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Affluent Investor | April 30, 2017

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Five Questions to Civilly Pose to Your Liberal Friends

Rep vs Dem

If I were being totally honest, I would say that it has not been my experience that very many left-leaning folks in this country want to have an honest dialogue on the key issues that separate left from right. This is particularly true amongst the academically credentialed leftists I have encountered who presumably know they have nothing to gain by exposing their worldview or ability to defend it. However, the vast majority of us know some in our rolodex of friends and co-workers who are naturally inclined towards a more left-wing, pro-Democratic party stance/platform, and yet are willing to engage and discuss the various issues that separate us. This article is intended for your discussions with these people, for whom I believe these questions may be useful in their attempts to think through their political worldview, or your attempts to engage them in such. This article is not intended as a device to make an argument in and of itself – these are real questions – not answers. Hopefully, they are as thought-provoking as I intended them. I could have used twenty questions but I kept it simple with five. I would not bother with that crowd of closed-minded smugsters who don’t warrant your time; but maybe just one person may challenge their own understanding of the real socio-political and socio-economic environment we find ourselves in today.

(1) Do you believe public employee unions have been a constructive force in American society or a destructive one? If the latter, do you acknowledge the relationship between public employee unions and the Democratic party/agenda, and how do you feel about that? If you believe they’ve been a constructive force in American society, could you elaborate?

(2) Are you for more government in American lives, or less government? The confusion lies in the left’s pretty consistent opposition to things like school choice and health care freedom, but pretty consistent support for things like abortion rights and gay marriage. Should we want more government for some things and less for others, and if so, how do you draw those lines?

(3) Would you consider the “war on poverty” of the last fifty years to have been a success? If so, by what basis do you see it as such? If not, what do you think was done wrongly and by what basis do you think even greater federal government intervention would succeed in defeating poverty?

(4) Do you like big money in politics or dislike it? If you dislike it, do you believe it should be demonized when the last name is Soros and Steyer or only Koch? At what economic point does one lose their right to participate in elections and regardless of what that point is do you believe it applies to both parties or just one?

(5) Does the economy function better with greater regulation or less regulation? If the former, can you think of an industry or company or product or innovation that has thrived with more regulation? If the latter, do you believe the current Democratic party is committed to freer markets or more restrictive markets? Which one is better for middle class people?

“Moral Capitalism”
David L. Bahnsen, CFP®, works as a Senior Vice President in the private client group of one of the premier Wall Street firms in the country where he provides financial planning and investment management services to individuals and families. He and his wife of nearly eleven years (Joleen) reside in Newport Beach, CA with their seven-year old son, Mitchell, five-year old daughter, Sadie, and 2-year old baby boy, Graham. He is an active board member of the Lincoln Club of Orange County where he serves on the Executive Committee and chairs the Program Committee. He serves on the Board of Advisors of Dr. Art Laffer’s California Recovery Project with the Pacific Research Institute. He has recently been appointed to the Board of the Concordia University Center for Public Policy. He also serves on the Blackstone Faculty of the Alliance Defense Fund and is a Cooperating Board member of the Center for Cultural Leadership where he is the Senior Fellow of Economics and Finance. He is a member of the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA), and holds numerous financial designations and licenses.

David is a disciple of Milton Friedman, a lover of Ronald Reagan, and a “National Review kind of conservative”. His writings strive to reflect an ideology of freedom principles integrated with transcendent truths. His hero is his late father, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, but he is pretty fond of John Calvin, Abraham Kuyper, F.A. Hayek, Winston Churchill, C.S. Lewis, William Buckley, Margaret Thatcher, George Gilder, Steve Forbes, and Larry Kudlow as well.

Hobbies include travel, fine dining, golfing, and sports. His true passions in life include anything pertaining to USC football, the financial markets, politics, Palm Desert, his gorgeous and brilliant children, and his lovely wife, Joleen.

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  • Roger

    If you were to ask these questions of a staunch liberal/Progressive, you would NEVER get a straight answer. They have none. Obfuscation is their path to ignorant bliss…

  • jimbo124816

    Their well thought out answer to all five questions would be ” yeah, but Bush did that too”. or “The republicans are at fault because they keep democrats from getting things done.” That’s about as insightful as I’ve ever heard from a democrat.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard a democrat give a straight answer or even have an original thought. Most of them would not know what the question was.

    • Karll

      True. Like politicians, they would answer the questions without really addressing the meaning of the questions.

  • lokiswife

    Two more: Are you better off now than you were in January 2009? Do you see a better future for your children and grandchildren since then?

  • anonymous

    Unfortunately, the best answer you’ll get from a brain dead, talking points spouting leftist, is: “I know you are, but what am I?”

  • Dale_G1

    These are all questions that require reason, logic, common sense and more than a little intelligence to answer. Therefore it may be out of the realm of possibilities to get an answer ( that’s NOT based on emotion ) from a liberal that is anywhere near correct. But then that’s true of a LOT of questions posed to them.

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