Hearts Similar, Minds Differ

Although I'm not a socialist utopian or a liberal idealist, I have an inner vision of how I wish things were in America. As a conservative, I'm not supposed to have this "vision thing". According to the conventional image of a conservative, which permeates throughout our society, a conservative is supposed to be so wrapped up in himself or herself, they really don't care what happens to anybody else who is not a member of his or her "conservative fraternal order".

A conservative is supposed to be for big business and against big labor unions and big government. However, I'm for small business, smaller labor unions (including professional occupational associations) and the smallest possible government.

A conservative is supposed to be heartless, stingy and self-righteous. I love seeing genuine compassion, generosity and true humility in people. If I encounter a person who is heartless, stingy and self-righteous, I have problems with them--whether they call themselves a conservative, a liberal, or any other label.

A conservative is supposed to be a racist. My favorite living economist/syndicated columnist is a highly intelligent and very wise black man by the name of Thomas Sowell.However, if I see a white liberal disagree with the "opinions" of Mr. Sowell, I do not call that white liberal a racist? Such an accusation on my part would be utter foolishness.

To me, success means doing the best you can with the hand you are dealt in life. I've seen some people, who are not as well off materialistically as others around them, whom I consider successful. I've seen how they deal with others while exhibiting honesty, integrity, kindness, contentment, and friendliness. On the other hand, I've seen some people who are well off financially, whom I consider failures. Their lives are full of cheating, deceit, cruelty, envy, and animosity toward others. Not all, but some!

There may be some cardboard fiscal conservatives ("business is all that matters") reading this letter who may question whether or not I'm a true conservative. They may accuse me of having a liberal heart. But I invite them to examine the various dimensions of my conservative mind.

If wishing everyone in America could reach their full physical, mental and spiritual potential is called a liberal vision, then I must have a liberal heart. If it is a liberal vision to wish racism, sexism and bigotry were things grown adults did not engage in, then I must have a liberal heart.

If believing that all people should be encouraged to have hope, to experience love, to know fairness, to have the opportunity to work up to their level of ability, to gain trust in others and to dwell in peace is to have a liberal heart, then ladies and gentlemen, I have one.

There is a splinter group of people who call themselves conservatives and Christians (I call them religious legalists) who want nothing less than some sort of religious theocracy in America, with themselves in charge as self-appointed priests claiming a divine commission. This splinter group is full of anger, anxiety, criticism, ignorance, lying, deception, pride, slander, jealousy, unfriendliness, unteachableness and worry; but they are far out-numbered by fundamentalist Christian conservatives like myself.

Phony liberals (the variety with subversive "leftist" minds) will always engage in paranoid ranting and posturing against conservatives. Their revolutionary socialist hearts and minds dictate this type of behavior. But my plea to you true liberals is this, "Learn to distinguish one kind of conservative from another."

Our hearts are not that different from your own. The difference is the social, political, and economic policies conceived by our minds to bring about our visions for America.

--Kenneth J. Wolf #42 (03/01/95)

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