Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Liberals think good thoughts, but Conservatives actually do good things"

By Nancy A. French

When my husband, David, was a student at Harvard Law School, his fellow students couldn’t stomach his conservatism. They talked endlessly about how Christians and conservatives were pompous, didn’t care about justice, and were far too concerned about abortion and gay issues than the kinds of things that really mattered. Mainly, they talked about poverty, how to reduce it and how Republicans were more worried about making money than helping the down-and-out.

One day, David saw a notice about a club at Harvard that actually went into impoverished areas and tried to help kids trapped in unfortunate circumstances — by getting the Harvard students to “adopt” a little brother or sister and take them under the student’s wing. He showed up at the first meeting to sign up and was very surprised. Though practically every self-described liberal talked incessantly about their “concern for the poor,” almost everyone who actually showed up for the meeting was a Christian. David “adopted” a little brother, took him to baseball games and developed a meaningful friendship with him. His Christian friends did the same. But he learned an important fact: Liberals talk about helping the poor; conservatives actually help the poor.

David’s experience at Harvard was hardly an isolated incident. Remember when Al Gore — vice president at the time — released his 1997 tax return, which showed he gave a paltry $353 to charity? Or later when it was revealed then-vice presidential candidate Joe Biden gave only $369 a year to charity during the decade leading up to his campaign?

New research shows these anecdotes are indicative of a larger trend. According to the Huffington Post, liberals are simply stingier than conservatives: People who live in deeply religious regions of the country — the solid-red states of the Bible Belt and Utah — give more of their income to charity than those who don’t. Of the top 10 most generous states, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy study based on itemized charitable contributions among people who made at least $50,000, nine voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.

The article, titled “One Thing Red States Do Better Than Blue States,” caused an uproar in the HuffPo comments section. It can’t be true that those mean ol’ Republicans actually care more than liberals? Can it? Well, in 2007, Arthur Brooks wrote a book about charitable giving titled “Who Really Cares.” He too was shocked to discover homes headed by conservatives gave 30% more than those headed by liberals. Conservatives even gave blood more frequently. An op-ed in the New York Times quotes Brooks as saying, “If liberals and moderates gave blood as often as conservatives, the American blood supply would increase by 45 percent.”

He went on to admit this was not what he thought would be true: “When I started doing research on charity,” Mr. Brooks wrote, “I expected to find that political liberals — who, I believed, genuinely cared more about others than conservatives did — would turn out to be the most privately charitable people. So when my early findings led me to the opposite conclusion, I assumed I had made some sort of technical error. I re-ran analyses. I got new data. Nothing worked. In the end, I had no option but to change my views.”

So, the next time you hear a liberal talking about “social justice” and “caring for the poor,” maybe you can tell him that the good thoughts in his head don’t put clothes on anyone’s back, food in anyone’s mouth, nor can thoughts alone mentor a troubled kid who just needs a friend.

Of course, not all liberals are stingy and not all conservatives are generous but the overall differences between the two communities are so stark that perhaps the media needs to rethink its stereotypes.

Or, better yet, maybe lefties need to put down their lattes, pick up a hammer and go help a neighbor. And when they do, they’ll get an unexpected bonus: They’ll meet some friendly conservatives who were there long before the liberals.

Nancy A. French is a New York Times best-selling author who lives in Tennessee.

Z: So.............why do you think this is true?


Guess Who said...

Obama is recycling Jimmy Carter's failed policies
I would call this astounding "failure" - except that these are the exact results Obama intended from the beginning:

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that U.S. employers added only 169,000 jobs in August and that the labor force participation rate edged down to 63.2 percent, its lowest point since August 1978.

(and who was president again in 1978?)

It’s worth noting that the unemployment rate today would be approximately 10.8% if labor force participation were at January 2009 levels.

(after 4.5 years and 100% of the policies he insisted would "solve" the problem - we see an economy exponentially worse than the one he inherited).

More than 300,000 people stopped working or looking for a job in August. I wouldn't call that something to be proud of.

Duckys here said...

