Saturday, August 26, 2006

Why Would Anyone Be A Conservative?

One of the things that has always bothered me most in the world of politics, is that the left-leaning folks are always quick to make accusations that conservatives (and Conservatives) are out to attack such things as healthcare, education and social services.

While this has subsided of late, it will be back just as soon as any issue to which it is relevant arises, or whenever an election campaign begins.

I am extremely frustrated when this happens, because it's the most fundamental untruth about conservatives and yet it goes unchallenged most of the time. The question I would like to see interviewers, journalists and pundits address here is 'Why?' Why would anyone want to take healthcare away from anyone who needed it? Why would someone want to make an education system worse, not better? Why would anyone want to see people suffer unnecessarily?

The truth is that conservatives don't want any of these things. We want to see better healthcare for all, just as those on the left do. We want to see better education, and we want to build a happier, healthier society, just as those on the left do. We don't want to see anyone suffer.

We just have different views on how to make things better. But we don't want to make them worse for anyone, and the accusation that we do must always be fought.

Conservatives (with a small 'c') are often the most generous people you can meet; they are often the volunteer backbones of their communities; they are generous to charities; they help their neighbours. We're not 'activists'; we're too busy living life and making a real difference where we can. We believe in working hard, contributing as much as we're able and having the freedom to do so.

By contrast, left-wing 'activists' are more likely to be paid for their good works in salaried positions; more likely to engage in talking, politicising and criticising than in actually doing anything useful, even for the people they claim to be helping. The left-wing actually does want to see successful people's lives made harder and to see those people worse-off; that is the basis of their approach.

The accusation that conservatism is in some way evil, or in some way dedicated to making anyone's life worse is baseless and we need to be digging hard to get it out of the entrenched position it has in the world view of Canadians. We really do all want to make things better and it would be refreshing if left-wingers would admit as much sometime.