One of the biggest differences between liberals and conservatives is the importance that each side places on current, as well as historic events. It seems as though liberals – or at least the ones who are elected to public office, believe that the most pressing issues facing the federal government are issues that conservatives believe are best resolved via individual responsibility. Conservatives tend to concentrate on issues which may have potential repercussions well into the future; these are issues that liberals, who are either elected to public office, or work for the media, generally perceive as non-issues.
With the exception of the “new” history of the Civil Rights Act, liberals place little emphasis on the importance of historical knowledge. As Charles Krauthammer once said regarding President Barack Obama, “he believes that history started on the day that that he was born.” This philosophy appears to be a trait with many folks on the left.
Since the practice of revisionist history has muddied the records of past events, sorting out the truth from “the other truth” has become a job onto itself. Right now, the origins of the Civil Rights Act are finally being sorted and discussed. Everything that I’ve recently learned about Republicans’ roles in passing the Civil Rights Act wasn’t taught to me in the public schools that I’d attended. In hindsight, some teachers didn’t hide their Party affiliation very well.
Part of learning from history is watching what is currently happening in other parts of the world. The economic disaster in Greece, as well as the brutal tax rates in the rest of Europe should have been an obvious message to our elected officials about the dangers of government trying to be all things to all people in the name of winning over potential voters.
In addition to ignoring the instability of European economics, liberals have very little interest the evils that have occurred after World War II.
The most obvious example of government-sponsored evil in the Twentieth Century is the work of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. However, there is a refusal to acknowledge the evil acts that were committed in the name of Communism under Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong. It seems like there is a bell curve of evil – with Saddam Hussein at one end, Hitler in the middle, and Stalin and Mao at the other end. Some liberals don’t recognize Hussein as evil, since he didn’t kill enough people. However, with thirteen-million deaths to his credit, Hitler fits their mold of being perfectly evil. Stalin and Mao are heroes of those at the far left – so their acts are conveniently overlooked. Besides, there are individuals who refuse to believe that one-hundred million plus people were killed after World War II in the name of Communism – the secular workers’ paradise.
Given the more popular examples of contrasts between liberalism and conservatism, I want to share one more that may be somewhat obscure. The following is a story that I credit for shaping my conservative opinions.
While watching the news as a youngster in the mid-seventies, I remember a story that could’ve happened in Cambodia, China, North Korea or Viet Nam; as a four or five year-old, the concept of governments was still relatively unknown to me. The footage was of soldiers who were walking through a crowd – some of them had sacks slung over their shoulders. Other soldiers would grab babies out of peoples’ arms, and throw them into the sacks. I cannot forget the images of crying people, after their children had been taken from them. I have been asking around to find out if anyone else had seen this, but it was probably a one-minute story that had been broadcast almost forty years ago.
I hadn’t talked about this with anyone until recently, but what I had seen was – and still is, a reference point for everything that I think about in terms of politics. Was this the beginning of China’s one-child policy? Was this the work of Pol Pot? Or, was this an intimidation effort by North Korea’s Kim family? Maybe, it was a result of the fall of Saigon.
Given the present nature of the media, I have to question if this story would be broadcast today.
While liberals tend to worry about the government taking away a woman’s right to choose, conservatives worry about a government that dictates when and how a pregnancy be ended. While liberals worry about the evils of gun violence, conservatives worry about an armed government or armed criminal, versus unarmed civilians.
While liberals worry about an oppression of same-sex marriage, conservatives realize the dangers of governments mandating that religions change their beliefs and disciplines in the name of politics.
Since liberal politicians equate their fight for same-sex marriage with the Civil Rights Act, could I now be sued for discrimination if I tell a homosexual male that I only want to date women? Today’s joke is tomorrow’s horror story, such as the reason why there is a warning label on a cup of coffee.
Many people in the United States either have not heard of the biggest examples of government-sponsored atrocities in the Twentieth century, or they refuse to believe that such things could happen in such a civilized age. A dysfunctional public education system with an agenda, self-serving politicians, self-serving citizens, class warfare, a government that has seemingly taken on a life of its own, and cultural – as well as political attacks on Judeo-Christianity aren’t issues that are new – all of these have met before throughout history. The problem is teaching many others about this – and the end result if we don’t prioritize the issues of today, while learning from the past.