Sunday, January 27, 2013

Essay Contest Submission by Camille Bethers

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

by Camille Bethers

The question being asked is “How do conservative principles impact the happiness and prosperity of all Americans?” I would like to start off by stating the definition of the word conservative.  The word conservative means holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautions about change or innovation, according to the “Free Dictionary.” Conservative principles would impact the happiness and prosperity of Americans in a positive way in areas such as gun control, immigration, and the death penalty. Conservative principles would impact the happiness and prosperity of Americans in a negative way in areas such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and religion and government separation.     

Conservative principles would impact the happiness and prosperity of Americans in a positive way under the subject of gun control. In the opinion of a conservative The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to keep and bear arms.  Individuals have the right to defend themselves.  There are too many gun control laws – additional laws will not lower gun crime rates.  What is needed is enforcement of current laws.  Gun control laws do not prevent criminals from obtaining guns.  More guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens mean less crime.   In the opinion of a liberal The Second Amendment does not give citizens the right to keep and bear arms, but only allows for the state to keep a militia. Individuals do not need guns for protection; it is the role of local and federal government to protect the people through law enforcement agencies and the military.  Additional gun control laws are necessary to stop gun violence and limit the ability of criminals to obtain guns.  More guns mean more violence. (Student News Daily) As you can see, conservative thoughts and principles would impact the happiness and prosperity of Americans in a positive way.

            Under the subject of Immigration, conservatives  believe that we should Support legal immigration only. Oppose amnesty for those who enter the U.S. illegally. Those who break the law by entering the U.S. illegally do not have the same rights as those who obey the law and enter legally. The borders should be secured before addressing the problem of the illegal immigrants currently in the country. The Federal Government should secure the borders and enforce current immigration law. Whereas a liberal person believes that we should Support legal immigration.  Support amnesty for those who enter the U.S. illegally we also believe that undocumented immigrants have a right to:


  • All educational and health benefits that citizens receive (financial aid, welfare, social security and Medicaid), regardless of legal status.

  • The same rights as American citizens.  It is unfair to arrest millions of undocumented immigrants.  In the case of Immigration it would impact the happiness and prosperity of the Americans in a positive way if we took the conservative route.

            When it comes to the death penalty conservatives believe that the death penalty is a punishment that fits the crime of murder; it is neither ‘cruel' nor ‘unusual.'  Executing a murderer is the appropriate punishment for taking an innocent life. While liberal people believe that the death penalty should be abolished.  It is inhumane and is ‘cruel and unusual' punishment.  Imprisonment is the appropriate punishment for murder, every execution risks killing an innocent person. It is socially acceptable to put somebody on death row for taking another innocent life as we all say an eye for an eye. If you were to kill someone, the correct thing to do would be to give your own life in respect to the family that you put through that turmoil.

            Conservative principles would impact the happiness and prosperity of Americans in a negative way under the subject of abortion. A conservative individual believes that human life begins at conception.  Abortion is the murder of a human being.  An unborn baby, as a living human being, has separate rights from those of the mother.  Oppose taxpayer abortion.  Tax dollars should not be used for the government to provide abortions. Support legislation to prohibit partial birth abortions, called the "Partial Birth Abortion”. Whereas a liberal individual believes that a woman has the right to decide what happens with her body.  A fetus is not a human life, so it does not have separate individual rights.  The government should provide taxpayer funded abortions for women who cannot afford them.  The decision to have an abortion is a personal choice of a woman regarding her own body and the government must protect this right.  Women have the right to affordable, safe and legal abortions, including partial birth abortion. (Student News Daily). With the subject of abortion conservative principles would not be a good thing.  

            Under the subject of Religion and Government separation having a conservative way would impact the happiness and prosperity of Americans in a negative way. Conservative people believe that when it comes to religion and government the phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution.  The First Amendment to the Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”  This prevents the government from establishing a national church/denomination. However, it does not prohibit God from being acknowledged in schools and government buildings.  Symbols of Christian heritage should not be removed from public and government spaces (the Ten Commandments should continue to be displayed in Federal buildings).  Government should not interfere with religion and religious freedom. While a liberal person believes that we should support the separation of church and state.  The Bill of Rights implies a separation of church and state.  Religious expression has no place in government.  The two should be completely separate.  Government should not support religious expression in any way.  All reference to God in public and government spaces should be removed (e.g., the Ten Commandments should not be displayed in Federal buildings).  Religious expression has no place in government. I think that taking the conservative route on this subject would impact the happiness and prosperity of Americans in a negative way.

            One of the most controversial topics in today’s nation is same-sex marriage. A conservative person believes that Marriage is the union of one man and one woman.  Oppose same-sex marriage. Support Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996, which affirms the right of states not to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states. Requiring citizens to sanction same-sex relationships violates moral and religious beliefs of millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims and others, who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Liberal people believe that marriage is the union of people who love each other.  It should be legal for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, to ensure equal rights for all.  Support same-sex marriage, opposed to the creation of a constitutional amendment establishing marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  All individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, have the right to marry.  Prohibiting same-sex citizens from marrying denies them their civil rights. If we were to go in the direction of conservative people, we would be denying those people who believe in same-sex marriage happiness.

            In conclusion, conservative principles would impact the happiness and prosperity of Americans in a positive way in areas and or subjects as gun control, abortion, and immigration. If we were to take a conservative route in gun control it would make Americans happier because it wouldn’t be denying their second amendment right to keep and bear arms. If we were to take the conservative route on abortion it would make Americans happy because a lot of American individuals believe that abortion is cruel and would like to see it stopped. The conservative route would make Americans happy under the subject or issue of immigration because, we have too many illegal immigrants in the United States already, and a conservative point of view would limit the amount of immigration in general. Conservative principles would impact the happiness and prosperity of Americans in a negative way in areas such as abortion, religion and government, and same-sex marriage. In the case of abortion, it is better if the woman has her own choice to abort the child. If it will cause serious medical issues to the mother or the child, it would be better if the child was aborted. Under the subject of religion and government, a liberal approach would be best to keep religion, government, and education separate. It is better not to talk about government and religion in school because those topics are very heated and cause a lot of argumentation. In the case of same-sex marriage the liberal point of view would make the most people happy. If we were to take the conservative route it would be denying those same-sex couples happiness in this nation. Conservative principles would impact the happiness and prosperity of Americans in both positive and negative ways; we need to decide what we want to accept.


Bibliography

Kirk, Russell. Ten Conservative Principles. 2007. 22 January 2013. http://www.kirkcenter.org/index.php/detail/ten-conservative-principles/
Student News Daily. n.d. 22 January 2013. http://www.studentnewsdaily.com/conservative-vs-liberal-beliefs

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