I’m thoroughly convinced that about 80% Liberals would eventually become Conservatives if understood one simple fact. A fact which I’ve personally seen turn DOZENS of Liberals, including myself, into Conservatives.
Yes, I confess. In my early 20’s, I had dozens of Loony Lefty Liberal beliefs buzzing around my head. Thank God (literally) I got “Red-Pilled” by one simple revelation. And if you have Liberal friends or family members, this is the BEST I know to way to make them honestly question their political beliefs…
(DISCLAIMER: I realize the modern definition of “Liberal” is nothing like the definition of 50 years ago. If you’re one of those old-fashioned “Real” Liberals, please excuse my vocabulary).
The Greatest Contradiction in Liberal “Philosophy”
Next time you’re talking politics with a Liberal, ask them to list what they think are the world’s top three problems. My guess is, their list will look something like this…
- Poor Education
- Economic Inequality
- Environmental Crisis
Other things which might make the list are: war, illiteracy, racism, world hunger, poverty, corporate greed, capitalism or some vague allusion to social injustice. I actually agree with a lot of these, as I’m sure you do to. But regardless of what makes the list, I can absolutely guarantee you how your Liberal friend will answer this next question…
“How do you think we should solve ____?”
You can put ANYTHING from their list in that ^ blank. Still, 99.99% of the time, they’ll suggest a new law, a new government program, a new government regulation or an upgrade to an existing law, program or regulation as the solution.
There’s ONE exception to this rule, and that’s war. Most Liberals are thumbs down when it comes to increasing the size of our military. We’ll talk more about that in another blog, because based on my experience, a lot of Conservatives are starting to change their tune on that too.
But the glaring irony behind this “more government” answer that it directly contradicts something every Progressive Liberal believes in…
“Big Corporations Are Bad, But Big Government is Good!”
You’ll never find a Liberal who thinks Big Corporate Monopolies are good. Many of them blame the bulk of societies problems on such entities. Hell, I actually agree with them to a point. In my opinion, this quote by Lord Action is one of the wisest political statements ever made…
But this is also why I think “more government” is a naive, and even DANGEROUS, way to suggest we solve the world’s problems. Big companies often lose sight of the principles which made them great when they were starting out. Many large companies only survive because they have the brand recognition and economic muscle to marginalize their smaller “competitors” or buy them up.
I’m not saying this as an economic dilettante either. I have nearly 20 years of Business Coaching experience and have written some successful books on business and on marketing. The famous business researcher Jim Collins has a fantastic book on this called “How the Mighty Fall.” Dan S. Kennedy, arguably the wisest direct marketing expert alive, makes a brilliant case in his book “No B.S. Direct Marketing” on how companies get dumber as they get bigger.
Big companies are almost always doomed to become incompetent and even corrupt as they eat up more of the market-share and become less threatened by their smaller competitors. Ask any Liberal what they think about this and I’d be shocked if they disagreed with you. But they WILL try to disagree with you about whether Governments can become corrupt in the same way.
But this is an indefensible position. Handing more responsibility and more power to a multi-trillion dollar organization called “The Government” will only multiply our problems. This is ESPECIALLY true when you consider that Governments have two powers which NO private company will EVER have…
- The Power to Declare War
- The Power to Put Citizens in Jail
Billions of people have been brutally murdered, starved to death, left to die of untreated illness and have had their lives and reputations ruined by corrupt and/or incompetent governments who abused the above two powers. Moreover, Governments are, in many ways, more vulnerable to corruption and incompetence than private businesses are. Let’s get back to that conversation with your Liberal friend and I’ll show you why…
Liberals Have a Hopelessly Naive “Confidence” in Government
Progressive Liberals, especially those in their 20’s, have WAY too much confidence in The Government. I don’t suggest you try to tell them this though. People are much more convinced by conclusions they arrive at themselves. So, I suggest you show your Liberal friend where their two most cherished beliefs are in direct conflict with each other.
The first belief is that Big Corporations and Economic Monopolies are one of the greatest evils in the world. The second belief is that we can solve the world’s problems by giving the Government more responsibility and therefore, more power.
Anyone who doesn’t see the obvious contradiction here, is suffering from what psychologists call “Defensive Denial.” But that does NOT mean your Liberal friend will dismiss you so easily when you ask them something like this…
“If private _____ monopolies are so bad, how does it make sense to make the government the biggest ____ monopoly of them all?”
“So big corporations are corrupted by greed and power, but you think we can solve ___ by giving the Government more power?”
“If big corporations can be corrupted by greed and power, what makes you think the Government can’t be?”
Even if they go into full denial mode, these questions ^ will stick in their mind – sometimes for YEARS. Human beings have a peculiar need to settle conflicting beliefs. If your friend has any desire for personal integrity, there’s no way they can bury this contradiction without driving themselves mad.
You can apply this to any “more government” solution your Liberal friend suggests. For example, Liberals who want single-payer health care want the government to become the biggest health care provider in the country. Ask them how well that would work if we only had one PRIVATE health care company to choose from.
Liberals who want “free” college want to hand the Government a monopoly on education. How well would that work if we only had one PRIVATE education provider to choose from?
