Do conservatives wish for workers to receive so-called slave wages so they can increase the bottom line for corporations? Do liberals desire the population to be chained to a monthly welfare check so a certain political party can remain in power? What we have here is a failure to communicate, despite the level of communication never being as powerful and ubiquitous as it is today. Both sides of the political spectrum share the same objective of enriching everyone in the nation: black and white, men and women. But the vilification of left and right has erected a toxic society where the public believes their political adversaries are some frightening concoctions of Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger, Adolf Hitler, and Rosie O’Donnell. How can the left and the right unite?
What Is the Goal?
Social media is a poisonous wasteland whereby folks think that the most significant issue concerning either side is Drag Queen Story Time or abolishing occupational licensing. At the heart of conservative and liberal philosophies rest life’s fundamentals: shelter, food, and clothing – and, some will say, love. Indeed, there are everyday tragedies that can make enemies quiver together from their ivory towers.
Nobody wants to see families forced to choose between food and rent. Everybody is sickened to witness homeless people living on the streets in the most prosperous nation on the planet. People do not want their fellow Americans to go bankrupt for receiving life-saving surgery. It is not pleasant when some individuals need to work two or three jobs to stay afloat. These are all aspects of life that both the left and right want to eradicate.
What is the solution to these problems? This is where conservatives and liberals will differ, assign odious motives, and feel the flush of irrational anger stemming from straw man arguments. But what are the primary prescriptions presented by these philosophies that can cure or, at the very least, improve these societal ailments?
For conservatives, the panacea to poverty and the facilitation of prosperity is reducing the size and scope of government, allowing taxpayers to keep more of their money, and fostering a munificent environment. By slashing red tape and taxes, businesses can hire more workers, entrepreneurs can pursue their dreams, and everyone can better exploit the fruits of their labor, whether it is donating to charities or spending money in their communities.
For liberals, the cure to an impecunious world is to confiscate greater amounts of wealth from millionaires, billionaires, and corporations. This increased revenue in state coffers can be allocated to government programs, from higher income-support payments to employment subsidies to more welfare benefits to ensure citizens do not go hungry or get evicted from their humble abodes.
These proposals cover the basics. From there, the discussion can evolve into healthcare, education, fiscal spending, monetary policy, and other complex issues that may or may not offer easy answers.
Is There Middle Ground?
Suppose one group of Americans desires individualism, low taxes, and fewer regulations to generate wealth, and another crop of taxpayers wishes for the opposite. How can either side find a middle ground? It is challenging. Let’s use the universal basic income (UBI) as a starting point to show how a consensus could be established. In the beginning, guaranteed basic income proposals consisted of abolishing the welfare leviathan in favor of a monthly payment for everyone. No more welfare state, no more bureaucracy, and no more discrimination – everyone would receive a check. If the UBI reduced the conservatives’ endgame of eviscerating the largesse in government and achieved the left’s desire of giving everyone free money, this would be the middle ground that both sides can shake hands over.
Love Thy Political Opponent?
Author Gore Vidal wrote that “On the throne of the world, any delusion can become fact.” This is how the political arena has been renovated over the years, heightened by noxious social media, a biased Fourth Estate, and entitled power-hungry politicians who want everyone to go to war with each other. But it is safe to aver that most people share the same values, ethics, and life’s endgame: three square meals a day. How the road is paved to that destination is where the disagreement begins. Hopefully, a respectful contretemps ensues moving forward for the sake of humanity.
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