Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929) is credited with the following quote:
Not to be a socialist at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.
An even earlier quote,
Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.
is attributed to Francois Guisot (1787-1874). So which is it? Is it more true that people with big hearts are socialists when they are young, and become something else as they age, or is it the other way around? And how does that apply to our current state of affairs here in the U.S.A.?
Guisot lived in an earlier age. Things no doubt were different then. And presumably things will change at some point in the future. But for now, the Democratic party is more closely aligned with liberalism and socialism (which is just liberalism taken to its logical outworking) and the Republican party with conservationism. Without doubt, those classifications are frequently in conflict with reality. But it is true in general. So today the phrase might be something like this: If you’re not a Democrat at 20 you have no heart. But if you’re not a Republican by 40 you have no head”.
Like all such statements, there are notable and often glaring exceptions. But would it be true today? I think it would. Let’s look at the reasons why.
First, what is a liberal? I view them as people who see things wrong around them and want the government to do something about it. They want change, and it matters little if things seem to be going well right now. They equate change with progress, and no change as stagnation and a continuation of whatever makes them feel powerless or left out. They generally don’t mind big government as much as they mind big business. Big government they see as benevolent and unaffected by greed. Business, they believe, is always motivated by money, and money corrupts. They identify themselves as the little guy, and they want government to protect, defend and provide for them, and really don’t mind if it does so at the expense of the rich and powerful.
Conservatives see things wrong around them as well, but want the government to merely establish laws that allow the citizenry to solve the problems in a fair and sensible way. They too believe that money corrupts, but that a framework of checks and balances (established by law) can keep corruption to a low ebb. They don’t want anarchy, which would be the result of no government at all, but they don’t want the government to become a ravenous parasite that eventually consumes and saps everything around it and leaves nothing on which to feed. They want to be free to pursue a good education, to work hard, and to enjoy the fruits of their toil, and they are willing to accept defeat and failure, and to suffer its consequences.
Liberals also generally buy into the Democrats’ claims that they are for the little guy. Yet all of the evidence says that they are no more for the little guy than conservatives are. They simply see their role as BEING the provider for the little guy, whereas conservatives believe that the little guy will be happier, more productive and more well paid when he is empowered, than he will be when he is “provided for” by government policy. What is clear is that liberal politicians are for themselves first, and that they are unwilling to do anything that will shorten their term in office, limit their pay or perks, and want as little accountability as possible. They want the little guy to want them in power much more than they want to empower the little guy!
So while I was young and full of heart, I was registered Democrat, voted Democrat, and looked on Republicans as fat cats. Now I know better.
Liberals hate Glenn Beck. After the shooter at the Pentagon died, Bill Maher wondered in a monologue “Why? Why? Why couldn’t it have been Glenn Beck?” Yet one of Beck’s guests recently (a female black conservative) said this:
“We have to expose the diabolical agenda of liberalism that;s corrupting the black community. I used to think that it was just well intentioned but misguided. When you read a statistic that tells you that 90% of black children are at some point in their lives going to receive food stamps and the liberal platform supports this but rejects and opposes the idea of giving black kids vouchers to go to a better school and lift themselves out of that cycle, how can you, how can you not be a conservative? The more we expose the evil and the cruelty that liberalism is then people will start to wake up…”
Liberal ideology is way to similar to socialist ideology for comfort. And, yeah, young people seem to be increasingly inclined to like socialistic ideas. I think that’s because they have never seen, up close and personal, the tragic and devastating effects of it. If you like socialism, you like somebody in government having the power to arrest, kill or imprison you without having to show just cause and without having to charge you with any real crime. You don’t mind government getting so big and powerful that it can do with you and your loved ones and your property pretty much anything it sees fit.
On the other hand, check this out from Tom Daily on Townhall.com:
Individuals who wake up in the morning, rub their eyes, and know in their hearts that they will only rise or fall by the results of their own efforts, also categorically tend to also be the people who are the most generous with those who do fall on hard times. Giving billions each year to ease the pain of hunger and suffering in other lands, while at the same time taking dinner to a next door neighbor who just lost his job.
‘I owe my soul to the company store’ has been replaced by ‘I owe my soul to the government’. To illustrate, let me point out that the more money the federal government has to spend, the more it grows. And the more it grows, the more it needs to fund its programs and pay its employees.
Federal income taxes, when they were originally proposed, were just a trifle (3% on income below $10,000, 5% above). This year we will celebrate “Tax Freedom Day” on April 13th. That’s the day the Tax Foundation calculates when we finally stop working for the government and start working for ourselves. That’s not a nominal record, as the chart here indicates, but if adjusted for the federal budget deficit it is – by a stunning margin. So the trend is clear. More and more of what we make goes to “the man”, but where “the man” used to be big business, it’s now big government.
We can stop this trend. We can stop giving away the store. But we are going to have to wake a lot of people up. The enemy is liberalism, which leads to socialism, which leads to servitude, which leads to bloody revolt, which leads to even bloodier war. Right now there are more liberals in the Democratic party than in the Republican party. But not all Democrats are liberal, and not all Republicans are conservative. And it could change. It has before.
The quote from Jean Baptiste Colbert seems apropos here: “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing”.
Repeat after me: