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May 2015 Policy Study, Number 15-5

   

RED or BLUE…Which View Is Best For You?

   

Your Worldview

   

 

The story of Al and Conner may be corny, but shines a light on worldviews and how worldviews determine government policy and personal assessments. It helps to expose how we feel about people with their hands out, and how we feel about the government’s hand in our pockets. It is the serious story of two opposing views and how the political and social worlds function.

 

Each worldview carries dangers. Later illustrations will show that stories similar to this one actually happened involving prominent political figures.

 

A “worldview” is the filter through which you interpret what makes things what they are. It is how you define reality. It is a grid through which you analyze all incoming data, and which determines how you will respond.

 

For example, a militant Muslim worldview is different from an American worldview. Islamic extremists such as the Taliban believe that the world should be as it was in the seventh century. Murdering innocent civilians is acceptable to these extremists because they believe all “infidels” are damned and implacable foes of Islam. In contrast, the American “western” worldview leads to our apologizing and paying reparations if one of our missiles goes off course and unintentionally kills civilians.

 

Not all those on one side are good guys, nor is any other composed of only bad guys. A person with whom I strongly disagree politically was on a talk show this morning. She was charming, articulate and everything I know about her as a mother, businesswoman and person indicates that I would welcome her friendship and company. I was reminded during her interview that I must speak of her with respect. I diminish myself by anything less. However, I plan to continue to disagree and oppose her political policies. My intent is to attack views, while expressing respect for the person.

 

Not everyone functions in one worldview or the other all the time. Therefore, we find those who function with the Red view with family and friends, yet function with the Blue, victim/victimizer/champion-of-victims view in their jobs or when dealing with strangers. Others vacillate based on their moods, depending on whether they feel positive or negative, fearful or secure, depressed or excited. Even with this being true, almost everyone gravitates to one default worldview or the other in order to feel comfortable, consistent and stable in the way they analyze and organize what they see and hear.

 

DANGER - BIG-GOVERNMENT OR BIG-BUSINESS?

 

Do we need to be protected from big-business, or is big-government the greater danger? Are powerful individuals the problem, or are powerful politicians more dangerous? Which worldview did our Founding Fathers and their constitution envision? Is our present course destroying America? If so, is there a solution? Should our Constitution be interpreted as a living, breathing document which can change with the situation and will of the majority, or should it be a solid foundation on which society can stand?

 

Again, your worldview determines how you look at each of these questions. Is big-business ever the problem? You bet it is. Does everyone in business have the same worldview? Absolutely not. Some are actually put into positions like CEO or CFO because they are considered vicious victimizers. It doesn’t bother such folks to be underhanded. Other executives are put into positions of leadership as political favors or because of their ties to powerbrokers who can extract favors or funds from the public treasury.

 

These extreme examples gave rise to the term Crony Capitalism. Wikipedia defines Crony Capitalism as “a pejorative term describing an allegedly capitalist economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between businessmen and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, and so forth.”

 

Crony Capitalists may rationalize that what they are doing is in the public’s best interest. But actually, they mostly care about the money, influence and power.

 

Welcome to the world of Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac. It was reported that the leaders of both these companies were there as favors from liberal politicians like Congressman Barney Frank. He was the chairman of the House committee which was supposed to oversee their operations. In return, he and then Senator Barack Obama received huge campaign contributions –– along with a much smaller amount going to Senator McCain just in case he was elected President.

 

In the end, it didn’t matter whether the Democrats or the Republicans were the most at fault. Because the general public connects Republicans with business, they took the hit and lost the “08” election.

 

There are also cases where public figures like Donald Rumsfeld, before he became Secretary of Defense under Bush, used political power and connections to force through products like Aspartames (Equal and NutraSweet) over the objections of many scientists who knew that it was poisonous and not fit for human consumption.

 

Most small and even large businesses are run by entrepreneurs who are honest, trustworthy and have both their customers’ and employees’ best interests in mind. They know that the best way to build a business is through honesty, good service and playing by the rules. These qualities produce a good reputation that can bring growth and prosperity to all involved.

 

Governor Sarah Palin was the only one of the four candidates for executive office in 2008 who had fought crony capitalism and won. The others were actually directly or indirectly knee or shoulder deep in the muck.

 

As long as competition functions in the free-market system, customers who are treated badly will not only tell ten people how they were treated, but they will take their business elsewhere. Another safeguard is an employee’s ability and option to take his labor and skills to another employer. Granted, that option is stronger in bull-market economic times. But it is always there.

