Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

I want to know, I really do. Why does smaller government offend some?

In Everyday Life, Opinion on February 20, 2011 at 9:56 am

What am I missing.  Why am I wrong.  Why am I the bad guy?  I honestly want to know.

At a big party recently a pleasant conversation with a friend of a friend turned political – government should or should not do this or that.  Her husband makes a good living (I’m led to believe) and is a Republican, while she is a Democrat, socially responsible and sympathetic to a variety of good causes.

I suggested to my interlocutor that government funding of [fill in the blank] good cause isn’t fair, because I [or her husband] or some other tax-payer might prefer that his money be spent other than the way Barney Frank wants to spend it.  Turns out, she was willing to let Barney and Nancy decide how her [husband’s] money should be spent.  I had no objection to that, but made clear that I wanted Barney no where near my financial decisions.  I think that’s where we started to disagree – seems that since SHE trusted Barney’s judgment, I was supposed to agree that he knew better how to spend my money.

After 2 or 3 minutes of what I would call a friendly debate, I suggested that she should have a higher opinion of her husband (and other taxpayers) and what he might do with his money absent government forced ‘charity.’  She disagreed (poor guy, her husband).  So, to make peace, I said that I would let her do whatever she wanted to do with her [husband’s] money – and that I would respectfully ask for nothing more than the same favor in return (to do as I please with my money – I don’t have a husband).

So she said something like “what about the poor woman who needs” this or that.  “Who should look out for her?  What’s a few [of my] dollars to help her?”

After explaining that I earn a finite amount of money, and my charitable priorities (not that one is required to have such) are likely to differ from hers or Barney’s, I said “anyone but the government” should take care of that woman.  She walked away, visibly disgusted.  It was as if I had suggested that her grandmother should be the victim of a death panel.  It was clear she had concluded I was unfit for polite company.

Why are people so willing to impose their personal preferences on me, while telling me in the next breath “you can’t legislate morality” or some version of that leftist tripe when it comes to, say, abortion.   Then, in the next moment, I’m told how my charitable inclinations should be forced and directed by the government.

Why is my ‘selfishness’ (“let me dispose of my money”) unacceptable while hers (“the government must take your money to do with it as I please”) heroic.  Please tell me.  I want to know.  What did I say that is so offensive?  I don’t want to say it ever again.

  1. These people are children who never grew up, they think with their emotions and nothing else and have a profound need to feel good about themselves which they accomplish using other peoples resources. They need a parent figure(the government) to be responsible for them throughout their life and feel that no one has the right to do otherwise

  2. I understand your comment. I want to engage those people on a level that’s helpful, not combative. That’s our challenge. Not looking for a way to compromise, I’m looking for a way to move the discussion beyond a food fight.

  3. you cannot make them use reason any more that they can get you to make decisions IGNORING reason. I truly think liberals are wired differently

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