Happy 2016! I’m rested and ready to get to work. I had planned to write on a different topic today, but I was perusing Facebook when a young woman I’ll call Bernice, hit me with an ugly leftist post. I dearly love this girl. She’s a bright college senior and she’s been sucking up knowledge like a sponge for the last three and a half years. I could say that’s a good thing except that our institutions of higher learning are no longer guiding and leading students to seek truth, but most often are indoctrinating and propagandizing the collective with talking points and buzzwords that allow them to thrive in their campus bubble, but leave them utterly unprepared for the real world. She posts this stuff a lot, and as a general rule, I just shake my head and move on. Many of us were idealistic and naive at this age. We’re all so worldly, outspoken, and wise as twenty-something’s.
There is zero tolerance for conservatism on the average campus because, although it’s supposed to be a place of diversity, that does not extend to the realm of ideas and free thought anymore. Harassing and belittling conservatives is more of a full contact sport than an infraction within the halls of academia. This worldview invades their spongy brains and is constantly reinforced from all sides of a morally bankrupt culture. It’s really quite easy and very acceptable to be liberal so they always have plenty of company, and they are rarely asked to question their philosophy.
As parents, extended family, or friends of these soft brained young intellectuals, however, it can present an excruciating and maddening situation. Almost every time they open their mouths, they are actively dismissing many of the very people and values with which they were raised, and that have brought them to this point in their lives. Perception is reality, so after the brainwashing effects of public school and university, the thought process is skewed to a point that we cannot have an intelligent conversation. Case in point:
Feel the Bern , Bernie Sanders 2016
Now, this passes for reality amongst the liberal masses. Upon reading it, I am immediately aware of two things: This was not written by a conservative, and it is not the way we generally think or speak. This is how we are portrayed and pigeon-holed by the political left. It’s not even especially creative, but it is an effective bullying tactic that comes directly from Marxist ideology. We’re used to this and usually unfazed, but when it comes from family or friends, it’s just awful. They’ve been turned into elitist nasty robo-bullies. Nobody wants to listen to their propagandist drivel being mechanically and maniacally spouted, especially when it’s coming from someone a fraction of your age. Being respectful and listening to your elders used to be etiquette, now it’s merely one of those “Do You Remember” memes. It’s really a nightmare.
I’ve reworked the above to a realistic dialogue:
Poor Person: I need food stamps so I don’t starve.
Conservative: Oh, what’s happened? Did you lose your job? Are you sick?
Poor Person: No. I can’t find a job.
Conservative: Okay. We’ll get you set up with some assistance and we’ll help you find a job or get some training.
Poor Person: I’ve got a job but it doesn’t pay enough. The minimum wage needs to be raised.
Conservative: Actually when the minimum wage is raised, the cost of goods and services rises proportionately, so it doesn’t help you get ahead. You may even lose your job completely because employers may need to cut jobs to increase the payroll initially. You see, minimum wage jobs are “starter” jobs. They’re meant for teens and young adults entering the workforce to get work experience. If you’re out of high school or have a GED, let’s talk about some different kinds of jobs that can lead to a career.
Poor Person: I’d like to go to college but I need financial assistance.
Conservative: There’s financial aid available for most college programs. What do you want to study?
Poor Person: Sustainable Material Basketweaving.
Conservative: Wow, that’s quite a mouthful! Where can you get a job with a degree in that field?
Poor Person: I don’t know, but I think I’ll like it.
Conservative: If I can make a suggestion, college is expensive even with assistance. You will probably have loans to pay after graduation. You might want to look at a field of study that will enable you to get a position with lucrative pay and benefits. Have you considered a trade? There are many available jobs in plumbing, welding, heating and air, and also in computers, administration, and radiology. That’s just a few. College is just one of many options.
Poor Person: I went to college, got myself in debt, but I can’t get a job without experience. Businesses should have to pay interns.
Conservative: It can be hard. I worked a second job during my internship. And I ate lots of ramen noodles. Businesses want to see what you can do and see how well you pick up their way of doing things. They want to see you being resourceful. Internships can get you a foot in the door. You picked a tough field in which to get started so you’ll probably have to pay your dues.
