A Conversation with my Son - What's the difference between a liberal and a conservative?

My (10, almost 11 year-old) son Alex, asked me the difference between a conservative and a liberal...needless to say, it was a good conversation. I explained it like this:

Me: When you pay taxes, who gets the money?
Alex: The Government
Me: Who spends the money?
Alex: The Government
Me: Who is the government?
Alex: The President?
Me: Yes...who else?
Alex: Congress
Me: Congress determines how to spend the money, the President can only approve by signing or deny by veto a budget.
Alex: Ok.
Me: Who in the government wants to spend the most money, liberals or conservatives?
Alex: Liberals
Me: Yes...good. Liberals spend money because they claim to care about you. But really, what are they doing?
Alex: I don't know.
Me: Hmmm, ok....what do liberals or other politicians have to gain by spending money on social programs?
Alex: Hmmm. I'm not sure...people would want to vote for them because they're spending money on the people? (pretty perceptive answer)
Me: Yes, they're claiming that by spending more money, it helps the people. In essence, they're buying votes. So who has the power if the government takes more money from individuals, the people, or the politicans.
Alex: The politicians.
Me: Which politicians?
Alex: Democrats
Me: Pretty true, but any politician that wants to spend and tax. Why?
Alex: Because they control the money and how to spend it.
Me: Exactly. The main difference between a true conservative (not necessarily Republican) and a liberal, is that with liberals, the politicians are in power because they want to raise taxes, spend more money and they'll control how the money is spent. With conservatives, they want to cut taxes and let the people decide best how to spend their own money...not the government...and therefore the people have more power (or are self-empowered). Conservatives believe that the future is in the individual's hands and is their responsibility to take care of themselves and their families...liberals believe that the money is best spent by the government to take care of citizens...a reverse of the situation. Also, because liberals are already rich, it doesn't matter that to them that they can tax us more and affect our ability to become rich. Which do you prefer?
Alex: What do you mean?
Me: Do you want the government to take care of you?
Alex: I don't want the government to take care of me, I want you and mom to take care of me. And when I get older, I'll take care of myself.
Me: Awesome. When can I look forward to that? (laughing)
Alex: After college probably (grinning)...maybe sooner if I go pro (baseball or football...ah, the dreams of kids)
Me: Operation Deprogram Blue-Collar Successful (Background: His mother and her side of the family are blue-collar and traditional Democrats...though that might change as his mother is studying for her Series 7 to become a stockbroker and a good capitalist)
Alex: huh?
Me: Oops, Never mind!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curious. Did you tell your son about the outragious deficit under Bush? And that his projected spending for the next 4 years is much greater than Kerry's?

Did you talk about Bush's tax cuts as buying votes too? Did you tell him that he'll be paying back the vote buy off for many, many years?

Did you tell him that it took Clinton - a Democrat - to reform the welfare system?

Did you tell him that much of the social spending is actually an investment? That we try to catch disease early so it doesn't cost us more later, intervene with educational problems to help make people contributing members, productive members of society?

Did you talk about the overwelming perception of the right wing as greedy, selfish money grubbers who think about no one but themselves and then hide their greed behind some transparent, delusion BS about people standing on their own 2 feet?

I didn't think so.

Why don't you be a REAL father and encourage him to read both sides - from the conservaative AND the liberal press? And why don't you respect him enough to make up his own mind? Why the brainwashing?

October 22, 2004 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Liberal_Slayer said...

Yes, my son knows I'm very critical of Bush on the deficit. He gave us the single largest entitilment in the history of our country with Medicare (which is one of the reasons I'm NOT voting for him). Kerry, on the other hand, will raise taxes which will crush the economy.

Tax cuts are NOT a vote buy. They are good for the economy. They are REAL. I now have an extra $2-3k in my pocket thanks to the tax cuts (I'm in the middle class). Do you know what I'm going to do with that money? Spend it...let it flow through the economy which will put more people to work.

As for Clinton Reforming Welfare. That's a blatent lie and I'm calling you on it. In fact, because I've heard this lie from a number of liberals of late, I'm refuting it via a new post.

Social spending is NOT an investment, it's a waste of money. You have no supporting data that any of the money you socialists spend actually pays off. That is your opinion. However, much like a post-college graduate that is living at home even though they have a job...won't learn how to handle things on their own until mom and dad kick them out.

He only would get that perception from the news media...however, the majority of Americans don't believe that....if they did, the election would not be as close. That is strictly a LIBERAL belief...and another unsupported accusation I might add.

Finally, unlike any children you might have, my son will learn how to stand on his own 2 feet. He'll also know that there are consequences for poor decisions and though dad will always be there to support and help him, he knows that consequences for mistakes get multiplied the older you get. When he reaches adulthood, he knows he'll have to make his own way in the world. Unlike your children who will be taught the liberal way...action without consequences.

Of course, my son, knowing there are consequences for mistakes....will be less likely to make them as an adult. While your kids are working at McDonald's and still living at home in their 20's, he'll be mocking them as losers. And the best part...he'll be right.

To my regular readers, I apologize for veering off and going to the invective response...but frankly, anyone questioning me as a "REAL" parent... anonymously no less, deserves a shot.

