I am a conservative leaning person yet I struggle with the ways that conservatives have been stereotyped in our country. So my interest was peaked when I saw a Frank Luntz Washington Post article titled Five myths about conservative voters. Here are the myths from the piece along with my comments ...
- Conservatives care most about the size of government. || I tend to disagree with Luntz that "conservatives don’t want a reduced government so much as one that works better and wastes less". Conservatives do think that the government is bloated and in need of reduction. I do agree with him that conservatives (as well as liberals) want a government that is more accountable.
- Conservatives want to deport all illegal immigrants. || I agree with Luntz when he says conservatives: embrace legal immigration; believe that there should be an eventual path to earned legal status; want effective border control.
- They worship Wall Street. || I agree that "conservatives are highly critical of Wall Street and wholeheartedly celebrate Main Street. The business leaders that conservatives respect most are entrepreneurs, not chief executives; conservatives value small-business owners above big bankers."
- Conservatives want to slash Social Security and Medicare. || Luntz makes a good point when he says "When it comes to government retirement programs, conservatives are pragmatic, not ideological." In my thinking conservatism is a blend of ideology and pragmatism. We want conservative solutions that can actually work.
- Conservatives don’t care about inequality. || I agree with Luntz when he paints the liberal and conservative divide this way: "Conservatives want to increase opportunity, giving everyone the freedom and tools to prosper, so that the poor may someday become rich. Liberals want to redistribute income, making the rich — quite simply — less rich." The key word for conservatives is opportunity not entitlement.