Liberals often attack conservatives because they believe we don’t care about the little man. Here, I want to discuss the various social safety nets that conservatives not only believe in, but are working constantly to build.
First, let’s start with the premise of conservatism in practice. That means that there is no Social Security, no Medicare, no food stamps or welfare. It also means that hospitals are allowed, by law, to turn away the sick or injured based on whatever criteria they feel like, including their ability to pay. In this world, there is no law in the land that dictates compassion or charity. The only laws that exist are there to help grease the wheels of commerce and private interactions.
Now, what would this world look like?
The liberal mind is reeling in shock and horror. Why, won’t the streets be filled with the sick, poor, and elderly? Who will take care of these people?
Let me provide you a long list of people that will do everything they can to take care of these people.
First is the individual. Individuals are held responsible for their own life. They need to find a way to make money or at least grow or scavenge for food. Ultimately, their lot in life is dictating by the choices they make. Of course, we know from sad experience that not everyone is competent and a whole lot of people fall on hard times due to events beyond their control. But no one cares more for a person than that person himself. No one can meet the needs of that person but that person himself.
Next is the family. Mother, father, sister, brother, grandparents, cousins, grandchildren, all should help each other out when times are tough. No one cares more for the individual than their family. The bonds between child and parents are the strongest bonds on earth.
If the family is incapable of helping, then the needy person turns to their church. Almost all churches preach a responsibility to help the poor and needy. By turning to the church, we not only give the members of the churches an opportunity to act on their religious teachings, but to do so in the love and compassionate way that their religion teaches.
Behind the church is the community. These are people living in the same area as the people who are suffering. Note that the further we get away from the individual, the less people care about the person. Community hospitals and schools and poor houses and such are great, but ultimately, these people cannot give the same kind of care and attention that the family or church can.
When entire communities are in distress, then help can come from surrounding communities, all the way up to nations and continents. For instance, a massive flood or a natural disaster, even war, can leave entire regions and nations in ruin. In these cases, it is up to people far, far, away to give what they can. A good example is the airlift of supplies to war-torn Europe in the aftermath of WWII.
I want to compare the above support system with the support system imagined by liberals, statists, socialists, and communists. The first turn towards government, even before the individual can consider their own needs. The government is the first and final source of help. Any other competitor in the realm of charity isn’t seen as a source of help but as a nemesis. Looking at things this way, it becomes quite obvious that people who want to re-create society in this way are really mad with hunger for power. They want ultimate control over who gets what and how.
Conservative policies, such as eliminating social spending and controlling government through strict constitutional limits and limited revenue and borrowing controls, are designed to allow the support structure we envision to be put into maximum effect.
For the individual, we hold sacrosanct the concept of individual, God-given, unalienable liberty. These rights are given by God, and no individual can separate themselves from them. Using his liberty, any man should be able to grow in understanding of the world around him enough to provide for himself.
For the family, we create a legal entity called marriage and hold sacred protections, privileges, and responsibilities by law.
For the church, our government holds itself completely separated from all church activities. This is to prevent the government from interfering in the work of religious training and religious activities, such as volunteer work.
For the community, we allow communities to govern themselves. By keeping government close, communities can choose how much or how little government they want, and adopt the rules and laws that work for them. Communities are also prevented from stealing from other communities to build things that only benefit themselves.
When these things are put into place, then a wonderful thing occurs. Individuals begin to build marketplaces, where goods and services are freely traded. This maximizes their productivity and allows wealth to be created from nothing. In a remarkably short period of time, these free marketplaces turn garbage into gold. With this wealth, jobs are created, people are highered, the wages increase while the price of goods and services decrease. This has been the result of the American experiment in government.
Now, ask yourself: which is more compassionate? Trusting individuals to themselves, their families, their churches, and communities, or trusting individuals with government? Which is better at providing for the needs of the individual: free marketplaces where wealth is found in abundance, or other economic systems where wealth is not found except in the hands of a few?