Thursday, September 10, 2009

When the Facts Don't Matter

I was on Facebook last night, and was about to change my status when I stopped and thought about how badly my liberal friends would freak out. I decided not to change my status, and I regret that, but it's got me to thinking about how we can convince others that individual liberty, freedom, and responsibility are not abstract concepts but integral to the daily lives of Americans.

I have liberal friends. In fact, I have a lot of friends who grew up in conservative households and went to the same (relatively) conservative college as I did, but have fallen into the trap that the government should provide everything for them. They're swamped with student loans, new baby bills, and the majority opinion that Obama can still save them.

It's hard to stand up to your friends. I've always been a conservative, and it's not as blind of a a faith that I feel liberalism is. Liberalism requires ignorance of facts, and conservatism requires analysis of facts. The fact is that government intervention in wages has driven the companies that my friends want to work for to not hire more employees. The fact is that the government's meddling in the insurance process has made the whole process more expensive and inefficient. The fact is that the government's supplementing of college loans has caused tuition to skyrocket, without a corresponding rise in quality of education. The government is not the solution for our lives, and a man who makes pretty speeches full of empty promises is not going to save us from the wreck the government has made of our lives.

But I think the key to my friends' indignation is pride (which goes before the fall, unfortunately). It's much easier to feel better about yourself when you talk about how you're making America better by talking about Hope and Change, how you're a champion of "social justice," and how you're post-racial because you voted for someone based on the color of their skin. (Yeah, I went there. Prove me wrong.) Admitting you're wrong when you're a twenty-something who's been told that you're the key to the future is a hard thing. I'm curious to see how many of my friends will admit that they were wrong, and how many will sink into blind faith in the government. Facts can be painful things.

Oh, and what my status was going to be? A rebuttal to the saying "No one in America should go broke because they get sick." Rush said the other day, "No one in America should die from rationed health care because America is broke."

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