Every four years, we line up dutifully to do our civic duty and cast our votes for the next President of the United States of America. Each election cycle, Americans are confronted with the same choices. Republican or Democrat?
I’ve given the matter much thought throughout the years, and I’ve boiled it down to a single issue. Personal Responsibility.
Political scholars will point out differing ideals and varying stances on political issues throughout history, but really, it all boils down to personal responsibility in the long run.
Forget left-leaning liberalism and Right-wing Conservatism. Forget Roe vs Wade. Forget military budget spending. Instead, let’s look at the root cause of these issues before getting lost in the minutiae of each individual case study and national debate.
For Example, Democrats want gun control. They want to abolish the second amendment or neuter it to the point of nullification. Why?
Democrats will cite gun violence and mass shootings, while Republicans will cite second amendment rights, national and personal defense, and the ability to defend ourselves against a tyrannical government or foreign invader. Both have a certain validity, and both arguments can be made and have been made in Congress, courtrooms, and street corner bars. What it truly boils down to, though, is the personal responsibility to know when and where to use a gun.
Being a responsible gun owner means mass shootings and armed robberies are frowned upon. It means leaving a gun in an unlocked or unsecured location is irresponsible and dangerous. It also means knowing that being an armed population means the government cannot trample your rights underfoot and the United States is a difficult country to attempt to invade.
Just ask Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Well, he died in 1943, so you can’t. Lucky for us, someone did. His response was telling. When asked why the Japanese, after decimating our Naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, didn’t land troops and attempt an American mainland occupation, He said, “You cannot invade mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”
You see, Americans take national defense as a personal responsibility.
The welfare state and social programs are another sticking point for the two parties in control in this country. The Democrats want a population reliant upon the government, while Republicans want to foster the ideals of a population that fends for itself. Welfare can exist in both environments, although in different capacities.
In a Democratic system, welfare is handed out freely. Citizens are offered protection from things like old age, sickness, and injuries affecting their ability to earn a living. Which sounds like a good idea on its surface.
The problem is that once you start handing a person free money, free healthcare, and food stamps, they don’t want to give them up. They have no desire to go back to work if all of their needs are met by the government. The solution to this problem is simple. Limit the welfare system, either by time constraints or other means, to force the population to use the system only as a last resort and to motivate the recipients to return to work.
In other words, to take personal responsibility for themselves and their peers to not abuse the system. Incidentally, that simple solution is the Republican version of welfare.
Another hot button issue is Government Regulations. Democrats will point to product safety and environmental concerns to justify the need to regulate every aspect of American manufacturing, while Republicans believe the overreaching government regulations will strangle a free market and stifle job growth.
After watching the American economy set records during President Trump’s tenure in the White House, it’s clear. Slashing government regulation drives the economy. Once again, Americans are forced to take personal responsibility for their actions regarding product safety, workplace safety, and environmental concerns. Under the Democratic system, those responsibilities and the associated costs are foisted upon the American people.
I could go on regarding Military Spending, Healthcare, Taxes, or Immigration, but I think you get the premise. All of the issues boil down to the idea of personal responsibility. Democrats, when it’s all said and done, do not expect Americans to take any personal responsibility, so they create laws that remove the option to do so.
Republicans believe that in order to support a country of free men, they must be forced to take responsibility for their actions. Look closely at the policies of each side under that lens, and choose accordingly in the next election. After all, it is your personal responsibility to vote according to your own political beliefs.