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Explaining the Conservative Mind

Updated on August 7, 2020
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Jack is a volunteer at the CCNY Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.


This essay is about me. A proud conservative. Before you entertain all the stereotypes of conservatives, please stop. They are all off the mark. Let me set you on the right path. If after reading my essay, and you choose to still disagree with me and my opinion, so be it. At least you would have a better understanding of where I am coming from and why I believe the things that matter.

- Aug. 2020


One of the major differences between a conservative and other groups is we are ruled by logic instead of emotions. This is very hard to do when talking about many social issues. It is hard to separate the individual stories of hardship from the policies that will address those problems. You have heard the term "bleeding heart liberal" and it is exactly what I mean. A liberal will often use a story and internalize it as if it is happening to them and wants immediately to try and help however they can, which invariably leads to throwing more money at it. This, of course, is not the solution. If it was, most of our problems should not exist by now. We have spent trillions of dollars on the war on poverty since the 1960s. Are we any closer to solving the problems of the poor?

Let me give a quick example.

The Debate Over the ACA

In a recent dialog between me and some of my liberal colleagues, we were debating on healthcare. They were praising the ACA and how it helped millions of people get health insurance. I on the other hand, pointed out the many problems with the ACA...including part of it being un-Constitutional, the escalating costs, and the fact that it hurt my insurance and 200 millions of others, in an attempt to help the 20 million uninsured. For me, a system that cost more money and reduced the insurance coverage of 80% of the people in order to provide insurance to the 7% is illogical. There must be a better alternative.

The bottom line, 10 years after the passing of the ACA, we are still discussing it and the problem did not go away. In fact, it is getting worse because of how the ACA was setup. It was phased in over 10 years and the funding of it was front loaded. This means that many of the federal subsidies will disappear and the States are left holding the bag.

This debate turned into a personal attack on me and how I am selfish and uncaring and deny people health insurance while complaining about how my own insurance was impacted. They also never acknowledged that my insurance was impacted. This is strange to me. After 10 years living under the ACA, how can someone claim that my insurance under a company healthcare plan was not impacted negatively? It goes to show the dishonesty or lack of understanding of the ACA.

Here is the bottom line:

A liberal will defend a bad policy because it is compassionate to do so. They will throw money at the problem and thinking it will solve everything. It won't. As I pointed out, there are still 8.7% of the population in 2020 who for one reason or another still don't have health insurance. The ones that do have health insurance, are faced with higher premiums, higher deductibles and less coverage.

The conservative mind uses logic. If you increase health coverage for 10-20 million people, it will lead to higher costs. Most of those 20 million cannot afford insurance. The cost will be made up by the federal or state government in the forms of subsidies. Those come from tax revenues. In addition, the new mandates that applies to all heath insurance increased the cost for those plans, usually private companies and unions. Those costs are passed onto the workers and in reduced benefits. It has to work this way. It is simple economics.

The debate becomes what policies will bring about the most benefits for the most people in the most efficient manner. That should be our goal.

As I pointed out, some of the features of the ACA were good and did help to correct some deficiencies of the past. However, most of the policies have a negative impact especially on our economy. The one item which I will highlight here is the mandatory health insurance coverage for employees of small business with 50 or more employees.

This one act has devastating consequences for our economy and our workforce. It lead to hiring freezes, and moving some workers from full time to part time status. One key provision or loophole is that P/T workers are exempt from this law. Therefore, many employers choose to convert their work force from full-time to part time. This avoided the ACA mandate but created havoc on workers. Many now have to get multiple jobs to pay the bills. How insane is that? Unintended consequences.

Action Speak Louder Than Words

I decided to discontinue my debate with these colleagues. They are close minded to any alternative ideas.

Another trait of a conservative mind is that we believe in action rather than words. Rather than complaining about things that are going wrong, we try to act to fix them.

One manifestation of this is I have volunteered to help with the census of 2020. As you well know, it is one of the important bedrock of our Constitution. Having an accurate count of the population will determine how Congressional districts are drawn. It will determine how much federal dollars will go into schools and hospitals and community centers and health facilities.

In my case, I have an extra needed skill since I speak Mandarin. Apparently, there are many immigrants in my community where Asians are undercounted due to their language barrier. I have decided to volunteer my time and energy to help with the census. Recently, I went through an extensive training period under the COVID-19 restrictions to become a Census Enumerator.

Rather than complaining about how our government functions or the lack thereof, I am doing my part. Let that be an example to my liberal colleagues.

It shatters their image of a conservative. How can this be? A selfish, uncaring racist person, donating their time and energy to help count immigrants. Shocking.


The conservative mind is a logical mind. It is so easy to let our emotions guide us. But, when it comes to public policies, logic and common sense should prevail. We need to adopt policies that will help everyone and not just a particular group. It is our government. Equal justice under the law. Equal opportunity but not necessary equality of outcome. Our system is unique and exceptional. Exceptional in the sense that we are the exception rather than the rule. Most of the government throughout history has been ruled by kings and dictators and tyrants. We were the first to put the people first. We are a Republic. We have elections to vote for representatives to govern us with our consent. It has worked extremely well for 200 years.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jack Lee


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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like it. Well presented.


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