Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Being Conservative and Moral is Hard Work

Here are a couple of responses I posted on this Minnpost Article

The first is to Dennis W saying "The rural folk see the Constitution through a what's in it for me attitude, not what's in it for us."
"I think that is typical of most voters.
  • LGBT folk are looking for more rights.
  • Urban voters are looking for more transit.
  • People paying higher taxes want lower taxes.
  • People who qualify for welfare / services want more .
  • Religious people want a less sinful society.
And I think it is excellent that our system supports balancing all of these personal wants." G2A
The second to Paul's "Fact is if they were a majority, they would't have to slow the drift towards liberalism in the first place "
Of course our society is slowly shifting to the Left, as noted below people like to vote in their best interests. In this case it can mean:
  • voting for more government benefits / programs to help me if I failed to take advantage of the free education that was given to me.
  • voting to make someone else responsible for my retirement and healthcare savings.
  • voting for more government benefits / programs to help me if I have kids that I can not afford to raise because I have a hard getting / keeping a spouse.
  • voting for lower taxes and higher spending, because then my generation gets more and passes the burden on to someone else.
  • enjoying gambling, drinking, smoking, drugs, etc
I mean being a Conservative Moral person is hard. I mean one has to ensure:
  • one excels in school and at work
  • one gets married, has only the number of children they can afford, and stays married
  • one lives below their income, saves and invests
  • limiting the intakes of enjoying gambling, drinking, smoking, drugs, etc

24 comments:

Sean said...

Good Lord, you are the most sanctimonious person I've ever interacted with. Come down out of the Ivory Tower and join us here in the real world where the conservative party is the one that has exploded the national debt, where the longest-serving conservative Speaker of the House just admitted he sexually molested several school-age boys, and where the conservative party just nominated a thrice-married serial philanderer (and four-time bankrupter) to be its nominee for President.

You excel at building strawmen and watching them burn.

John said...


Sanctimonious: hypocritically pious or devout

Sanctimonious: making a hypocritical show of religious devotion, piety, righteousness, etc

Now I have no doubt that there are sanctimonious people in both parties. As I said being a Moral Conservative person is hard.

Now as for myself... I have a ways to go before I would be truly a good Moral Conservative. Don't think I am going to make it.

Laurie Wagner said...

that is an interesting (libertarian) list of moral values you have created. I did a google search and turned up this alternate list (actually 2 lists)

Moral Characteristics List (Keith‑Spiegel)

and being a thoughtful person, I am including a professional bio of the person who created this list Patricia Keith-Spiegel, Ph.D.

for the second list I have no other info.

as I have other things to do tonight I have no further comment at this time.

John said...

Similar to the one I created my personal values around.

John said...

Now please remember that these are personal values that one must choose and work hard to meet. They are not a justification for raising taxes on others, growing government, enabling dependency in others, etc. Now if everyone would come close to living up to these we would not need the massive government we currently have.


"1 . Being Honest, Truthful, Trustworthy— is frank and open, refraining from lying, stealing, or cheating
2. Having Integrity— is principled—being of sound moral character, showing courage of convictions, standing up for what is right.
3. Being Caring/ Compassionate/ Benevolent—shows good will, generosity; charitable, considerate, kind.
4. Doing One’s Civic Duty—abides by the laws and rules; does fair share; participates in community betterment.
5. Having Courage—does what is right, even in the face of personal consequences, rejection by others, or danger.
6. Being Willing to Sacrifice—gives of oneself or one's possessions to help others or for something one believes in.
7. Maintaining Self-Control— is able to stay calm and rational, even under conditions of temptation, stress, or aggravated assault (such as being teased or "put down') by others.
8. Being just and Fair—treats others as you would want them to treat you; rules applied equitably; does not discriminate on improper basis.
9. Being Cooperative—gets along well with others, willing to compromise; committed to the concept of neighborhood, society, country, and world.
10. Being Persevering/ Diligent—puts out best effort and works hard; does not give up easily; keeps trying despite hardships; self‑reliant.
11. Keeping Promises— attempts to keep commitments, reliable, dependable.
12. Doing no harm—considers the potential for physical or emotional harm to others and avoids that harm.
13. Pursuing excellence/ takes pride in work—does one's best; is not unduly influenced by setbacks or external pressures to do less than one can.
14. Taking personal responsibility—is accountable, dependable, amenable; considers consequences and accepts responsibility for own actions or inactions; does not shift blame for own mistakes to others.
15. Having Empathy —is able to identify with another's feelings or point of view in order to better understand him/her.
16. Benefiting others —makes decisions that have the potential for a positive effect on others.
17. Having Respect for others —Acknowledges and honors the rights, freedom, and dignity of others.
18. Having Patience ‑- knows that good products, actions and outcomes take time; can delay gratification; does not leap before looking.
19. Being Forgiving -- is able to leave upsetting and hurtful things behind; stops the cycle of the hurt to others or oneself; does not seek revenge.
20. Making Peace ‑- is able to compromise, to talk things out without resorting to violence, to seek solutions to problems that will be in everyone's best interests; values calmness and safety.