Nancy French is Bristol Palin's speech writer.

Anyway, when this gets broken down as secular vs. non-secular giving it may be a different conversation.
Pat Robertson jeezo bucks are used for dubious purposes and they come from some of the states listed as highest "charitable" contributors.

Jim at Asylum Watch said...

I'm not surprised. Zoombies have never been very charitable.

Mustang said...

Ducky’s right. Nancy French collaborated with Bristol Palin, so she obviously does not know what she’s talking about. This is why we cannot regard Ducky as either intelligent, or decent.

Z said...

Ducky, good try.

Mustang, exactly! This is ALWAYS the way he works. Find something somewhere about the person making excellent points, and damn them forever.
The problem is that French is mostly quoting others who wanted to believe otherwise and can't :-)
Not sure Bristol Palin's made a lot of speeches, by the way :-)

Jim.....weird they have the reputation for the big hearts for giving.

Guess Who, we like to stay more on topic here. Thanks.

Dave Miller said...

As with most opinions it can be dangerous to take a single look and make a broad determination.

Ducky has a view that money given to Robertson is used badly yet even if that is true, it does not, by itself refute what the author puts forward as fact.

However, there are of course other views.

Barna, the largest Christian based researcher in America, and a group respected across religious and secular lines for their professional methodology asserts that tithing and Christian giving is down.

NPR reported on a UCLA study that says poorer people give a larger percentage of their money to charitable organizations than richer people.

Looking at it through those types of lenses, that would certainly explain why Gore, falling into the rich person category, would give so little.

A friend of mine remarked that he'd rather have the 3% from a guy like Romney than the 10% tithe of a person making 10K a year.

I am sure, as one who needs to raise every dime I use to build churches and do relief and development work in Mexico, that this approach would yield big dollars.

But I wonder, thinking of the parable of the widows mite, which would God prefer?

Finally Ducky, you know I am a liberal, as does anyone else here, but let me say this.

When you tar and feather all Christians because you dislike some, you are doing a big disservice to the good many of us have done around the globe.

For every Pat Robertson, I can give you a hundred people serving in remote areas who have given their lives to bring water, life, health, food and yes, the Gospel to a broken world.

It gets tiring to me to see fellow liberals not acknowledge that there are plenty of Christians working hard and giving their lives to make the world a better place.

Just because you may not believe in our religion, you do not have the right to make blanket, intolerant and uninformed statements as fact.

Dave Miller said...

Z... the tarring of all liberals with a broad brush, as your headline does, is just as bad as what Ducky does.

As a majority of conservatives are good folks that want nothing but the best for the US and do plenty to make that happen, so are liberals... in spite of what my friends from both sides of the political aisle may think or believe.

sue hanes said...

Z - If all this is true then I say good for Conservatives. The Conservatives that I know are good people and do good in the world.

My husband is a Conservative and he does good in society. But that doesn't mean all Liberals are bad.

Brooke said...

I can't believe Ducky is still harping on the Palins! Talk about making oneself irrelevant!

The article is great. Leftists are all about utopia, so long as they don't have to fund it.

Duckys here said...

No, z, it was right on.

Just what constitutes a charitable gift? A gift to a non profit?

Does a gift to the Creation Museum in Kentucky constitute a charitable gift.

A lot of money comes from the beneficiaries of Bernie Madoff's scam. How is that taken into account?

It's complicated. Much more complicated than just the scalar values and anyone with any sense understands that someone hooked to the Palins is going to spin it.

I volunteer with my local school, serve after school meals to poor children (yeah, some of them are illegals) and I give to charitable causes.
My friends are similar and they are more left than I.
The article insinuates (as you also do sanctimoniously in your title) that the acts of mercy are a province of the right exclusively.
Please don't be ridiculous.

Jack Whyte said...

Dave Miller, I must disagree with your characterization. A broad brush suggests a sweeping comprehension without attention to details. If you had taken the time to read the article, along with its links, there is nothing “broad brush” about the title of this post, nor even its contents—which belong to Miss French, not Miss Z. Neither do I think Miss Z is suggesting that there are no philanthropic leftists. Of course there are … as Ducky himself suggests, they are benevolent when there is a tax deduction in the offing.

