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John Palmer: Conservatives vs. liberals

There are about 7.7 billion people on planet Earth. All those people can be divided up several ways; by race, religion, nationality, etc. They can also be divided by political philosophy; conservative or liberal.

According to the dictionary, a conservative is: “A person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes.” And a liberal is: “A person who is open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.”

In practice, conservatives tend to wallow in hate, anger, bigotry, ignorance, greed, corruption and dishonesty (I’m not making this up, I looked at our current administration); while liberals celebrate love, happiness, intelligence, inclusion, fairness, generosity, honesty (I’m not making this up either, I looked at our previous administration).

Obviously those two philosophies will always have trouble agreeing on anything, but that’s the least of it. It doesn’t take much for the conservatives to become tyrannical and totalitarian; just look at Russia, North Korea, the Philippines, Venezuela, Syria Iran, Brazil; all countries led by conservative despots. If you go back through history you see conservatives ruining everyone’s lives since the beginning of time. Some recent ones you’ve probably heard of are Saddam Hussein, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin.

Our Declaration of Independence states in part: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …”

The colonists who wrote that had been living under the rule of another historical conservative, King George of England. They wanted out from under his evil thumb. They wanted freedom and the pursuit of happiness. They wanted a liberal government. As history records, they were successful in getting rid of English rule. To assure that “we” would never be subjects of a king again, the founding fathers set up the democracy we have today. Their goal: a liberal democracy that looked to the future, that was designed to evolve, that would let the people decide their destiny.

Sadly, there were and still are conservatives among us. They would prefer to be ruled by a despot and they try, as they are trying now, to reach that end. For some reason, the conservative philosophy includes that everyone be miserable.

What does this all mean? It means liberals can never rest. They must continually fight against the negative, sometimes evil tendencies of the conservatives and not allow them to take root. Remember that our main goal is the pursuit of happiness?

State your views and stand behind them. Write to your representatives. Remind conservatives that the path they’ve chosen is a dead-end one. Vote. Vote. Vote.

John Palmer lives in Nevada City.

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