During one of our conversations last week, my son Economic Sphere applied an idea he had learned some years ago in a basic marketing class. For any product, you have lovers, haters, and swingers. You don’t need to spend resources marketing to the lovers, because they’re already buying. You don’t need to spend resources marketing to the haters, because they’re still not going to buy. So you spend your resources marketing to the swingers, who can be persuaded to buy. But there’s a right way and a wrong way.
The wrong way is to defend yourself against the reasons the haters use for hating your product. Identify why the lovers love your product—and then amplify those reasons.
This principle could be applied to “marketing” the ideas of conservatism (the northern hemisphere of the Spherical Model). This is going to be one of those times when, later I’ll think, “Why didn’t I think to say this at the right moment?” There will be better sales lines than I come up with, but I thought I’d do a little exercise, identifying the reasons for loving civilization, freedom, and prosperity, or at least finding simple, direct ways of stating the principles.
· The choice isn’t between the tyranny of chaos and the tyranny of despotism; the real choice is between tyranny and freedom. I reject tyranny and choose limited representative government, where we the people are free to govern ourselves.
· I don’t want some faraway bureaucrat deciding that educational fairness means equal outcomes. That’s just holding my child (and most children) back to the level of the slowest learner. Real educational equality should be providing the best opportunity for each child to reach his potential. I don’t know how to reach that goal for every child, but I know it’s my responsibility to make that happen for my child. I just need government to get out of the way so I can do my job.
· Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (i.e., how we live our lives, make a living, make life choices) are the basic God-given rights. We don’t need government to grant them; we just need to be vigilant to keep government from usurping more power than we the people have granted.
· The federal government has a few basic purposes (spelled out in the Preamble to the Constitution). Anything else, and the people are going to be better at doing it than government—always. Just look at the evidence; you know that’s true.
· Government isn’t capable of caring; government is only power. If government is claiming to care, it is lying in order to claim more power than you granted. Beware.
· I’m a better expert at what is the best way to spend my money than some faraway bureaucratic “expert,” because I know what I need and want.
· We’re born naked, impoverished, and inexperienced. It is by growth, hard work, and gaining in expertise that we try to overcome this condition throughout our life. We are born with the right to life, the right to live free (not enslaved), and the right to pursue our own path to overcome the naked, impoverished state. If someone’s telling you they have a “right” to something that is purchasable, they’re telling you they believe you should be enslaved to provide it for them. Do the translation so you won’t be enslaved.
· Wealth doesn’t come from government; wealth is the accumulated results of work. We earn it, and it represents our lives. You take our money, and that is putting us in servitude.
· Austerity is when people have opportunities and income taken from them; it isn’t government cutting back on programs it has no business involving itself in in the first place. In fact, government “austerity” leaves more resources in the private sector, so people can use them in abundance. That’s a good thing.
· You want the most prosperous country in the history of the world—perpetually? Follow the Constitution. It works every time it’s tried.
· Art, literature, and technological innovation thrive in the civilized world; these all degrade in a savage world where licentiousness replaces God-given freedom and willing obedience to God’s law.
· Which is better: a world where you follow God’s law to respect the life, liberty, and property of others, or the savage world where the biggest and strongest take from those who are weaker? It’s amazing how much better off all of us are when we willingly govern ourselves with moral principles.
· Families, with married mother and father raising their own children in a loving, protecting home, is the key to civilization. Those of us who have experienced good families know it. Those who haven’t experienced it know there’s a hole we have to struggle to fill. There’s no substitute for loving moms and dads. And government is a particularly poor substitute.
· Civilized people will give freely from their surplus wealth and time to help shore up people going through hard times. We believe in caring for the less fortunate. But care has to be something given freely from a loving people; there’s no caring in coercion. Charitable giving is best done through churches and local charities, as close to the needy as possible, to meet the root needs.