LIberalism : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I would like to comment about Liberalism getting slammed frequently on this forum. I would like to post the definition of Liberalism to those who may have it confused with something else. I will also post the definition of Conservatism. These are Webster's definitions. First, though: I believe in Liberal thought. I would like people to understand that the APPLICATION of this theory has been corrupted over time, and what people seem to think is Liberalism is in fact something else.

"Liberalism: A theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from market restraint, and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard; a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of man, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties."

"Conservatism: "Disposition in politics to preserve what is established; a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change."

Ok? So I would postulate that not many of our current government servants in the Presidency, Congress, Supreme Court, etc. are true to their political philosophies, particularly if Liberal, but in some cases also Conservative. However, it might be a lot easier to say that you are Conservative, if you are really simply saying that you are "(preferring) an existing or traditional situation to change."

I think elected officials get corrupted once in office, regardless of party or philosophy. I maintain that the power of $$$ (campaign contributions, etc.), the power of sheer power (sexual misconduct, etc), and the power of influence (lobbying) have messed up any semblance to anything that we would recognize as pure political theory expressed in our current Federal Government.

One reason that I would like to share these definitions, is that it distresses me to read what is being said inaccurately about Liberalism, since I call myself Liberal. Whatever some of you have been told is Liberalism is not accurate. Secondly, if you are disgusted with our current administration, or other government policies, offices, etc., then take the issue up with the appropriate avenue. The fact that Bill Clinton has demonstrated his sleazy sexual problems to the whole world is not a Liberalism issue.

Please give some respect to the fact that while some of us are just as unhappy about the current political mess as you are, the fact that we are Liberals does not mean that we are bent on bringing the nation down! You might hate your local Democrat and blame him/her for all your ills. So be it. But don't confuse Liberalism with Democrats, nor I would think, Conservatism with Republicans! Think about it.....

My $1.02.

-- sheepish (, September 01, 2000


Unfortunately for you Sheepish, the commonly used definition of a word often changes long before websters dictionary gets around to including it. This is today's Definition of liberalism.

Liberalism- Liberals believe in a strong central state. They believe the state should equalize market forces through the redistribution of wealth. This is often referred to as "leveling the playing field" Today most liberals do not believe in a gold standard. Liberals also believe in social sculpting of the public toward certain "politically correct" views, i.e. Pro-choice, special protection for various groups of people as it becomes politically expedient, government controlled businesses and homelife, Anti-second amendment rights, the changeability of the constitution as it becomes politically expedient, Various social welfare programs etc.

Conservatives believe in allowing a free market economy. High status of the Constitution as the law of the land and interpretaion of the constitution from the view of the Founding Father's viewpoint. Conservatives are pro-second amendment, and for limited state intervention in the workings of the nation. Conservatives believe in the People's rights under the Constitution and also those rights which were not inumerated. Conservatives believe in pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps and personal responsibility.

I choose the second for these reasons.

1)I believe in a free market economy. There are many reasons for this. I believe that every person should have the same shot in America. Economic interference by the government only insures that some people won't be able to achieve the American dream. A free market guarantees the right of everyone to start and run a business without red tape. It guarantees that every man can afford to begin doing business even if he is only selling pencils. A free market makes the consumer, have a wide variety of products to choose from. It also give every farmer the right to sell what he produces without interference. Buyer beware!

I believe in a strict interpretaion of the Constitution, because it is the basis for all law in our nation. It is why the states bound together in the first place so that every state and every man could live in freedom.

I believe in the limited government that first existed in this country. I believe in it because almost every social engineering project that this nation has taken on has been an abject failure, and has resulted in a nation of immoral selfish people seeking nothing but their own gain. Give me a few examples and I'll be glad to go into detail.

I believe in personal responsibility, and being resposible for the health and welfare of one's own family. Yes there will be poor people, and there will be rich people, but at least we can all live our lives with the dignity of knowing we did it ourselves. At least when a person gets up in the morning they know that their success or failure lies in their own lap. I believe in feeding your own children, and feeding others through charitable organizations like a church. This breeds true community, and moral stability.

Little bit farm

-- Little bit Farm (, September 01, 2000.

Its true word meanings change. Democrats today would more paralell Reconstruction Era Republicans. Look at kids growing up and their definition of "bad".

-- Jay Blair (, September 01, 2000.

Thank you, Sheepish. But you aren't going to change any "stick to the old ways" people-ever.

-- nowayJose (, September 01, 2000.

I personally don't care about people's personal political philsophies or whether or not they are going to change (esp. if part of the definition: "the tendency to prefer an existing or traditional situation to change" is operational, since they probably don't wish to!)

What I care about is the fact that some of us who call ourselves Liberal, care about labeling. AND I personally care that people are quick to slam liberals for causing all their problems and the world's social ills. The world isn't that simple, folks.

I also think it's human nature to take the easy way out and blame institutions...I tend to do it also. The real villains, however, are all the people who don't participate; who don't vote.

For all of you who believe the US Constitution and Bill of Rights should serve our nation well, I sure hope you are voting this election. I sure hope you are participating in your local government. Because it's the lazy people who don't support their form of government that have allowed all this legislation that they don't like to get approved. Our Founding Fathers set this up to work. If you don't follow their directions, it simply won't. They expected you to vote! A lot of people have died to protect this right for us. Don't shame them.

Anyone, regardless of politcal leanings who doesn't vote, shouldn't consider calling himself patriotic. It's that simple.

May I humbly suggest a concerted effort on both major party's parts to get rid of PAC money? We could demand that they do. Just a suggestion.

Happy Labor Day Weekend.

-- sheepish (, September 01, 2000.

Hi Sheepish, good post. Seems today we want to put simple labels on people, when in reality, people and their ideas are alot more complex. Personally, I'm a middle of the roader. Think both sides have good ideas, but I'm more for moderation. No extremes one way or the other.

What I did find interesting though, is this. The other day I was watching a program on PBS, on third parties. Back in the days of the civil war, the Republicans came into office, for the first time, through Abraham Lincoln, because the Republicans were abolutionist. They wanted to end slavery. They were the Liberals. The Democrats, on the other hand, weren't passionate about it, and were for less government. They were the Conservatists. That is why, for a long time, most Southerners were Democrats. Don't know when the parties changed so dramatically. Maybe FDR?

-- Annie (, September 01, 2000.

Annie, you hit the nail on the head. The New Dael should have been seen for what it was, The Raw Deal. FDR did more to destroy the base foundations of this country than Mr. Bill has attempted. He just represents our moral degradation, to me.

Sheepish, might I offer an analogy?(As if you could object,snicker) As all of the folks that have studied more eastern religions can attest to, the Swasticka was a symbol of good. No longer. So things do change in the perceptions of people at large, especially when they have been misused, and I think your definition of liberal has had that happen.

-- Doreen (, September 01, 2000.

I have been outside painting my fence, and besides thinking about Tom Sawyer a lot, I have been thinking about this post. My concern is that we seem to like to label things, and then condemn them. Or label things and then worship them. In reality, things are usually a shade of grey (bear with me as this is so trite, most people will be asleep by now!)and not black and white.

I don't like any knee jerk reactions, be they from a "liberal" standpoint: "Hey, throw more money at it", or from a conservative one: "Hey, it's new, it must be suspicious". I really really really want people to be accountable for their government. I really really really don't want people to just believe because Little Bit posted something, it must be true; or that I posted something that it must be true,(or more likely false, if I read some of the reaction on here!) I am sure Little Bit would agree. Look it up yourself. I don't care what conclusions (for the most part) people come to, if they come to it honestly. I really think people get led around by their noses, if they don't do their homework!

Our nation was founded with a two party system. There is a notion of the "loyal opposition" which while more in line with Parliamentary governments, but to me, at least indicates a feeling of sharing responsibility for government. If you hate the liberals, ok, but without them, the conservatives would be less accountable. If you hate the conservatives, respect the fact that they have kept the liberals in line. What is the sound of one hand clapping?

The last social experiment with a one politically correct system of government (or at least the most obvious one) was Nazi Germany. I for one would not like to repeat that experiment, although perhaps some on here would. It strengthens us to have the "other" party, or two or three or four. Every time I hear someone diss the other party, I get a little upset, especially if they refer to the other party as scum or equivalent. Have some respect, even if you don't agree with it.

