Political right, left view government differently

newsroom@islandpacket.comMarch 21, 2014 

A reader asked for a definition of a "good liberal" and a "good conservative." Let this liberal try.

A definition of "good" is prerequisite. The good person, of whatever persuasion, must accept that the holder of an opposite view is neither a knave nor a fool. This would automatically disqualify political radio and TV personalities, Ted Cruz and others who stir up discontent for political or financial gain. It would also eliminate people who write irrationally that the president has committed treason or that the U.S. has surrendered foreign affairs to the United Nations.

A distinction between liberal and conservative is how one looks at the role of government. The liberal believes that the government should play a large role in education, medical care and general well-being of the populace.

The conservative believes the contrary -- that government care stifles initiative and that family and charity should care for the aged and infirm.

The liberal who wants expanded government care sees the necessity of increased taxes and accepts that there will be people who will take undeserved advantage.

The conservative will accept that certain functions, e.g. foreign affairs, infrastructure and some minimum protections in daily life must remain governmental functions, but will work to assist the legitimately poor and helpless through private resources.

Lastly, no definition will apply at all times. If the issue demands, a person must have the right to step out of his usual classification.

Felix H. Kent

Hilton Head Island

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