Progressives believe we are a community, all in it together, taking care of each other, helping each other. Conservatives believe we should each be on our own, and responsible only for ourselves (“personal responsibility”).
There is a good articulation of conservative philosophy today at the conservative movement’s Townhall.com: It’s Time To Get Over Katrina Already. Some excerpts:
Two years after Katrina, everywhere you turn, there are people carping, whining, and kvetching. Just why hasn’t the pity party for the citizens of New Orleans run out of booze and chips yet?
… we’re all supposed to eternally sit around and weep tiny little tears of sadness for the people who really took it on the chin in a hurricane because they chose to live in a city shaped like a soup bowl on the coast. Let me tell all the citizens of New Orleans something that should have been told to them 18 months ago: it’s time to stop playing the sympathy card and get over it.
Nobody is owed a living for the rest of his life because he had a bad break two years ago…. How sad and pathetic is it that these shiftless people are still leaching off their fellow citizens?
… Guess what, buddy? You’re right; nobody does “give a s*** about New Orleans” any more other than a few saints and a lot of manipulative Democrats looking for a political issue they can exploit. That’s the nature of life. [emphasis added]
This pretty clearly shows how conservatives think about the idea that people should take care of each other – no?