Thursday, December 23, 2010

Living Conservative in a Liberal World (Part 2): Why I Am Writing This

NOTE: This is a post that was written some time ago. I am gradually posting them in order to build up the blog and perhaps get myself into the habit of the blogging regularly.

I was talking to my class one day when I was struck with a couple of revelations. One revelation is that my urban students are "stuck on liberal," a revelation that is none too shocking. The second revelation, however, was shocking. The revelation was that it is the fault of conservatives that my students are stuck on liberal. As a matter of fact, it may well be the fault of conservatives that urban public education is failing altogether. This got me to thinking about the world we live in. It truly is a liberal world. Young people are inundated with liberal thoughts and ideology for at least twelve years if they are in public education.

Conservatives are an interesting bunch. I ought to know, because I am one. There are many different types of Conservatives, but there are a few distinct characteristics that many conservatives share. Many conservatives believe that the public education system is a bankrupt program which has failed to elevate the masses to full participatory citizenship in the great experiment we call the United States of America. Public education has failed to fulfill Jefferson's belief that only when people are well-informed can they be "trusted with their own government."

I would argue, however, that this failure is due to the ascendancy of liberalism in the public schools and the flight of conservatives out of them. In the 60's, liberals realized that the best place to replicate was in the sector of public education. Liberals started to go into teaching and take over the staff lounges at the nation's public schools. During the 1980's, seeing the path that liberals were taking our public schools, conservatives, and especially Christian conservatives, pulled their children out of public schools and placed them in private, often church run schools. Removed from the population of public schools in one decade were not only the students whose family upbringing would make them conservative in nature, but the conservatives who would have otherwise worked in public education to teach them.

We are rapidly approaching a time when those who believe in a greater government role in the lives of citizens will not only outnumber those who believe in limited government, but they will have a large enough voting bloc that old fashioned liberty, liberty envisioned by Jefferson, when he said "A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."

It is sad, as one who loves liberty, to see the people of the United States sliding into the depths of being a culture of dependency. They look to the government for the things that our forbearers did for themselves. During the "great recession" of 2008-2010, a Facebook group was created called I.N.A.F.J. which stands for "I Need a F-ing Job." It was a poignant plea from people who are fed up with being unemployed. They wanted jobs, sure, but by creating a Facebook group, it seemed like what they were really after was validation. Through online T-shirt sales, they actually raised the money to pay for a billboard that greeted the President in Buffalo during a stop there that read "Dear Mr. President, I need a freaking job. Period. Sincerely," Last time I looked, it was not the job of the government, or the President, to help you get a job.

Now, I understand that the costs of regulation and high taxes leads to private sector job losses. I also understand that government action can create a favorable business environment that leads to job growth. That is not the point here. Sure the INAFJ folks talk about taxes and regulation on their website. They favor (supposedly) smaller government that spends less, allows people and businesses to keep more of what they earn and with that kept wealth, stimulate and grow the economy. But anyone who would buy a billboard that reads "Dear Mr. President, I need a freaking job" is a group that Makes me say "Dear Billboard Owner, Retrain, Reapply, Relocate" because, when it comes down to getting a job, I believe in the three R's.

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