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November 10th, 2012, 18:04
I usually don’t get involved in this forum because when it comes to political matters people get mad at each other too easily. But what the heck, I would like to share my story.

I lived a portion of my life under communism but since the 1980s have lived in America. As you might imagine, I’m pretty much against any form of ‘collectivist’ policies by government. Such policies always sound good on paper and in speeches, but the reality is always something very different, and not in a good way. Like millions of immigrants before me, we came to America to get away from that kind of government, to live in a country where we could better our circumstances by working hard and earning status on our own.

I’m from a generation of immigrants that came to America legally and became ‘American’ in every sense of the word. We didn’t come here for handouts (because we intimately understood how demeaning that is not to mention how easily people become utterly dependent on it) and we didn’t come here to snub Americans by not learning the language and separating ourselves as much as possible from the American culture. We seemed to know and pretty much be ok with the idea that you could be American AND keep your heritage in-tact at the same time. Today the vast majority of my friends are American-born and I identify with America more than I ever did with where I came from.

You can probably imagine already then that I'm a fiscally conservative guy. When it comes to social issues however, my view is 'live how you want' just don't make taxpayers pay for it. As an entrepreneurial businessman I’ve had dreams of a nice house and maybe someday even a fancy car. But I would never have imagined asking taxpayers to fund those things for me nor should they. Likewise, those who want to live their lives ‘Carpe Diem’ can and should. But also realize such a lifestyle is very expensive and don’t go running to the taxpayer to pay for it. For example, if you live life promiscuously and make several children with several different partners, don’t make the taxpayer pay for your food, housing or childcare. Instead, make a skill for yourself where you can make decent money and then go make all the babies that you can pay for. At the same time, I believe in a compassionate America that cares for the truly needy who have suffered through circumstances through no fault of their own. Admittedly, I favor local community, churches, and charities to carry out these functions, but some government involvement would be ok with me if it has proper oversight.

When I came to America I embraced capitalism, probably even more-so than most average Americans. My life before America was one of inescapable poverty with no real means to better the situation. The only way you had a chance to better your financial situation was to be a super-genius, be the best at some kind of performing art or athlete, or be politically connected in some way. I fell into none of those categories. So life for me was one where I never starved to death, but was always starving. I never froze to death, but was always freezing. I was always provided the basics to ‘survive’ but was always wanting. So coming to America and truly understanding how special of a place it is was not something I had to be taught or reminded about.

Liberal America today does not embrace capitalism. The face of the ‘corrupt Wall Street fat cat’ has been splashed across the very idea of capitalism. Even the guy selling hot dogs on a street corner is a ‘wall street fat cat’ in the eyes of many of today’s liberals. I personally would rather wrestle the evils of corruption in a capitalist system than wrestle the evils of corruption in a corrupt political system. Right now in America, we have corruption in both places. Liberals tend to notice only the corruption of corporations but are seemingly blinded to the gratuitous levels of government corruption that occur daily. It is morally wrong for bankers to earn millions in bonuses for their failing banks I agree. But it is equally wrong when government officials steal taxpayer money or don’t pay their own taxes – of which there is rarely much public outcry or media attention. I find it all very one-sided. And to what end? I have never been held at bay by the barrel of a gun by a corrupt and evil corporate executive. But I have been in that situation by a corrupt government official. Many many times.

Most any extreme is not good for anyone. All rights and no responsibilities – not a good outcome. All conservatism and no liberalism – again, not a good outcome. But what I see liberal America flirting with looks and feels a lot like what I experienced in my past. If you’re a liberal through and through, what is happening may seem simply like a liberal cultural shift and nothing more. The re-election of Obama is met with scenes of jubilation, laughing, and dancing. But while the partying goes on, how many liberals are looking at and really understanding the policies being put in place? When you really look into it, 'social justice' and 'redistribution' are nice fluffly-cloud words that describe communist tenants. They sound good. But will they have a good outcome? To say I'm doubtful would be an understatement.

I don’t want to get wrapped up and bogged down in policy sniping in this thread as it is conversational road to nowhere. But if you’re a liberal and if you’re not already, please be very astute of policy and actively work to separate policy from rhetoric as matter of course they almost always conflict. As a conservative, I am equally critical of those who I politically favor as I am towards those who I do not. I’d ask the same from liberals.

I do believe that America is on a dangerous road. I did not vote for Obama but at the same time I was very skeptical that Romney would or could get us off the dangerous road we are already on and have travelled quite far down already. But the bottom line is that Obama never embraced partisan approaches to policy nor did he cut deficit spending (and in fact he grew it more than any other president) – two promises I personally held him to account. So my only alternative was to vote for Romney despite my less-than-enthusiasm toward him. Romney’s ‘unknowns’ were worth more of my voter risk than Obama’s ‘knowns.’

If I'm right but there is no wife around to acknowledge it, am I still right?
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