In our “Religious Generosity” post of a few days ago, we posited a philosophical difference between conservatives and liberals that we believe persists in this election.
Namely, we see conservatives, with their focus on individual giving, contrasting sharply with liberals who want to institutionalize every native, generous impulse. Then, they create confiscatory tax policy that unfairly taxes the rich simply because they’re rich.
This they do to fund their behemoth federal bureaucracies and programs–bureaucracies and programs which too often fit the old maxim about the cure being worse than the disease.
We wrote about one example of this a few weeks ago.
And we know we’re a little late to the game with this example, but Barack Obama’s speech to the graduates at Wesleyan perfectly exemplifies the difference in worldview between conservatives and liberals. To wit:
But during my first two years of college, perhaps because the values my mother had taught me â€”hard work, honesty, empathy â€” had resurfaced after a long hibernation.
. . .
I wrote letters to every organization in the country I could think of. And one day, a small group of churches on the South Side of Chicago offered me a job to come work as a community organizer in neighborhoods that had been devastated by steel plant closings. My mother and grandparents wanted me to go to law school. My friends were applying to jobs on Wall Street. Meanwhile, this organization offered me $12,000 a year plus $2,000 for an old, beat-up car.
And I said yes.
Wow. Blatant self congratulation aside, other observers have noted that $14k/year was pretty average for college grads in the early 80’s–not the pittance it seems today. And last year, he and Michelle took in $4.2 million–less than the Clintons, but far more than most Americans.
In all his talk of service to country and the world, you might expect to find a graph or even a throwaway sentence acknowledging service in the military.
You’re going to be disappointed. There’s nothing–not a word.
Certainly public service is important and admirable, but it is the dynamism of capitalism and the American economy–all those selfish people working their selfish jobs to give their families a better life–that make it possible for America to do anything remotely philanthropic anywhere. And obviously military service plays a large role here. Without a strong military and economy, we would have zero influence and power to “do good.” Obama’s view of America is one in which people in the Peace Corps are the only ones with souls and the rest of us are just out there to get ours.
The modern secular liberal knows that he is not only morally superior to conservatives; he is morally superior to virtually everyone who ever lived before him.
Utopia? Yes We Can!
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