Voice of a True Conservative! (Response from a former Conservative)

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Edit: 6-5-2012

So I logged on to my HubPages today to see that distinctive broken link notification. It appears Dzephaniah has deleted the article in question, "Voice of a True Conservative!", which means that anyone reading this will have to rely on the cut & pasted quotes from his hub, rather than getting the full context of his original work.

I had a friend a few years ago who was a hard, right-wing conservative. He was flabbergasted that I had transitioned from voting Republican in my youth to voting Democrat as I grew older. He was fond of paraphrasing Winston Churchill by telling me, "Liberals are young and idealistic, but conservatives understand how the world works."

In response, I felt it necessary to point out that he was essentially saying liberals are inherently compassionate and conservatives are disillusioned, world-weary people who want everyone to feel their misery. I'm not really interested in debating my former friends claim, though. I'm interested in your unsourced arguments. Let's go through them step by step, shall we?

Source
Presidential Elections in 2008, as broken down along state party lines.
Presidential Elections in 2008, as broken down along state party lines. | Source

Argument: Democrats are supported by immature welfare recipients.

"They really have the support of naïve college students that have absolutely no clue about life. The students support the democrats because of their leaning towards environmentalist and liberal ideas." -- A True Conservative

First off, the so-called "youth vote" applies to voters age 18-29 years old. Generally, most people are done with college by their mid-20's. Those who are still finishing degrees in their late 20's are, generally speaking, the ones going for Doctorates or Masters degrees.

Of the students attending college in 2011, 23% work 20 hours or more in addition to attending school. The total family income of 47% of college graduates is less than $40,000/year, meaning they have to work or earn scholarships to pay for education. And (you'll like this) among freshman college students, party affiliation is a near-even split -- 21.7% identify as conservative, while 27.3% identify as liberal.

Your next claim, that:

"Most of the other democratic support comes from uneducated people and the immigrants. Large percentage of them doesn’t (sic) pay taxes and are looking for government handouts."

Is also not supported by the evidence. The Pew Research data for the 2008 elections show that the young voters were not as crucial to President Obama's victory as popularly touted -- he would have lost some key states if no older voters had voted for him. The exit polls showed that while Obama captured 66% of the youth vote (compared to McCain's 31%), the two candidates were evenly split on voters 30 and above. Whether or not the voter was college educated made no statistically significant difference in voting preferences. An interesting point -- and one the GOP would have done well to note -- is that a significant gender gap was noticeable even then, with 69% of female voters aged 18-29 voting Democrat (62% of men), and 52% of women 30 and above voting Democrat (47% of men).

You might also be interested in looking up some actual information on the current state of welfare in our country. To sum up: 3% of the total government budget (about $59 billion) are spent on "traditional" welfare recipients -- the type highlighted in these maps of welfare recipients that so neatly overlap with Republican voting districts. Comparatively, 5% ($92 billion) of the Federal budget is dedicated to corporate welfare.

The difference is not, as you think, college education or welfare queens. The difference is something else altogether: The Internet. In 2000, voters aged 18-29 were almost completely even split between the Democrat (36%) and Republican (35%) parties. According to the Pew Reseach data, younger voters were less inclined to vote Democratic than older voters. By 2004, that gap was already starting to widen. In 2008, the Democratic affiliation of young voters had increased 8 points in 4 years, while Republican affiliation had actually dropped 9 points in the same amount of time. Voters identifying as "independent" remained constant. During this same time frame, internet use has tripled, meaning that it is easier than ever before for voters to remain informed.


Source

Argument: Rich people are conservative, therefore conservatism equals success.

"Let’s face the truth folks: If the conservatives are as backward as the democrats try to portray, than how come that most of the rich and famous people in the world are conservative?" -- A True Conservative

The problem with this stance is not only that you immediately dismiss successful and wealthy people who "don't count" (ie: "Hollywood and entertainment riffraff,"), which is particularly ironic given that entertainers are more likely to work hard at honing a skill in order to become wealthy and successful, while 5 of the top 10 wealthiest Americans inherited their wealth. You might also be interested to know that the top 3 wealthiest Americans (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Larry Ellison -- who, incidentally, earned their wealth) have signed a "giving pledge," vowing to leave half their wealth (upon their death) to charity. Heck, according to this conservative website aimed at a conservative audience, 60% of the wealthiest Americans identify as Democrats.