Sam Huntington said...

Leftist government does all that is possible to retard American generosity and munificence by imposing onerous taxes that actually decrease our disposable income. People give to charity from their disposable income. Moreover, it has been the left that seeks to replace charitable organizations, whether faith-based charters or otherwise, with government bureaucracies. In the former organizations, most of the money goes directly toward the charity—as the giver intended. In the latter instance, the government collects massive taxes and then wastes this money.

Here is an example: a government subsidy for phone service intended to connect the infirm and disabled with local emergency services. It was a landline, and it cost about $10.00 a month. The clowns, however, decided that this was insufficient. Do not ask me why. So they extended this “service” to cell phones, an average cost of about $70.00 a month. Now you tell me … is this genius, or what?

We have far too much government, and one that keeps getting in the way of genuine efforts among the people to reach out and help our fellow man. Contrast this with Planned Parenthood, an agency supported by the federal government predicated on the idea by Margaret Sanger that if we abort little black babies, we won’t have as many problems from within the black communities. I suppose there is genius in this, as well: no blacks, no racism. Are you proud of that, leftists?

Anonymous said...


Ducky, you need to read more closely. It's her title, not mine. But, of course, the point remains.
"hooked to the Palins"....ya, Bristol gave SO many speeches that Americans heard . I never heard one, but I'll just BET she did (sarcasm here)
Also, Ducky...liberals often write speeches for conservatives, and likewise...not everyone has the huge financial means you constantly insinuate you have. You need to remember that.
Anybody with "any sense" would.

Dave, it's not my title, that's why I put it in quotes.

NOBODY is tarring all liberals with any broad brush, but the facts remain, based solely on statistics.
Did any of the liberals here read the article Ms. French quotes from? Pretty indisputable, from a liberal who didn't want to believe it, as the article says.

To suggest anybody here is saying ALL LIBERALS ARE TIGHT, NON-GIVING MORONS isn't reading carefully.

Oh..Jack Whyte pretty much said the same thing; Thanks, Jack!

I, personally, don't want an elected official who'd give nearly nothing in philanthropy particularly when he's financially so well off.

And let him give to leftwing causes...I'd never insult anybody by suggesting his rightwing giving doesn't count either, as Ducky has.

Very sad.

SAM...when tax relief is taken from churches and religious philanthropies, wait for everyone to have to go to the government for help. will have worked.
Government grows...and grows.......where the HECK are we going to GET the money they need???

Dave Miller said...

Yes Z, I read the article... did you read the link I offered? It's take is almost 100% different, assuming as I've heard here often and other sites that poor people are liberal so they can get as many government benefits as possible.

Just because someone presents an argument, and even some stats to support their claim, we should take more than one type of source, and viewpoint into account when interpreting that claim.

Jack, you would be hard pressed to square your liberal give when a tax break is offered view with data showing the poor give a disproportionately high percentage of their income to charities and religious causes.

Poor people are one of the smallest demographic groups to claim the charitable giving donation as they frequently do not reach the deduction threshold to itemize.

They give not out for the deduction, but for their love of the church, jesus or a specific cause.

To say, as you did, they do not give from the heart, is cold, callous and representative of why people wonder whether conservatives understand or care about poor people.

Robert Sinclair said...

The time people give up in order to help within the community is an important part of our charitable works. In this kind of charitable work, I think it is impossible to say that more of one group participates than does any other. I don’t see how we could verify such a statement. But there is a difference between volunteering to act as a crossing guard at a local school because you have nothing else to do, and taking canned foods to the local poverty center … which represents cash out of one’s pocket, to help feed the homeless and needy. This article calls into question the extent to which leftists put their money where their mouth is … but unlike the government, which forces the money out of our pockets, we as individuals have to decide how much and how often to give to help relieve suffering. It is how we may eventually find our way to Heaven.

Anonymous said...

Do you take Hoiler than Thou pills ?