Also remember that political party "correctness" and popularity is cyclical. I can very much remember (probably around Watergate time) when being a conservative was pretty politically incorrect. We seem to have overreacted with a non-conservative philosophy, and we will continue to over-correct again and again...swinging right, then left, then right, then left, etc.

We are truly blessed with this great nation, and irrespective of the political swings, your own feelings of revulsion toward a candidate or office holder, etc., please understand that because we are still somewhat awake and aware, we can make this work.

Enjoy the fact that someone, and some party thinks differently than you do!

On a lighter (!) note, my dad used to ask me if I wanted to see a picture of the "great American Destroyer". I was a sucker, thinking it would be a battleship, and he would pull out a Roosevelt Dime and show me FDR's engraved picture!

Sorry for the soap box, but I couldn't say it any sooner!

-- sheepish (, September 01, 2000.

Good thread and topic. If I had to put a label on myself I guess it would be a middle of the roader like Annie. And if not that, slightly left leaning.

I'm not enuf of a historian to say whether we were intended to be a two party system or not. What I do think is that maybe the time has come to look seriously at proportional representation, which would permit "third" parties a stronger voice. I think it would be more corruption resistant than what we have now.

Unfortunately these days being fiscally conservative seems to equate to being socially irresponsible but we have to seek a balance.

I agree 100% with Sheepish that we've got to get the big money out of politics because we, as a nation, are rotting from the inside out because of it. Only eligible voters should be allowed to make campaign contributions----period.

Todays society reminds of George Orwells 1984 with corporate influence being so rampant that the voice of the people is silenced behind a wall of money.

-- john leake (, September 02, 2000.

Just a little bit more history and then I'll quit. :) Also saw on PBS (gotta get cable!), that before the Great Depression, it wasn't uncommon for the stock market to take a big dive. Money systems were very volital then. Happened in cycles of every 10 years, or so, for a big crash. What made the Depression so bad in the late 20's and 30's was, America had become an Industrial Society. Before, we were mostly farmers, an agrarian society, so the Stock Market didn't affect most people. With the Roaring Twenties, alot of people moved to cities. When the Market crashed no one had anywhere to go, ways to grow their own food, etc. Kind of put all their eggs in one basket. Roosevelt started out by wanting people to have to work for their money, not to give hand outs. Hence, all of his work programs. So he still was trying to hold onto the old Democrats way of thinking. But it took on a life of it's own. I guess the gorilla was let out of it's cage. So, with different Presidents and time, we ended up with what we have now. By the way, Social Security WAS intended for the elderly who were the poorest. It was not meant for everyone. But then you get Politicians, who take a simple idea, and away we go.

-- Annie (, September 02, 2000.

Sheepish, I was just looking at the definitions in your original post -- in the *Liberal* definition is I think the root of the problem that the liberals have to this day -- it says that they believe in "the essential goodness of man". But as we all know, and can see every day by just looking around us, men (and women and children) are NOT essentially good. We have to be taught to be good, and even then most of us won't stay good, i.e. doing what is right rather than whatever feels good, unless there is some outside control from somewhere -- whether the government, a teacher or a policeman looking over your shoulder, the belief that God knows all we do, and so on. I think that a lot of the *liberal* social programs that conservatives object to or would do a little differently are based on this philosophy, with the accompanying one that people do wrong because of their environment, and if we just change the environment, they'll do right. Not so. Unfortunately, one of the responses to the fact that people don't automatically do what is right when their environment is changed, is to change the difinitions of right and wrong. As is prophesied in the Bible, evil is now called good, and good is now called evil. The objection I have to the liberal philosophy is that it seems to more and more embrace evil and reject good -- one has only to look at the Democratic party platform to see some examples of this (abortion and homosexual rights come to mind immediately). For those of you who say you feel comfortable in the middle, notice the funny fact that the middle drifts -- what is now the middle, fifty years ago would have been flaming radical. You are on shifting sand! In all honesty, the conservative positions have drifted, too, so we all have to be careful.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, September 02, 2000.

I DO believe that people are essentially good. I also believe they are overcroweded, overlegislated, and undereducated. There...does that sound like a liberal? LOL.

-- sheepish (, September 02, 2000.

Kathleen, I guess to me, middle of the road means common sense, more than anything else. Something our country could use more of.

Now you all have really got me confused. If liberalism stands for the essentail goodness of men and can be left on our own, than why does the other side say they are trying to take away our rights? If conservatism stands for being taught to be good, government, teacher or a policeman, than why do they stand for individual liberty?

Or, is it just whatever THEY believe is right for us?

I keep an open mind and eye to both sides. That's why I'm middle of the road.

-- Annie (, September 02, 2000.

Annie, GOOD ONE!!!! That's why I think people need to do the homework because things are not always what they seem. Also, as I mentioned above, Liberalism and COnservatism don't necessarily correlate with the Democrats and the Republicans, respectively, either.

Because of all the money influence (= corruption) the Dems and Reps are all posturing themselves for the greatest common denominator, which is whatever is the morph of the sum of the popular voters greatest angst(s)! Both parties are fawning to whoever is the biggest voters block. I hardly watch teevee, but if I have the evening news on, I can now count on at least 10 Medicaid/Prescription Drug campaign messages by each Presidential candidate every half hour. (WA state is always a wild card state...we vote independent a lot). Guess the only things important to us voters are getting our meds, if we're seniors (obviously, important, but what else is out there, issue- wise?)

I think we need to kick the #@)(&* out! Vote them out! Get candidates in that want campaign finance reform, and get them to stick to it. I know some of you think I'm hopelessly naive, but I won't let go of this without kicking and screaming...

Whether you are liberal, conservative, middle of the road, whatever. Bring some integrity back to the SYSTEM, not just the party you prefer, or the elected office you think is important.

-- sheepish (, September 02, 2000.

Hey, Sheepish, you really are brave, posting such a thing on this forum! I, too, consider myself a liberal. I would never vote for a Republican, even a "good" Republican like a Lowell Weicker or a Dan Evans...simply because of the company they must keep, the rest of the party to whom they are beholden & with whom they must stand on issue after issue as they play the game of politics in America. Not only am I a liberal, I am a feminist, and I do not lose sight of the gains the human condition has made thanks to women standing up for fair treatment under the law. I'll take the return salvos off the air, by which I mean that I do not intend to respond to anybody's comments about it.

-- snoozy (, September 02, 2000.

Not to get too far afield here but a comment on campaign finance reform. As I recall Jerry Brown was the first in my recollection to make it a big part of his campaign.

Then, several years later, along comes John McCain. Also the main focus of his campaign. McCain, formerly a conservatives conservative, according to his voting record, espousing campaign finance reform--- that was novel. I might have voted for him on that one issue alone even tho he is a republican because the issue is that important IMO.

He would talk about how the current system is so corrupt it was damaging America, yet when he had the choice of supporting GW, and the GOP, who is foursquare against it or supporting Gore who later embraced it, promising to sign McCain/Feingold, he opted for supporting GW.

Seems like he prefer to support advocates of a corrupt system rather than supporting someone who has at least said they'll sign McCain/Feingold----thereby continueing to perpetuate the demise of America in favor of being a party loyalist. Just goes to show ya!

-- john leake (, September 02, 2000.

Sheepish, I'll join you in being helplessly naive, too. I would love to see a candidate who is his own man (or woman) without looking at the polls or special interest. And both parties are consumed in special interest, no matter what they try to make us believe.

Personally, I get aggrivated at the whole deal. My mother is a die hard liberal, who gets her info. from CNN. My mother-in-law is the extreme opposite, who gets her info from Rush Limbaugh. And I get caught in the middle. Sometimes I just want to scream and tell them to do their own research and come to their own conclusion. Don't they realize that the info they get are biased? They might as well let Ted and Rush cast their votes for them. I personally don't think these extremes are doing our country any good. They're just polarizing us and pitting us against each other.

-- Annie (, September 02, 2000.

Most interesting topic!

LBF says, "I believe that every person should have the same shot in America." Does that mean we should make kids take that silver spoon out of their mouths? (raise the inheritance tax to 100%)

Kathleen, do you think it is "good" when a person who is already rich strives for more and more money, more and more possessions, at the expense of others and the environment? Is being a rich materialist really all that "good"?

