It used to be all I'd want to learn
was wisdom, trust, and truth
- Collective Soul:Forgiveness, Discipled Breakdown (1997)
Sometimes I find the differences between the conservative perspective on government and the progressive perspective on government worth commenting about.
I'm a progressive. I see the government as the organization that is focused on securing our foundation. When everything falls apart, I rely on the government to help ensure my safety and provide the security so that I can get back on my feet. When trust falls apart, they have the ability to find the truth. The truth will set you free, right..?
To conservatives, or people who seem to hold conservative values even if they don't consider themselves to be following any of these politically based terms, the government is a force that takes things from them. They take taxes to provide help to someone else, deserved or not. They are a last resort because they have that kind of power, and if you have to go to the government it means that you have failed. And failure is a bad thing.
Well, failure is an option sometimes. We can't do everything, and we certainly can't do everything right every time. Having the government as a foundation allows us to make mistakes, because if our government is operating properly we have the sense of security necessary for us to take those risks.
The government is not something to be afraid of. Our government is there to help us, or at least it is supposed to. What we have to do is be honest with ourselves and those that we do business with, personal or otherwise. If that trust is broken, we need help from someone who has the ability to determine the truth. If you are scared of the government, then something is wrong. The way to secure your position is to use the government as a shield.
I think that's another way of articulating that difference in perspective. Conservatives see government as a sword, while progressives see government as a shield. If you are going to the government for help, you're not asking them to strike out against someone else, you're asking them to be a shield against the unknown or untrustworthy. If you have the truth on your side, the government will defend you.
This is sort of a ramble, I know. But rambles have their place. Maybe they can start a conversation, and contribute to people's understanding. Sometimes rambles can communicate better than direct attempts.