Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Black Community Opinions

Local Voices: Liberal or Conservative: Which Side are You On?

george reed
By George F. Reed

I think it is proper to say that we all want something in life such as freedom. Beyond that we want to have a prosperous life, freedom from suffering, healthy children, good housing, and fewer crimes as well as an opportunity to occasional take a vacation. The question is how do we achieve these things. As citizens, the only two things we have are our votes and voices in an election. Let me say that again. The only thing we have is our “vote and our voice.”

As we approach this year’s local and national elections, we have to decide whether we want to continue on the current road of prosperity or have our cities, states and national government taken back by a bunch of ideological conservatives who continually talk about killing the Affordable Care Act, lack of jobs, punishing women for having an abortion, supporting gun laws that continue to contribute to killing our children, denying climate change, and seeing immigrants as murderers and undesirable for populating our country. Yes, we as citizens, must act with our votes and our voices. This is all that we have in bringing constructive changes in our communities and nation. It does matter whether you are a conservative or liberal. How can you tell what is desirable or undesirable? One way is to listen carefully to the candidates, and secondly, study what has happened under liberal leaders and conservative leaders.

If we study President Barrack Obama’s Administration, a so-called liberal, we have seen our country rescued from an imminent depression to creating jobs for seven consecutive years. Today the employment rate is 5%, and some economists would say, the 5% represent full employment. Over 9 million jobs have been created during President Obama’s Administration, and more than 23 million were created under President Bill Clinton’s Administration.

Last week we witnessed the increase of the minimum wage to $15.00 in New York and California. A liberal principle is that a full-time worker should not live in poverty. Secondly, the President has set in motion a process of retooling our system from a primarily service economy to a more manufacturing and technological economy which is beginning to not only create better paying jobs, but is also bringing some manufacturers back to America. Under George W. Bush Administration, The Wall Street Journal declared that he had the worse track record on jobs of any president. Only 1.2 million jobs were created under the conservative Bush Administration. His conservative policies and unjustified war devastated this country and led to the worst recession in modern times, and a useless loss of human life.

Liberals believe in a woman’s right to decide what happens with her body, not the government. We believe that racism is still present, and the government has a role in equalizing the playing field, because individuals acting alone cannot overcome racist policies of some states. We liberal firmly believe in the market economy, but also believe that our government should regulate it to protect citizens from the greed of big business. Conservatives point out that competition in the free market system creates jobs and raise all segment of the society. We saw the country’s economy devastated and millions of our citizens bankrupted under the conservative administration of George W. Bush.

Liberals believe that public schools are the best way to educate students. Conservative vouchers take money away from our public schools. We liberals believe that health care is a right of all Americans, and the government should provide equal health care benefits for all, regardless of their ability to pay. The Affordable Care act is moving us closer to achieving the goal of health care for everyone.

There are other areas where liberal and conservative principles lead to different results for us as citizens. Other areas as the death penalty, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Energy, Gun Control, global Warming, Homeland Security and Immigration are only a few. As a citizen, realize that your vote and voice have consequences and both should be used wisely this May and November. Be mindful of those who want to take their country back. Who are they and what do they want to take the country back to?

In our Congressional district, we have some excellent candidates. You must vet them carefully and insure that they represent the things that are important to you and your community. As a citizen, your voice must get candidates who listen to you, enact legislation that expands opportunity and prosperity for all. Our free elections allow us to take part indirectly and directly in policymaking by allowing us to decide between candidates, and provide governors with an indication of public concerns, satisfactions, and irritations. When you vote for a public official, you are letting the official know that you agree, at least in part, with his or her position on the issues. Be sure that your vote and voice are used wisely to elect someone you trust and know well enough to merit you vote.

I am reminded that voting choice is affected by individual social, demographic backgrounds, personal perspectives, and at least three other things. First is the issue level. Voters must have enough interest in the election to discern salient issues and enough information to detect differences on those issues between the competing candidates and parties. Secondly, on the candidate level, the voter must decide which candidates have the ability to govern. Finally, on the partisan level, long commitment to a political party provides both an emotional and intellectual standard to assist us in voting.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The 2016 elections at all levels of government will have results and consequences for you now and in the future. Voting is not a symbolic exercise, your vote will decide whether your city, county, state, and federal government will create conditions of prosperity, greater freedoms, a safer society, jobs, a safer America, better schools, and freedom from foreign wars. Get out and vote this year.
George Reed is a resident of Chesapeake, a retired educator, and a frequent contributor to this newspaper.

You May Also Like