Liberalism vs. Conservatism

606 Words3 Pages
Democratic representatives scream about "right-wing conspiracy" while radio talk shows lament the evil of "liberal agenda." News broadcasters are branded as "chauvinist conservatives" by Hollywood pundits or "liberal bigots" by Christian broadcasting. Everywhere someone is firing the label gun plastering liberal or conservative on their opponents and many Americans are scratching their heads trying to understand the division and difference between both. Liberalism, formed in the latter part of the 18th Century from opposition to existing political monarchies in Europe, was based on rights of individuals and the responsibility of government to protect those rights. Conservative philosophy was born as a reaction to dangerous tendencies detected within the liberal movement toward excessive governmental control. While conservatives form the base of their beliefs on traditional values, respect for authority, and maintaining custom, liberals fought government tendencies to diminish, ignore, or abuse individual human rights. Both beliefs balanced each other until liberalism shifted its emphasis from protecting individual rights from government to using government as a source for supplying basic life necessities. The modern liberal agenda began as President Johnson's Great Society to wipe out poverty and enhance the quality of life for all Americans. So how should be responsible for enhancing the quality of life of our impoverished Americans? The basic liberal argument was that only the federal government is capable of eliminating poverty. Under Johnson's administration government agencies multiplied like rabbits, handout programs were included in almost every bill sent to Congress, and the American work ethic flushed counter-cloc... ... middle of paper ... ...earing. Nothing is sacred and traditional values are thrown into the trash. Homosexuality is accepted. Teen pregnancy is expected. Education is what the government wants you to know. Private property is eliminated and one person's gain is redistributed for the good of all citizens. The environment becomes more important than individual rights. While, on the other hand, the conservative has a handgun strapped to his hip, a sign that says, "Stop the Slaughter of the Unborn," while he's polluting the earth as fast as he can and keeping his foot on the neck of the downtrodden. Are the social programs of liberals the downfall of America? Or is the sheer ignorance of the conservatives about the "un-rich"? Unfortunately that question is difficult to answer. Americans always want to help each other. It's as simple as that. But where does help end and responsibility begin?
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