Of course, the article conveniently leaves out that many wealthy Democrats have gone on record asking to be taxes at a higher rate, while the wealthy Republicans have gone on record with statements such as, "Why is it fair that I should be paying a higher percentage of taxes than anyone else?" (Sheldon Adelson) and the infamous, "I like to fire people," statement by Romney. While it's true Romney meant his statement in a more personal and individual sense of, "If someone has provided poor services, they should be fired," when the statement was inevitably juxtaposed against his background as a corporate raider at Bain Capitol, it made him come off looking pretty heartless.

Thus far, you've made a lot of hyperbolic claims, but cited no statistics or evidence to back them up -- which is probably because the facts do not back up your claims, but instead actually contradict and falsify them.

Source

Argument: Belief in god equates to wealth and success.

"Nearly every successful person that I ever met believed in God. If you don’t believe me look around you and see what leaders of the successful countries and corporation do believe in God, and they have become successful by following his principals." -- Voice of a True Conservative

First, I'd like to ask how many successful people you personally have met. I find that a really interesting claim, and I'd like to hear the story with that. I'd love to meet Bill Gates or Doris Fisher or Jim Sinegal, but let's be honest -- as a middle-class, under $60,000/yr American, I am not going to be running in their social circles anytime soon. It's not just a matter of wealth, it's just statistically unlikely: Of the current 313,165,610+ United States citizens, the trend of the last three decades has placed fully 90% of them (347,961,789+) in households making $100,000/year or less. As an average American -- one of the 90% -- the chances I'll meet one of the 10% in the day-to-day run of life is statistically unlikely.

Next is your assertion that wealthy people and nations become so by following god's principals. I'm not even going to get into which god you mean, because given the context and your self-identification as an American conservative, I think we can reasonably deduce you mean the Christian-Judeo (likely Protestant or Evangelical) version of god. While the bible is suspiciously silent on political affiliation, conservatives, or liberals, it is pretty clear on what Jesus thinks of wealth:

22. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.

23. When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.

24. Jesus looked at him and said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!" -- Luke 18: 22-24 (NIV)

According to Jesus, as recorded in the bible, Jesus recommended that the wealthy redistribute their wealth to the poor. As for your next examples, the list of so-called unsuccessful "atheist" countries who had turned their backs on god:

  • Russia is one of the most atheist countries in the world.
  • Cuba also doesn’t (sic) believe in God and see how well that they live (sic).
  • China doesn’t (sic) believe in the bible.
  • East Germany didn't believe in God either and believed in socialism, until it almost collapsed and finally joined the west

This is getting almost embarrassing. While it's true that, like the United States of America, neither Russia or Cuba have an official state religion -- although in 1997, Russia recognized Roman Catholicism as an official "historical heritage" of the country, something the U.S. has not done for any religious belief -- you are false in asserting that Russians and Cubans are non-religious. In fact, 73% of Russians identify as Orthodox Catholics (ie, Christian), and 60% of Cubans identify as Catholic. In other words, the majority of the population. Asserting that China's lack of belief in the bible is the cause of their economic situation is to ignore two things: First, that Hong Kong, a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is number 8 (just below the U.S.) in world rank of top 10 wealthiest countries. Two, that of those top 10 wealthiest countries, only two are considered Christian. Three are Islamic, one is predominantly Buddhist, and four consider themselves atheist -- which, again, neatly contradicts your final point: "There is no prosperous country out there that doesn’t (sic) rely on the bible principals."

The rest of your hub spins completely away from politics and into a religious rant that attempts to defend your religious superiority without actually citing any factual or statistical evidence to back up your claims. I mean, to just address a few:

Argument: Religion makes people happier overall

At some point, you devolved from trying to prove a conservative political view to trying to prove why your particular brand of religious belief is superior to other forms of belief and/or atheism. Unfortunately, most of your arguments are subjective ("We have great gatherings,"), unverifiable ("We rarely get sad, because we are never alone."), or simply not sourced. What claims can be examined are disproved with no effort:

Your Claim: "We have happiness and rarely have mental health problems."

Facts: Research shows this to be false. In fact, religious people with mental illnesses feel unsupported by religion and unable to seek support. The stigma of mental illness within religious structures causes the religiously-affiliated mentally ill to fear being open about their medical issues. Additionally, 1 in 17 Americans suffers from a serious, lifelong mental illness.

Your Claim: "Our children give us utmost respect and joy to us. They will never consider putting us out in the retirement home."

