Individual responsibility is a key concept in conservative ideology. Conservative ideology embraces individual responsibility as a way of taking a stand against big government and intrusions on personal liberties. Individual responsibility is perfectly in line with the spirit of the American Constitution, a document that guarantees individual rights above all things. Because of this, when conservatives defend individual responsibility in areas like health, education, defense, weapons and life in general, they are defending the constitutional foundation that this nation was built upon, the very foundation that has converted America into a present-day world leader in democracy and freedoms.
Currently, the inflated power of the government seriously threatens Americans’ ability to stand up to big government and assume responsibility for their own lives. When we see the politicians wasting public funds and government interference in every facet of life: economy, family planning, health, education, etc, individual responsibility becomes even more important. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is now in grave danger of being lost along the mistaken route that America has taken.
Liberal-conservative ideology defines the concept of individual responsibility as assuming direct responsibilities in those areas that affect an individual personally: the individuals’ lives, families, communities, businesses, education and projects. Liberal-conservative ideology favors minimum government that protects liberties and properties as essential to a peaceful, flexible, independent and rich society. This, not oversized government with its threats to individual freedoms and responsibility, is the key to a stronger and more capable civil society.
Conservatives are firm defenders and guardians of individual responsibility, standing up to big government, government interference in citizens’ lives and their defenders. Governments that try to plan every aspect of taxpayers’ lives and interfere in education, health, economy, culture, relationships and anything else they can get their hands on are diminishing individual freedoms and making citizens dependent on politicians. The problem with this is of course while some politicians perhaps do well enough to get by, others are simply incompetent and citizens have the right and responsibility to take care of themselves and get involved in their governments.
Why should we avoid big government and the political parties that support it? The reasoning is simple enough, but often forgotten. A government that is too intrusive limits the free-market economy and the infinite possibilities, creativity and drive a free-market can present; it blocks individual initiative in favor of rewarding collective planning or ideas in line with the subsidizing political faction in question; it foments and rewards individual irresponsibility with grants and funding; it uses jobs to pay all kinds of favors; it pays salaries that have nothing at all to do with the actual productivity of an employee; and it supports a huge Welfare State that is expensive and unviable long-term. This is something that we can observe in numerous countries where the Welfare States are losing taxpayers’ money but maintain very high taxes, legislate and regulate more and more, and interfere in the lives of citizens and provide little to no attention to the actual needs and priorities of their citizens.
Instead of waiting for the government or the State to take care of this issue, we need to return to this vital concept that was so inspirational during the writing of the United States Constitution. Individual responsibility is the backbone of a truly free life where real progress is possible. Too many people have become lazy, and comfortable in an artificial state of well-being, the Welfare state, that can’t possibly be maintained. Too many of us have forgotten our responsibility for ourselves in our own lives, ceding power over our lives and our decisions to the government in exchange for so-called “benefits” and “aid programs.”
This fear of individual responsibility is translated into fear of freedom and options. If we let that fear grow, and increasingly more individuals cede their liberties to big government, we are sentencing our freedoms as well as our ability to freely make our own decisions, to death. Conservative Ideology defends the very freedoms that this country has been fighting for since its inception, and the rights the Constitution has always guaranteed in the United States.
A return to individual responsibility means that neither the government nor the state should secure us the majority of things in this life, not education, medical attention, housing, or retirement, etc. We must assume individual responsibility for these things if want true freedom of choice and quality options, not some cheap substitute administrated by big government. Individual responsibility must work at the level of each individual citizen, community, business and family. If we want this country to continue to be a democratic leader in freedoms and civil liberties, we cannot leave our future in the hands of big government. Big government cannot really be aware of all of our individual priorities. What’s more is that it shouldn’t be a party to such private information. Such knowledge comes at risk of the type of excessive and undesired governmental control that no reasonable individual would want for his or herself.
We need to get back to the basics, to the key concepts that made the United States the advanced nation it is today: small government with limited reach; low taxes that encourage economic growth and free commerce; clear and necessary laws that make a peaceful, respectful, and stable society possible; the right to pursuit of happiness, freedom of expression, and private property; and over all, individual responsibility. Forget about entitlement, birthrights, free rides and limited responsibility. A country and a society that desires prosperity and progress must base the acquisition of these things on individual responsibility. For over two hundred years, individual responsibility has been a large part of the United State’s formula for success. Take an element out, and the results change. Big government isn’t able to take on this responsibility, no matter how capable and humanitarian it presents itself as being.
This responsibility implicates rationing and better managing existing resources in areas like education, health, social services, retirement, defense, etc. Today more than ever the idea of dependence on the government is growing in popularity as are its defenders, in their majority, social democrats, because they are selling a comfortable lifestyle and apparent welfare that others pay for, that although it may seem free, isn’t free at all. In reality this dependence doesn’t tolerate freethinkers and has no margin for criticism or discrepancy. This dependence eliminates individual responsibility, as if the government at any time with a mere finger-snap could resolve our problems. A concept, which is more than ridiculous and completely impossible, as those who live under intrusive social democratic governments quickly, discover.
This model is particularly appealing to young people, who are easily seduced by the lack of personal effort required in a system where everything is handed over to them, without demanding anything in return, not even participation in national defense. Social democrats’ message is: don’t worry about smoking or drinking, eating too much fat or salt, or unwanted pregnancies, don’t fret if you kill or live a dangerous and irresponsible life. There will always be Daddy Government or Mommy State to pay for medical attention with other people’s money, rescue deficient businesses, cancel prison sentences, pay for abortions, pay for trips or unemployment, or pay a miniscule retirement to keep you dependent and fooled until your days are over.
A society without individual responsibility is a society condemned from the start to failure, to economic and moral poverty. A responsible, limited government must provide medical attention and quality education, as basic services in the truly necessary cases and in special circumstances. Strong and efficient national defense, not a showcase of servicemen or a place to try out new strategies, is also a necessity for a responsible government.
The government’s fiscal irresponsibility, along with excessively and uncontrollably expensive budgets paid for by taxpayers are shifting our country into a social democratic model that will never work for citizens and will always end in unemployment, poverty and zero opportunities.
On the contrary, individual responsibility safeguards an authentically free society and real progress. Because of this the Founding Fathers made the Constitution an integral part of the U.S. government. For this reason, conservatives, who adamantly defend individual responsibility, are the best political option for a government doesn’t play favorites and treats all citizens equally and justly, no matter their ideology or social class.