Mixing Heart and Brains

The news media need to get beyond intentions to results.
by Jim Fair | Source: Catholic.net

Of the many insightful quotes of Winston Churchill, this is my favorite:

"Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains."

Yes, there is a tad of hyperbole here, but within this bit of wisdom is the great political conflict of our time, a conflict that the media is failing to adequately analyze.  Instead of helping the public to understand the impact of different approaches to problem solving by our Presidential candidates, the media is telling us the standings in the polls, who made a verbal slip and who is being supported by various interest groups.

It might be helpful to talk a bit about two very different world views, the impact they have on our nation and how they fit with the Constitution of the United States.  This is a process that requires a little study of history.  And it just might require a bit of religious guidance.

The media view of a liberal policy is that it is “caring.”  That is, a liberal is someone who wants to help the poor by having the government take care of them, which results in a welfare state.  This approach demonstrates an abundance of good intentions, but rather spotty results.  Famous advocates of this approach include Robin Hood (successful but a myth) and Lenin (unsuccessful and maniacal). 

The media view of conservative policy is that it is designed to protect the wealthy, maintain the status quo and minimize government.  There are some rather famous and successful proponents of this approach, including the framers of our Constitution, the participants in the Boston Tea Party and Ronald Reagan.  But as the Church teaches, government policy that promotes capitalism, as conservative policy should, must be tempered by a willingness to allow all participants in society to share in the profits.  Goods and services are created to serve society, not to satisfy unending greed.

If people are going to get a good sense of the candidates, the media needs to stop asking which person can best skin a moose and start asking for evidence of success of their various positions and approaches to government.  Let’s assume that all the candidates have good intentions…let’s get a better view of the track record. 



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