The "PESKY FOUR" (The ones that pose exceptional difficulties in application. )
21. Having Fidelity/ Loyal -- shows faithfulness, trustworthiness, keeps commitments, doesn't talk behind others' backs, remains a good friend even in hard times.
22. Respecting Autonomy --- respects the rights of individuals to decide how to live their lives. Problem #1: Essential to a free society, but what if the decisions are harmful (physically, mentally, or morally) to themselves or others?
23. Being Tolerant —is able to recognize and respect the differences among people, does not discriminate just because someone is different; acknowledges positive characteristics, not just limitations.
24. Having Self-respect -- has due regard for one's own reputation and long‑term image of a "good" person; does not abuse one’s own body or act in trivial ways that are dangerous to oneself
25. Competitiveness
26. Valuing Life

John said...

List 2
1. KINDHEARTEDNESS
1.1 Compassionate
1.2 Considerate
1.3 Generous
1.4 Understanding
1.5 Forgiving

2. SELF-RELIANCE
2.1 Responsible
2.2 Independent
2.3 Industrious
2.4 Self-confident

3. HUMILITY
3.1 Polite
3.2 Admitting one's mistake
3.3 Friendly

4. MUTUAL RESPECT
4.1 Respect and loyal towards parents
4.2 Respect for the elderly, teachers, peers, leaders and neighbours
4.3 Respect for king and country
4.4 Respect for basic rights
4.5 Respect for beliefs and cultures of various races
4.6 Respect for individual rights
4.7 Adherence to the rule of law
4.8 Adherence to time (punctual)
4.9 Value wisdom, experience and deeds
4.10 Value manual labour
4.11 Value self-respect

5. LOVE
5.1 Love for life
5.2 Love for the environment
5.3 Love for the country
5.4 Love for peace and harmony

6. JUSTICE
6.1 Just
6.2 Fair

7. FREEDOM
7.1 Freedom within the law
7.2 Freedom within the democratic system

8. COURAGE
8.1 Brave
8.2 Stand up to the truth
8.3 Resolute
8.4 Responsible/Accountable

9. CLEANLINESS OF BODY AND MIND
9.1 Physical cleanliness
9.2 Environmental cleanliness
9.3 Well-mannered in words and actions
9.4 Healthy and constructive thoughts

10. HONESTY/INTEGRITY
10.1 Trustworthy
10.2 Speaking the truth
10.3 Sincere

11. DILIGENCE
11.1 Courageous
11.2 Pro-active/Resourceful
11.3 Dedicated to work
11.4 Determined
11.5 Hardworking

12. COOPERATION
12.1 Spirit of brotherhood
12.2 Collective responsibility
12.3 Helping one another
12.4 Tolerance
12.5 Common good
12.6 Unity

13. MODERATION
13.1 Moderation in reconciling personal needs with... (this part is missing, will update)
13.2 Not excessive in words and actions

14. GRATITUDE
14.1 Thankful
14.2 Grateful
14.3 Appreciative

15. RATIONALITY
15.1 Able to form judgements
15.2 Able to reason
15.3 Open minded and able to think logically

16. PUBLIC SPIRITEDNESS
16.1 Subscribing to consensus
16.2 Subscribing to the spirit of neighbourliness
16.3 Sensitive to social issues in the community

John said...

By the way, in my last comment at MP I had added the a good Moral Conservative would also need to give generously to charity.

- one excels in school and at work
- one gets married, has only the number of children they can afford, and stays married
- one lives below their income, saves and invests
- limiting the intakes of enjoying gambling, drinking, smoking, drugs, etc

So I think our lists are pretty well aligned.

John said...

Paul had interpreted my comments this way.

"You keep associating selfishness with liberalism and liberals, i.e. free stuff for me etc. Individual selfishness is NOT the hallmark of liberal thinking or mentalities. Individual selfishness is the hallmark of libertarian, Randian, and conservative thinking, i.e. selfishness produces the greatest good.

Your attempts to characterize conservatives as morally superior and responsible are amusing."

