I was reading about the Republican National Committee paying for Tea Party signs last night and had an epiphany of sorts. I've been trying to distill the difference between these crazy Tea Party cons and liberals into a few words for a while and I think I finally have it. Conservatives care about "me" and Liberals care about "everybody."
What sparked that thought was the sign that the RNC provided to the event said, "Listen to Me!" If you think about all their rhetoric, it's incredibly self-absorbed. "I want my country back." "Keep your hands off my health care." "The government is stealing my money for taxes." Dan Riehl in the post below calling to euthanize Mrs. Reid says, "I can't recall her ever doing anything for me." These people have no apparent social awareness, nor any desire to contribute to the communal good.
Liberals on the other hand talk about healthcare for all. Equal treatment for all. Civil rights for everyone. Save the planet for the next generations. There are of course exceptions, but generally, it's demonstrably true.
I'll try to articulate in just a couple sentences how I think this liberal-conservative dichotomy relates to what's important in my life and why I think the way I do.
Our biological imperative is to survive and reproduce. It seems to me that behaviors that directly benefit our descendants and favor their survival are good, thus the liberal approach to health care, social programs, etc. seem preferable to me.
And when it comes to UltraRunning, let me just focus strictly on the availability of trails to run on. Wild areas are a national resource that must be protected, not exploited--we need more and larger parks, not fewer. And we must resource them properly (even if it means higher taxes) to ensure their conservation and preservation to the generations that come after.
Hmmm....in both my examples I mention our duty to the next generations. I think about the Mister Tristans of the world and that guides my actions--I can't help but default to Liberal.