Facts: Clearly, people of all stripes -- including born again Christians -- put their parents in nursing homes. In fact, 1 in 7 American seniors 65+ will live in a nursing home, and for American seniors 85+, the chances go up to 1 in 5. Your claim is just numerically and factually incorrect, again.

At this point, I have to skip a bunch of your assertions, because they are a) unverifiable and b) just plain laughable. But to address the very final claims,

Your Claim: "We NEVER take a government handout."

Fact: This was already addressed above, with the map that showed highly conservative/ religious areas overlapping with welfare recipients. There's no shame in taking government handouts. There is shame in not realizing it and voting against your own self-interests.

Your Claim: "The term "Single Mother" is non existant (sic). We only have children, if we are married."

Fact: I don't even have to cite a study. Just let me google that for you. Look at all those Christian support groups, church groups, and dating sites for single mothers!

You're never going to get anyone to take you seriously, even people who adhere to similar religious and political beliefs, if you just outrageously lie to try and prove your point. You don't need to lie if truth and the facts are on your side.

A final note

For any readers who actually read the hub I am addressing and my full response, you're probably thinking, "Why the heck did you go to all the effort to find the research to disprove an obviously crazy guy? He thinks he's a direct descendant of a prophet!"

To that, I respond: Well, I was hopping hubs, as you will, when I came across his hub, purporting to represent the views of a "true conservative." By the first sentence, it was clear he didn't have a clue what he was writing about. By the end of the first paragraph, it was clear he wasn't even going to try to back up his claims with cited evidence. And when I reached his list of unsuccessful "atheist" countries, I was so irritated at his complete and utter inability to even try to research his claims that I began writing this hub to rebut his poor political arguments. So I started writing my response hub right then, and only returned after I'd addressed up to his atheist countries claim.

At this point, I realized I'd wasted a ton of time and research trying to rebut someone who wasn't even seriously discussing politics, but instead was setting up an elaborate argument to explain why his particular brand of religious is vastly superior to all others. As a former mormon turned atheist, I just prefer not to discuss religion. It's a touchy topic. Belief and faith, by their very nature, are resistant to facts -- that's the way it's set up. I don't like to argue faith with facts, because it's ultimately up to the believer to choose when and if they want to question their particular faith, let alone their basic belief in a god or gods. But I'd already written like 75% of the hub, and I was like, "Eh, what the diddle. I'll go ahead and finish it up and publish it, and this way if anyone who happens to read this hub finds themselves in a political discussion, I'll have gathered a lot of the research for them.

So that's why there's a hub responding in all seriousness to a religious zealot. Thanks for reading!

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Comments 16 comments

Chasuk 4 years ago

Thank you for writing this. When I saw True Conservative's laughably ignorant hub, I almost responded to it, but I felt overwhelmed by the sheer depth and breadth of misinformation.

Voted up.


Thinking Allowed profile image

Thinking Allowed 4 years ago from Brooklyn, NY USA

I didn't ask why you wrote this, I just said "Damn, that was fast". Haha. I'm really glad that you responded. Exactly as Chasuk said "I almost responded to it, but I felt overwhelmed by the sheer depth and breadth of misinformation". It made my jaw drop. So I say thank you as well.


Gusser 4 years ago

Welfare recipients are 72% from cities & burbs. Most cities & burbs are DemoCAN controlled. At least admit that.


that one girl profile image

that one girl 4 years ago from Washington state Author

Admit that where the population is larger, there are more likely to be more welfare recipients? That's a no-brainer.


mrshadyside1 profile image

mrshadyside1 4 years ago from Georgia

The biggest problem with our government today is the fact that we even have a party system period.Even some of the founding fathers warned against allowing the party system warning that it would be the fall of the nation.United we stand divided we fall.The Democrats and Republican parties are corrupt and irreversibly tainted and if you actually believe that they give a damn about what happens to the citizens as a whole your are in denial and delusional. The lesser of two evils is still an evil.That's the no-brainer.


that one girl profile image

that one girl 4 years ago from Washington state Author

Yeah, I find our current situation fascinating. If you ever look back on the history of our two-party system, you'll see we don't often discuss in depth why the Democratic-Republican party became the first party and not John Adam's flavor of Federalism. Our schools don't teach the differing mindsets between the Whig and Democrat parties, or why the Whigs were only elected I think once? Hell, our schools don't even discuss modern political set-ups, let alone the politics of yore, so most people tend to assume the Republican/ Democrat binary has been this way since the Constitution was signed. It's pretty sad.

