By L&T Publisher Earl Watt
Liberals get the benefit of having the word “change” on their side, and conservatives have allowed themselves to be labeled as the group with old ideas.
Neither is true, but it is difficult for conservatives to overcome a glaring stigma of being the banner holder for the establishment.
Here’s the problem — we all believe in innovation, enhancements and making progress. Since liberals are all about rejecting the current system, they are perceived as being the innovators of public policy.
The problem with that is their ideas are as old, if not older, than what has been labeled as conservative. Liberals believe in bigger government, more regulations and higher taxes. That is more in line with monarchies than with free societies.
Conservatives, on the other hand, favor less government intervention, personal freedom and the ability of consumers to pick the winners and losers in the economy. That is a democratic model.
Because the country was founded on those principles, that idea is well established, and those who seek to preserve those fundamentals are called conservative.
But we all believe there is a better mousetrap, that everything can improve, and that the new way, simply because it is new, is better than the old way.
Whether it is grading tests or providing health care, the newest idea has to be the better idea, or at least that is what the liberals want us to believe.
Perhaps some ideas are improvements, but these days, we do not care to find out.
Nancy Pelosi’s famous quote about the Affordable Care Act is simply a reflection of the “new” way of thinking — “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.”
In other words, it’s something new and different, and that alone means it’s better.
The problem is, every new mousetrap that comes along isn’t always better.
It has to be tested, scrutinized and then a determination made if a new proposal is indeed better.
At the newspaper, when we ask about a procedure, we never allow the answer to be, “Because that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
There has to be a purpose, and if we can’t come up with something better than that, we re-evaluate our process.
For five years, we have been told that we can do America better, that we have become outdated simply because we have continued to do things the way we always have.
With that liberal mantra before us, any idea, then, seemed to be better than the old one.
The problem with that is the new ideas were not contrasted with their predecessor to see what is truly the better plan.
We saw this with the denial of the Keystone Pipeline.
Fossil fuels, we were told, were the old way of producing energy. Therefore, new forms of energy were instantly better.
Forget about the cost or the inability of being able to meet demand, the new idea is better.
We have replaced, “That’s the way we’ve always done it” with “That’s the new way to do it,” and we never justify it.
We have lost sight since the courts of the 1940s that no separation was ever meant between church and state until the Supreme Court reversed 160 years of precedence with a “new” interpretation.
What we forget is the Supreme Court offers “opinions,” and those opinions can be changed by electing presidents who will appoint defenders of freedom rather than those wanting to rewrite history.
We are told that having guns was the old way to protect ourselves. Today, law enforcement should be the only people with guns, according to liberals.
It’s different, so it must be better.
Liberals can claim any different idea, no matter how strange it may seem, say that it is “new,” and we buy it.
Conservatives have done a poor job of defending the better idea, the tried and true, tested ideas that make America great — less government, more freedom.
The president attacks the wealthy as the guilty of a bad economy, and we buy it.
We used to encourage and honor hard work and success, but that is outdated conservative thinking.
Conservative ideas may be better, but they have to be compared with the failed change of the past five years.