My response added the charity requirement and explained that no one is perfect. So both political liberals and "supposedly moral conservatives" have been taking the easier path noted below. And this why our society has gone from government costing 10% of GDP to costing ~36% of GDP.

"Of course our society is slowly shifting to the Left, as noted below people like to vote in their best interests. In this case it can mean:
- voting for more government benefits / programs to help me if I failed to take advantage of the free education that was given to me.
- voting to make someone else responsible for my retirement and healthcare savings.
- voting for more government benefits / programs to help me if I have kids that I can not afford to raise because I have a hard getting / keeping a spouse.
- voting for lower taxes and higher spending, because then my generation gets more and passes the burden on to someone else.
- enjoying gambling, drinking, smoking, drugs, etc"

John said...

By the way they are many good morale conservative people who vote for Liberal politicians. Good moral conservative people was not talking about how one votes but how one lives.

Maybe the key difference between political Liberals and political Conservatives is that political Liberals want to use the government to force successful people to live by the values Laurie listed above, while giving unsuccessful people a free pass and making others carry the burden of their choices.

Whereas political Conservatives keep believing that carrots and natural consequences can encourage the unsuccessful to adopt the values Laurie listed above. Unfortunately enough of the successful people did not necessary get the "be charitable" message.

jerrye92002 said...

Galatians 5:22-23New International Version (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

jerrye92002 said...

John, you keep seeing that the system of natural human interactions, including things like charity and personal responsibility, are distorted or even broken. But who broke them? Answer: Government! The great philanthropists were those who got filthy rich in the early part of last century. Then someone decided that the government should do charity, and that the rich must be compelled to share their wealth. It's been all downhill since. The better off have passed off their charitable instincts to government, and the less fortunate have looked to government rather than the kindness of strangers. It has taken all the humanity out of the process.

John said...

Jerry, chickens and eggs...

The personal responsibility and personal charity model was apparently failing... That is how we got the New Deal. And people have been handing over personal responsibility to the government ever since.

Laurie said...

John, who put you in charge of determining how one may apply their morals. I express my morals by voting for democrats, as the government can make a difference in at least these 2 areas:

16. Benefiting others —makes decisions that have the potential for a positive effect on others.
17. Having Respect for others —Acknowledges and honors the rights, freedom, and dignity of others.

The people I voted for are responsible for providing access to healthcare for millions of people. That seems pretty moral to me. I will also accept a small bit of credit for my "no" vote on the marriage restriction amendment, which led to passing equal marriage rights in our state. (my vote also contributed to liberal justices being appointed, which brought equal marriage rights to the entire country.) I could list many more examples of the moral effect of my vote but I think you get the idea.

btw, how did conservatives co-opt the label of values voter for themselves, as I think all of us are values voters.

John said...

You are correct, we can all choose our actions. The opposing view of your actions are that your votes:
- forced tens of millions of people to pay more in taxes
- raised the healthcare insurance premiums for tens of millions more
- denied citizens in half the States in the Union the Democratic freedom to decide who can be married so 3% of the citizens could get married in those states.

Thank you for reinforcing my opinion:
"Political Liberals want to use the government to force successful people to live by the values Laurie listed above, while giving unsuccessful people a free pass and making others carry the burden of their choices."

Now I am truly happy that you feel good about the changes the Democrats have forced during the past ~8 years. I personally will give the accomplishments a mixed review.

John said...

Now if you want to really help eliminate poverty in the USA, what are you willing to do or support so that the unsuccessful people are pushed toward adopting these values?

Or are you okay just sending them checks from the wallets of other citizens? Thoughts?

4. Doing One’s Civic Duty—abides by the laws and rules; does fair share; participates in community betterment.
7. Maintaining Self-Control— is able to stay calm and rational, even under conditions of temptation, stress, or aggravated assault (such as being teased or "put down') by others.
9. Being Cooperative—gets along well with others, willing to compromise; committed to the concept of neighborhood, society, country, and world.
10. Being Persevering/ Diligent—puts out best effort and works hard; does not give up easily; keeps trying despite hardships; self‑reliant.
11. Keeping Promises— attempts to keep commitments, reliable, dependable.
12. Doing no harm—considers the potential for physical or emotional harm to others and avoids that harm.
13. Pursuing excellence/ takes pride in work—does one's best; is not unduly influenced by setbacks or external pressures to do less than one can.
14. Taking personal responsibility—is accountable, dependable, amenable; considers consequences and accepts responsibility for own actions or inactions; does not shift blame for own mistakes to others.
24. Having Self-respect -- has due regard for one's own reputation and long‑term image of a "good" person; does not abuse one’s own body or act in trivial ways that are dangerous to oneself

Laurie said...

about "what are you willing to do or support so that the unsuccessful people are pushed toward adopting these values?" I teach special education and all of my students are firmly on the path to poverty, unless government programs lift them out of poverty. I do try to teach them to be kind.