No matter what the policy is, the logic is inescapable. Anyone who believes that Big Corporate Monopolies are bad can’t honestly tell you that a Big Government would be better. That is, unless the wall of denial is too thick. In that case, there’s one more thing you can do…
“Sure The Government is Corrupt, But If We Make It Bigger…”
Does your Liberal friend believe in government corruption? I’d be shocked if they didn’t. And they probably hate it as much as we do. This is where you can start to find common ground, even with a Liberal.
When something isn’t working, the dumbest thing we can do is try to do more of it. Unfortunately, human nature often keeps us from following this simple advice. There’s something hard-wired into the human brain that tells us if we keep trying something, we’ll find a way to make it work.
Psychologists call this the “Sunk Cost Fallacy.” I’ve seen it countless time during my five years as a counselor. Dating couples try to save their relationship by moving in together or by getting married. Married couples try to save a crumbling relationship by having another baby or moving to another city.
Business owners try to grow their business by getting more customers when they should be building their brand so they can charge more money and increase their profits. Athletes try to break past performance plateaus by training harder and putting in longer hours. Most of them end up doing irreparable damage to their bodies.
This “bigger, faster, stronger,” mentality is the scourge of modern society. It keeps us from realizing, that the smartest way to solve a problem and break past a plateau, is to rethink how we’re going about it. There’s a fine line between persistence and block-headed stupidity, and we step across that line when we assume that doing more will make things better.
Likewise, giving more power and responsibility to a Government that’s already corrupt and incompetent, will only create more corruption and incompetence. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find ANYONE, Liberal or Conservative, who will deny that corruption is a problem for our Government.
Moreover, government corruption isn’t the only reason to keep government small. Like other large organizations, big governments are much more likely to suffer from incompetence. Number one, because they’re not as accountable to their “customers,” as large businesses are.
Consumers can hold private companies accountable simply by taking their business somewhere else. Sure, it would be hard to bring down a monster like Amazon.com or Wal-Mart this way. But if enough people stopped spending money with these businesses, there would ALWAYS be plenty of smaller businesses eager to fill the consumer demand.
This happens because EVERY private company is dependent, to some degree, on public trust. In his book “The Speed of Trust,” (one of the best Leadership books ever written in my opinion) Stephen M.R. Covey defines trust as the sum of two equally important components…
- Character: a person’s motivation to do the right thing.
- Competence: a person’s capability to do the right thing.
Unfortunately, Liberals tend to judge people’s actions more by their motives than by their results.
Because of this, they often overlook incompetence and trust people based on the first component (character) alone.
For example, you’ve probably seen Liberals judge Democrat Politicians, Barack Obama being a prime-example, purely by their intentions, rather than their results. This is why, by the way, Democrats seem to get away with so many epic policy failures. As long as they convince their voters that they had “good” intentions, that’s all that matters.
For example, look at the colossal failure of the single-payer health care policy in Vermont. Look at how Bernie Sander’s Wife bankrupted Burlington College and Liberals didn’t bat an eye. Or, look at how Socialism destroyed the Venezuelan Economy or how the Migrant Crisis is ruining Europe.
So if your Liberal friend’s rose-colored glasses are too thick for them to accept Government Incompetence as a potential problem, ask them about Government Corruption. At most, they’ll give you some “it’s those evil Conservatives” or “we just need to find good people,” argument. But there’s a good reason history holds no examples of people who were morally pure enough to handle such power.
As Lord Acton said: “All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
The more powerful a Government become, the bigger a magnet it becomes for morally bankrupt, megalomaniac people. Such people are master manipulators and have ALWAYS found a way to claw their way into powerful positions. It’s naive to assume that this will change. Especially if you whistle past the graveyard of Government corrupt and incompetence because you’re convinced that the “right person” will come along.
That’s how we get people like Adolf Hitler. Check out how he rose to power. The German people where 100% convinced that he was the “right” person. History holds hundreds of such examples. And millions have either died or been stricken with shock and regret shortly after telling themselves “this person will be different.”
It’s smarter to accept human nature, embrace the values of Conservatism and keep Government as small as possible. Once a Government has become corrupt and/or incompetent AND big, its damn hard to stop the damage from being done.
Government employees, elected and unelected alike, can succumb to economic pressure or peer pressure just like any other flesh-and-blood human being. Politicians can campaign on one set of promises and completely abandon those promises once they’re in office. Right now, the Big Donors on K Street write more of our Legislation than our ELECTED Congressmen do.
Washington D.C. is a great big, puss-infested mess of corruption and incompetence, and the bigger its gotten, the truer this has become. How does it make sense to give MORE power and MORE responsibility to an already corrupt organization? It doesn’t.
This question exposes the raw contradiction between believing in corporate corruption, while naively assuming that The Government, which is MUCH more vulnerable to corruption AND which has the power to declare war and put people in jail, could ever do anything but create more problems.
The common sense wisdom of Conservatism can be summed up in the word’s of Ronald Reagan…
In their heart, I believe every American knows this is true. Some of us just need a little more help accepting it.