Society's Sour Mood
Liberty and Security
A couple of weeks ago, when Dr. Ben Carson announced his Presidential Bid for 2016, he blamed liberal policies for the sour mood across America. He went on to say that taking care of the downtrodden was not the government’s responsibility thereby showing his opposition to government welfare.
But is Dr. Carson right? What is the correlation between liberal policies and the sour mood of people across the country? Are these two things related at all? In this article, we will explore the answers to these questions.
First of all, it is important to understand why a society’s sour mood is an issue. An individual may be sour for some time because they might have had a bad day. However, for an entire society to be down is a significant problem.
Let us not take Dr. Carson’s word for it. Let take a look at a society where liberal policies are deeply ingrained into the society and see if what he said was accurate. A lot of Americans who visit Britain go as tourists and never actually experience what it is like to live there. Those who do live there for a longer period of time notice that a lot of people in the British society are very soured on life and are fond of complaining all the time. When asked why they complain even when things are going well, the typical responses will be – “Oh, we are English and English people just love to complain. It is part of who we are” or “Life is just a boring routine” or “We are just miserable and proud of it”. As far as being miserable is concerned, it is no exaggeration to say that this is something Brits brag about a lot.
Why are the Brits so down? Do they not live in what we would regard as a first world nation? They may not have the same level of opportunities that are available in the United States, but nevertheless do they not have access to a great life, which most people in the world do not have? Yes they do.
However, they also have a lot of socialist policies, for example, high tax rates, a big welfare state etc. The welfare state is so big that people in the UK look at America and complain about America not having ANY welfare. From my experience of living and working in the UK, I have observed that people do not have goals and life is seen as a “boring routine”. All people aim for would be things like getting through the next week of work or planning their next vacation. Some argue that having goals and working hard for them is exploiting the poor because pursuing one’s goals is seen as a selfish and inconsiderate thing to do. This socialist belief has created a culture where people are afraid to be ambitious because they would face a backlash of criticism from society about why what they are doing is immoral. Even those who do push forward and have ambition, often give up on their goals because the UK has very high tax rates, which punish success.
So, what is the alternative to this? Just sitting around and complaining about life being unfair, the government not doing enough, of course.
America, on the other hand, was founded on a completely different idea. The idea of individual freedom and self-reliance and the belief that if someone wants to achieve something, they should be given all the freedom to pursue happiness. This is why Americans are well-known for their optimism and their can-do attitude. It is a well-known fact that an American tends to come up with reasons to do something whereas a Brit tends to come up with reasons not to do something.
Benjamin Franklin once said – “Any society that will give up a little liberty to gain a little security deserves neither and will lose both.” Liberal policies promise what is perceived as “security” in the form of government welfare programs but they take away what is at the core of American ideals – individual liberty, the very idea behind the founding of this great nation.
President Reagan once said – “If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.”
Truly, the American way of life is unique and the United States of America is an exceptional nation.