Anonymous said...

Face it liberal bloggers are a disgusting bunch of hypocritical. Jerks. The don't want to discus the facts, that want to change them .

Jack Whyte said...

Honestly Dave, I tire of your boilerplate liberalism and Alinsky tactics. It doesn’t work with me, so save your keystrokes. There was nothing cold or callous about what I said, but I will admit that it was a darn good attempt on your part to change the narrative … that if I do not accept or agree with your Marxist drivel, I somehow do not care about poor people. Your claim is also pathetically inaccurate. How could poor people take a deduction when half of the working people in this country are exempt from income taxes? And if it is true that poor people disproportionately give to charities, I wonder if you are including those which make “men of the cloth” richer, as opposed to those which actually put food into the mouths of hungry children.

Duckys here said...

Your first sentence mentions "Alinsky tactics", one of the right's favorite boilerplate phrases and one you absolutely don't understand and you give Dave the tone?

Read the first few paragraphs of today's article about the poor Christian being set upon by students at Harvard Law who are always sitting around bemoaning the conditions of the poor and then tell me with a straight face that you understand "boilerplate".
When he was there I bet Obama was sitting around with well known advocates like Larry Summers discussing just that.
Please stop.

Duckys here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It seems like the progressive bloggers are a bit pissed at the way they are treated by us.
Cry me a river, like I give a rats ass. They hzve very short memories when they called George Bush. Every disgusting name in the world.
Well pay back is a bitch isn't it!

Sam Huntington said...

Do you argue that Roosevelt's plan for America was our country's salvation Ducky? And do you make this proposition with a straight face?

Duckys here said...

Sam, if there were more disposable income, the pattern of contribution proposed in the article would change or the quantity would change?
You may be confused.

By the way, Hoover expected charitable giving to resolve the problems of the depression. How did that work?
Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...


Dave,...there have been other studies on this, too, and they've all pointed to this.
No, Dave, I don't read an article and take off with it; the little the libs sited have given in philanthropy has been known for years.
I've never seen stats that the poor don't give, but I think that's wonderful if they do. True giving.

Ducky...most of what we say is mocked with "boilerplate",'s tiring and stupid, really. And it certainly doesn't rid you or many of the other lefties here of using Alinsky-type reasoning to make a point.
But, excellent try.

See, we're REALLY tired of that constant mocking and demeaning because "that's been said before" or "she wrote for Bristol" I mean, it's NICE that you give Bristol that much credit (I don't, never have), but these things do not take from a person....
we say the 'same thing' because it's still true.

Anonymous said...


you know, I really hate this kind of comment-fighting.

The point is that it's open season to SLAM Conservatives for every damned thing we do or say; it's good for the cause, it's supported by the media and teachers...and we're REALLY sick of it.

So, when there are stats like this, it's nice to see that the stereotypes aren't true. WE know they're untrue anyway, but it's like swimming upstream to get heard. We're supposedly against women (I'm a woman), against blacks (I have blacks I ADORE in my family, against the poor (most of us here are by no means "rich", against clean air and against name it; if it's good, Republicans are against it.
Think about that..what RUBBISH we have to fight CONSTANTLY~

Sad to have to even have these discussions, but the article was well worth reading, no matter WHO the woman writes for (:-)) and, come to think of it, isn't it interesting that Dave can talk about faith-based giving and it's fine, but let any of us say anything and Ducky's insulting because it's for Christian causes.

typical, but sad.

Duckys here said...

z, what is Alinsky type reasoning?

Bunkerville said...

An important reminder. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


Ducky..."What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away."[10]

that's a kind of reasoning that boggles the mind, but it's his.
You want to check the "RULES"...
You're probably right.."reason" is giving him far too much credit.

Baysider said...

The same impulse that urges conservatives more to self-reliance than government-reliance shows up in these statistics on giving.

Those who believe it our role personally to 'take care of' ourselves rather than be taken care of tend to apply that logic to others. So we personally step up to the plate instead of whining to Uncle Sam to help 'them.' I can't tell you how many times I have done this, even when the choice was help others or be able to take a family vacation, or have Christmas in lean years. In other words, actions not done with 'leftover' money. Or time.

