America has in it’s history gone through some tumultuous times and most of these were accompanied by a war. The Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 were about Independence. The Mexican War, the Spanish American and the Indian Wars were about expansion. The Civil War was about who we would be as a nation and whether freedom would be offered to all. The First World War was about becoming a major player on the international stage, projecting the American ideal of freedom and the rule of law and challenging the growth of the totalitarian state as embodied in German politics. The Second World War was in many minds merely the conclusion of the First in which the rise of Fascism and the totalitarian state was checked but not stopped. The Second World War settled once and for all time the conflict between the totalitarian state and the free. The wars in Korea and Vietnam were hot parts of the Cold War against the spread of Communism , which collapsed of it’s own weight and the pressure of continuing an arms race at the expense of an unsupportive populace.
Now , as in the Civil War we are in a conflict with ourselves. Beginning with President Reagan’s declaration that, “Government is the problem.’, Conservatives on the right have been waging a war against the Federal Government. They feel Government should be limited in what it does for it’s people. Their aim is to get rid of the Federal Government and it’s ‘job killing regulations’ that limit the growth of business and the economy. The regulations they want to get rid of mostly protect the citizenry against bad and sometimes criminal business practices. Conservatives also would like to eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and welfare programs apparently not seeing that not only are these programs the right thing to do for our citizens but they could also be considered riot insurance!
Liberals, the other side of the argument, believe in the expansion of Government services to all citizens. Universal Healthcare, unemployment insurance, welfare, and food aid programs are championed by them. The Consumer Protection Bureau is designed to protect the citizens from the unscrupulous practices of business and was fought against long and hard by conservative legislators.
After having Congress under the control of both sides of the argument one can look back and see clearly how it’s turned out. Conservatives came to power with the election of President Bush who inherited a budget surplus and a warning about Al Qaeda and a fellow by the name of Osama Bin Laden. Before 2000 America was a country that only attacked other countries if provoked. Now we do. America was the country that championed the rule of law. Now we imprison people indefinitely without charges and ship them to foreign prisons to get around the rule of law. America was the country that does not torture prisoners. Now we do. Americans believe in economic fairness yet with tax cuts for the wealthy and huge subsidies for corporations and business, conservatives have shifted a huge portion of the country’s wealth to those at the upper end. They put it on the Government credit card and are now willing to trash the country’s finances unless Congress reduces services for those at the low end of the financial spectrum to pay for it. Americans believe in universal voting rights yet legislators in conservative controlled states are passing laws that restrict and limit the ability of the citizens right to vote.
Four years of liberal rule under President Clinton ended with a financial surplus in the Government account. After a financial collapse under conservative rule that has been compared to the Great Depression of the Thirties, and after six years of liberal rule under President Obama, the economy is on the mend and unemployment is improving however slowly. Liberals have reformed the healthcare and financial systems for the betterment of our citizens despite the obstruction by conservatives of any of President Obama’s policies.
Before Americans vote in the mid term elections it would be in the best interests of the country that all citizens look long and hard at the difference between conservative and liberal governance. I sum it up this way. Conservative governance is all for one. Liberal governance is one for all. If the last two elections are any indication, the liberal view of one for all is the direction most citizens want to go. Come the mid term elections we should all heed the admonishment to ‘Choose Wisely”.