Saturday, January 26, 2013

Essay Contest Submission by Bryn Dayton

"How do Conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?"

by Bryn Dayton

Since the beginning of the term Republican and Democrat, and even before, conservative and liberal principles have been competing with each other to govern the United States. People stand on both sides of the argument, some saying that liberal principles are the most effective, other saying that conservative principles are the way to go. How do we bring prosperity and happiness to all Americans? Which way do we go? Maybe that question will not be answered, but I will try to answer how conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans. First, I want to define the words happiness and prosperity. If an American is happy, then he or she is content, or joyful. If an American is prosperous, then he or she is has material wealth.

There are different conservative principles, but the one that seems to be the foundation for so many others, is limited government, and through that, personal responsibility. That seems to be a good principle. By empowering the individual, by teaching him how to fish, you can empower him to gain material wealth and be prosperous. Through that prosperity, he might find happiness in his ability to care for himself. An example of this can be seen in the conservative principles of Affirmative Action. By choosing students for scholarships based on their ability, they can be happy in their ability, and give those students a chance to prosper. Both of these principles support happiness and prosperity. Using the same example however, liberal principles can be argued to give the same or more prosperity and happiness to other people. Liberal principles in affirmative action favor those who might need a step up to that state of prosperity and happiness, by favoring them for a scholarship. In that case, by giving out a free fish, aren’t you setting them up for a fishing lesson in the future?
Another example is the Death Penalty. Looking through a conservative lens, the death penalty could be seen as a chance for happiness of all the people that can now be safe from the accused murderer. But isn’t what the liberals claim, that the murderer might be innocent, and just the fact that we are looking at the happiness of all Americans, then the liberal way might be better to achieve happiness, because  no more people have to die.

The third and final example, though there are many, many more, will show how liberal principles bring more happiness and prosperity to all Americans, is Stem Cell Research. The liberals say that using embryonic cells is necessary to find cures for chronic and degenerative diseases. But by using embryos, you can be accused of killing a human person. But, by limiting the research to adult and umbilical cord stem cells only, as conservative principles push for. That lets those embryos grow into children and live happy and prosperous lives and to also allow research to allow others who are ill the same thing. You are therefore giving equal happiness and prosperity to all Americans by using conservative principles.

I have explored three examples, one showing how both conservative and liberal principles give prosperity and happiness to different Americans, and two, showing how both conservative and liberal principles give happiness and prosperity to all Americans in different situations. There is no clear cut line. Using only liberal principles, as shown with Stem Cell Research, does not have a good impact on all Americans. And just using conservative principles, as shown through the Death Penalty, also does not promote happiness and prosperity in all Americans. And sometimes, neither set of principles works very well. There are many gray areas with these two sets of principles. But even so, the impact on all of the Americans in the United States needs to be very well thought through so that the majority of the people are impacted in a positive way.

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