I confess to being a conservative in theory, but in the real world, I guess I'm a liberal, because I believe in helping my fellow human, and I believe in protecting Mother Earth.

I'm also voting for Nader. My honey says I'm wasting my vote, and should vote for Gore. No way! I believe that voting for the "lesser of two evils" is wasting my vote. We will never have a decent president if we refuse to vote for a decent candidate.


PS have you folks read data about how just tiny percent of the people in the US own a huge percentage of the wealth in the country? And they can't stand it that they have to pay a tax on it when they pass it on to their heirs. What a shame if little Bill Gates Junior had to inherit only 50 BILLION dollars. Not fair! Poof baby!

-- jumpoffjoe (, September 02, 2000.

I know how you feel JOJ. I'm thinking if Gore is smart, about a week before the election he should announce he'll ask Nader to be his Attorney General. Not like thats likely to happen but a guy can dream.

I was watching C-Span today, the reruns of the Natural Law Party convention which was held this past week. They've joined forces with the walk-out reform party in what they call a historic co-alition. I also heard that John Hagelin has been invited to speak at a Greens rally in Arizona. He's got alot of things in common with Nader as far as his platform is concerned including campaign finance reform, disempowering the corporations politically, etc. This could get real interesting if the third parties could coalesce around certain key issues and one candidate and mobilize the disenchanted.

Check out the Natural Law Party and Hagelins platform. Very interesting.

I only hope that Buchanen takes off so he'll pull votes from GW. That'll free me up to vote my conscience, Hagelin or Nader. If not, I'd rather see Gore in the White House than GW because I think he's more likely to be responsive to the little folks than GW.

One of the things Hagelin brought up during his acceptance speech, he noted, almost as an aside, that shortly after Cheney left office as secretary of defense, in addition to taking the job as chairman and CEO of Haliburton, an oil and gas eqpt. mfgr. that Haliburton was awarded a $415 million dollar contract with the feds and another one shortly after that as sole supplier for many million $$$ more. Coincidence???? I don't think so. Forgot to mention the megamillion dollar salary package that came with the job and the megamillion $$$$ golden parachute he left with.

-- john leake (, September 03, 2000.

JOJ, your post really toast's my muffins! So you want to stick it to all those spoiled rich kids huh? Well lets talk about who you are really sticking it to. The people you are really sticking it to is people who have worked all their lives to give their kids a step up. Your sticking it to farmers who want their children to be able to follow in the family business, and keep the family farm. Oh yeah you care about your fellow man as long as he doesn't make more money or have more property than you do! Give me a break!! Do you realize how many farms have gotten into the hands of corporations because of your inheritance tax? Do you realize that all those farms were turned over to Corporate machines who could care less about your "Mother Earth"? let me tell you I am working to give my children the ability to own land so that they can continue to care for the land as it was meant to be cared for, but people like you are determined to make that impossible. In my opinion the attitude that you just exhibited is out and out greed, and I find it absolutely insulting that you would take food out of my children's mouth and land out of my children's hands just so you can soothe your liberal concience. If you really care about your fellow man go out and work in your community, take money out of your pocket and give it to someone the hard way where you really feel it, but don't you take my childs future to appease your own selfish guilt! As for me I am scraping everything I have together to buy a piece of land, and build a farm for my children's future, and if you want to make the inheritance tax 100% you will have to go through me to do it, and I am one mean Mama when it comes to defending my children's future!

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (, September 03, 2000.

Little Bit, I hope your children appreciate you!

I finally finished the book I have been reading all summer: "Cadillac Desert"...I've mentioned it before. What surprized me beyond belief (guess I hadn't thought of it that way before) was how western farmers have been getting extemely cheap water (subsidized by all taxpayers money) from hundreds of pork barrel dams and irrigation projects. What's weird was that politically conservative farmers (mostly California) were very much in favor of supporting this "socialistic" concept! They got almost free water! This was back in the early-mid 20th century I think when this started, but it's still happening today. Things are not always what they seem! It's just more "corporate" welfare...

Ok, this topic isn't about farmers, so I'll a lot to do today.

-- sheepish (, September 03, 2000.

Helloooo! Little bit, I guess I DID get your buns toasty!

You need to take a few deep breaths, and think about the huge leap you just made between reality and your emotional outburst.

I didn't say that I want to put a 100% inheritance tax on you, for chrissake. You said, " I believe that every person should have the same shot in America." I believe that would IMPLY that you yourself want to start everyone at the same level, or they wouldn't have the "same shot". No? Do you believe that someone who inherits a few billion dollars has the same shot as someone born to a poor family? I don't think so.

As a matter of fact, I believe that you, as well as I, should be able to leave a substantial amount to our kids. That's why I have set up a living trust - to protect my kids from as much taxation as possible, but also, (and this is extremely important) to protect them from what you are calling the "free market economy". Namely lawyers, who often take a huge percentage of people's inheritance during the probate process. My kids won't have to submit themselves to this, as there will be no probate.

I've worked very hard, for the last forty-three years, to reach my current level of "independently middle class". I don't have any intention of giving everything I've earned and saved to uncle sam, as I know you don't either.

On the other hand, and I'm sorry this gets you so upset, I don't like what I see happening to our country, where the top 1/2 percent of the folks own over fifty percent of the nation's wealth. This is onlyexacerbated by the super rich passing on their entirre fortune to their offspring.

I'm not into "sticking it" to the family farmer who wants to pass the farm on to his kids. Far from it.

As I stated (I guess in another post, as I can't seem to find it here), I'm against the bill which would dismantle the inheritance tax. I'm in favor of keeping the current program, which gradually ups the exemptions.

Tell me, Bit, how much is this hypothetical farm you want to pass on to your children worth? Is it worth more than $1,200,000? If not, your kids won't have to pay inheritance tax on it.

You are very insulting, Bit, what with statements like, "In my opinion the attitude that you just exhibited is out and out greed, and I find it absolutely insulting that you would take food out of my children's mouth and land out of my children's hands just so you can soothe your liberal concience"

Gimme a break, already. Why don't you try thinking before you open your damned mouth? Don't you know that your attitude, that of protecting the ultra rich, is playing right into the hands of the "Corporate machines" you are so worried about? Who do you think controls those "corporate machines"?

Since you have been so forthright in evaluating me and my opinions, suck on this: maybe you'd be better able to provide for you kids if you would tell your hubby to keep it zipped; then you'd be able to pass whatever wealth you manage to accumulate on to a smaller number of recipients.

And as long as we're going there, I keep hearing you talk about how poor you are, and how you want to build some little hut to live in; maybe you should turn off the computer, and start doing something about it!

JOJ, living comfortably in paradise, and hoping everyone else can reach their own version of nervana....even LBF's herd.

PS;don't tell me to "go work in my community". Fact is, I already do so. Until you know what kind of volunteer work a person does, try not telling them what to do.

-- jumpoffjoe (, September 03, 2000.

Bravo Joe!!! re:"Gimme a break, already. Why don't you try thinking before you open your damned mouth? Don't you know that your attitude, that of protecting the ultra rich, is playing right into the hands of the "Corporate machines" you are so worried about? Who do you think controls those "corporate machines"?"

The machine has Little Bit and others of similar mind exactly where they want her----defending their right to plunder resources, take advantage of targeted tax cuts and sweetheart deals, and pass it all on to their princelings, while allowing us, the serfs, the priveledge of paying for it.

Why shouldn't the superwealthy pay their fair share? They've been living and benefiting from targeted tax cuts for most of their existance as superwealthy, tax cuts subsidized by all of us, even Little Bit.

Someone earlier commented on the "raw Deal" of FDR. I was thinking about it today as we went walking in a county park, made by the CCC 60 or 70yrs ago. And I think about another park downtown, the ball park built by other recipients of the Raw Deal, still in use by the community 60 or 70 yrs later. I wonder if the folks who were getting paid for this thot they were getting such a raw deal when they were able to feed and care for their families. Perhaps panhandling would have been better.

Some of you folks beat your bible and fling chapter and verse at every opportunity yet fail to be philosophically inclined to help your fellow citizen in need, while directly benefitting from it your selves, because it flies in the face of your "conservative values." which have largely been scripted for you by the puppetmasters.