While I agree with you regarding the problems inherent in the 2-party system, it's easy to point out the problem. Coming up with a solution is harder. Your solution appears to be that I should throw up my hands, say, "Welp, they're both evil," and recuse myself from the system in general.

It's very easy to sit back and pronounce, "The lesser of two evils is still an evil," but it doesn't really resolve anything in the real world. In the real world, there are people who strongly, strongly believe in the more evil evil. They aren't going to say, "Gee, the system is broken. Better not vote!" They're going to go out and vote for their more evil evil, and if I sit by in silent protest, I'm doing nothing but hurting myself. I don't have the resources or skills to move out of country -- I'm stuck living here and dealing with the consequences of these elections. At least the guy being presented by the Democrats doesn't want to roll back the feminist movement by 60+ years, revoke civil rights, and institute a theocracy.


mrshadyside1 profile image

mrshadyside1 4 years ago from Georgia

Vote independent.I'm sure any independent candidate will not be any less qualified yet they may not have the funding behind them and the rhetoric.If we are ever going to see a change that is the only way.An independent can't do very much harm from the point where we are currently standing.To actually show that we are sick of the endless bickering and partisan bull and special interest influence we have to shake things up. As it is these career politicians are very complacent and in all actuality working together as far as level of corruption goes. They are quite comfy knowing that they have us all over a barrel. I guarantee that if independents started popping up in session of congress and in the senate some level of quality would work it's way back into the mindset of the "big"two.


that one girl profile image

that one girl 4 years ago from Washington state Author

As far as local elections go -- governor, congress, senate, etc. -- I think you may have a valid point. For the national elections, I suspect we have a few more years and some serious campaign refinance laws to implement before change starts happening -- not to mention proving that independents are viable candidates by repeatedly voting them in at the state level.

Personally, I'm of the opinion the GOP is slowly killing itself. I don't know where we're going to go, politically, from the death of the GOP. We used to have a single-party system, but I suspect reverting to that in these modern times would only encourage corruption. So I'm thinking we'll end up with a confusing system for a bit, with several parties trying to fill the void left by the neutered GOP. During the transitional phase, campaign refinance laws will be proposed and passed. One will gain precedence -- probably the Libertarians -- and we will revert to a 2-party system again. With any luck, the shake-up will last for a few decades, and we'll have viable options from several major parties for a few election cycles.


Sooner28 4 years ago

Wonderful hub. I encountered the same thing, and when I pointed out Denmark and Sweden were not religious and really left-leaning, I was told they were run "conservatively," whatever that means...

Good hub though. Some people's ignorance can help others elucidate the facts of a situation. Voted up.


mrshadyside1 profile image

mrshadyside1 4 years ago from Georgia

I don't think there's a viable candidate representing the republican or democratic party at present. Mix the base corruption with the total lack of intellectual leadership skills and just about any one off the street would be just as safe a bet as Romney,Gingritch,Santorum,or Obama. At one time Ron Paul looked ok but he's to eager to align with whoever gets the popular vote.Since I don't believe in the party system I'm neither D or R I'm American,but I thought at least Obama would have some sort of values. I knew he would never live up to his ridiculous promises,but I never imagined he would pass the NDAA 2012 into law or the HR 347. I am alarmed over the near unanimous vote within the house and senate on both bills.I'm just afraid the government are staging for something seriously bad by passing two laws within 3 months that are a direct violation of the Constitution.We have,since new years eve,lost habeas corpus and the right to peacefully protest.Executive power has grown dramatically and now the military have the right to police civilians on our own soil without having to be under any emergency or disaster situation. I just do not see that we have time to "wait"for any other party to step up and continue the corruption of either D or R. I actually can't figure out why most of the public does not find the current actions of the government alarming and disturbing.


that one girl profile image

that one girl 4 years ago from Washington state Author

I agree with you regarding the most recent NDAA passage (there's a version passed every 4 years) and the disturbing free-speech ramifications of H.R. 347.

The thing is, I do believe in the rule of law, and in the ability of American citizens to protest and stand up for themselves. Look at SOPA. Heck, look at our history as a nation -- feminist movement, civil rights, repealing prohibition. Things have happened that we have not liked in this country before, and we have changed them. I have hope for us.

Added to that, unlike you, I do like Obama. Sure, I wish he was more left-wing, and I'm disappointed in some of the policies he's letting slide through (especially as related to military and intelligence). But on the other hand, I think he's done a lot more than people realize. Check out this list for a full breakdown: http://www.insightnewspaper.mu/index.php/component...

