Food For Thought

Kevin Durant and Inequality

Conservatives do care about poverty. We have a whole color-coded portfolio of good ideas for how to tackle it. But if the public is disinclined to believe this, that may sometimes be our own fault. 

Conservatives love freedom, personal responsibility and spirited individualism. Those are wonderful (and very American) values that we are right to cherish. But we could perhaps be more discerning at times about choosing our talking points.

Yes. The right’s economic arguments, even if they’re 100% correct, are overly-technical and distant from the lives of many ordinary Americans. If we want to bring people to our side, we need to meet them where they are and present solutions to their problems that will strike them as both viable and compassionate. What’s more, we need to be more aggressive in assigning blame where it’s actually due. Why are so many inner city neighborhoods dysfunctional? That’s not the fault of the right; the right hasn’t had political control in the inner cities for decades. And if there’s any truth to the perception that people of color are not equally respected in the academy, might the animating assumptions behind affirmative action be the key contributing factor?

I do think we could do better when it comes to things like race and gender relations — even if I don’t agree with the left’s proposed fascistic “solutions.” What if we took concepts like “privilege” and “social justice” — and then cleverly turned them on their heads? What if we acknowledged the problems highlighted by the left — but then vigorously challenged the left’s explanations for their existence? Would we be more successful? I welcome your thoughts below!

One thought on “Food For Thought

  1. I actually think the right has been fundamentally WRONG in asserting things like: Social Security hasn't done any good and is nearly broken…or Medicare is too expensive to be worth the cost

    And yes…the GOP asserted those things during the heated battles to pass them and paid the price in a long term legacy of people thinking the GOP doesn't care about the poor.

    They're doing it again somewhat in the debate over ObamaCare. They're pointing the zillion things wrong with it…clamoring to repeal it, fighting to cripple the implementation, trying to win elections using it as the fulcrum, etc. But they have not unified under a competitive alternative…they present no vision for how to fix it other than the general argument that the health care system should be driven by open, accountable markets.

    We'll never win this way…we have to be the party that pushes a clear vision…that admits that problems the left highlights exist and offers a counter-solution, rather than simply fighting to hold back a bad leftist idea.

    Social Security has done the nation a lot of real good…as has Medicare. The cost can be blunted and the GOP should get behind a solid method to blunt that cost. The ACA is an unmitigated disaster of bad policy and special favors to well connected interest groups…a crony capitalist government evil on an epic scale. But it hasn't done ZERO good…and likely won't do ZERO good. Some people benefit…we have to go to those people and say “yes…you're doing better under this than what you had before…we can make you do EVEN BETER and our method won't box you in like theirs does.”

    The GOP fights every new leftist idea like the parent who wants to keep control of their increasingly independent teenager…by holding on tighter and tighter and tighter to the ideals that they like and yelling at the other side that they're hurting the family (you're ruining America…a common refrain of the right). When we should combat the left by making good arguments to our teenaged leftist friends…letting them fail with their ideas…and offering a better alternative.

    But that's just my 0.02


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