The other day my niece asked me if I were planning on voting for Sen. Obama for President. I answered that I would not. She asked me why I didn’t plan on voting for Obama, so I explained that I couldn’t vote for him for two reasons. First, he doesn’t have the experience as an executive that I believe is necessary for a President. I told her that I wouldn’t choose someone to lead a large company who had no experience leading other companies first. Likewise, I couldn’t support Obama for President when he has no executive experience and when he has yet to serve out his first term as a Senator. The position of President is too important to experiment on people whom we can only hope have the skills and temperament necessary to handle the job. Then I explained that Obama’s political philosophy is the second reason why I couldn’t vote for him.

Which brought me to the question I was faced with — how to explain the difference between liberal and conservative political philosophies in a way that would make sense to an 11-year-old?

I explained to her that the two political philosophies differ fundamentally in how they view people. To liberals, Americans are children who need to be taken care of by the government; to conservatives, Americans are adults who are able to take care of themselves. And I prefer to be treated as an adult.

A day later a caller asked Glenn Beck what it means to be a conservative. Here was his response:

To be a conservative is, in my definition, is somebody that believes in the power of the individual, somebody that believes, please let me make my decisions, that I have a right to succeed and not be penalized for it. I have a right to fail and have no one run to me if I don’t want them to run to me. A conservative believes I have a right to manage my family, I have a right to discipline my family in the way I see fit, as long as it is not criminal. A conservative believes I have the right to worship God, I have a right to worship the God of my understanding, and I do not have the right to jam my version of God down anybody else’s throat or my version of no God down anybody’s throat. A conservative believes live and let live. That’s what a conservative believes. A conservative believes in the smallest amount of government, the smallest government you can get without anarchy. That’s what a conservative believes.

While I agree with that, I think it gets a little wordy. I prefer the way Jim Quinn, another talk show host, defines liberals and conservatives:

For a conservative, freedom is the solution to the human condition, and government’s job is to ensure the people’s liberty. And every new life is a potential source of creativity and wealth. For a liberal, government is the solution of the human condition, and government should force everyone to behave as it sees fit. And every new life is a potential problem and burden to be taken care of.

And that’s simple enough for an 11-year-old to understand.

This is an article in the series A Look Into Islam.

Radical Islam is at war with, well, everyone. Muslims, in the name of their religion, are killing Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and each other. What is it about Islam that is fueling these killings? In this post, I have two movies for you to watch. The first is an hour-long show broadcast by Glenn Beck on CNN.

[12/30/2006] OK, since YouTube has yanked the Glenn Beck video, you can find the full copy over at Euphoric Reality. It’s down near the bottom in a small link. You can also download the video itself (under 30 MB).

The second broadcast in the same vein was done by Fox News. They based their show on a great documentary called Obsession. I have the first of six parts below with the links for the other parts following it.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

I have said that radical Islam is at war with everyone, and you can see that with the map of Xs that spread across the globe. It is in the first part of the Fox News show starting at 7 minutes in.

So, can you continue to deny that radical Islam is at war with the U.S. and the West when they say so in their own words?