Monday, June 02, 2008

Liberals vs. Conservatives

I just read a post at Sarah’s…and instead of bogging down her comments section, I decided to write a post of my own. Her post discussed a recent study where it pointed to feelings of entitlement for things that weren’t earned or deserved that were stronger among liberals than conservatives. It also said that liberals were more likely to lie (I think I understood that correctly.)

I disagree…I know there are people like that, but I also know there are conservatives that make me cringe with their sense of self-righteousness. Oh, and ug…there is someone running for Congress here in Alabama on the Republican ticket that makes me bugged eyed when I hear her radio campaigns: she claims that milk is $6 a gallon (she obviously doesn’t shop at Walmart where it is still just barely under $4) and that we should “demand” from the Kuwaitis and Saudis to give us cheaper gas. Huh? What? Why?

A few days ago I came home to find a flyer for her campaign attached to my front door knob and I was so bummed out that I wasn’t home to blast her campaigner with questions about Ms. Harri Anne Smith. I just read on her homepage that she was rated most conservative member of the senate…seriously, well if that is true, I am really scared, because if demanding cheaper oil is the most conservative stance (as opposed to, oh, I don't know, sucking it up and dealing with it, by perhaps looking into alternatives and letting the market direct us to less gas-guzzling cars and other fuels?) that really makes me worried.

I digress…I lived in Germany for a number of years, and many of my friends are liberals. (You can’t help it in Germany…it’s a national affliction). However, they shared the same morals as I did. It was basically a case of looking at something, and just seeing a different picture.

Just like in the optical illusion, both parties truly do see what they are seeing, and at the same time, it doesn’t negate what the other is seeing.

One of the most liberal people I know is my French host mother…and she has to be one of the most giving, morally upright people I know. She is all for nationalized healthcare, but is just extremely disappointed in people who abuse it. I can remember sitting at the dinner table one evening with her family. Her husband and her were both general practitioners doctors and he was on call that evening. The phone rang, and she went to answer it. When she came back her husband asked who it was: she replied that it was a patient complaining of an itch on their hand, a skin irritation, and that she had told him that was nothing he needed to be calling an on-call doctor about and he could wait to come into the office in the morning. Her husband almost about blew up and said: “oh, Anne, you have no sense of economics!” and immediately went to the phone, called the patient back and did a home visit. A doctor would get paid more by the government for going on a house visit, than waiting for the patient to come during normal hours…yet this was really a case where the patient could have waited until the next morning for treatment. So in this case it was the conservative doctor enabling the person to abuse the system, whereas the socialist doctor wanted to reprimand the patient.

Her husband Jean sadly passed away 2 years ago, but I was always amused by their relationship: he was the staunch conservative, and she was the socialist. I think one of the cutest things I can remember was when she was traveling on business for something, and couldn’t attend an important Amnesty International event: she was the leader of the local chapter. They were going to protest something by walking thru their city with poster signs. So Jean was volunteers by Anne to go protest in her place. And he DID! He came back and was telling us about how he and 6 others marched thru the city center chanting (he was really amused by the whole thing). And I just thought: wow, that is true love!

I digress.

Anne also volunteers for charity work in Africa, and spends 6 weeks there every year providing medical care for the needy. She is always very depressed when she comes back, because she says, that often she finds that these people lack any desire to lift themselves out of their situation. They just shrug and say it is God’s will.

Anne really truly believes in the good of people, and she is disappointed. When I look at her, I feel lazy. I sometimes think that it is easier to be a conservative, because it blames people for their situations and doesn’t give me the responsibility of having to change them. Anne even when faced with the disappointment of people who won’t, when given the chance, lift themselves by their own bootstraps, continues to fight the good fight and supports a more socialist agenda. She will not give up on believing in a more communal sense of living.

However, nevertheless, I still see a different picture than Anne. I do think that people need to take more responsibility for their situations, and not take pity on themselves. You can’t wait for others to change your life. I am a conservative through and through...but I don't think that liberals are necessarily liars...they are just way more optimistic than I am.

So, although I know there are quite a few liberals out there who fit the study, I know that it really isn’t the case.

Update: Okay, I want to repent right now too. I also always give back money when the cashiers hands me too much change, make sure that I get charged correctly for everything, etc...however 2 weeks ago, I think I "stole" from the commissary. And I kind of felt it was the better of two options: I was checking out and this was the first time I experienced "rush-hour" at the commissary. I had heard about it, but never before witnessed the cashier line that goes down the aisle.

I offloaded my purchases, which included a gallon of milk. When the cashier went to ring it up, there was no bar code on it. So she asked me how much it was. I said I didn’t know. She called someone to do a price check and continued checking out the rest of my items. She was completely done, and we waited for this person to do the price check. Finally someone calls her on her phone…I think, yes, okay…here is the price…nope, he was just asking what the price check was for. More waiting…now bear in mind, there is someone (in uniform) waiting behind me now, their things are on counter waiting to be rung up, it’s a Friday. *groan*…I am feeling majorly embarrassed to be causing this delay. Finally, this is like 2 minutes later (but it literally feels like 5)…a commissary employee comes jogging down the aisle and says: $1.78. And so she enters $1.78 into the registered and tallies up my total. And all I can think is: no freekin' way is a gallon of milk ONLY $1.78 (I am really sensitive to the price of milk…I drink a lot of it, and I know that it is around $4…I doubt that the commissary is much lower than Walmart). So I am thinking that the guy got the price for the half gallon of milk instead of the whole gallon. But at the moment, all I could think was: do I really want to say: um, I think you made a mistake, can we wait another 3 minutes for her to get someone else to go back and check the price of the gallon of milk and hold the line up longer? I also rationalized that the wait was costing the commissary something, and I was saving them money, by not insisting on a second price check. So, full-disclosure…I stole from the commissary.

