How nice it would be if our world was simple and our choices were binary. “Conservatives want less regulation and lower taxes; liberals want more regulations and higher taxes.” Based on the above, who wouldn’t choose to be more conservative?

But our world is more nuanced. Let’s take a hypothetical example: Suppose a private company decides to take over our beloved spring along Mud Bay Road. They set up a bottling plant and fence off the parking lot (they begrudgingly still allow locals to access the water, but only between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. when their workers are between shifts). Then a foreign-owned business chooses a flat area upstream of the spring for their 30-cage dog kennel. The water business and the dog kennel claim that they are providing jobs for the community and want to be “good neighbors.” The businesses start fighting each other, and the locals are outraged because access to their clean water is blocked and the water tastes funny. People take sides, neighbors call each other names and fights break out.

The solution? Residents get together to craft reasonable regulations that maintain access to the spring and assure their water remains pure. They respectfully work together to decide how strict the regulations will be and how to enforce them. They tax themselves to staff fire and ambulance crews, build and maintain sewer systems and to pay to plow and maintain the roads that lead to their beloved spring. Based on the above, who wouldn’t choose to be more liberal?

Joe Ordonez