A leftie may have these eleemosynary feelings, but is more inclined to want to direct other peoples' money than to think of it as a personal obligation. They think, talk and write in terms of the 'good' government can do and substitute this for personal involvement.

Do I know exceptions? Of course! But how does that change the facts?

Ed Bonderenka said...

"Liberal Christian"?
Is that a person who claims Jesus is their Lord, and then supports the Moloch worship of abortion?
Supports homosexual activity?
Supports, not taxation, but redistribution of wealth (theft)?
Tell me the Scripture that informs you in these "liberal" activities.

Z said...

Nice, Baysider!

Ed....let's see if we get an answer.

Kid said...

"good' and bad libs.

When you're an incompetent sociopathic POS, you have to point your finger at everyone/everything else to take the attention off of yourself.

When you're a young idealistic liberal with good intentions, you just have no idea what reality is yet. You think everything has a simple answer, like 'everyone should just be nice to everyone'. Time to grow up.

It really is that simple.

Kid said...

Joe Biden, $200 a year in charitable contributions...
I'm guessing Zero for duck.

Z said...

Oh, Ducky's going to go on and on about how amazingly charitable he is. ugh.
get ready.

Kid...I asked a high schooler this week what he thought we should do in Syria. I asked him particularly because, while he's only almost 18, he's known for having very liberal opinions. His answer was "I just think we should all be PEACEFUL"

I have to admit I told him his answer sounded like a Miss America candidate...probably shouldn't have, since I'm sure the kid's gay :-)
But, then I said "But, Graeme, our enemies want us DEAD".. "Ya, that's true......................" was the response........oy.

Kid said...

Z, there ya go.

duck, we want receipts.

Duckys here said...

So anonymous, the powerless should not have a strategy?
They should not share power?

No what we have here is an article by a conservative with some sketchy claims about "doing good things" and charitable contributions.
Christ said that the poor would always be with us. He understood that we are loathe to share power but prefer the poor to be subservient.

Now I would say it's you who is demented, not Alinsky.

Z said...

Ducky, You believe that ANYBODY, wants the poor to be subservient? You DO know enough about the economy to understand that if everyone is doing well, we're ALL doing well, right? That's collectivist enough for you, isn't it?

Who EVER would want anyone not to do and be his best? Maybe some liberals who would loathe giving up feeling superior, but anybody else? I don't think so.

Does it bother you SO much that Christ said that? WHY? WHY can't liberals be realistic? WHY can't they see we'll ALL run out of money if we keep getting taxed so high or have to close businesses because of Obamacare, etc etc etc...and we'll all be poor and groveling? you think that's what Christ wants?

By the way, this isn't a TREATISE for a doctorate; most articles are fairly "Sketchy" but BROTHER, this SURE got YOUR GOAT.
didn't feel too good, huh? :-)

Z said...

This bickering doesn't suit me.
I wish it could stop. Yet, I know that differing opinions are important and I won't let go of mine; I'll just keep listening, weighing, and also trying to stop the abuse given to some of us for differing in our opinions from liberals.
That's all that's really available.

skudrunner said...

The federal social assistant programs have done nothing to help the poor other than keep them poor.

Welfare was intended to be a way to help people in need and has turned into a career. There is a proposal to pattern food stamps after the WIC program and that is getting a negative reaction from the democrats. Give em more, keep em poor.

Anonymous said...


skudrunner; I'm afraid you portray correctly. How sad.

Truthanator said...

I'd never thought I'd live to see the day when a Russian leader is dictating foreign policy to our own president. It is reprehensible how far our country has fallen. And it’s finally nice to see what side you lefties are on. It's definitely not America's

Anonymous said...

Should Liberals be allowed to celebrate Labor Day?

What Liberals Need to Understand is that you need to work before you can celebrate labor day.

Collecting Food Stamps, Welfare, Hand-Outs and Obama-Phones is NOT considered work.