What is something conservatives in the United States believe that liberals don't fully understand?
I think the things that have frustrated me most in the past have been:The military. The cuts that are targeted at equipment, without regard to the human part of the equation. Equipment (new aircraft, new ships, new weapons, etc) that is dismissed/derided as merely u2018expensive toys for overgrown boysu2019, without also understanding that cutting these things usually harms the lower-level guys and gals in the military significantly more than it impacts (or ever will) any general or admiral.Hereu2019s an example from my own life. I was in from the first Gulf war, through the Clinton era, and got out just before 9/11. So, I was in through the BRAC years and significant budget-cutting.From initial enlistment to when I got out, every place I was stationed (save the last one) was closed or realigned. Boot camp in Orlando, itu2019s gone. Tech school in Millington, it moved to Pensacola. Platform-specific school (for the aircraft Iu2019d actually be working on) in Moffett Field, CA, that base closed while I was there. First squadron in Barbers Point Hawaii, it was decommissioned. Second squadron in Barbers, it was also decommissioned. Third squadron is still intact, but Barbers Point air station was closed.Each of those squadron decommissionings did three things to me. One, it extended my time on sea duty. Two, the personnel requisitions always give priority to whoever is on deployment or is going out next - so that meant that in one sea tour, that should have been 4 years max but ended up being 5.5 years with extensions, I ended up doing 4 total six-month deployments. (Some people can go an entire 20-year career without doing that many.) And then the third thing was that it meant having to re-do all my qualifications, because the squadrons wouldnu2019t accept ones done with another squadron. But, overall, thatu2019s fairly minor. Just pointing out that the inanimate u2018thingu2023 (a base closure, a squadron being disestablished) meant more time away from home and family, than if those things hadnu2019t happened. It then also means that if the level of commitments youu2019re keeping around the world hasnu2019t changed, you are left with fewer people and equipment to do the same job. The military is an organization that doesnu2019t accept u2018I canu2019tu2023 for an answer, so people are just pushed harder, work longer hours, have less time at home. And you generally donu2019t hear about it unless something bad happens, or unless you are part of one of those military memberu2019s families.And, on the flip side, itu2019s also putting people out on the street. Anytime you strike off a ship, an aircraft, a base, you are also striking off the people who would have manned that ship, flown and maintained that aircraft, worked on that base. There has to be an attendant reduction in manpower with any reduction in equipment, which means that some people who intended to make a career out of the military (and who could have if things had remained the same), will now not be able to. The military does manpower-reduction by normal attrition when it can, but they do also end up forcing some out who didnu2019t want to leave. They impose things like u2018move up or move outu2023 (high-year tenure for enlisted, 3x passed-over for officers, etc), or even just deny someone re-enlistment. And that is more than just losing a job - itu2019s also losing full-coverage healthcare for yourself and your family, itu2019s potentially losing your housing if you were living on base, and so on. Generals arenu2019t going to feel that pain - itu2019s the hard-working lower enlisted and lower officers who will. By the time anyone makes a generalu2019s rank, they not only have the networking to slide right into a high-level civilian job, if forced out sooner than they wanted to be, they also already have enough time in to retire early, rather than be forced out with literally nothing but a VA burial benefit, eligibility for a VA home loan, and the GI bill if they paid for it when they first enlisted (at the time I was in anyway, the Montgomery GI bill) and had enough time in to have qualified for it. Then there is the other facet of those big u2018equipmentu2023 purchases. The aircraft I worked on (P-3) was already old by the 1990u2019s, and its replacement was already in the works (P-7). However, that replacement was cancelled, for budgetary reasons (and probably also serving notice to Defense contractors that cost and time overruns werenu2019t going to be tolerated any longer. Which isnu2019t a bad thing, but - it still does have human-factor repercussions.)That meant that we were flying and maintaining aircraft that were no longer in actual production (the last one had been delivered in 1990), and many of which already had more flight-hours on them than basically any but the lowest-rung, ultra-budget civilian passenger airline would accept in one of their fleets.We gained a little breathing room in all the squadron decommissionings, because it meant the oldest aircraft (which were largely from the 1960u2019s) could be retired, with the newer parceled out to the remaining squadrons. But even at that, there were still aircraft out there that were older than the people flying them and repairing them. And just like an older car, more time (and money) was having to be spent to keep them going.So, now we not only have fewer people doing the same amount of work, we also have aging equipment that needs more work done to keep it going. And the people, especially the lowest-rank, get run into the ground in the process, because again, u2018I canu2019tu2023 is no part of their vocabulary.Fast-forward to just a few years ago. One of the top ten military budget line-items was the P-8 Poseidon. It is the replacement for the P-3 that was already needed back in the 90u2019s, that had already been put off for two decades. [And who knows how much additional money had been spent in the interim 20 years as well, just keeping the old planes going - they were re-winged, they had multiple avionics upgrades (nothing like trying to participate in a modern battle, with instrumentation and electronics of 1960u2019s vintage). And who knows how much was also u2018spentu2023 in terms of man-hours to nurse them along for two decades past their service-life. ]So - had that very expensive line-item