“Are You Conservative?”
Arnold Kling has a few questions regarding whether or not “you” are conservative. Here they are:
1. Do you believe that bringing children into the world is a very serious responsibility for the parents?
2. Do you believe that the flaws and imperfections of human beings are reflected in government?
3. Do you believe that it is better to try to accumulate wealth for retirement or to rely on a pension?
4. Do you believe that your health is your responsibility?
5. Do you believe that education is more important than public schools?
6. Do you believe that the world would be better off if more countries were like America, or not?
Follow the link for Kling’s answers to each question. However, here’s Kling’s central thesis, which gives you a hint at the sort of answers he has to each question:
What is distinctive about liberals is their belief that they are the only people who can exercise freedom with responsibility. They believe that a paternalistic government can make better decisions for those who not in the elite.
Kling doesn’t just take the liberal, “elitist” mindset to task, either. The paternalistic attitude as exhibited by the Bush administration in such matters as No Child Left Behind or Medicare Drug program also fosters government growth. We need look no further than the fraud, waste and abuse that ocurred under the mantle of Hurricane Katrina “aid” for further proof.
The short answer to the question, “Are you conservative?” is dictated by whether or not you believe in an expansive or conservative use of government to “solve” people’s problems.