Wednesday, August 27, 2008

America, Republicans, Democrats and Values

Americans love diversity, but not complexity. This is my theory on why we only have a two party system. We value freedom so much that we do not investigate what we really believe. But, our freedoms are only ours because there have been those who have investigated the complexity of the issues and sought to bring about a system that most benefitted and represented the many. Our two party system which represents ALL of us, I think should divide into several different parties, instead of remaining a two party system, then we Americans that care, can be informed of a number of different ways in which to view different issues. Then, mores of us can be involved in our representative government and we can continue to do what was done in the past, but with more awareness of the complexity of the issues than our Founding Fathers ever comprehended.

Americans love their freedom to do what we deem "fit" and don't want to be bothered by things outside our scope of "life". We value freedom, but are not willing to "pay the cost for it". Some of the cost to us recently is because of a two party system. While a two party system is much easier to evaluate , it limits our "education" in governmental concerns.

Last night, while watching the Democratic National Convention, it was more and more obvious to me the distinctions between the two parties. The Republicans, while valuing the free market system, most value the freedom of the individual in pursuing their goals and dreams by hard work, ingenuity, and innovation. These values have brought about what we most enjoy as Americans, economic freedom; liberty.

But, while this freedom of economics is an ultimate for American values, the Democrats prey on on the downside to that value; man's innate coveteousness and promise economic freedom to all, irregardless of education, work, ingenuity, or innovation. Democrats believe that we should be socially accountable because we do not all have equal opportunity. This social accountability in economics feeds into government's purpose in provision for the needy. While many in our world and some in our nation do not have enough economic freedom, what should guide the values of Americans in these two diverse views?

While we are individuals made in God's image and must take our own responsibility before God and others in how we choose to live our life, we are also called to care about others. The difficulty lies in how do we "care about the needs" in our nation/world. The Republican chooses to leave it to personal choice, while the Democrats want the government to take the responsibility for the needs of the needy. There is a difficulty with both views.

While one leaves the door open to crass capitalism, ignoring the needy's needs, the other oppresses the market, where there is no "cream on the top" to be given to the poor. A free market system is necessary for the flourishing of our economy. And the flourishing of the eoconmy is necessary for there to be enough profit for the individuals who have benefitted to provide for the needs of the needy, through charitable giving.

Again, we are individually accountable in how we are stewards of our resources. Both Democrats and Republicans prey on the coveteousness of our hearts. One does so in the name of justice for the poor, the other in seeking liberty of the market. Neither is wrong, unless the one seeking justice or liberty does so at the expense of the "other".