If only all citizens could be as intelligent, hardworking, and moral as you and your family members, but I don't see that happening so I am going to keep voting for liberals who will fund programs to alleviate poverty at least a little.

Maybe my representaives could also pass some laws or regulations, tax policies or something to make the economy reward people more fairly. From the Kevin Drum file:

"The top 25 hedge fund managers earned $13 billion in 2015—which made it something of a so-so year for them. But put that aside. My new favorite hedge fund manager is the guy who ranked #15 on this year's list:

Michael Platt, the founder of BlueCrest Capital Management, took home $260 million, according to Alpha. It was a difficult year for his firm, once one of the biggest hedge funds in Europe with $37 billion in investor money. He lost investors in his flagship fund 0.63 percent over the year and then told them he was throwing in the towel.

Platt's fund lost 0.63 percent and he basically shut it down in disgrace, and for this he earned a quarter of a billion dollars. Pretty sweet gig, no?"

John said...

So it seems you are happy to legislate morality for the rich. However you are unwilling to legislate morality for those who could really use a kick in the butt.

Alleviating their immediate suffering is okay, unless it enables / encourages them to grow the impoverished population through poorly raising many many unlucky children. If your efforts to alleviate the short term discomfort leads to millions of additional dependent poor people. Did you do good or support hopelessness?

Please remember that it is apparently the investors who pay those fees. Not my problem...

By the way, though I do disagree with "your keep buying them fish" policies. I truly do respect your chosen profession and your good intent.

Anonymous said...

"The rural folk see the Constitution through a what's in it for me attitude, not what's in it for us."

I don't think lots of people don't know anything at all about the constitution, as it actually written. When people talk about the constitution, what they are thinking about is some sort of ideals, mostly comprised of what they believe, which is mostly unrelated to the physical document.

One of the ironies of our history is that since the founding is this continual argument over whether the constitution says this or that about some policy when almost always it says nothing at all. Just a recent example of this was the widespread belief that men who lived in a time where doctors routinely used leeches and many barbers pursued lucrative sideines in brain surgery were somehow saying something specific about health care policy at their convention in 1787.

--Hiram

jerrye92002 said...

"...so I am going to keep voting for liberals who will fund programs to alleviate poverty at least a little." -- Laurie

Liberals have been promising that for 50 years, and we have as many people in poverty today as we did back then. WHEN are liberals going to start seeing things the way they are, and not as they imagine them to be? Handing people a check so long as they do not work is NOT giving them (much less ALLOWING them) dignity and respect.

Sean said...

The problem with the hedge funds guys isn't the fees, per se, it's the fact they get preferential tax treatment on those fees. They fees they earn from their investors should be treated like wage income, not investment income because it's not the hedge fund manager's money on the line.

jerrye92002 said...

Thank you, Sean. That is the most cogent explanation of Donald Trump's position on this that I have heard. The better solution, of course, is something like the FAIR tax, where it doesn't matter where or how you earned it, or spent it, you pay the same perfectly progressive rate.

John said...

I am fine changing the tax laws for these folks.

Laurie said...

I was going to post a link regarding how much safety net programs reduce poverty, but decided it was a waste of time. You guys keep repeating that these programs don't work because they haven't eliminated poverty. It would be interesting to me if you could talk to the many families at my school that receive subsidized food, housing, and healthcare. Maybe you could explain to the kids how these programs should be eliminated because they don't work. You could reassure them that there are homeless shelters and soup kitchens available to make sure they have a place to eat and sleep (and if these places are full there is usually space available in a church basesment.)

From my pesrspective these welfare programs work quite well. I believe they even reduce the poverty rate (as well as the depth of poverty experienced by families.)

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, I talk to a lot of these kids and adults. I work with and support some of those shelters and food programs; I know they are needed, but they CONTINUE to be needed because government welfare not only doesn't work well enough-- people fall through or push their way through "the cracks"-- but it creates dependency where there should be human dignity, help and respect. I KNOW that we can't turn off that faucet immediately, and I've already said that there are probably 20% of current recipients who are going to be VERY difficult to wean off welfare because it is inter-generational and largely intractable, but the problem with the current system is that nobody is even trying. Government just keeps handing out the goodies with the condition that don't you dare go find honest work.

We could help these folks a lot more by actually HELPING instead of just warehousing. Private charity used to, and still does that very well. We can't know how well until the government starts backing away, or actually helping.