-- john leake (, September 03, 2000.

Hi all, you all got me thinking about the Estate tax, so I did just a little research. The Estate tax was initially brought into being in 1916 to help pay for WWI. After the war they kept in in place for the wealthy who were making a killing in the 20's. So it is an old law. The Government makes a little over 1 percent of it's revenue from it. It's not real profitable, because it cost the Government 65 cents to process 1.00 of which it collects. Which got me thinking... if the Government doesn't collect that much money for it, than most of us aren't paying much into it. And, that there are also alot of wealthy Democrats, so why wouldn't they want it repealed also? Remember when JFK jr. and Caroline had to hold an auction at Sothebys' to pay off their inheritance tax? So it hits the weathiest of both sides. So we come now to very recent politics. A tax relief bill was passed through Congress to the amount of 792 Billion dollars. It was vetoed by President Clinton. The inheritance tax was included in this bill, but so was alot of other stuff. The White House proposed a bill for 295 Billion dollars, targeted for the middle and lower class. $1,000. tax cut to caregivers and 30 percent for health insurance. And some other stuff I read in a Wisconsin newspaper article....

You'll owe zero on money left to a spouse or charity. Taxes don't click in until your assests exceed a certain sum. Singles pay on a net worth of $675,000. (rising to 1 Million by 2006). With planning, a married couple can exempt 1.35 million (rising to 2 million in 2006).

Economist Neil Harl of Iowa State University, who specializes in tax laws for farmers, says he has never seen a farm sold for this reason.

Farms, now, can be valued at perhaps only 1/2 of their fair market price. Any taxes due can be paid over 15 years, at interest rates as low as 2 percent. And unlike most couples, farms can shelter up to 2.6 million from taxes.

Of the properties that are taxed, a significant portion belong to absentee owners, say a Wall Street guy with an Idaho ranch.

Fewer than 48,000 estates paid any Federal estate tax in 1998. Of these, just 1,200 were made up of small businesses and farmers.

When part or all of a farm is sold at death, family is usually the reason, not tax. Maybe none of the kids want to run the business. Maybe one does, but the others want to be bought out. They'd be selling. Estate tax or not.

Now, I realize there are probably some farmers who have lost their farms. And I don't think anyone should. But anyone who thinks their farm is worth alot of money and wants to pass it on to their children, should get them a good tax specialist, pronto.

(and I apologize for the long post!!!!)

-- Annie (, September 03, 2000.

One more thing, and then I'll shut up. I don't like being "scared" by either party. Whether it be the 2nd amendment, by the Democrats or the Estate Tax by the Republicans. We need to "pick the trash" out of all the rhetoric.

(for the record...I strongly support the 2nd amendment)

-- Annie (, September 03, 2000.

After reading Joe's post I took a little time to really think about how to respond to it. I began thinking about how I would want my beautiful little daughter to respond to this. By Joe's opinion this bright eyed 3 year old should not exist, as she is my 4th child. I hope to instill the old common values to my child one of which is to act like a lady at all times. After all you can feed the chickens but you don't have to take dust baths with them. Given that here goes.

<"I didn't say that I want to put a 100% inheritance tax on you, for chrissake>"

Ahh, but you did Joe, because everyone of the wealth redistribution programs take away more money from middle class families than it takes away from rich folks. A hundred percent inheritance tax takes money from my children and many others.

<"I'm not into "sticking it" to the family farmer who wants to pass the farm on to his kids. Far from it.>"<"Tell me, Bit, how much is this hypothetical farm you want to pass on to your children worth? Is it worth more than $1,200,000? If not, your kids won't have to pay inheritance tax on it. ">

Well you may not be into sticking it to the family farmer, but unfortunately that is exactly what is happening with the current system. Out here forty acres and some orange trees will give you enough assets to meet your 1.2 million dollar figure. Currently most heirs are forced to sell their property in order to pay their inheritance tax. My children will someday be included in that number if that tax isn't eliminated.

<"I believe that every person should have the same shot in America." I believe that would IMPLY that you yourself want to start everyone at the same level, or they wouldn't have the "same shot". No? Do you believe that someone who inherits a few billion dollars has the same shot as someone born to a poor family? ">

The same shot means that everyone starts with the same level of freedom to pursue their happiness, as anyone else. This means that every person rich or poor, has the chance to run his or her business in freedom. That means laws are not implemented that redistributes wealth away from those who make money. Rather everyone pursues their goals without interference. Our biggest problem in this country is not that there are too many rich people, but rather that laws have been put in place that guarantee that the poor man won't be able to start a business. One example of that is licensing. Licensing was put in place to protect the consumer, but the effect of it has been that the only people to profit have been those who have been able to pay to get the required license. This makes the poor have less options that the rich which in turn guarantees that top half percent you were talking about. If enough laws are put in place you have a permanent lower class. The small startup business opportunities that once were the bread and butter of the poor entreprenuers are now becoming the bastion of the upper middle class. Some examples are Real estate, Contracting, handyman work, insurance marketing, automotive work. This has devolved the common man. Most of this is caused by liberal wealth redistribution.

Let me give you the difference. When my greatgrandfather was young he began growing olives and canning them to sell. Pretty soon he had earned enough to begin his own company. Now my grandmother up until this time was raised in a tent house in southern california, dirt poor. But great-grandpa began his business and before long it grew and grew until soon he joined with another company and increased his business tremendously. This new compay was called Early California Foods. Perhaps you have heard of them. Until recently they were one of the largest distributors of olives in the United states. The thing is that were I to go out and start the same company today, I couldn't do it without the apporval of half the state of California and a few federal agencies besides. Therefore my essential ability to step into business is depleted. When you multiply that by thousands and thousands of businesses, essential the poor man has no shot. So you see it isn't the rich man that is the problem it is liberal fingers of government that have been trying to reach into the pockets of the nation, to insure that every man is equal since the time of marx that has created the problem of the extremely wealthy. In all of this is the underlying basic principle of personal responsibility vs. state responsiblity. Everytime the state has tried to help the end up insuring the poor get poorer. Welfare is a wonderful example. By giving people money you insure that they have less of a reason to work.

<"Why don't you try thinking before you open your damned mouth? ">

Actually my mouth never opened, just my finger clicking away on the keys. Oh come on now even you know that is kinda funny!

Now as to my prodigious chilbearing. It just drives you nuts that I am out there producing more conservatives like me doesn't it? Just think if I have four kids and they have for and so on, and all the while you have one or two and they have one or two... MMMM something to think about huh?

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (, September 03, 2000.

For what its worth Little Bit many of the "corporate" farms are family farms under a corporate umbrella. They were intentionally structured that way limit liability and provides an estate tax dodge for the larger farms, enabling the family to continue on uninterupted. Those with large estates can plan for their certain demise and dramatically reduce, if not eliminate the burdensome taxes. Furthermore, like Annie said, the tax can be paid over a period of 15 yrs and even paid ahead if one chooses. You say you're for personal responsibility. Would that include the responsibility for using the tools provided by the law to protect your estate from the Government?

The current tax targets, more than anyone else, the very wealthy, who more than likely got there, at least in part, by special treatment by the Government and subsidized by YOUR tax dollars. It must be that corporate welfare, paid for by YOUR tax dollars, and enriching the super rich, is more palatable to you than giving a family, perhaps like your self, a hand up-----so much for family values!

Much better to have a hungry or homeless kid than a corporate exec. without a Lear Jet.

-- john leake (, September 03, 2000.

I realize that it is human nature to envy the extremely wealthy, and I also realize that some of those people either inherited their wealth, or got it by exploiting other people, BUT there is nothing intrinsically wrong with being wealthy. No, I don't want to be one of them, and probably most of you don't, either, but they have a right to keep what they've earned, just like we do. We aren't happy about the government coming in and taking away (via taxes, fees, etc.) part of what we've earned, and they aren't either. Furthermore, if people aren't allowed to keep what they've earned, they lose their incentive to keep working, and the tendency is towards a society of slide-through-on-as-little-work-as-possible, because we aren't going to get to keep it anyway. Like renters won't work to improve property that isn't theirs, people won't work to earn money if they know they aren't going to get to keep it. In a working society, there will always be a few who rise higher (in income) than others do. If you smash them back down into conformity with the masses, it hurts the whole society. I don't think it is right to want to be taking people's money away from them, just because of envy, because they have more than I do. That way leads to socialism, and it has been well demonstrated that socialism DOESN'T work!! (In what way have you personally been injured by some other fellow having more money than you do?)

