Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fifty Years of Liberalism

OK, I am not a Racine historian, but if I may offer a conservative guess, I suspect that in the last fifty years or more, the political scene here in Racine has been dominated by big government liberalism. So liberals ought to be able to point to Racine as a huge success story, right? So what has all this liberalism gotten us?

Well, we have a government run school system that effectively drives people away from a formerly beautiful city on a beautiful lake, nestled between to huge markets. We have a large city work force with future pension and health insurance obligations that just might bankrupt us. We have a large class of unemployable, unproductive toublemakers enticed to Wisconsin by our generous welfare benefits. We have the carcasses and/or fading memories of a once thriving manufacturing sector, though in fairness, this problem is not unique to Racine. Among our business success stories are a handful of businesses that had the good sense and good fortune to resist the unionization that continues to destroy businesses throughout our country.

And todays liberals have the answer to all of these problems. If only the government would do something. If only the government would spend more on education, job training, commuter transit, government planning etc... we could return to our heydey.

Or perhaps not.


Anonymous said...

Racine was a nice place, but I don't see it improving anytime soon. Blame can be placed in so many different places. We need people who are willing to put the needs of the county/city first instead of their own needs of power and control. I am so sick of all the bloated egos.

Denis Navratil said...

You are correct anon, but putting the needs of the city/county first is necessary but not sufficient. Big government liberals are often well meaning people who intend to put the city/county first. Even so, their "solutions" are destroying our community.

PLS said...

Denis, don't you think that the terms liberal and conservative can divide us even more than we are, especially at the local level. Although I am sure we can both come up with different (or maybe the same) definitions of what each are, liberals using conservative as a dirty word or conservatives using liberal as a dirty word just divides us more. I'm not saying that I have never been guilty of using these words, but I try not to and if I do, I don't believe that I use them in a negative or blaming manner.

Blaming one side and then calling them well-meaning just doesn't undo the damage caused. (It's like the phrase 'everything before the "but" doesn't matter)

At the local level, there are so many problems that we can solve if we just get past the stereotypes and work together. You probably don't picture me (a "liberal") as one, but I am a big fan of free enterprise. I most likely don't picture you in some way and you probably think just the opposite.

Discussion is good, but when we set up what amounts to teams, it just pits one of us against the other and makes compromising solutions all the less likely.

Denis Navratil said...

pls, thanks for your comments. It is tricky to use labels like conservative or liberal because their meanings are different for different people and they shift over time. I tend to believe the same thing that liberals believed in fifty years ago, but now I would most likely be called a conservative. But I don't know how to solve this problem of labelling. After all, my brief post is attempting to point out that 50 years of government dominated by the idea that bigger government (and all that implies) is the answer, has not worked nor will it work in the future. I don't know how I can say that without defining the political philosophy that has caused the problems.

And yes, we are divided and perhaps irreconcilably so. I have heard it said that we are in a civil war in this country, although thankfully ours is at present a war of ideas. Conflicting ideas need not be looked upon as a bad thing. This is diversity, is it not? Isn't it better to do battle, if you will, with dualing bloggers, political parties, newspapers etc... than with guns and bombs?

It would be wonderful if there were no divisions between people, but it is hopelessly utopian to think it possible. So we need to have a system that resolves these differences, or allows them, depending on circumstances. For the most part we have in place a brilliant system, the US Constitution, which servers to protect the inalienable rights of individuals with limitted government interference. Sadly, there are many in this country that fail to see how great we have it and they continually search for impossible, utopian schemes to make things better. Though well intentioned, they often make matters worse. For my post to make any sense or to have any relevance, these people and their ideas must be exposed and defined. As there is no perfect label for them, I will call them liberals.

Now pls, the more important question is, am I wrong? Has Racine been dominated, politically, by people who believe that larger government can provide the answers to our problems? And has it worked?

Conscious Thought said...

This is a depressing blog. If its so miserable in Racine, why are you here? Why bother dwelling in misery? I see a vibrant community that is evolving and re-inventing itself. Racine is not isolated in its problems. This is the 21st century people, manufacturing industry will never exist as it once did. Technology, consumer taste and foreign competition has changed that. MOVE ON. 21st century thinkers transform communities and adapt to change. Most conservatives i come across are not visionaries or deal well in adapting to the changing times so they cling on to remnants of past idealogy and culture, because they have no way of creatively solving problems.