One of the most common things you’ll hear about conservatives is that we’re selfish. We care more about making sure we get that swimming pool than we do about making sure we clothe and feed the poor. We care more about sending our kids to the most exclusive private schools that we do about making sure sick minorities get the healthcare they need. We care only about ourselves, and that’s why we are on the wrong side of history.
Sadly for so-called “progressives,” the facts simply aren’t with them on this one.
According to Philanthropy.com, red states are much more charitable than blue states. Ranking states in order of their charitable giving shows us that this charge of selfishness is unfounded and, indeed, completely wrong. Of the top 20 charitable states, 18 of them went to Mitt Romney in the 2012 election. Only Florida – a state just as likely to go red in any given year as blue – and Washington D.C. proved to be exceptions. This demonstrates once and for all that evil conservatives actually believe more in charitable giving than our caring, compassionate ideological opposites.
What say you, liberals?
Well, they have their arguments, of course. The first one is also the most easily dismissed. Liberals say that Republicans may give more to charity, but they (liberals) believe that taxes are another form of charity. Since they believe in higher taxes, it is they who are the charitable ones. Conservatives want to horde all their money in a vault, giving only the amount they can afford to pass on without missing it too much.
It’s the kind of thing that sounds good on the surface while falling apart when you think about it for more than a second. Because what it fails to take into account is that conservatives pay their taxes, too. It’s not like we say, well, we gave to the Red Cross; therefore, we’re not going to pay our taxes this year. It doesn’t work like that, at least for those of us who want to stay out of prison. If liberals were serious about giving to charity, they could still do so while also pushing for higher taxes. The way it is now, they can have the “good feeling” of wanting to help without actually doing anything. This, in a nutshell, is the entire liberal philosophy, so it’s not surprising to see it in practice here.
The second argument is slightly more compelling…but only slightly. It says that red states only enjoy this charitable advantage because of church-goers. Congregations pass the collection plate. Once you take that out of the equation, the numbers even out. Well, that may be true, but it misses something fairly obvious: conservatives know that their Sunday offerings will be going to help people. It’s not like they assume the entirety of their tithe is going to keep the electric bills paid. Also, if we’re to accept that liberals don’t go to church, then it’s incumbent on them to find other ways to give. That they don’t speaks volumes about their actual motives.
Remember these statistics and these arguments the next time some leftist accuses you of being selfish. Just because conservatives don’t believe the federal government is the best distributor of charity doesn’t mean we want to see people suffer. In fact, the numbers show we’re much more interested in alleviating that suffering than our political opponents.