Culture Columnist Benjamin Noel and Opinion Columnist Emmanuel Simon each explain the difference between a Liberal and a Conservative.
Liberal Position: The Left Way of Thinking
What Liberals hope Conservatives understand about their views on their shared society.
By Benjamin Noel
The core values of Liberalism can be simplified to being open minded in observing culture and in understanding others, and respecting the sanctity of the individual.When these morals are applied to politics, we get a look at the traditional Liberal values, and see how they educate opinion on current matters. The key factors in Liberal governing and lawmaking include minding the social ramifications that come with each law, and ensuring basic human rights for all. This is the lens by which liberals view issues, which differs greatly from the conservative’s principle based laws.
One common ground held with Conservatives is the idea of unalienable rights. The rights to life liberty and pursuit of happiness are the core of any society. Another way of looking at the matter is as follows: Do not assume the American Dream is the same for each person.
A theory both Liberals and Conservatives hold true involves creating a society in which everyone has an equal shot at making it to the top. This value stems from mans right to pursuit of happiness. We live in a country so diverse in thought, that simplifying policy and issues to that of the past, simply does not allow for a meaningful discussion on the country’s future.
On a side note the Democratic party of today greatly diverges from traditional Liberal beliefs. Their concept of forced diversity and the theory of equal outcome are harmful to the nation, and secondarily to the name of Liberalism itself. Liberalism is not about ensuring equality of outcome, but it is about allowing everyone equal opportunity, and providing them reasonable means to do so. A brief glimpse of Liberal views on current topics:
A basic form of healthcare should be provided and accessible to all. The private pharmaceutical field is ever growing, but as all private entities, it is driven by profit. The government is responsible for ensuring “life” thus must ensure the citizenries access to ample medical care by subsidizing vaccine research, and a state sponsored basic health program.
The Conservative view on abortion is that it is utterly immoral, for they are effectively killing a unique human being. A morally sound point. However, looking at the issue as a legal one, through the eyes of a Liberal, we must take into account the social repercussions of instituting a law banning abortions. There is no substantive proof that instituting a law denying legal abortions will reduce the number of abortions at all, but rather will cause increased fatalities in cases of failed procedures. So the solution to the high abortion rate is not making it illegal, but rather increasing sex education, and not encouraging one parent households via increased welfare benefits.
The concept of the Second Amendment is a perfect example of why innovation should have a direct impact on legislation. At the time of writing, the word “arms” referred to muskets, guns with no rifling which took upwards of 30 seconds to pack and load. These guns were extremely inaccurate even at close range, with not enough power to pierce a pocket Bible. We now have guns capable of firing a deadly accurate round with every trigger squeeze. The level of destruction and death a musket could wield is incomparable to the accurate rifles of today, thus we need to adjust for that in legislation.
More importantly, modern psychology was born in the late 1800s, after our country was founded, and that amendment passed. We now know there are people who psychologically cannot understand the consequences or permanence of their actions, people who disregard human or animal life, and those who truly seek to cause mayhem and death. We must account for this in the process of buying a firearm. Thus a background check and wait period is not only a deterrent from people buying guns as an instant emotional reaction, but it also ensures those with deep rooted mental problems do not have access to the means to dole out their misguided will.
In an ever changing world, with advancements in technologies and changing status quo the law of the land must change with the times.While there are core values necessary for a country to run justly, both left and right need to come together and decide which are those deep rooted human rights, and which are relatively modern inventions that should be subject to change and revision.
With growth, a country must change, in structure and legislation to reasonably protect and represent the rights of their people.That being said, both sides of the political spectrum are necessary to fuel a country like ours. A strict Conservative understanding of unalienable rights, along with the Liberal belief that the rest must be adapted to the times, will make for a well rounded country.
Conservative Position: The Right Way of Thinking
What Conservatives hope Liberals understand about their views on their shared society.
By Emmanuel Simon
The Conservative position that I will defend is the most adequate and consistent perspective, especially in regards to social issues. Such a view finds itself built upon the foundation for which all claims of human dignity are rightly instituted.
But first, let me clarify my position, for not all Right-Wingers are the same. Many Republicans are considered to be Right-Winged. Broadly speaking, I do not hold to contemporary Republican thought, for they have abandoned the foundation by which their doctrine once stood, and therefore, have given in to certain hurtful Left-Wing ideologies.
Many say that the Nazis are Right-Winged. Supposing this to be the case, my position is also not theirs. Racism, meaning that one race is superior to another, is a disgusting ideology for obvious reasons, and thus something I condemn.
My position is this: all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, and therefore are to be treated in a humane manner. For this reason, the aim of a body politic is to protect the innocent, as well as to promote the common good amongst those in society. It is in this light, then, that social issues are to be examined. Through these matters, the other policies (such as fiscal and foreign policy issues, etc.), may be adequately addressed.
Now my position may at first sight seem to discredit the fact that atheists can be Conservatives too. Obviously, there are those that do not believe in God but also call themselves Conservatives, for they too hold that all human beings have dignity. However, I would argue that they do not know why human beings have dignity. But just because they do not know why we have human dignity does not mean that they deny that we have dignity. In other words, they know that we have dignity without knowing why. Thus, they too can be Conservatives.
Applying the principle that all human beings are made in the image and likeness of God and therefore have dignity, many Conservatives uphold that all have a right to life. Thus, we care for all human life, from the womb to the tomb. Hence, we find issues such as abortion and euthanasia to be contrary to the common good, and therefore want it outlawed; for an innocent human being is always murdered in such acts.
In the case that one’s life were to be in proximate danger by someone, that person would have the right to defend his or her life. This is one of the many reasons why Conservatives uphold the Second Amendment. Even Black Lives Matter activists are fundraising in order to get its members trained in using a gun, taking advantage of their rights. Does the Left want to limit such rights?
Furthermore, Conservatives for the most part agree with the Left that all people should have access to healthcare. The difference between the Left and Right in this manner is the method by which they go about with such an issue. Though I personally am not sure of how we should go about this issue, I certainly would be against implementing a universal healthcare policy by which all people are to be equally under, which is run by the government. Given that it takes forever for people to get through the DMV, a government-run agency, I wonder how long it would take for people to get the medical attention they need? A universal healthcare plan seems to be impractical and even detrimental.
Like the Left, Conservatives are also pro-inclusivity; only we don’t think it necessary to be inclusive to error. This is because Conservatives, (generally speaking), believe that objective truth(s) exist, and that not everything is merely subjective. If there were only subjective truths, i.e., my truth, your truth, etc, then dialogue about issues becomes impossible. People wouldn’t be able to see other people’s perspectives, since they are trapped in their own biases and prejudices. To be for inclusivity is to be for dialogue, and dialoguing is only possible if objective truth exists as the object of discussion. For this reason, Conservatives have a hard time dialoguing with many of those on the Left who disregard objective truth.
In summary, the Conservative position that I am defending merely upholds that we are made in the image and likeness of God, and it is God’s decrees that we are to follow. Such a view should not be controversial, yet here we are. Conservatives have a basis by which they judge things to be true or false, and good or evil. For this reason, we can say and truly believe that all human beings matter. We oppose the throw-away culture, a culture which sees human beings as something disposable, like a pair of worn-down shoes. If you care about the dignity of human beings, then you will find your home within the Conservative movement.
Melanie Moyer '22,