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, September 04, 2000.

I'm reflecting on the differences here in perception: On the one hand, we have people (LBF, as an example) who believe that Liberal legislation is taking away the opportunity for the average American to establish and make a business thrive, and then a real possibility exists that the business could be lost to taxes (i.e. estate tax)...Do I understand that okay? This group feels the responsible villain is government, specifically Liberal government.

On the other hand, there are those who feel that the average American is losing the opportunity to make headway, because of Corporations getting subsidies, and by passing their wealth on to their families. Also that corporations are paying for elected representation. The corporations are run by the same wealthy folk who pass their assets on to their kids, etc. Sound right? This group feels that corporations are responsible, with government blessings based on Corporate Welfare, designed by the Conservatives.

I'm searcing for what is common to both of these philosophies. Is it that we feel that we are losing power to achieve, irrespective of what we think is the reason? Why do Americans feel increasingly powerless? If we could find our common ground, we could coalesce into a force for making ourselves more enfranchised again.

I think that we are increasingly being led around by our noses, by a group of people whose political philosophies are immaterial to their need to manipulate us! These "leaders" have more in common with each other economically, and less need to be philosophical than we do, wouldn't you think? Do you really think corporate boardrooms are full of discussions about political theory; the meaning of liberty, etc? I would think those folk put those differences aside as they talk instead about whatever next opportunities the rich and powerful discuss!

If we (average "powerless" Americans) could get to a position, where our political philosophies were less important, and we could find our common ground (desire for freedom from manipulation?), and we exercised our strength from that, couldn't we be just as powerful as those fat cats? How can we do that? Middle of the road-ers? Common sense, as mentioned above? Less need to listen to rhetoric, however soothing it may seem?

Now I am really dreaming, huh?

-- sheepish (, September 04, 2000.

Kathleen, you sure post some thoughtful things. I agree, we shouldn't discourage people from making money. I count as friends some really wealthy people. I also have some friends (also family) that are pretty much working poor. Me, I count myself rich! But that's b/c I have land and animals! LOL

I don't advocate robbing the rich to give to the poor. I just don't think it's fair to have any legislation that permits people to "dodge" their fiscal responsibilities, whether by taxes or corporate welfare. Etc. Leveling the playing field, to me, means we all (rich and poor) play by the same rules. Not special treatment b/c you are rich or know the right people. That's all. I am greatful for those entrepreneurs who have taken risks and made something great for themselves and their families (and I sure would hope for their communities, and faith communities, too...we all benefit, then).

-- sheepish (, September 04, 2000.

Kathleen: You seem to say that underlying the arguments in favor of the estate tax is the envy you say is natural to us all. I'm not sure I agree with that. Speaking for myself, if someone is monetarily rich, more power to them, assuming they got it thru hard and smart work, rather than the silver spoon method. Its also true hard work is no guarantee of monetary success.

Consider loggers, farmers, and miners for example. They work very hard, sometimes for barely enuf to support their families. Hard work doesn't necessarily equate to alot of money.

Maybe the common ground should be "Whats necessary to support life?" Ghandi said "there's enuf in this world to support every persons needs, but not enuf to support every persons greed." These are true words.

I just listened to a radio program on Affluenza---the mindless pursuit of money for its own sake. It becomes a game for its own sake, without regard to the long term psychological, sociological and spiritual effects.

The problem is money buys power and influence these days and thats where the injustice comes in.

I doubt that the wealthy person is more valuable in the eyes of God than the impoverished one and our political system should reflect that simple truth.

Disempower money in the political process and we'll see our national priorities return to the "City of God" as you and alot of other people seem to want. Without it I believe we'll continue to decline as a nation.

-- john leake (, September 04, 2000.

Sheepish: I think you're right when you talk about a level playing field, but right now "corporate welfare" prevents that.

Kathleen: You ask "(In what way have you personally been injured by some other fellow having more money than you do?)"

One example---did you know that oil and gas subsidies, if removed, would make several alternative energy options immediately economically viable. How am I hurt by that you may ask. Air and water that's not as clean as it could be is a start.

I think it was Little Bit who commented on discounting the influence of environmental conditions on shaping the character of young people. I agree all that we do is a matter of personal values and choices we make in our daily lives. I also agree that it should be up to the parents to "teach their children well".

But its also a fact of life that conditions DO play a role in shaping us as individuals. Its all fine and good to say "It the parents responsibility to teach their children." but talk is cheap. Try it as a working family with both parents working one or two jobs, living in the inner city, unable to spend time with their kids because they're working to get out of the inner city.

Its also easy to understand how people can become hopeless and disenfranchised in such surroundings.

-- john leake (, September 04, 2000.

LBF, in an ideal world, your little daughter WOULDN'T exist. In an ideal world, we'd all have learned to take responsibility for our actions, and we'd all have realized that we are approaching an environmental and political meltdown, due to our overpopulation of our home, the Earth. But this is not an ideal world, and I cerainly don't hold anything against your daughter. She didn't ask to be born into a family of six.

As far as your next tirade,

<"I didn't say that I want to put a 100% inheritance tax on you, for chrissake>"

Ahh, but you did Joe, because everyone of the wealth redistribution programs take away more money from middle class families than it takes away from rich folks. A hundred percent inheritance tax takes money from my children and many others.

If you would try really hard to read and understand my post, you would see that I never said either that I wanted a hundred percent inheritance tax on either you, nor anyone else. You can keep on saying that I did, but it won't make it so.

If taxation based redistribution programs take more from the middle class than they do from the rich, that is not my fault. Sorry, blame the rich politicians, and the PAC's -- they are the ones who are successfully writing laws to protect themselves from paying taxes.

You say, " Well you may not be into sticking it to the family farmer, but unfortunately that is exactly what is happening with the current system".

Again, not my fault. Nor my desire. I'm all for family farmers. I also see that John Leake, Annie, and others have debunked your theory that inheritance tax is a cause for family farms being broken up. I repeat also that I'm not into abolishing the inheritance tax, but I am also not averse to allowing the exemption to be corrected periodically, to avoid overtaxing, for instance, family farm families. I personally hope like hell that my kids lose some of my estate to inheritance taxes; that would mean that I had accrued an incredible estate indeed!

Oops, gotta go; my son and daugter-out-law just came over to visit. I'll be back!


<"I'm not into "sticking it" to the family farmer who wants to pass the farm on to his kids. Far from it.>"<"Tell me, Bit, how much is this hypothetical farm you want to pass on to your children worth? Is it worth more than $1,200,000? If not, your kids won't have to pay inheritance tax on it. ">

-- jumpoffjoe (, September 04, 2000.

I'm baaaaaaack! The kids had to go water my daughter-out-law's mom and dad's plants. (I wonder what relation that makes them to me??)

Continuing to respond to LB:

"Actually my mouth never opened, just my finger clicking away on the keys. Oh come on now even you know that is kinda funny! "

Yep. Truly a riot.

"Now as to my prodigious chilbearing. It just drives you nuts that I am out there producing more conservatives like me doesn't it?"

No, it doesn't drive me nuts, LB; but it is a pretty SCARY thought!

"Just think if I have four kids and they have for and so on, and all the while you have one or two and they have one or two... MMMM something to think about huh? "

That's something, all right; you could be a one woman population bomb. Just think, in a few generations, you could have Oklahoma just as nice as Los Angeles County. What a goal for you!

Annie, thanks for sharing the info about the estate tax (I'm assuming that's the same as the inheritance tax?) I keep hearing that the amount was going up to $675,000, and then continuing upward in increments of $25k. At this rate, I'll never save enough to qualify!

Kathleen, I'm not one of the people who wants to tax the rich because I'm JEALOUS of them. I'm not even ENVIOUS of them. I'm really not that much of a materialist, so I don't need to be rich.

