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Tuesday, May 2, 2000

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Liberals and conservatives

I realized today what irritates me most about euthanasia enthusiasts. They make it too easy to commit suicide. If someone wants to kill themselves, I think they have that right, but I want it to be difficult for them to do so they will have time to think about it. Would you hand a loaded gun to a severely depressed teenager? How is that any different from giving suicide pills to a depressed adult?

So many people that do commit suicide aren't nearly as bad off as many people who not only choose to live but live eagerly. Then you have the people who think that they have the right to decide that someone else doesn't have a decent quality of life and feel they have the right to decide that someone else should die. I always think of the case a few years ago of the daughter who wanted to kill her father because he had altzheimers. The son had to basically kidnap the father and take him out of state to prevent it. How many older people do kill themselves because they don't want to be a burden. That isn't just sad but a pathetic commentary on their children. I can't imagine wanting to kill my mother.

I started thinking about this today because someone said that liberals don't feel that people are smart enough to decide what they need or how they should live. I know lots of people think that describes conservatives, but I find much more of this attitude in liberals. I always think of a liberal as saying to someone "Oh, you poor darling. That's terrible. You shouldn't have to deal with it. Let's get the government to take care of it/you/them whatever". The conservative would say "Oh, you poor darling. That's terrible. What are you going to do about? How are you going to handle it?".

Now I am talking of your modern liberal, not the classical liberal. That classical liberal was very libertarian, which I like, but the modern liberal just wants people to be taken care of. That's so nice, but not only is it not possible, but it denigrates people. It says we aren't capable or smart enough to take care of ourselves. There are things that only the government can do, and should do, but it can't take care of us. We have take care of ourselves and make our own decisions.

Some of the things that government should do are defense; protecting us from people who commit violent acts, either against our person or our property; giving people the capability to make their own decisions with tools such as libraries and schools; and taking care of things that could be done privately, but would probably end up poorly done or unfairly done, such as roads. Basically I think the government should supply services that everyone can use and are better done by the government. I don't like the government supplying services that only a few people can use.

Ok that's my rant for now.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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