At last night’s rodeo, I had some interesting conversations with certain attendees. One acquaintance I’ve known for several years told me I need to leave the city council alone. I asked why they thought that and they said that they held a discussion with the mayor recently, who told them he didn’t know what I wanted, that he was the most conservative person up there on that council, and that I was wearing him down. I beg to differ on parts of that topic. Mayor Eric Hogue may claim to be the most conservative individual up there and morally on an outwardly demonstrative level he likely is, but if we examine his voting record we can see he has always erred on the side of spending and government growth without cuts, and that stance is anything but fiscally conservative. We need to differentiate between a social conservative and a social liberal, as well as a fiscal conservative and a fiscal liberal. The differences are vaster than the expanse of Niagara Falls.
For example, socially liberal individuals accept hot topics such as gay marriage and abortion as reasonable rights that individuals should expect, because they believe individuals should have the right to choose what they wish to do with their own bodies and lives. A socially liberal individual believes everyone should have total access to what others have with the end result of group prosper. I call this a sort of homogenizing of society. When our schoolchildren were handed the ruling that they must wear standardized dress clothes, I use this as a prime example of homogenization. Heaven forbid someone should wear $160 shoes and make someone who can only afford $20 shoes feel bad.
If you think back, this was one example listed as a reason behind standardized dress and it is absolutely ridiculous. For every good reason cited by our then superintendent and school board such as controlling symbolic gang gear, a bad reason was also cited such as controlling the cost of clothing. What it served to do was further regulate what parents can and cannot chose for their own children. Ultimately, this was all liberal speak disguised as new conservatism for placing everyone on the same level, and frankly it failed at that particular task. Students still come in with symbolic gang colors and the students are still pushing the envelope on clothing styles. The sad part is that conservatives everywhere bought into this mindset hook, line, and sinker because it was packaged and sold with the moral stamp of approval.
A socially conservative individual resists topics such as gay marriage and abortion because they apply their working knowledge of the bible to their own lives and also to the lives of those around them. In a nutshell, they believe in a morally- driven society. There exists a certain rigidity with this stance and they often appear outwardly to lack in humanistic compassion.
Fiscally liberal people love those social programs that help provide free immunizations and education to illegal aliens who are living freely, and breaking the law by doing so I might add, among us. They believe people simply cannot be trusted and need rules and regulations on every aspect of their lives but those rules and regulations cost a great deal of money. They believe that enforcing controls on people is the way to prosper and the best way to bring about equality and further flourishing among the people is through government spending and programs.
A fiscally conservative individual believes the laws already on the books should be enforced. They believe that we do not need more rules and legislation, we need less. Fiscal conservatives agree that we need to get out of the way of ourselves and that people will do the right thing for the most part and they will prosper because of it. They also believe in reasonable spending with reasonable cuts, such as in the case of our recent flap over the 2% bonuses. Fiscally conservative people expect people to take personal responsibility for themselves and that means seeking employment rather than expecting handouts. Essentially, they believe the free market will best serve the needs of the people.
I realize that these are very simplistic examples, but nonetheless they provide us with the stark contrast to digest. I believe most of us have somewhat of a mixture of each of these ideologies within us because it is very difficult for us to live in a one size fits all world. If you think back to the standardized dress policy, it is easy to see just how insidious liberal control etches itself into our psyche, and we learn to accept it as a moral responsibility, without question.
As my discussion progressed, another comment was made, “You don’t know how good you have it.” What was being referred to is that I was not here in Wylie back in the day where council members did what they pleased. I find this statement disturbing on many levels because a certain amount of that free for all mindset has remained in our community. We cannot ever think that just because we’ve grown and our government has grown that we have somehow magically moved beyond those days, because in our infantile state, they are merely just behind the bend.
The more the merrier may have been the thought process in the beginning of building this empire called Wylie, but this did bring a certain amount of diversity with it which should absolutely be embraced. We cannot live in a one size fits all Wylie any longer. I don’t care to live in the past because the past is past. I don’t want Wylie to remain a lawless, good old boy society and with our current demographics, we simply cannot. We can all agree that we should embrace our small town past, but I firmly believe that we need to look to the future so that we are not left behind.
As we expand and move forward, we need to mindful that as we bring new business entities into Wylie, such as the movie theater that boasts 12 state of the art screens that are expected to be complete by Thanksgiving 2012, we do not allow Wylie to turn into a rat magnet. Nothing would be more irksome than being harassed by a gang of teens or young adults as we attempt to take our family into a movie. Irksome too it will be when parents start using the theater as a babysitting tool, because it surely will happen. We only need look to Firewheel as an example of this. As I stated, with the growth came diversity and we cannot apply our own small moral compass to those around us. We should however chose our battles wisely and one in which our general moral compass moves south should probably be taken on because it will ultimately damage the economy of our city.
At the end of the day, I think what the people truly want is quiet enjoyment and we should look to this as our guide for the future.