I grew up in the 1960s and crazy early 1970s. Somehow it got into my young head that becoming an antitrust lawyer or one of consumer advocate Ralph Nader’s Raiders might be a fun way to make a living breaking up such corporate giants for the rest of my life. I am pretty sure it came from a very persuasive high school economics teacher who absolutely loathed ITT and Textron among others.
I had a chance to go on a summer internship at Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado, after my sophomore year at Carolina. For the first time in my life, I could see thousands of people working in a great environment and providing for their families with good salaries and company-provided benefits.
Being able to buy a case of fresh, cold Coors beer, unavailable at the time east of the Mississippi, for $6 wasn’t too bad either.
I could almost physically feel the scales fall off my eyes daily for the next several years. Every time I read a book such as “Free to Choose” by Milton Friedman or “Confessions” by Augustine, I felt like I was shedding old skin and replacing it with new. With each successive revelation, I became more convinced I had been lied to over the years and what I had been taught about the following tenets of liberalism just was not true.
I wish everyone on Earth was nice and virtuous as liberals believe. But they aren’t. G.K. Chesterton said that original sin was the only part of Christian theology that could be proved ― and he is right. Just take a look around you in the news and daily life.
I wish socialism worked. But it doesn’t. It dulls the human capacity for self-initiative and risk-taking. Why would anyone in their right mind work their tails off if everyone else was going to share in their ultimate success equally whether they did anything to contribute to that success or not?
I wish every problem could be solved by government. But it can’t. Government is not the incubator of all wealth and ideas in America ― you are. Everything in America starts and ends with the individual, not with some elected official or agency in Washington or any state capital.
I wish everything was free. But it isn’t. Even when the cost is not obvious, excessive government spending leads to inflation, slower economic growth and higher regulation compliance which wind up hurting everyone, rich and poor alike, in the long run.
I wish we were all conceived as a mass of indeterminate cells as my sister who ran abortion clinics told me. But we aren’t. There isn’t a person alive today who was not conceived by the miracle of one human male sperm joining with one human female egg and combining two different human DNA and chromosome strands to become a two-celled zygote before embarking on its miraculous journey to humanhood. The science on that score is indisputable.
I wish there was no anger in this world. But there is. Anger is part of the human condition, whether it is original sin or genetic hard-wiring for self-preservation as believed by Darwinist apostles. The questions are how to deal with it appropriately before someone gets hurt or punish it so it does not happen again.
I wish we could lead modern lives without carbon fuel. But we can’t. Biomass (5%); hydroelectric (3%); wind (3%) and solar (1%) account for our clean energy production today. Eighty-eight percent of our energy use is carbon-based or nuclear ― we would all freeze to death in the winter, overheat in the summer and ride bicycles to work if we had to depend solely on renewable energy today.
Conservative Republican philosophy sees life as it is and tries to deal with it practically while leaving each citizen the freedom to do what they want to do with their lives. Liberal progressive Democrats think utopian life is achievable here on earth and want to use every conceivable tool of coercive government power to force everyone to follow their orders on everything from use of language to the type of light bulbs they can buy.
The difference is pretty clear. So is the choice.