Seems to me that liberals spend their time talking about large scale problems in our country caused by the rich and powerful and conservatives, talking about small scale problems in people that cause large scale problems in our country.
Ah yes, "the issues." Healthcare. Education. The homeless. Racial issues. The economy (like most politicians know a thing about economics). So called "economic injustice." When they have solutions, they almost always involve taking money from the rich and throwing it at the problem oftentimes with too little effect (healthcare is a mess, education is a mess, these programs have huge budgets).
Conservatives like myself have our own problems. On issues like Healthcare, our solution is self reliance and discipline. Get a good education, work hard and you'll have the money. Education? We need better teachers. We need accountability. We need students to try harder and we need parents to push them harder; to take a hand in their kids education. The homeless? The homeless wouldn't be homeless if they, that's right, got an education and worked hard, had self discipline....etc. Its the same old mantra. We know it works because it worked for us. Yet, somewhere in our brains we know it won't ever happen, but we throw it out there....perhaps to console ourselves that since its not our fault it isn't our problem to fix.
Are both of these "solutions" merely an attempt to confront what these groups view as the Problem in our country? If I had a nickel everytime I heard a conservative talking about the downfall of our morality, of our discipline, and the other personal strength issues..I'd have a large stack of nickels. And if I had a nickel everytime I heard a liberal whining about "The Rich" getting richer and the poor getting poorer (as though even though these people desire to be rich, the rich were evil) I'd be pretty rich myself.
Anyway, both sides need to confront reality. The reality is that many people are weak. Their lack of self discipline or talent or both leads to all sorts of problems. Bad parents hurt their kids upbringing. Dumb people have little potential and undisciplined people (like myself) have huge difficulty meeting their potential. And the folks that have discipline and talent just don't seem to understand why the rest of us haven't yet achieved perfection that was practically granted them from birth.
Liberals: there simply aren't enough resources to go around. As soon as you take stuff away from people they tend to decide that the game isn't worth it anymore. And why not? If you guys achieved the equality you wanted, then hard work and talent merely mean that everyone else gets more. That'll just make everyone equally poor and it'll result in a poorer, less well defended nation (which will, in the long run, result in the nation crumbling to a world power that has mastered their own economy). Which do you think is scarier? A thief taking things from your house, or a government which extracts vast amounts of wealth from a portion of the population by threatening them with jail time? Or perhaps only The Rich deserve that kind of treatment...
Conservatives: people don't make very good building blocks. We can argue theory all day long; that if people didn't suck so bad things would be okay. That argument doesn't work much better for us than it does for Communists. I don't know what the solution is but we shouldn't lean on broken crutches. I personally believe the solution lies in a strong global economy and increasing world peace (i.e. stopping wars...by force not by sending them cards and flowers or with formal rebukes from on high like the UN). If we're ever going to get that we'd better stop ignoring small wars and tyrants in small countries as if the blood isn't on our hands because we haven't taken off our white gloves. I think these lousy arguments are made simply because our opponents aren't bright enough to strike them down and because we're happy with what we have: we don't want the liberals to break the economy and we're not brave enough or self-honest enough to talk truth about the economy. And why? Its our best strength.
Like I said, I haven't found the solution. If one exists, I'm pretty sure it'll involve technology we don't have. But it sure doesn't revolve around tossing out broken mantras as if they're going to protect you by power of repetition.
Compare what you have to what they had in the past. Many of those who live in "poverty" can listen to music whenever they want. I know because my wife and I officially live in poverty. Half of them have two cars. Myself, I have A/C in my apartment and a machine that washes my dishes for me. We didn't get here by equally dividing the candles and horses and grain and lumber...etc. We got here because people with brains and discipline invented these things (oftentimes with the financial backing of the rich and powerful) and then made them accessible.