 

Crony capitalism should not be allowed to be a part of our economic system. Political favors and monopolies destroy the competition that makes a market free, while a private-property, capitalistic system works to keep prices and wages in balance. If businesses will not police themselves, we the people through our laws and news media need to hold them accountable, no matter who their associates are.

 

Even though big business can be dangerous, is the main source of large-scale evil in this country coming from big-business and powerful individuals, or from big-government and powerful politicians? Can Bill Gates take your money and give you nothing? Can Microsoft take your kids or put you in jail?

 

Big-government can do all this and more.

 

Therefore, we will spend most of our discussion on our government’s influence in America because, like it or not, the consequences of what happens inside the White House or the State Capitol touch every aspect of our lives. We need to know how, when, and why it affects us. If we find that government is encroaching upon our liberties, we need to recognize this and find ways to respond.

 

DEFINING CONFUSING TERMS

 

Oddly, a person can be a conservative on certain issues and still believe in the liberal worldview. Likewise, a person can be a liberal on certain issues and still believe in the need for fiscal and personal responsibility. To be as flexible as possible, we should admit that the terms “Republican” and “Democrat” have less to do with this discussion than the terms “conservative” and “liberal” –– or, in today’s vocabulary, “Red” and “Blue.” Today’s conservative believes much as the traditional liberal did before World War II. Speaking within historical context is necessary to keep the terms legitimate.

 

I can think of acquaintances who are called conservative, but for the most part are liberal. They are conservative in the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, and how much risk they are willing to take in business. Some even resist changing the kind of music sung at their church. But they are liberal in their theology and/or political views.

 

Standard definitions of conservative and liberal are mushy. One of the definitions of conservative is “tight,” while liberal means “generous.” Ask an opponent, and you will hear them describing conservatives as mean-spirited, cruel and uncaring, while they see liberals as caring and giving. Ask an opponent about liberals and you get an ugly picture of caring and giving gone awry.

 

So who gets to define what a conservative is? Who puts the label on a present day liberal? Not intending to be offensive or using words in a negative way, I contend that each should be given the opportunity to define themselves by an objective and historical measure.

 

A “conservative” is defined as favoring the existing order — being prudent, cautious and resisting change.

 

A “liberal” is defined in The American Heritage Dictionary as generous, broad-minded, tolerant, favoring civil liberties, democratic reforms and the use of public resources to promote social programs.

 

Many, if not most people, who consider themselves to be liberals or independents who vote for liberal candidates, do not have a truly liberal worldview. They feel strongly about issues and they want to help others. They are willing to do their part and sacrifice their money and time to accomplish this. They want to see people become non-victims. They want to see their concerns fixed. When they see a victim, they see someone they want to help — not someone they can use. They see everyone around them as generally trustworthy, and they do not read ulterior motives into others’ actions.

 

The group which staged the benefit event to raise money for the family of the husband and father injured in a truck accident had nothing to gain personally. The teacher who stayed after school for three months to teach my son to read did not get paid overtime.

 

Unfortunately, many people believe that if you care, you have to consider yourself a liberal. However, if you care enough to want to see victims become non-victims, be careful with your labels –– and your vote. The wrong people get into office when we confuse true victims with those who simply feel like victims, true victimizers with perceived victimizers, or true champions with pseudo-champions of victims.

 

Consider this book a warning: be careful whom you support and how you label yourself. As you will see, you may actually be giving power to those who say they “care” but actually have no incentive or desire to fix the issue you care about.

 

Just because they say and act like they “care” does not mean that they will not use you and that issue for personal gain and votes. You need to know the dangers and consequences of big-government “solutions” to problems. The best way for many liberal leaders to remain a “champion with a cause” is to trade one problem for another. If there are no victims, there is no need for a champion-of-victims, and a liberal leader’s power may disappear.

 

The terms liberal, vertical, and victim/victimizer/pseudo-champion-of victims worldview can be thought of as synonymous. But, for the purposes of this book when politics is involved, “liberal” will normally be used. When politics is not involved the terms vertical, victim/victimizer/pseudo-champion-of-victims worldview will normally be used. (Please refer to the graphics at the end of this chapter). Likewise, the terms conservative, horizontal, and trustworthy worldview can be synonymous. The word, “conservative” will normally be used when politics is involved.

 

   

 

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