As far as what have rich people ever done to me personnaly, I guess I agree with John about the air and water. Plus, I believe that if the wealth of the top one or two percent of the people in the US were redistributed a little bit, maybe there would be no need for so many two income families. We certainly could solve the homeless problem. If we just took a few billionaires, and stripped them of everything over one billion dollars (Sorry, Mr. Gates, you'd have to really tighten the old belt to get by as a mere billionaire;) we could do wonders. Just take Bill Gates, himself, for starters. He's currently worth on the order of 100 billion. Call it 101 for this exercise, ok? So we strip him of $100 billion. If we divided that figure by, say, one million homeless people, we could provide each of them with a $100,000 house, with no house payments. Or we could provide 5 million homeless people with a $20,000 down payment.

Little Bit, I believe you would qualify as a homeless person; I'll talk to Bill, and see how he feels about putting you at the head of the line, ok?

Remember, these figures are all for only the "extra" $100 billion we're confiscating from Bill Gates. He's only one of quite a few multi-billionaires in this country alone. Hell, if we stripped all of them down to a single billion bucks, I could probably qualify myself; after all, I'm only working on my second million. (gave up on the first)

Now the little brats are back, and whining about the dinner I promised to fix them; gotta go again.

One last thought, folks; I agree with John about getting money out of the campaign process. That is ONE reason I'm voting for Ralph Nader! There are others, but the idea of having a presidential candidate who is NOT FOR SALE, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.


-- jumpoffjoe (, September 04, 2000.

George Corley Wallace had a name absolutely appropos for the perpetrators of this thread; he would have called them "pointy headed PSEUDO intellect-uals" Bless his soul I heartily agree.

To borrow yet another phrase from today's youth I would like to answer your endless wrangling: LITTLE BIT RULES!

A "liberal" by any other name is a Satan serving Communist liar intent on annihilation of the last free society on earth.

-- Rags in Alabama (, September 04, 2000.

Rags, thanks for the laugh!

-- sheepish (, September 04, 2000.

Wow! That was fun! Good to see all the like minded Liberals! Of course I am a bleeding heart myself. One thing that I can't understand is why conservatives seem so darn hostile all the time! Maybe its just me. Anyone else notice this over the years?....Kirk

-- Kirk Davis (, September 04, 2000.

Rags, you're funny. Sort of. Did you know that George Wallace had a change of heart in his final years? Perhaps he quit labelling folks he disagreed with as pointy headed pseudo intellectuals. Perhaps there's hope for you, in your later years.

My dad, bless his heart, was a bleeding heart liberal, even though he was a corporate lawyer for twenty-five years, working for ARCO. He thought I was a right wing radical! I'm worried about getting a split personality, what with my dad calling me right wing radical, and you calling me " Satan serving Communist liar intent on annihilation of the last free society on earth."

I confess to being more liberal than some, but if I were Satan serving, it would be with catsup.

Kirk, there's a saying about bands: if you can't play well, play loud. I suspect the correlary to this may help explain some of the hostility being exhibited by the conservatives: if you can't use logic, use hostility.


-- jumpoffjoe (, September 05, 2000.

If this is an open forum,here's my .02.Littlebit-2 joj-0. Joe if you want to take the producers money and give it to the non-producers,the soviet union tried it and it didn't work-and it wasan't to long until the producers of wealth quit trying. sheepish,they ain't but two parties gonna be there in Nov.-Dubya's is for big business and off-shore drilling and algor's is for bar-b- que ribs in Waco and making a public park out of all the land in the U.s.of A. well, that should give JOJ's big brother carnivore something to chew on-hope it gets indigestion! Yawl don't hafta bother ans. this,I don't get by here that often.latergator

-- BillyB (, September 05, 2000.

Billy boy, I'm going to answer you anyhow. I agree the Soviet plan never worked. So what? You win the award for simplistic answers.

If you think the massive flow of wealth and power to the few at the top, here in the US is "working", you must be one of the billionaires.


-- jumpoffjoe (, September 05, 2000.


Now hold on there and back the welfare wagon up. There is quite a disconnect between your opening statements to this thread (defining historically accurate definitions to political terms) and the closing statements (defending modern liberalism as something beneficial).

One reason that I would like to share these definitions, is that it distresses me to read what is being said inaccurately about Liberalism

Oh? Like what? I must have missed those threads. Do you mean here on Countryside or just in society in general?

 the fact that we are Liberals does not mean that we are bent on bringing the nation down!

Bent on it? Well maybe not bent on it, not most of them anyway, but certainly primarily responsible. First you have to decide which kind of liberal you are. You seem to have a great deal of confusion about the liberal of history like Jefferson and the positions held modern liberals. The only burden that those that are generally considered as being modern conservatives are carrying is this ridiculous war on drugs, and of course the liberal republicans join your side in this sharing the responsibility for this globalist trade scheme. You cannot claim to support the historical definition of liberalism and then by your own admissions support the modern liberal candidate. The two views are exclusive of one another. Each and every position of the modern liberal is diametrically opposed to the principles that this nation was founded on. Didnt you say that you support government indoctrination centers, those things that you call public schools? Then Sheepish, deal with the criticism because you and the rest of Uncle Joes confederacy of useful idiots on this forum and across this nation are in fact the problem.

The real villains, however, are all the people who don't participate; who don't vote.Because it's the lazy people who don't support their form of government that have allowed all this legislation that they don't like to get approved.They expected you to vote! A lot of people have died to protect this right for us. Don't shame them.Anyone, regardless of political leanings who doesn't vote, shouldn't consider calling himself patriotic. Its that simple.

If it is so simple they why dont you get it? You do have a right to vote but it is each individuals responsibility to politically educate themselves. They expected you to vote but they also expected you to be aware that every right has an associated responsibility. If you are not willing to carry the burden of responsibility then it is your responsibility not to exercise the right and defer to those who have taken their rights seriously. If you are not politically educated, about both our nations history and present politics, then it is your responsibility NOT to vote. The reason that we are in this mess as a nation is because of this ridiculous premise that everyone regardless of their ignorance should go pull the lever for someone. It is these politically ignorant sheeple that give us the endless piles of regulations and trade our rights for an ever increasing degree of tyranny because it sounded good at the time. A patriot who has not had an opportunity for whatever reason to keep up on politicians, the politicians positions and that politicians actions would NOT vote for fear of corrupting the process and canceling out the vote of someone who has gone to the effort to choose whomever is best for this nation. There are those amongst us who have made the effort to educate ourselves and are aware that our votes are quickly cancelled out by the sheeple who vote for the bread and circuses who dont vote but that is because the two parties that most folks have heard of dont have an acceptable candidate and voting for the lesser of two evils is still an evil. The system is changing, the two parties who have conspired together as one party to trap us in a socialist nightmare no longer have a total stranglehold on the constituency.

Our nation was founded with a two party system. There is a notion of the "loyal opposition" which while more in line with Parliamentary governments, but to me, at least indicates a feeling of sharing responsibility for government. If you hate the liberals, ok, but without them, the conservatives would be less accountable. If you hate the conservatives, respect the fact that they have kept the liberals in line. What is the sound of one hand clapping?

It is the sound of silence. It is the sound of the press labeled apathy of some of the voters you were referring to above. But it isnt apathy. It is the sound of the people withdrawing their support from the state. It is the sound of internalized seething and anger waiting for the right moment to be unleashed. The two parties do not keep each other in check and because of that there is no accountability. Liberals have infiltrated the party that is supposed to represent the conservatives and, due to election pressures of sheeple convinced that we live in a democracy, the two work together as one. We are in a socialist spiral dive being piloted by the Democrats with willing neo-con Republican copilots.

Williams Rant: To Be Continued

-- William in WI (, September 05, 2000.

William in WI,

I am almost embarassed to be in agreement with two parts of your tirade.

First, I agree that the idea of everyone voting, regardless of whether they have researched the issues or the candidtates, is a bunch of bullshit, probably propagated by politicians who want us to have the illusion of having some say so in government. I suspect, unfortunately, that you would consider anyone who HAS researched the issues and candidates, but comes to a different conclusion than you do as being no better than someone who has not bothered to do the required research. Am I right? Sorry if I've misjudged you, but your post sounded so similar to the rantings of so many other "patriots" I have heard or read over the years that I suspect you fit into the same mold.

