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Monday, August 11, 2008

Are You a Maker or a Taker?

Republicans are the "party of the rich" and conservatives are just mean-spirited selfish people who don't want to help anybody, right?

If you think so, you've bought the stereotype without the facts.

The National Center for Policy Analysis highlights Peter Schweizer's new book "Makers and Takers."

Schweizer dug through surveys, private records, scholarly reports and tax data to compile his findings.

* Seventy-one percent of conservatives say you have an obligation to care for a seriously injured spouse or parent versus less than half (46 percent) of liberals.

* Conservatives have a better work ethic and are much less likely to call in sick than their liberal counterparts.

* Liberals are 2½ times more likely to be resentful of others’ success and 50 percent more likely to be jealous of other people’s good luck.

* Liberals are 2 times more likely to say it is okay to cheat the government out of welfare money you don’t deserve.

* Conservatives are more likely than liberals to hug their children and “significantly more likely” to display positive nurturing emotions.

* Liberals are less trusting of family members and much less likely to stay in touch with their parents.

* Do you get satisfaction from putting someone else’s happiness ahead of your own? Fifty-five percent of conservatives said yes versus only 20 percent of liberals.

* Rush Limbaugh, Ronald Reagan, Bill O’Reilly and Dick Cheney have given large sums of money to people in need, while Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, Michael Moore, and Al Gore have not.

* Those who are “very liberal” are 3 times more likely than conservatives to throw things when they get angry.

There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. But this makes for a very, very interesting trend since it is almost universally the Left that castigates the Right as being mean-spirited, selfish, and contemptuous of others in need.

But as we've seen numerous times in recent years, the average liberal should have been looking in the mirror when he condemned someone for being self-centered.

These findings really shouldn't come as a surprise to the student of political philosophy and worldview. While no philosophical disciple adheres perfectly, what you believe is generally going to guide your behavior.

Liberalism is based on secularism (which ignores or holds contempt for the spiritual, thus diminishing a sense of divine accountability), a materialism/naturalism/evolutionist philosophy (which again denies eternal accountability, transcendent moral values, and human dignity in favor of a mindset which places the self at the center of the universe), and faith in the power of government (which tends to absolve the individual of a sense of responsibility to help others, in favor of petitioning impersonal government entities to solve problems and meet needs).

Conservatism, on the other hand, is based on a Judeo-Christian worldview which (a) recognizes we are accountable to our Maker and his edicts, (b) we face eternal reward or punishment based on our behavior, (c) we face here-and-now consequences of our actions,(d) recognizes the human dignity of people as being created in the image of God, (e) acknowledges the divine command to love our neighbor as ourselves, (f) the obligation to help comes from family first, not government, (g) that some people will pretend to be needy and pervert charity, (h) to provide favoritism or benefit where it is not warranted undermines justice, (i) that the success of others is something to rejoice in, not be envious of.

When we take an honest look, the fruits of both philosophies are obvious. How much better it is to remember our eternal accountability, hold one another accountable to those objective standards, work hard, help one another where needed, and be glad of another's honest success.

It makes for a much happier life and a more wholesome society for us all.


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