An article “9 Things I’m Tired of Hearing from Conservatives” posted on the Odyssey website caught my attention earlier this week. Good writing utilizes facts to back an opinion. This article was different, yielding a plethora of opinions backed by almost no facts about conservatives. The author chose a rather condescending secondary title, which reads “nothing infuriates more than people who haven’t done their research.” So I intently read the article, that I assumed was teeming with facts. Facts that would contradict my well educated, articulate views as a conservative. I was, as I have been so many times in the past, dismayed by the lack of coherence of the author. Apparently, her blind ideological views and talking points have replaced research to disparage a perfectly legitimate viewpoint.
The author has passed along a rather skewed view of conservatives as people who do not accept anyone who isn’t straight, white and rich. Maybe she should read my previous article explaining why conservatives are not fascists, but I digress. In this article, I will go through every single point the author made, and explain why her arguments are misguided.
1. “I’m not against gay people, I’m only against gay marriage.”
I might not be the conservative that the author was speaking about on this issue. I am ok with same-sex marriage, as I am in favor of separation of Church and State. However, I am not in favor of gay marriage if it is forced upon churches by the government, thus respecting their religious liberty. She further argued, “gay people didn’t exist when the founding fathers wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights”. I googled this sentence, looking 12 pages deep before I gave up, and did not see this quote from any mainstream conservative. The Constitution or Bill of Rights says nothing about straight marriage, let alone same-sex marriage.
2. “I’m only against illegal immigration, I’m not anti-immigrant!”
This statement seems rather logical to me. Immigration is rather complex. To sum up the facts, on one side, Illegal immigrants are a source of cheap labor and generally support the economy as they are participating consumers and tend to spend on average the same amount of disposable income as their fellow legal citizens. On the other side, Illegal migrants don’t pay income tax, are often allowed to utilize public benefits and utilize public utilities such as hospitals and schools. Studies show that the net effect (when all of these are taken into account), is that it is fiscally smart to be anti-illegal immigrant. This does not mean that illegal immigrants are bad people and in fact, many are here to earn money to send back to their families in their respective countries. However, this is unfair to those who go through the system to come to this country legally, as they tend to work very hard to gain Visas as well as citizenship. Also, with being undocumented comes an increased health risk and strain on our healthcare system, as these people are not held under the same scrutiny as documented citizens and legal immigrants are, and thus miss vaccines and spread otherwise preventable illness, many times by no fault of their own. Bottom line; rules exist for a reason. If you don’t like the rules, change the law.
3. “I’m only fiscally conservative.”
I know plenty of people who are fiscally conservative but socially liberal. I am an economics minor, and I am not going to say I am an expert when it comes to economics, but the notion that liberal economic policies are better than conservative policies have been proven false over and over. In 1980, President Reagan inherited one of the worst economies in the history of the United States. The country had rampant inflation and an extremely unfair and complex federal income tax system. Many of my liberal friends like to say this was a terrible time in the history of the United States economically, but the facts are inconvenient to that assertion. According to ThoughtCo, who does not seem to lean either left or right, “Reagan’s tax cuts mainly benefited the wealthy elite. But through a chain-reaction effect, tax cuts would benefit lower-income people as higher levels of investment would eventually lead to new job openings and higher wages. Cutting taxes was only one part of Reagan’s national agenda of slashing government spending. Reagan believed that the federal government had become too large and interfering. During his presidency, Reagan cut social programs and worked to reduce or completely remove government regulations affecting the consumer, workplace, and environment.” To the last comment, I think we have to distinguish the evolution of the political parties in America and realize that the Democratic party up until the 1930’s with President Roosevelt was a very conservative party, with the Republican party being more progressive.
4. “All Lives Matter!!!!!!!”