Second, I agree that there is not much difference between the tw subparties of the Republicrats. But I also suspect that you won't agree with whom I am voting for for president. Can you guess? I'll give you a hint; he opposes corporate control of the federal government.

Please do continue with your rant, William. I'm looking forward to your views. I hope they will contain at least a modicum of dfference from those of the other "patriots".

What are your opinions of diversity, immigration, freedom of religion, unions, posse comitatus, white supremacy? Go on, surprise me.


-- jumpoffjoe (, September 05, 2000.

I am breathlessly awaiting the continuation of "Williams Rant", no better ranting have I been blessed to hear in some time! Please don't keep us waiting long, as the muck continues to thicken and drag us, with its dark & deceptive guile, towards the utopian fog that blinds and dulls the senses. Ahh, my anticipation for reasoned, constitutional based thinking almost overwhelms me!! God Bless! Wendy

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (, September 05, 2000.

joj, having read your above posts and then regurgitating my last meal,I have recovered enough to post a question for you. Are we to give our esteemed government the authority to pillage and plunder ONLY those whose worth is a billion? More? Less? And if so, what protections would you have put in place to prevent future plundering by our government on those whose worth is less? You decide the figure and the protections. And does the form of government we operate under figure into your equation at all? Just Curious. Wendy Sorry, turns out to be more than one question.

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (, September 05, 2000.

Hi again. William, I use this forum to explore issues. You see, I like to keep an open mind, and base my understandings on a continual learning process. I am glad you are comfortable with your conclusions and I respect your right to have them. Please respect my right to have mine. Please respect my right to continue to search for answers.

I will attempt to respond to your statements, in no particular order.

You wrote:You cannot claim to support the historical definition of liberalism and then by your own admissions support the modern liberal candidate.

Depends on your definition of support I guess. You have to start somewhere with the best candidate, and then work for better candidates in the future. I personally sometimes dont support the "modern liberal candidate". Is may not always be a best candidate. It may surprise you to know that I voted for Ross Perot as well as John McCain in the last few elections.

In answer to a couple of your other statements...1) I don't think public schools are indoctrination centers. Did I say that somewhere? And, 2) I do very much accept the responsibilities associated with my vote. I would hope you were using the word you as the collective you and not personally. Otherwise, you havent read much of my stuff on here.

I admit, the party discussion and the political philosophies part is a bit muddied. I should have indicated that while there were two parties when the nation was founded, who at that time probably had more to do with conservative vs. liberal thought than what exists in our current political party spectrum. The Dems and Reps dont keep each other honest!

I don't see any inconsistencies with what I wrote. I may have not expressed myself well enough. I am not a professional writer, of course. To recap, I think my major points were that slamming people for being a Liberal is offensive to me; that Webster has a definition of Liberal; that I support traditional Liberal thought; that I don't like Corporate welfare; that our current government is corrupt; and that people who don't vote are doing an injustice to the nation. You can certainly disagree.

One more thing: Why do so many people on here feel a need to rant? Don't people get respect in real life? Or what?'s just a forum, people. Rant to your representatives! And what is the benefit of all the flowery prose? I havent figured that one out yet either.

Have a nice day.

-- sheepish (, September 05, 2000.

Sheepish, on the off chance you were referring to my post as being a "flowery prose", gee thanks!he-he! Whats up with that is, (in case it was mine you were referring to) 1.) I really do love Williams posts-that part was sincere. 2) Absurdity, despair & the realization that it is highly unlikely that anything said here, no matter how compelling, will draw those with socialist tendancies any nearer to the reality that we have a government that is suppose to operate on our constitutional form of government.

Some things should be so set in stone as to be immoveable. I believe our constitutional form of government is one of those things. It would be easier to fight a bloody war, than to battle each individual to retain the freedoms we are suppose to be gauranteed. Yea, rant to your congressman, etc... I do that, often! But they are only doing what WE are willing to let them do. THEY will not change, it is US that must change. And this change will not, can not change when people do not even know/understand our form of government. And thus, what & how it is set up to operate. I can say without hesitation, it was never intended to be a cradle to grave institution. That some would succeed beyond comprehension, monetarily, was never grounds for confiscation. That we would take a"case by case" basis as the foundation for how we "decide" what to support or not support was not the way it was suppose to work.

We started with foundational principles regarding freedom, liberty, the role of government, the scope of government and our repulsion at the long arm of government. These things were encapsulated in our Constitution. From that we are suppose to operate. Not this, "well, gee, I know lots of women/families that NEED daycare, therefore it really would be a good idea for the government to provide this. After all, "working families" need all the help they can get." WHAT is up with that? Thats how we do it? Why is the first question not, "is that the role of government?"

There is so much that could be said, but I dare not rant, heaven forbid someone might stop and consider what they will "stand" on and work from that point when making decisions.

By the way, I do not begrudge anyone thier right to support the form of government, candidate or world view they choose. But I would ask that they at least know and understand the choices they are making. And for those that do know and understand what they are choosing, why not work to abolish our Constitution and Bill of Rights and form the kind of government you want in place? At least then the populace would be forced to decide, rather than us all suffering this "frog in the slow boil" thing. God Bless! Wendy

-- Wendy@GraceAcres (, September 05, 2000.

Once again folks it's all in the balance. Theoretically the liberals keep the conservatives honest and the conservatives keep the liberals honest. Each point of view has legitimate issues and we'd all do well to keep that in mind.

The patronizing attitude displayed by the "conservatives" are laughable. They spout "FREEDOM IN THE LAND" and ad in small print, but only if you agree with us. If you don't you're a scum sucking, pointy headed, pseudo-intellectual, card carrying communist pinky pig. Hows that Rags? Did I do an adequate job of portraying your "patriotic" red-neck attitude?

They dispute JOJ point about excessive wealth being taxed but have yet to comment about that wealth being used to curry political favor by their bought and paid for political representatives. The pols of course reciprocate in kind by fashioning tax breaks etc for their monied friends but I guess thats OK in a "conservative" world view.

Give it a break folks! Jeeeez!

-- john leake (, September 06, 2000.

More good points, John. It looks like you're good at putting things in a concise form, which is probably preferable to the ramblings some of us indulge in.

Wendy, I'm glad I was able to help with your diet. Sorry, though, that I'm not going to try to micromangage the government, so I can't answer all your questions in that regard. I think the basic form of government we have is excellent, but it doesn't seem to be serving either your wants nor my wants very well at the moment. As far as your saying, "That some would succeed beyond comprehension, monetarily, was never grounds for confiscation.", I must agree. However, let's look at a hypothetical case. Someone becomes so rich and powerful that they own the newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, the businesses, the oil companies, most of the real estate,and most of the US legislators. Do you feel ok that they can charge you whatever price they want to for gasoline, for food, and so forth, regardless what anyone else thinks is fair? And they can get away with it, because they have the power to do so? And that you now have many many families who can barely afford to put food on their tables, even with both mom and dad working, sometimes two jobs? I hope you'd be happy with this hypothetical situation, because this is where this country is headed, and where it already is, to a large extent.

I personally don't call this "free enterprise" because the big boys are playing with a stacked deck.

If you want to see a thumbnail sketch of how corrupt some of these rich folks are, and how they got this way, please read a book called "The Prize". It's an expose on all the big players in the oil industry, starting back in the late 18th century, and continuing to the 1990's. You will be amazed. I was loaned this book by my next door neighbor, who is a retired vice president of one of the largest oil companies to ever exist. The book was given to him as a one of his retirement presents

Do you really think that the kids and grandkids of someone who amassed a huge fortune illegally should be protected from inheritance tax because their ancestors "worked so hard" for it? I don't.


-- jumpoffjoe (, September 06, 2000.

Gee Thanks Joe! I've never been accused of conciseness before! LOL

-- john leake (, September 07, 2000.

. I really think people get led around by their noses, if they don't do their homework!

I couldnt agree more

"The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism, but under the name liberalism, they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program until America will one day be a Socialist nation without knowing what happened."-- Norman Thomas, six times candidate for President of the United States on the Socialist party ticket.

The last social experiment with a one politically correct system of government (or at least the most obvious one) was Nazi Germany.

