Talk Shows, Religion, and Health Care
Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
J. K. Rowling
THIS IS THE FINAL installment in an analysis of a "conservative" email that's been going around.
The email began with a pretend conversation between a "conservative" father and a "liberal" daughter, which twisted the meaning of those two words so completely that by the end it was hard to tell who was who.
It continued with a list of differences between "liberals" and "conservatives"—again completely distorting both points of view.
So far, that list has distorted the positions of true liberals and true conservatives on the subjects of guns, forcing your ideas on others, providing for our families, and helping others.
It continues like this:
If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.
(Do you begin to see the pattern here? A bizarre view of both liberals and conservatives is being invented out of whole cloth.
No matter how much liberals hate the lies coming from "conservative" talk radio and Fox News on a daily basis, I have never heard one even remotely suggest, let alone demand, that the government close the stations down.
On the other hand, "conservative" propagandists regularly argue that public radio and television should be shut down, simply because they can't limit the views expressed there.)
If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
(Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)
(Once again... no true liberal has ever tried to silence all mention of God or religion.
The ACLU (a liberal organization) regularly defends freedom of religion for all Americans of all creeds: including Christians.
If this is a reference to prayer in schools, let me make the obvious clear once again—the liberal position is that the student's right to pray or not pray to the god of his or her choice should not be overridden by the authority of the government—in the person of a teacher who might not have the same religion as the student.
In other words, if you are a Christian, a teacher should not be able to force your child to pray an Islamic prayer, and if you are a Muslim or an atheist or a Jew, a teacher should not be able to force a Christian prayer on your child.
We do, after all, live in a free county.
The "conservative" propaganda machine would have you believe that liberals want to stop your child from praying, instead of stopping any government employee from forcing your child to pray to a god they don't worship.)
If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.
(If a conservative or a liberal needs health care, they do exactly the same things.
If a true conservative, or a true liberal, believes that ordinary citizens are having their families cheated out of healthcare, they want the government to put a stop to that.
Everyone, conservative or liberal, has a right to a decent chance to provide reasonable care for their families.)
If a conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A liberal will delete it because he's "offended."
(A liberal probably will delete it (or write about it on his blog!), not because he's "offended", but because he's not in the habit of spreading factually incorrect nonsense.
Most true conservatives I know would also delete it, and for the same reasons.
Conservatives are no more interested in spreading lies than liberals are.)
There is a huge difference between a "liberal" and a "conservative" viewpoint—but there's a much smaller difference between real conservatives and real liberals.
We both realize that we don't know everything, we both respect the freedoms and rights of others, and we both want to take care of our families' needs, and help out others when we can.
In other words, we're both Americans.
At least, that's what I think today.