Conservatives are compassionate people, too

Published 7:41 am Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Growing up in Southern California exposed me to a different lifestyle than here in Minnesota.  I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, where my mother and father raised my two brothers and me. My father worked two jobs so that we could have a good home and food on the table. In those days there was no welfare to help people get through hard times. People worked hard and lived more simply.

 Even at a young age, I was showing my conservative leanings. Yes, my parents were conservatives. I don’t believe that influenced me. I turned out to be more conservative than they were. They lived through the Depression era, so as young children they did witness the tough economic times of that time period. They were very compassionate toward others, teaching us to be understanding of those less fortunate, those with disabilities and those of different ethnic origins. Communities and families would help people in need, not wait for help from the government.

 I am unable to understand the hostility many liberals hold toward conservatives. To me it looks like a lack of understanding as to what conservatives really believe. Conservatives really do want the best for everyone but believe that people also need to be accountable for their own actions, whether Democrat or Republican. We shouldn’t be attacking each other personally because of these beliefs, but should, instead, respect different opinions.

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According to the Student News Daily,, a nonprofit current events Web site, “conservatives believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values and a strong national defense. We believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals.  Conservative policies generally emphasize empowerment of the individual to solve problems.” 

What better way to build self-esteem than to empower the individual? We are not against people receiving help from the government while temporarily unemployed or in need of assistance.

 Many conservatives have experienced hard times, and go through situations where they need to ask for help. Going through a divorce with two small children I needed the help from public assistance for a short time. This experience taught me the way to build self-esteem was, yes, to ask for the help, but all the while doing what I could to get out on my own again, to “pull myself up by my bootstraps,” go to school, get a job, and to be independent again and free from government handouts. I believe people are happier within themselves if they can break away from the complacency of accepting long-term welfare benefits. It is far more compassionate and effective to encourage a person to become self-reliant, rather than keeping them dependent on money from the government.

The Student News Daily states that, “conservatives support lower taxes and a smaller government. Lower taxes create more incentive for people to work, save, invest, and engage in entrepreneurial endeavors.” 

How can we help the economy by buying products if we have to give so much of it in taxes? Is it not true that money is best spent by those who earn it, not by the government?   

“Conservatives desire clean water, clean air and a clean planet, just like everyone else; however, extreme environmental policies destroy jobs and damage the economy.”

Whether you are liberal or conservative, you cannot help but care about having a clean planet. I have grandchildren. I want them to have a beautiful and clean planet on which to live. I’m a conservative, I recycle, and I plant my own garden, doing all that I can to make the Earth better. Conservatives are compassionate in many ways.

There are many issues I could talk about regarding conservative ideals, but I would just hope that people would step back and take a look at both sides of an issue. Try to understand the other person’s viewpoint. Search for information from more than one source. Attempt to be informed and then make a decision on the various issues. Remember, conservatives are not bad people. We just believe differently than liberals on how to arrive at our mutual goals. We care and we are compassionate.

Albert Lea resident Sybil Broskoff is co-chairwoman of the Freeborn County Republican Party.