Op-ed: The conservative alignment problem

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  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Sept. 12, 2017 10:46 a.m.

    What this obviously highly biased author writes is completely wrong.

    For example, look at the response to the hurricanes. We have seen individuals, not government, provide rescue boats, water, food, shelter, etc.. to those in need. Now that some of the storms are past, we see volunteers, not government going out to help.

    Look at the history of the US. It used to be that we had charity hospitals that were funded entirely through donations, providing one of the safety nets. The Shriner's Hospital is a great example of this.

    Look at the community food pantries that help the truly needy.

    The author also ignores the scientific data showing that it is the Conservatives that have taken care of the poor much better than the liberals ever have.

    Socialism does not work. How many of those safety nets would not be needed if it wasn't for the effects of large government?

    To "marxist" yes Marx and his ideas should join his predecessors. They should be boxed up and buried. As you have admitted Marxism leads to nowhere. You will destroy innovation following that path. Why destroy innovation?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 12:48 p.m.

    @Susan Storm "I am often appalled by my party that claims to be followers of Christ yet are unwilling to do anything to help their fellow man"...
    #1. No "party" claims to be followers of Christ. That's something you do as an individual, not as a Party.

    #2. Helping your fellow man... can be done several ways To some it's a hand-out. Others it's tough-love. To some it's giving a hungry man a fish. To others it's teaching him to fish.

    It's not black-or-white. Both approaches can work. It's not your Party or the highway.

    Just because we do things differently does not make one party "good" and the other party "evil".

    They both do some good. And both get things wrong.

    But I'm getting real tired of people who get all sanctimonious about their party.

    There's not an ounce of difference between the two partys when you zoom out and look at them in general. Democrats have just as bad a record of following Christ, and Democrats have just as bad a record in actually solving Poverty in America.

    So don't be appalled at your neighbors, and don't judge them. Especially don't judge them by the "Party" you think they belong to. That's bogus.

  • Husker2 Odessa, TX
    Sept. 11, 2017 11:57 a.m.

    @liberal larry "Once you believe that a well run government can't deal with societies problems where do you go from there?"

    It depends how you define "well run". The U.S. has had a leadership void in the White House and Congress for many decades. Both political parties are worthless.

    @Utah Girl "Conservative principles begin with "where's mine?" and end with "if you're vulnerable, get out of my way."

    Liberal principles begin with "I'm entitled to what you have" and end with "if you're vulnerable, I'll take what you need from my neighbor and give it to you".

    @Susan Storm "I am often appalled by my party that claims to be followers of Christ yet are unwilling to do anything to help their fellow man."

    Liberals and conservatives have a different notion of what it means to "help their fellow man". Liberals considerate it compassionate (and in their best election interests) to get people dependent on government. Conservatives want people to be independent and survive on their own hard work.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 11:10 a.m.

    The president and CEO of Next Generation Freedom Fund telling Conservatives how they should live and what they should do... interesting.

    I'm sure I want a CEO telling me how I should live, and how we all need to be property aligned.

    Not sure you're aware of this Paul but... many Independents are Conservative. So we don't align perfectly with either party. We are a very diverse group. So don't expect Conservatives to perfectly align with any specific political ideology. We're gonna be all over the place. That's what being "Independent" means.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 9:29 a.m.

    @Paul Mero

    I am a conservative because of the Golden Rule. Fifty years of liberal policies have been devastating to the family -- most particularly, to minority families. Inter-generational dependency on welfare is neither dignifying nor elevating. I don't want this for my family, and I don't want it for other families. Let's try something else.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 7:14 a.m.

    (cont'd from my previous comment).

    I said that the 'charity' government gives (like Social Security, MediCare, MedicAid, etc) are no more or less 'charitable' than the 8% "dividend" Bernie Madoff paid to his "investors" for close to half a century!

    My family received MedicAid for a few years. Receiving it seemed like a godsend. For 18 years previously, I paid high premiums for health insurance that gave my family lousy coverage (no dental or eyecare), high co-pays, and high deductibles.

    My parents and grandparents received Social Security payments, and MediCare, etc. Yes, many will claim, "But we pay into it!" We should get what we deserve.

    Governments all across this land, decades ago, outlawed pyramid, otherwise called 'Ponzi' schemes, because sooner or later, they go bust.

    But, what govt has determined illegal, because it is immoral, for private entities to do, it has made legal for itself to do.

    That 77% will rise to 92% by about 2015 (8 yrs away). And that's not long away!

    Bunce pointed out to Congressman Crockett that the US Constitution never authorized charity. And Bunce's arguments against it are convincing. Read it & change your viewpoint!

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 7:05 a.m.

    Mr Mero is an apt word smith. Some of what he insinuates is wrong, though, about 'conservatives' and 'conservatism' I agree with. And, I agree we need to see humans, and not mere 'moral principles' in isolation.

    That said, however, I would disagree with the concept that all 'conservatives' believe in even "an austere safety net", as I am supposing he is speaking of 'government' providing that 'safety net'.

    The other day I read an exceptional speech the well known, once congressman, Davy Crockett gave there. Google, Davy Crockett and "not yours to give". Take the few minutes it will require to read the whole article.

