perhaps there exists the potential that Dems think people are born at different starting points or with major disadvantages (e.g. socioeconomic factors or disabilities) and so they promote entitlements to help people who don’t stand on the same ground that you (the author) were born on and walk upon to date. Your assumption that all are created equal is how you are able to espouse that people should “be different.” Maybe, just maybe, they want the opportunities you’ve had, friend.

Whichever reality you see, what we can both agree on, regardless of ideological differences, is having faith that the possibility for parties to represent beliefs exists. A look into other “liberal” nations (in the socio-economic sense of the term) will show that multi-party systems better deter the robotism you’ve noticed (see the UK or Germany), and you’re starting to see that form in the US, at least symbolically and ideologically with the above mentioned ‘new’ movements like the tea party.

Cheers, and thanks for the opportunity to comment,
BW

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Comments
  1. contributor says:

    Great reply. I appreciate you writing it.

    I’m going to reply in full on my blog tomorrow, so be on the look out. For now I want to ask that you not let the bow tie fool you. I wasn’t born with a good starting point or advantage. I was raised on every single government handout possibly attained. Trust me, no one wants the “opportunities” I had. And that’s exactly why I am a conservative.

    More tomorrow. =)

    Wesley

    • BGWsolutions says:

      Thanks Wesley! You’re right, I shouldn’t have assumed that so my apologies. I will say – and I mean this as a compliment – you do seem to be doing very well for yourself now, so that’s more where my assumption came from. We’ll look forward to your blog and Tweet on it. Thanks for the support.

  2. hardrock45 says:

    Thanks for following my blog. Your interest is appreciated.

  3. […] week blogger Benton Wislinki provided a thoughtful response to my blog post “Join me in not being robot,” stating: However, perhaps there exists the […]

    • BGWsolutions says:

      Awesome! Thanks for the feedback. My response to Wesley’s recent post is below!
      ———————————————————————-

      Thanks for sharing and, wow, what an incredible story! Friend, I’ll tell you this much: I meant no offense by the presumption of your not having humble beginnings. Boy I could not have been more wrong! And I’m one to step up to the heat when I am, so apologies.

      With that being said (and in the good spirit of this debate), I still disagree with your viewpoint on the matter. Any reader that reads back to the premise and point of my piece and retort should note that I agree with Wesley — people do have, and rightfully should have, many differences. Differences to be celebrated. And as such, a liberal ideal is to help those who are different, who do, as I correctly noted (ahem, only on the latter assumption) that they don’t walk on the same ground that you do NOW. And that is what a good Democrat (not all, by any stretch of the imagination) should be after: providing opportunities for folks without the same resources or environmental ‘helping’ factors as others.

      I will humbly submit that it appears these very government programs you insinuate may be a liberal agenda to “make people the same” are indeed the very programs that helped to lift you out of the dire straights that you described in this poignant post. Indeed, they helped and did you well man! So, too, should they be employed to help those others in need to get to the places where you have gone, been, and will see in the future. I’d like to think yours truly from a divorced family once living in the back end of Rosewood but with strong parents and strong public support (programs and services) might too be running my own successful business full time — one that enables me to be sipping coffee and blogging in Greenwich Village myself.

      Public programs are essential to the foundation of our country in providing support to those in need. I disagree that liberals are trying to homogenize America by endorsing them. And I support your story and your advances. Thanks again for the ongoing discussion. Respectfully.

      BW

  4. […] Last week I was stereotyped as a country club Republican and by now you know that’s not true. I am a Republican because I was born poor. I’ve seen how government should work and how it shouldn’t. […]

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