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November 2015 Brief: Volume 22, Number 32

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RED or BLUE…Which View Is Best For You?


by Thomas Allen Rexroth



The author of this book has graciously allowed Public Interest Institute to reprint the first chapter of his book as a Policy Study. If you would like to read more, this book is available for purchase from Amazon at and from other booksellers.




CONner, (our “CONservative,”) and Al, (our “liberAL,”) were walking down the street when they came upon a homeless person.


Conner gave the homeless person his business card and told him to come to his business for a job. He then took twenty dollars out of his pocket and gave it to the homeless person.


Al was very impressed, and when they came to another homeless person, he decided to help. He walked over to the homeless person and gave him directions to the welfare office. He then reached into Conner’s pocket and gave him fifty dollars.


Your judgment of which rescuer was correct indicates whether you hold a conservative or liberal viewpoint –– whether, based on today’s rather simplistic color-coding, you lean Red or Blue.


Allow me to draw a few follow-up conclusions beyond the basics. If you take the liberal side, then you likely believe that Big Business is the problem with this country. You believe government programs hold the answers. You believe that America needs a large, intrusive government to control “big-business” and to take care of the needs of its citizens.


You also likely assume that the reason these homeless men were homeless was because they had lost their jobs at companies which downsized to improve their bottom line. If they were not let go for that reason, you might believe they had to quit because they could not support themselves and their families. Out of greed, their employers had not paid them a living wage. The families went on welfare while these men lived on the streets.


If you have a liberal worldview, then you probably appreciate the fact that Al, the second rescuer, gave the homeless person more immediate financial help –– fifty dollars instead of only twenty. The fact that it came from Conner’s pocket was fair, since the conservative had more money than he needed anyway.


Besides, Al assumes that Conner made his money off the backs of his employees. Conner’s surplus wealth presumably came at the expense of others who didn’t have enough. From Al’s point of view, Conner’s job offer was only meant to exploit this victim-of-society and make a bigger profit for himself. The real reason Conner took twenty out of his own pocket was that he felt guilty about stealing money from others in the first place.


If this is your assessment, then in your worldview people fall into three basic camps: either a victim, a victimizer or a champion-of-victims. The victims, of course, were the homeless men. The victimizer is the supposed first rescuer, Conner, who represents big-business and other individuals responsible for the plight of these unfortunate people. The second rescuer, Al, is a champion-of-victims, since he provided government help and protection from evil, deceitful people like Conner.


In contrast, if you believe Conner offered the correct approach toward helping these homeless people then you hold the conservative view. You trust that Conner, the businessman, offered the job out of concern for the homeless person’s well-being so that he could support himself and his family. You will imagine that Conner was trying to prevent the homeless person from being a burden on society. You believe Conner gave the homeless person the money out of his own pocket because of honest concern. Conner wanted this new employee to show up for his job, having had a good meal and therefore the energy to work and enjoy the fruits of his labor and wages.


If Conner is your choice, you tend not to judge people or situations by assuming hidden motivations. Rather, you look at people and situations with trust. You start by assuming the good in people and you give them the time necessary to prove themselves by their actions and attitudes. You believe that everyone is more or less trustworthy.


To continue reading the first chapter of RED or BLUE…Which View Is Best For You? by Thomas Allen Rexroth, please visit Public Interest Institute’s website at


Permission to reprint or copy in whole or part is granted, provided a version of this credit line is used:"Reprinted by permission from INSTITUTE BRIEF, a publication of Public Interest Institute." The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and not necessarily those of Public Interest Institute. They are brought to you in the interest of a better-informed citizenry.




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