Newsflash, institutionalized racism died in the 1960’s. Most racism in America today is not brought about by any government, whether state, local or federal. The reason “All Lives Matter” exists is because people consistently demonized ALL police officers as those who shoot unarmed civilians for no reason than their race, a notion that despite the agenda pushed by the BLM movement, is statistically not merited with facts. Reporting from the far-left Washington Post showed that “Of the 990 people who were killed by police officers in 2015, the Washington Post reported 258 of them were black.” That’s 26%. Interestingly, this is certainly more than the roughly 13-14% of the population that are black. After further fact-finding, the numbers correlate remarkably to a felony crime, with the FBI reporting that 31% of violent felonies are committed were black. All Lives Matter is merely a demonstration against the absurdity that the narrative that black people are being targeted by white cops on a mass scale.
In the case of Trayvon Martin, this wasn’t even a police shooting, rather a neighborhood watch volunteer, which is very different. While in this case, the shooter was instructed by police not to approach the victim but did so anyways. However, the shooter also was noted to have severe head injuries following the altercation, so clearly, the victim was not the saintly figure he was made out to be. In the case of Tamir Rice, the child pointed a replica of a pistol at an officer. While this seems like an innocent act from a civilian standpoint, you have to understand how police officers are trained to respond to such situations. If you see that someone might possibly have a weapon, you don’t question if it’s real or not, you immediately go into the mode that your life is possibly in danger. I am not justifying the death of an innocent child, I am merely pointing out that given the circumstances, any person would have most likely done the same thing. In the case of Philando Castile, the officer who shot him was Hispanic himself, not white, and there is no evidence to suggest that this was racially motivated. Saying that all police are “pigs” that hate anyone who isn’t white is ridiculous and police shooting statistics do not even hint that this is a widespread problem. Once again, I am not excusing bad police officers, I am saying that not all police are trigger happy and aim for people who aren’t white. By the standards put in place, it’s perfectly ok to burn down large portions of a city (Ferguson, Baltimore… the list goes on) as well as murder five innocent police officers in Dallas. The bickering between the “Black Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” has gotten to a point where it is out of control. This has given rise to the phrase which I and many others believe is the correct one: “All Lives Matter”.
5. “I Support Tax Breaks for the Rich because my parents worked hard for their money”
First, no one is making that claim. The claim that I hear conservatives making is twofold: First, there is a point in which taxation become regressive and I believe that we have reached that point in the United States, and second, keeping corporate tax rates at 35% hurts the average middle-class worker who owns a small business. As the son of a middle-class white man, who by income standards would be considered rich I understand these points well. Pew Research looked at how the federal government is funded and found that 47.5% of the total revenue that the federal government brings in comes from personal income tax, while 32.8% and 10.6% come from payroll tax and corporate tax respectively. 43.4% of the government's revenue comes directly from businesses. As a corporate small business owner, my father runs a $10M technology firm. As a C-Corp, at the end of the year, he took at distribution for $250K and was taxed at a 35% corporate rate (although that is counted in the 47.5% allocated to personal income tax above). The company left $400K in the business and was taxed 35% corporate rate and salaries generated another $188K payroll tax receipt for the federal government. This does not include other states, local, communication and other taxes that were paid. In the end, my dad, the rich white guy, paid a total of about $350K in taxes and made out with a whopping $50K at the end of the year. After taking $12K out to pay the local property and school, he was left with enough to buy a new Fiat. What we need is more people participating in the system, not redistribution by regressive taxes.
It appears that the author might be confusing two topics; taxation and wealth. If the argument was for moving to tax wealth, then I don’t have enough time to make that argument. But if we do start taxing wealth, I vote that we start with former President Obama’s $40M he amassed while serving in the White House, or former President George W. Bush’s $40M, or former President and First Lady Bill and Hillary Clinton’s $120M fortune.