The Nazis were of course fascists. While the Nazis are well known for their anti-semitism, fascism does not necessarily have anything to do with anti-semitism. What Im getting around to pointing out is that the people of Germany did not vote for the Nazis because they all hated Jews. The people voted for the Nazis because the Nazis were fascists. Fascism promises protection from the hardships of life. No worries of where your children will go to school, a health system thats costs are distributed amongs the whole of the population to make it fair and affordable, no unemployment, and of course protections from evil corporation abuses (hmmmmmaybe that Nader fella isnt really as dense as I thought. Crooked, but not dense). We know of course that it delivers very few of its promises and all those that it does deliver come at the cost of personal freedom. The jews had no way of defending themselves because there is no recognition of an inalienable right. There is no constitution let alone something like our Bill of Rights to protect these people. Fascism such as that in WWII Germany and that practiced at various times in some other small countries became a strange mixture of what appeared to the majority as a pure Democracy and of course the government wielded all the power. In a democracy there are no protections beyond always being part of the bigger mob. The government dances to whatever tune they are able to convince the majority to play and stays in power.

Communism swept through various nations driven by social responsibility propaganda. There was only one politically correct party amongst the little people, the poor, in China and ultimately the Communists won. The ones who delivered the death blow to Imperial Russia were of course the most socially responsible Red Army, buoyed by a greater percentage of the common people than the other factions in that conflict. Both variants of Communism promised a workers Utopia. Communism promises a happy land where there are no poor, where all of your legal, medical and personal needs are met. Unlike in fascism, the government doesnt even go to the effort of pretending that the people have rights. All power is turned over to a beneficent paternal government which promises to take care of everything. Needless to say that these governments do not rule as a loving father over the people but something more like a selfish babysitter on crack. The people are denied all and those in power receive all and the people have no recourse but to suffer. Those suffering under communism have no rights either. No redress of grievance and no ability to force a change.

The point is that there is a similarity between these forms of government. Both forms are socialist. All socialist governments are authoritarian. Every time a personal freedom is given to the state to control any aspect of a persons life it enlarges and emboldens the beast of the state and adds another link to the chains of the individual, ultimately resulting in oppression of the people.

If you (sheepish) vote for anyone openly advocating any form of social program then you (sheepish) are participating in destroying our form of government and ushering in the same opression felt in every age under every form of socialism.

Modern liberalism is nothing more than base thuggery cloaking itself as a pseudo legitimate form of government.

To be continued...

-- William in WI (, September 07, 2000.

William, since ALL forms of government are about governing, conservatism and communism have a lot in common. Is this where we are going on this thread???? Just as logical.

-- sheepish (, September 07, 2000.

PS. were you going to respond to JOJ's questions to you, or is it only a one way question and answer program here?

-- sheepish (, September 07, 2000.

It boils down to do you believe the government should take care of you and make extremely important decisions for you (health, education, religion, etc) or not. Do you believe that what you have worked for (hard toiling work or sit at a desk work) should be taken from you and given to those who can vote to take it. It does not take pages of discussion to get to the gist of politics. It IS black and white. I will help anyone I can that NEEDS help and that I get to make the choice as to whom I decide needs my help. I do not like the fact that I have to pay taxes to aid in abortion and I have no say in it. For those of you who are "liberal" (I do not interchange liberal with Libertarian) are actually socialist and those of you who are socialist are actually communist. You all may look up these definitions in any dictionary. The middle of the roaders and those who find themselves in the middle are those who cannot make a valid decision on many things. There is good and there is bad. If someone kills another person and gets off because he had a "terrible childhood" - what does the person who was murdered get? Not another chance, he's dead and now the person has an excuse to flaunt his "disability". Take a moment to reflect on any situation: is this right? Is this wrong? Or you can say, well, this would be wrong but...Remember anything after "but" is a lie.

-- Jerry Cummings (, September 07, 2000.


I didnt mean to make it seem like I wanted to pick on you. My intent was to respond to individuals in the order that they were posting and comment on all of their posts at once. Since you were the originator of the thread I started to respond to you but Ive been so busy that I havnt been able to keep up. JOJ and John are next, I promise

-- William in WI (, September 08, 2000.

Don't people understanf that in application liberal, conservative, republican, democrate, are all the same women elected clinton but women have less choice now that ever because clinton has stalled RU-486 clinton has put more minorities in jail with his war on drugs and released 100,000 violent criminals and the republicans conservative with many examples of corporate welfare the only political that lessens government control and give people responsibility for their own actions is the Liberatarian party jkg

-- jkg (, September 08, 2000.

jkg: When are you folks gonna get it? Its not Clintons "war on drugs" Ronnie Reagan started it and its been driven by emotional rhetoric since then. Its been maintained by Clinton because it seems to be politically popular and supported by the mainstream.

Clinton gets the blame for all the ills of the nation but the real enemy is us.

I remember hearing a public radio program a while back. They were interviewing the author of a study who had concluded, after alot of research, that people selected leaders who were KNOWN to be liars over people who were not.

-- john leake (, September 08, 2000.

My wife and I were discussing this thread and something really disturbing about liberalism. Many will say liberals believe in "You do your thing, I'll do mine", but in reality they believe that as long as your thing is their thing. I believe that Liberalism really couldn't survive if they didn't try to push it on others and into other peoples living rooms. True liberalism fosters a lot of "helping programs", but I have also seen instances where the liberals use "free speech" to keep candidates from being heard by the public because they didn't share the liberal view. The incident that I viewed even showed the conservative candidate begging the liberal to come to the podium for a discussion/debate. The liberal replied, "the public can hear our chanting, not you." This actually goes against the liberal view and it goes on very often.

-- Jay Blair (, September 08, 2000.

Jay, glad to hear that you and your wife discuss these issues. I think shouting down anyone is rude...I was actually thinking about that same thing recently. I remember in college when students used to shout at speakers. I thought it was rude then, too. Btw, I also think it's rude when people do the equivalent of "shouting down" on this forum...well, maybe not quite the same definition! But it's when people don't answer questions, bring up stuff that may or may not be important to the ongoing discussion, etc. and ignore any other commentary. Fine to bring up new ideas...just rude to ignore someone else's questions. (Thanks William, for your reply, btw). Sometimes, it's just posting some silly name calling. I'm not pointing fingers, but I have seen it on several threads where someone just feels like expressing something, and doesn't respond to what might actually be a well-reasoned question or point from someone with a different position. Sometime, it ceases to be very un-forum-like (do you like that word?), and becomes more like a manifesto, or a cat-call, depending!

I started this thread with my thoughts about what Liberalism is to ME (similar to Webster's) and, well, folks can read my recap above. A lot of people are responding with what they think Liberalism is to THEM. Great. But I feel like I am being accused of positions that I don't even hold! I am about to take my ball and go home!

-- sheepish (, September 08, 2000.

I have read the above posts with great interest. It's painfully evident that we're not going to change each other's minds about the relative differences of conservatives and liberals. However, I feel that I need to offer my 2 cents as well, because I feel that the far left liberal point of view is ultimately destructive to the self- esteem of the people it affects. To wit: the current Welfare system has given men a fish for so long that they have forgotten HOW to fish. We have done no favors to welfare recipients. The greatest joy is the joy of accomplishment. It's one of the things that gives us purpose.

I am a Conservative - approaching Government with a common sense point of view. I am a small businessman, it's a family-owned operation; we homeschool, not because of any social statement, but because the schools in our area are not up to the standards that we set for our children. Simple as that. We wanted better for them, and took action to see that they got better.

Responsibility for one's own actions is something that the liberal point of view attempts to downplay. "There, there the government will take care of you from cradle to grave." Please, don't. Let me make my own way. As far as the inheritance tax, JOE, that money has already been taxed. And, it doesn't matter if it's $1 or $100 billion. Who are you to say who should pay and who shouldn't ?

One last item - I get somewhat frustrated when a liberal gets personal with a conservative. Debate is important, and it should never be skewed with invective and personal crap that has nothing to do with the issues that were being discussed.

Thank you for alowing me to voice my opinion. Countryside, keep up the good work. Bill in Tennessee

-- Bill I. in Tennessee (, January 02, 2001.

Can I be a conservatistliberal? Yes..thankyou very much I believe I will.

-- Lynn (, January 03, 2001.

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