    Among the principles 'this' conservative (i.e., me) believes, is that our government was never established to serve as a 'charity'. His speech, and his background story of meeting and talking with a constituent, one Horatio Bunce, is educational.

    Right now, 77ยข of ever $1.00 the Federal govt spends goes to cover the 'safety net' Paul Mero supposes even 'conservatives' believe govt should provide. It is, imo, as wonderful as it seems to recipients (& I have been 1), it is as much a Ponzi scheme as was Bernie Madoff's. (plz read my follow up to this comment)

  • Susan Storm Sandy, UT
    Sept. 11, 2017 12:44 a.m.

    I agree.
    It's really easy to tell someone to "pull themselves up by the bootstraps" when they themselves are doing well financially, are healthy and have a normal functioning family.

    I am often appalled by my party that claims to be followers of Christ yet are unwilling to do anything to help their fellow man.

  • Jayson Meline Chubbuck, ID
    Sept. 10, 2017 7:24 p.m.

    It is true that trickle down economics or supply side economics is an antiquated and false theory just as much as Keynesian economic theory.

    However, I would argue the GOP is overt in its advocacy for rewarding the hoarding of wealth; but more importantly creating a system to stack everything against the middle class and small business owner. However, the progressives are covert in creating a system that likewise exploits the poor by creating dependency while leveraging ignorance and dire economic circumstances to likewise benefit the top 10% at the expense of the 90%.

    Democrats and Republicans are both beholden to the wealthy and the interests of the wealthy. Democrats and Republicans do not represent the small business owner, the two job wage earner, or the loyal professional and blue collar worker.

    Both parties understand all to well the golden rule corollary; he/she who has the gold makes the rules.

    We were founded on the idea of escaping monarchy and aristocracy; yet we very much are governed by the same in a more stealth like manner in the form of the faciliators: Democrats and Republicans.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    Sept. 10, 2017 6:25 p.m.

    You cannot grow a nation with "tax breaks for the rich".

    The GOP is based on wealth hoarding. They care for nothing but themselves.

    I am glad people within the Republican Party are waking up to what Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are all about!

  • Jayson Meline Chubbuck, ID
    Sept. 10, 2017 1:41 p.m.

    The author makes some very valid points about the dichotomy conservative ideology presents.

    I remind the author a similar contradiction exists with progressive ideology that preaches choices without consequences ; or that we are all obligated to bear the consequences of the choices of others.

    Modern day liberals as well as conservatives have no bearing on wisely evaluating the simple concept of sustainability as evidenced by our debt. Both ideologies teach rights without responsibility.

    What the author does provide is valid arguments about how wrong political ideology is. It also provides insight as to why political parties are the absolutely worst organizations that exist in America.

    Politics is taking two equally important values and creating conflict with them as opposed to balancing them to address issues with compassion and equity; yet without compromising accountability and individual consequences. Politics is about creating false conflict; not objective root cause problem solving and balanced education of the issues that we face from a realist perspective.

    We need to abandon party and ideology if we truly want to solve problems and get things done.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Sept. 10, 2017 10:52 a.m.

    The fundamental flaw with this entire piece is that it assumes that one's view of government action is one's view of the world. I believe in freedom as the God-given right of every person. I also believe I have an obligation to be charitable. But neither of us has the right for force the other to be charitable.

    The Founding Fathers made clear that there was nothing in the Constitution which allowed the legislative branch to engage in charity. Charity is your own personal obligation. Unfortunately, many in our country now view themselves as charitable if they vote for laws which give assistance to the poor using other people's money. (The bottom 80 percent of tax payers pay only 16% of income taxes).

    In 1900 the U.S. Poverty rate by todays definition was over 50%. By the mid 1960s it was about 15%. Since we passed the Great Society legislation and spent $20,000,000,000,000 on poverty programs, we have obtained poverty reduction of less than 2%.

    We spend over $60,000 in welfare per house in poverty each year and yet see virtually no improvement. I want government out of the charity business precisely because I care about the poor.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 10, 2017 12:02 a.m.

    Or, Once a special interest group pummels their opponents into submission it is so much easier for everyone to get along on a particular issue.

  • Strachan Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 9, 2017 11:13 a.m.

    Thanks for the thoughtful piece Mr. Mero.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 9, 2017 10:42 a.m.

    Conservative principles begin with "where's mine?" and end with "if you're vulnerable, get out of my way."

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Sept. 9, 2017 10:12 a.m.

    What did he say?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2017 9:17 a.m.

    The content of the economics discipline is key. Marx must be allowed to join his predecessors Smith and Ricardo in that discipline. Until that happens economics will remain crippled and unable to assist conservatives in clearing their heads.

  • liberal larry Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 9, 2017 9:07 a.m.

    Ever since Reagan the conservative trend has been to vilify government. Once you believe that a well run government can't deal with societies problems where do you go from there?

    Corporations, churches, think tanks, non-profits, can not fill this void.

    Once the right veers back towards the sane center this country can get back on track!

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 9, 2017 8:06 a.m.

    Paul Mero calling out Conservatives and the heartless behavior? For a decade he extolled the virtues of Conservatives. What changed Paul? Guess his views depend on whom is signing his paycheck.