6. “People are just mooching off the government”
I just want to start off by saying that I am glad the author choose to use statistics in this portion, this gives this portion of the article some degree of credibility. The author mischaracterizes that “34% of the people on food stamps live between 50 and 100% below the poverty line." This statistic in and of itself proves nothing. Let’s look at some broader numbers and try to make some sane conclusions. 158 of 328 Million people who live in this country work. 120 Million pay federal income tax. 41 Million people are on food stamps. Of those, it is estimated that between 16-18 Million are taxpayers. 174 Million unique people (citizens and non-citizens) receive some sort of public assistance. 74 Million people are on Medicaid. Medicaid, by far the largest entitlement, in 2017 will cost 750 Billion USD and at the rate of consumption has an unfunded liability of 16 Trillion dollars. What part of any of that math does not make the author think that we have too many people utilizing the system? Just pure ignorance.
The author also implies it’s impossible to feed, house and cloth a family of three with $18,530. This point I wholeheartedly agree with, however, the real culprit is not only wages, it’s also inflation. Inflation due from the same policy makers that doled out all of the services. Prices in all of the necessities: food, clothes have risen dramatically in the past 8 years? The price of bread is more expensive by 41 cents. The price per egg in a dozen was 80 cents cheaper 10 years ago. A stronger economy means more people working which means more money in circulation which in turn means lower prices.
7. “Liberals are snowflakes whose feelings are too easily hurt.”
Well when you look at the reactions to the election of President Donald Trump, all the people who were sobbing and needed their safe space, I completely understand where these people are coming from. Also, no true conservatives, especially Trump supporters, have marginalized, diminished or dehumanized anybody. In fact, I believe that liberals have diminished conservative speakers from speaking on college campuses (Ben Shapiro, Milo Yiannopoulos, Ryan Bomberger… the list goes on) as well as classified any conservative ideas as hate filled and bigoted when there is no such evidence.
8. “Just about anything that comes out of Tomi Lahren’s mouth.”
While I may not agree with her recent comments about being pro-choice, she is still a very intelligent speaker whose goal on The Blaze was to be a no-nonsense speaker. She is more informed about the Constitution of the United States than the majority of Americans, let alone political commentators.
9. “There is no war on women, they just need to suck it up.”
I do not think any conservatives have ever used that language, like ever. Also, conservatives are not anti-women. Just because pro-life conservatives are against abortion does not automatically we believe women should have no rights at all, that way of thinking is very dangerous. Very few people are in favor of legalizing the murder of abortion doctors as well as abstinence only laws. Also, there has been a general decrease in a number of rapes that have been committed over the course of the past twenty years, which would explain the decrease in the number of rapists convicted. The previous CDC statistics released in 2011 which stated that “1 in 5 U.S. women have been raped” has been found to have questions in which the wording makes the answer yes seem more correct for most sexual situations, thus giving them higher statistics of sexual assault where this sexual assault simply did not take place. Also, just because 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence does not mean that conservatives are automatically to blame. In fact, conservatives more than anyone think domestic violence is a horrific crime that should be treated with the utmost importance. Regarding birth control and Planned Parenthood, if Planned Parenthood were to stop giving abortion services, no conservatives would have an issue. Most conservatives have no problem with birth control. Also, the idea that Planned Parenthood would be destroyed without federal funding is absurd. If Planned Parenthood lost its federal funding, it would lose a little more than 40% of its budget. This sounds like a lot, however, Planned Parenthood in 2016 spent nearly $1 million on just lobbying as well as another couple million on numerous liberal pro-choice candidates throughout the country. So while it’s nice that they provide services to people at a lower price, it’s not right that they can spend taxpayer money on candidates that many taxpayers disagree with. I can guarantee that Planned Parenthood will survive without federal funding.
I strongly urge the author of the original article, “9 Things I’m Tired of Hearing From Conservatives” to read this critique of her original article. I hope this article makes her more informed about what conservatives actually believe. Lastly, I hope this article gives a better explanation to the true thought pattern of conservatives around the United States and helps those who are politically liberal to see some degree of compromise. At the end of the day, both conservatives and liberals want the same thing, a better life for all people.