Does anyone else have a story like this?


Blogger Nicole said...

The "idea" of nationalized healthcare that so many people seem to be enthralled with sort of sticks in my craw. I can understand the emotional part of the debate but what gets to me is that what many who argue for this believe they are going to get is so far from reality. A country (after taking what is it--upwards of 40%-50% in taxes) may be able to provide the most basic of services to the masses but then the waiting lists start for "non-emergency" procedures...and then where does that end? I guess we know how socialized medicine works in Germany and it never seemed like something I would want...AND we know how socialized medicine works in the Army (probably to a lesser degree than the european systems) and it's frustrating, to say the least. I used to laugh when I would hear people in Germany refer to the national healthcare as "free"...huh? When you're paying %40 of your wage to the government, it's coming at a huge price. Okay, enough of my rant. :)

12:27 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...


12:27 AM  
Blogger Guard Wife said...

I have a story like that. :)

I went to the bank & needed to deposit two small checks, plus keep out $10 for myself. I forget the exact $ amounts now, but basically, the lady deposited all of the checks' amounts and still gave me back $10. Once I looked at the receipt and the money envelope, I realized what had happened. I logged on to my account, e-mailed the bank & explained the situation for the specific transaction. I received an e-mail back basically telling me I was mistaken & not to worry--everyting was okay.

I didn't have the energy to argue & plus, I'd already spent the $10 10x's over...and, in my mind, I thought, "Well. I tried. And P.S., does it REALLY cost my bank $3 for me to take out my money from an ATM not owned by my bank??"

12:30 AM  
Blogger liberal army wife said...

thank you! I appreciate you taking the time to do this. That "Study" was such a pile of tripe. A thief is a thief. I'm a Democrat - and I would never knowingly steal, and I know some rock ribbed Republicans/conservative/Christians I wouldn't trust to tell me the truth unless it meant THEY would gain something. as for the commissary - they'll over charge you next time -guaranteed!


12:53 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

And my French host mother was a raging bitch who told me flat out she didn't want to live with an American but was stuck with me, and she charged me money to keep food in her refrigerator.

So you have an anecdote that doesn't fit the study. I have one that does.

Thus I have a question for you: Do you think that all the studies they quoted in this article are inacurate? I mean, these are people who are answering the questions about themselves. And if we assume that all human beings want to be seen in a good light, then all people are probably churching up their answers. But still the gulf between left and right exists.

Is there a difference between our anecdotes and the data from the studies?

1:54 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Or here, let me put it this way. I don't know any racists. None of my friends are racist. But just because I could write a blog post about how none of my friends are racist, doesn't mean that there's not racism out there. Right? And it doesn't negate the studies that have been done where, like, white resumes do better than black resumes, etc. My anecdotes don't outweigh the data from studies.

2:05 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

Sarah's putting a study up that boasts that liberals are dishonest people just makes me shake my head in shame for the average conservative.

I am not going to get into a lot of my opinions on this subject. I think it's a stupid argument. Typically conservative. Low blows and ridiculous surveys to make liberals seem like terrible, satanic people. Just reminds me of the preachers aruond my home that say liberals are not allowed to be Christian. Stupid arguments.

Its just as ridiculous as name calling, in my opinion. If we want to go there, I think liberals typically take the high road in many of these on line arguments. Just go through and read all these blogs! People say if you are a blue star liberal wife then you aren't worth the time to speak to!

I'm sorry but that study and her post wasn't even worth arguing. Its a stupid, low blow argument. Exactly what she said. We can find just as many anecdotes and studies that would prove the exact opposite.

8:49 AM  
Blogger CaliValleyGirl said...

Whennrome, thanks for the comment. I really like seeing new faces here in my comments section, especially since I sometimes seem so removed from the milblogging and even blogging community sometimes.
I think that there are good and bad on both sides, and have been on the receiving end of enough insults from liberals to understand where Sarah is coming from [among other things, she had the nasty experience of a commentor on a liberal blog of stalking her information online and finding her parents' home address and suggesting that people should do something with that information...luckily the administrator of that website and other commentors said he was out of line and made sure that information was deleted]. I also know that there are many conservatives that question someone's patriotism if they have a more liberal stance on things. So basically both sides have their bad apples that make it harder for the rest of us to overlook our differences and focus on our common goals.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

While what happened to her is absolutely terrible, I feel like that is an anomily poorly misrepresenting the rest of the democratic community. Maybe I am just never around Democrats. I have a lot of terrible experiences with Conservatives, none quite that bad though, and my experiences with them, I don't think are rare or unheard of. In the military community I bite my tongue a lot, especially for the sake of my husband. Back to my point though, which is the argument of this whole topic: what Sarah experienced is one, albeit terrible, example. And I bet we could all lay out a bunch of crappy stories both ways, but when we get right down to it, that survey borders ridiculous. I like reading Sarah's blog typically. She doesn't normally put "fluffy" arguments in there. I was disappointed to see the topic. She can do better.

5:26 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home