replacement also been cut (as simply a u2018new toyu2019, when people are going hungry!), it would have absolutely been putting peopleu2019s lives at risk. The aircrew who continued to fly such old worn-out aircraft, as well as the people on the ground or at sea who were depending on the intel, ordnance, or targeting that aircraft had been providing (if you just struck it off entirely, with no replacement.) And the people whose lives it saved whenever it had been turned to search-and-rescue, or medevacs.All that, to say this - there is a human cost that I think liberals either donu2019t understand, or donu2019t consider, when they clamor for cuts to the military, even if itu2019s just equipment. Itu2019s not that such cuts should never be made, itu2019s just that people should not just see it as u2018overgrown boys with expensive toysu2019. Past that - the military is also a u2018hand-upu2023 social program for a whole lot of people. It definitely was for me. Trying to work and go to school after high school was not working out for me, because living hand-to-mouth as I was, eating was more important to me than education (so, when my work shift changed arbitrarily mid-semester, or when I had the opportunity for a little overtime, I chose work over school every time.) The military offered me the opportunity to be paid to learn a technical skill, to be housed and fed at the same time as well - and while my first yearu2019s wages especially were nothing to shout about (they were even below the poverty level of the time), at the same time - it was opening up a better future. Itu2019s another option of career and education track for young people to take, whether what theyu2019re looking for is a traditional college education (ROTC or service academy), or a trade skill, or a potential career.That wasnu2019t the only reason I joined (I enlisted during the run-up to the first Gulf War, knowing that it meant I might end up being in it), but the training/education was a benefit that I fully appreciated, even at the time. I canu2019t imagine where I might be, today, had it not been for what the military gave me in terms of education, job skills, life skills, and even exposure to other cultures and customs.The tendency to reduce businesses to only their rich CEOu2019s.I listen to all kinds of music, including folk music. And I always wondered why liberal, union-supporting folkies like Seeger or Paxton lampooned or lambasted the auto-maker bailouts of the 70u2019s so hard. Didnu2019t they realize that those bailouts were also saving union-workeru2019s jobs? That if Chrysler went under, so too would all the factory workeru2019s jobs, and pensions?Same can be applied to any of the bailouts that have happened since then, including the Obama-era bailouts. Sure, a fat-cat CEO will benefit, and itu2019s especially unfair/galling if they were the ones whose mismanagement caused them to need rescue in the first place. But even so, they wonu2019t benefit near as much as the lowest worker will. Or, put another way - you can bet that any fat-cat CEO has their golden parachute. Theyu2019ll land on their feet regardless. Itu2019s the lowest-wage factory worker who wonu2019t. And itu2019s also the local businesses and service-providers who will feel it. Those who depend on the factory workers spending their money in the local economy, and that may go under along with the factory. And itu2019s the local school system that also hurts, because it depends on the sales tax and the property tax that the local factory workers paid in, and that the local businesses that the factory workers patronized also paid in, that are no longer paying in as much because the factory workers have moved to find new jobs, or because they arenu2019t working at all.The bigger picture does matter. A factory, a business, is not just the person at the top.3. The tendency to see localized incentive tax-cuts for business or industry as A Bad Thing.Part of this is also covered above, in talking about how a local economy and a local school system are negatively impacted by a factory closing. Same is true if a factory moves, and especially when itu2019s because another city is offering them better taxation terms to move there. (And cities without a good anchor industry are always interested in making such offers.)Because even if the business itself isnu2019t paying taxes, a school system is still going to benefit from a factory moving in and bringing higher-paid jobs - because it will mean more people can afford to buy houses in the local area, which means more revenue in normal property taxes. And also more sales-tax revenue from more people spending more money in the local economy. I donu2019t buy u2018trickle-downu2023 economics in the grander sense, but I have absolutely seen it in action on the local scale, both when a big employer comes in, and also when one folds or leaves. Again - look at it as a total picture, not just what a CEO gets out of it. 4. Wall Street.I never did understand what the Occupy Wall Street movement was about. Yes, Wall Street certainly benefits rich people more than poor, absolutely. It allows those with money to make a lot more money. Butu2026to a lesser degree, so does a bank, so does buying and selling real estate, and so on.Thing is, Wall Street can also benefit the average Joe more than a bank, or real estate - especially if they have any kind of 401k retirement plan. These days, 401ku2019s are often the only form of retirement benefit that any company is offering. And Wall Street is what makes those possible.A 401k can exceed the value of a traditional pension, even if someone canu2019t afford to sock large sums away in it - and most especially if theyu2019re young. The longer you can leave money in there to continue growing and ride out any market volatility - the better a return you can get, from even a small investment. Thereu2019s a million examples, this is just one: How Teens Can Become Millionaires Maybe Iu2019m just missing the point, but to me the idea of burning down Wall Street would again hurt the average person who has a 401k retirement, much more than it would hurt the 1%. Most of them (1%) have much more diverse investment portfolios (things that arenu2019t traded on the Exchange) than an average Joe could ever afford to have.Probably more things I could think of, but those are some of the ones that have often bothered me over time.