Honestly, I think he's one of those presidents who is going to be unappreciated in his day, but will go down in history as a man who did great things. I also think that given the enormous pressures of this office and the massive amounts of corporate, political, and international pressure he's been under -- not to mention his entering office in a failing economy and under the burden of two not-official wars -- he's done an exemplary job.

To be honest, I completely disagree with your assertion that "any one off the street" would be just as good. I don't think that's true at all. I know for a fact I wouldn't be able to handle the pressures of office, and I know two people who are so narrow-minded, vicious, petty, and bigoted that they make Santorum look almost reasonable. I knew a man once who told me liberals shouldn't be elected to the office of country coroner because you, "didn't know what those damn liberal atheists would do to a dead body." I wouldn't want him in office. His solution to the immigration issue is to literally build a Great Wall of Mexico and a matching Great Wall of Canada. When you point out several illegal immigrants come over by water, he said we should build the wall in the ocean, too. Average guy off the street. You honestly think a guy like that would do better than Romney or Obama?


mrshadyside1 profile image

mrshadyside1 4 years ago from Georgia

I'm not questioning the capacity of either man,certainly they are educated bright men although Romney has something to hide and I don't think he is of the character set needed to be the most powerful man in the world.At one time I agreed with your take on Obama I just cannot believe he would sign into law anything that stated U.S. citizens can be held indefinitely with out trial. The very open ended definitions of terrorist or even anyone that might interview some deemed as terrorists is a big red flag. Those words were left incredibly vague for a reason,no underwriter is going to leave such an important document that vague. It is written as if it were a "go with your gut" kind of thing or do what you want and we'll leave this giant loophole to cover political rivals or anyone . The war on terror wording leaves a giant "mulligan" out there also since terrorism is not a state but an act,that's just asking for the right over ambitious executive to come along and instate powers that will not given up until he sees fit. Whenever that may be,and since anyone anywhere can be snatched up and detained indefinitely with out trail,there's no real reason to actually gather or substantiate evidence before doing so. Actually the way the whole section reads it can be twisted to include anyone that is an inconvenience to the government. It does not offer any protection to the citizens of the U.S. at all. I don't know I may be compounding it but the way I read the Constitution both documents are in direct conflict and violation of our rights and could be seen as treasonous.


that one girl profile image

that one girl 4 years ago from Washington state Author

I believe in the United States of America, in American citizens. I believe in the lessons history teaches us. We, both at state and federal levels, have passed laws, acts, and even constitutional amendments that we later regretted and altered. This is not the first nor the last time something as regrettable as this will be passed. I do not think it completely invalidates his presidency. I do think it is a horrible thing, and I can't see any justification for it, and I think it most likely is in violation of the American constitution.

Personally, I did (and continue to do) everything I can within the system to voice my dissent. That is all I can do. I will not advocate or join a violent revolution -- I care too much about my family to advocate violent rebellion on our soil. I cannot move out of country. I will not recuse myself from the system and let people I completely disagree with silence my voice. My only option is to work within the existing system and believe in the American people and our system.

As a nation, we have been places and done things we have been ashamed of before. We have passed laws we regretted. We have granted presidential powers that are frightening. But we always work through it and figure it out. I will admit that democracy and the voice of the people was dying, but with the advent and rise of the internet, our voice is returning to us.

I believe America will survive this time of turmoil. I think President Obama has done many great things, and I do not think his mistakes with HR 347 and the NDAA are nearly enough to completely invalidate his other successes.


mrshadyside1 profile image

mrshadyside1 4 years ago from Georgia

I truly hope you are right but I can not be silent about it.Thanks for the engaging conversation.


edmob1 profile image

edmob1 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi I found this hub whilst browsing the hubs and became easily engaged in it. Of course this meant I had read your hub,then had to go to the hub you were commenting on.

I agree there was a little to advance the political arguement in the hub and somehow we ended up with belief and and family affiliation becoming the main point.


mackyi profile image

mackyi 4 years ago from Philadelphia

I applaud the fact that you have taken the time to do your own research, rather than be gullible as some of us are. When it comes to Politics we always have to watch out for a lot of slippery slopes, red herrings, appeal to popular people, straw men,character distortions and many other fallacies. The game of politics is never played fair by desperate politicians(it's doing or saying whatever it takes to win.

I would like to hear Politicians applauding their opponents for a good job done, then point out their shortcomings and then say what they themselves could do better and how they would do it!

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