Poor Person: College should be free.
Conservative: It’s a nice thought, but who would pay the college?
Poor Person: What do you mean?
Conservative: Well, the professors have to be paid, the buildings and grounds have to be maintained, there’s electricity and heat, etc.
Poor Person: The Government should pay for it.
Conservative: Oh, I see. Where is the Government going to get the money to pay for it? Governments don’t actually make any money you know.
Poor Person: From rich people.
Conservative: So you think the Government should go into rich people’s homes and take their stuff? Take their money? That’s stealing. Are you a thief?
Bernice, you are not poor, you’ve never been, and it’s really insulting to those in actual poverty if you are crying poor. Your Dad has worked two jobs for as long as I can remember, and your Mom works too. If you are trying to raise awareness, you need to be aware yourself. Your Mom and Dad aren’t rich, but what you don’t understand is that they are still taxed significantly. A fraction of the utopian government programs you want couldn’t be funded even if the rich were taxed 100%. The 1% is just that, one percent of the population. In other words, there aren’t many of them. Yes they have amassed wealth, but not enough to cover our bills. The people who are primarily funding the government are your Mom, Dad, and others like them in the middle class. They’ve given you a wonderful loving home with all of the support, financial and otherwise, that you could ever need. You thank them by throwing the values with which they raised you right in their faces. You’re a smart girl, but you’ve got a lot to learn. In the real world, there are no trigger warnings or safe spaces, money is earned not given, and politicians lie to gain control and/or stay in power. Have no fear. These are rookie mistakes, part of the learning curve. You just have to learn to read between the lines, recognize that some things are said to divert your attention from the real story, and above all, follow the money. That’s where you’ll usually find the truth.
Please remember, nothing comes for free from the government. It is our taxes that fund government programs. Americans are the most giving and compassionate people in the world. We are happy to help those that are down on their luck, disabled, or have an emergency. You’ve witnessed the American response when there is a tsunami, an earthquake, flooding, or illness. Americans willingly raise their hands to volunteer their services. Financially, we give freely and with largesse.
I think I can speak for most of us when I say, conservatives feel that many of us are working really hard, working more than one job in many cases, to support and care for our families, while there are many other families that are generational recipients of welfare programs. This is unacceptable. I have personally been on food stamps and I’ve applied for Section 8 housing. Guess what? They aren’t as easy to get as you might think. The fact that multiple generations are receiving these benefits tells me that they know what to do or say to get what they need and that knowledge is passed down and around the neighborhood. When I needed assistance, the help I received (and for which I was very grateful) was not enough to live on. When others abuse the system or it becomes a way of life, benefits are not available for those in temporary hardship. It’s supposed to be a net, not a hammock. The programs are meant to be temporary. We do not hate these people; we want to see them able to climb out of the holes in which they find themselves. When three and four generations of a family have been cared for by the system, however, they are institutionalized. They are convinced that they can’t do any better for themselves because that is the message; “You’re too inept to take care of yourselves, so we’ll do it for you.” That’s a destructive and dangerous mindset for any human being and it is the legacy of failed liberal programs. We’re not mad at them, we’re mad at liberals who pat themselves on the back and feel superior. They’re doing something, just not the right thing. They’ve created and touted this purgatory for a very large group of people who I see as oppressed by this system.
We need to reform the safety net system because for fifty plus years we’ve been throwing money at it, literally trillions of dollars, and it hasn’t been effective – we have more people in generational poverty, as a percentage of the population, than when these programs started. It’s time to stop portraying conservatives as ogres, grinches, and monsters and be honest about the problem. We are simply frustrated. We want to help these people, not sentence them and their kids to a life that nobody wants to live. By demonizing and misrepresenting alternative solutions from conservatives, it is you that is keeping them in a failed system of poverty. You are holding them down.
So liberals, you need to stop playing games, admit that your social justice programs are not working, and allow us to offer some fresh ideas to find a workable solution. Telling those in poverty that liberals are good and conservatives are bad is just a lie. Frankly we’ve been doing it your way for a very long time, and your constituents deserve better. Let’s try something different and help them to work towards a better life. We can make success generational.