Dear Conservative: Your Moral Ideal of Self-Sacrifice + Belief in Original Sin = Big Government

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November 2, 2015 by Anders Ingemarson

There is a lot of complaining among conservatives these days about “big government”: Washington has too much power, taxes are increasing, new and old regulations are stifling the economy, judicial overreach is running rampant. Yet, despite a plethora of conservative presidential hopefuls, nobody seems to have the will or ability to put forth a comprehensive plan for getting us out of this hole. Where are the bold plans for de-regulation and tax cuts, and for returning control of retirement, health care and education to individual Americans?

The fundamental answer is that such bold plans would go against the morality and view of human nature that all conservative candidates, and most of their voting grassroots, subscribe to. Deep down inside they feel uncomfortable with championing the individual rights of Americans to manage their own lives without government interference, or worse, believe that they are not able to.

It is time to shake up the status quo. Here is an admittedly somewhat stern letter to conservatives that hopefully will serve as a wake up call for those of an independent mind and with the courage to adjust their beliefs when faced with inconvenient facts.

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Dear Conservative,

Do you ever ask yourself why government keeps growing year after year? It doesn’t seem to matter whether Democrats or Republicans are in charge. The government is taking a larger bite out of your paycheck and savings, and is increasingly regulating your daily life, with each passing year.

The short answer is, regrettably, that you let it grow. You keep electing politicians to Washington and to your state, county, and municipality that promise solutions requiring more government. In practice, this means tax increases resulting in less money in your pockets, and new regulations causing more intrusions into your life.

But why do you keep electing politicians that expand the size of government?

Because by your standard of morality you think it is the right thing to do, and by your view of human nature you don’t trust yourself to adhere to your standard of morality, and to manage your life in general, without the government’s help.

What is your moral standard? That self-sacrifice is your highest moral duty, virtue and value which means that you have no right to exist for your own sake, that service to others is the only justification for your existence.

What is your view of human nature? That it is irrevocably tainted by Original Sin resulting from the “fall of man,” stemming from Adam’s rebellion in Eden taking a bite out of that delicious fruit. Are you not religious? Not to worry, Original Sin is not for the faithful alone. Maybe you subscribe to the notion that “nobody’s perfect”? Perhaps you have used “I’m only human” as an excuse for not taking responsibility for your actions? Both are expressions of Original Sin, resulting from the notion that you were supposedly born with a “tendency towards evil.”

And admit it, being irrevocably tainted by Original Sin means that you cannot trust your judgment in managing your life. So the government programs and regulations you vote for may help you stay on the proverbial “narrow path” of adhering to your moral ideal of self-sacrifice. And who knows, if you slip up despite the ever present regulations, you may some day find yourself in need of receiving a handout from one of the government programs you voted for.

So while you talk the talk, complaining about the size and growth of government, you don’t walk the walk as on some level, consciously or subconsciously, you want the assurance that the government will be there for you should things go south.

Maybe you protest that you can take care of yourself and your loved ones, but those who can’t—the needy, the less fortunate—are your chief concern when casting your ballot. This is certainly in line with your morality of self-sacrifice. Just be aware that you are using the same argument as the leftists on their high horses, knowing what is best for the rest of us.

Sacrificing some of your hard earned money and freedom from regulation on the altar of big government also eases your sense of guilt.

Your sense of guilt stems from the fact that deep down inside you’re really not into self-sacrifice. You would rather keep and spend your money on things that you want for yourself and your loved ones. And you would rather be free from regulations that prevent you from doing things that would enhance your life. But you tell yourself that not being into self-sacrifice is wrong, that it is proof that “nobody’s perfect” and that “you’re only human”—Original Sin rearing its ugly head again. Consequently, you hunker down and elect politicians that help you sacrifice a little more, resulting in the government continuing to expand.

But what if your guilt is unearned? What if the fact that deep down inside not being into self-sacrifice is a rational expression of your nature, not a sign of Original Sin? What if putting your own, rational self-interest first, while respecting your fellow men’s rights to do the same, is not a sign of vice, but of virtue? Does it sound like a temptation from the devil to be resisted? Give in for a moment and read on.

The doctrine of Original Sin is pure fiction, a scheme invented by power-lusters whose main weapon against you is your own sense of guilt for being conflicted about the morality of self-sacrifice.

The facts are that you were born untainted, with a mind like a blank slate. You exercised your true nature—your free will and your capacity for reason—to fill the slate with everything you know. No, you are not omniscient; free will comes with the capacity for making mistakes. You erred in the past, and you continue to err on a regular basis. But your free will and your capacity for reason also allows you to learn from your mistakes. And on the whole, looking back, the correct decisions you have made throughout your life far outweigh the mistakes. Life may not always be easy, but it certainly does not have to be as hard as your teachers want you to believe. And freeing yourself from unearned guilt will drastically improve the odds of your pursuit of happiness paying dividends.

The choice is yours. The belief that Original Sin has stacked the deck of life against you, or a fact-based, positive view of human nature. A morality of self-sacrifice or rational self-interest. A life riddled by or free of unearned guilt. Choose wisely, vote accordingly, and big government may finally start to whittle away.

All the best,

SEPARATE!

5 thoughts on “Dear Conservative: Your Moral Ideal of Self-Sacrifice + Belief in Original Sin = Big Government

  1. JordanV says:

    As a conservative Catholic libertarian, I don’t view the idea of original sin as the origin of big government. Indeed, if men are innately flawed, then it doesn’t make a lot of sense to give some of them a monopoly of force.

  2. Thanks, Jordan. It’s the acceptance of the moral ideal of self-sacrifice, and the unearned guilt associated with not living up to that ideal, in combination with the belief in original sin that paves the way for big government. Without original sin, you could make the argument that exercising your moral ideal of self-sacrifice should be a private matter.
    I agree that it doesn’t make sense to give the people in government such powers as, being human, they are consequently subject to original sin just like the rest of us. But logical contradictions rarely stop power-lusters from pursuing their goals.

  3. Chris Budden says:

    Good piece, Mr. Ingemarson. In all the separations listed under your separation tab–you forgot separation of church and state. 🙂

  4. […] about the Wrong? We commonly use progressivism, liberalism, and conservativism to describe the traditional spectrum of left, middle and right. However, all three champion varying […]

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