October 23, 2004 at 2:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you suppose the welfare recipients do with the money they recieve, hoard it? :-)

When you get your bribe, er, tax refund you spend it. And you believe this improves the economy. Wonder what's gone wrong this time?

And what was the corporate welfare, er tax relief bill just passed? $450 BILLION? Did you apologize to your son for supporting a president who won't speak out against this?

October 23, 2004 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Liberal_Slayer said...

Read my post on drug testing for welfare recepients AND the Democrats being AGAINST it. I'm not against temporary assistance. The problem is that liberals fail to address that after 60 years of welfare, that the poverty level has not improved and has not encouraged self-sufficiency.

Secondly, I think you're in real need of an economics class. Had taxes been cut back to the pre-Clinton tax hike level, the recovery would have been much stronger. The recession began under Clinton for a number of reasons. 1) The internet bubble burst 2) Clinton Tax hike combined with 3) The fed raising interest rates too quickly (12 times over 9 months) and was exacerbated by 9/11. So while liberals praise Clinton, they conveniently forget when the recession began (among his other failings). Basic economics...more money in the economy good, more money in governments hands, bad.

I'm opposed to government subsidies though I approve of tax cuts for EVERYONE. Subsidies protect weak businesses and do not force them to become comptetitive.

I do not feel the need to apologize to my son for telling him the truth. Also, I avoid getting him brainwashed by liberals like yourself by sending him to a private school.

October 23, 2004 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger Liberal_Slayer said...

I really should thank you anonymous. You've proved my premise correct...that liberals (with the exception of Charles who can distill it down to a philsophical difference), cannot make a logical argument. You have yet to refute any argument I've made and have only resorted to rhetoric or ad hominem attacks.

You claim that I should teach my son to see it from both sides and that I'm brainwashing him. However, I can back up my viewpoints with more than just rhetoric. I do look at both sides which is why I'm a Libertarian and not a Republican (I don't like the Republican party either).

Hopefully, the next time you post, you'll come armed with more than rhetoric and ad hominem attacks on the author. Failing to do so will only prove my premise correct and make you out to be a fool unable to look into the teeth of the Lion and do anything about it.

October 23, 2004 at 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberal -
Actually, you didn't explain why it is welfare handouts don't help the economy when tax cuts do. Wouldn't we help the economy by increasing the amount we distribute to welfare recipients?

And this is funny: You claim its liberals in Washington who want to spend more money, but it was Reagan, and now Bush that spent our way to record deficits! You talk a lot about logic but don't seem to apply it to your own arguements.

The war in Iraq was an optional war - and even when war spending and homeland security spending is subtracted, Bush has still run up massive deficits.

So WHO in Washington wants to spend more money? Why not show your son the facts rather than indoctrinate him with your baloney? What are you afraid of?

October 24, 2004 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Liberal_Slayer said...


If you had read elsewhere in my blog, you would have discovered that I am NOT a Bush supporter nor am I a Republican. I am extremely critical of his domestic spending beginning with the Medicare Bill and No Child Left Behind Act. I AM a true conservative in that I believe in limited government.

Congress sets the budget, but the President signs it. You can't fault Reagan for the deficit levels because both the House and Senate were controlled by Democrats (until 1996) when the Senate had a slight edge. In addition, it was the military buildup under Reagan that helped hasten the fall of the USSR (much to the chagrin of liberals). Conversely, you can directly blame G.W. Bush and the Republicans for the huge deficit spending. I could understand some deficit spending post-9/11 for an increase in the intelligence and military budgets (after 12 consecutive years in cuts from Bush I and Clinton), but I'm strongly against the increase in domestic spending.

An interesting aside is that when one party controls the Presidency, the House, and the Senate, spending increases (both parties are guilty). Gridlock it seems, is good for the American people.

Secondly, welfare has had zero affect on poverty levels, over the last 40 years. What has had an effect is economic growth which is stifled by raising taxes.

You might consider Iraq an "optional" war, but I do not. History will show one way or another who is correct. This has been covered over and over and unless you can specifically state reasons why Iraq is not a threat (beyond Michael Moore who is not credible), then you're wasting your time.

Finally, you claim I'm indoctrinating my son with "baloney", but you have yet to directly rebut any of my arguments. Instead, you respond by changing the subject or resorting to logical fallicies.

Please try to actually rebut an argument specifically rather than replying with rhetoric. I'm open-minded enough to look at all the options...but clearly, you are brainwashed by the left since the only responses you have are left-wing rhetoric.

I am a conservative...a Libertarian. I abandoned the Republican Party long ago because of their move to the middle (while catering to the religious right).

Thank you for playing, please try again.

October 25, 2004 at 7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are you voting for?

October 25, 2004 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger Liberal_Slayer said...

Michael Badnarik, Libertarian candidate. However, as my disdain for Kerry rises, I may end up switching to Bush...though I hate to do that. I'd rather vote on principle. Then again, one of my principles is disdain for liberals.

October 25, 2004 at 9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you all the way. It's time that the country stop feeling sorry for itself and actually start standing up and hold its collective head high. It is easy for people to say that this is the problem, or that is the problem, but no one seems to want to shut the mouth, roll their sleeves up and do some hard work. Would make my grandfather roll in his grave if he knew.


April 26, 2005 at 4:53 PM  

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