I think that the struggle between Conservative ideas and Leftist ones is as old as organized government itself. The question in any society is how much government strikes the right balance between providing the necessary functions of government, without infringing on the rights of the people. The philosophies of government have basically been comprised of those who believe in limited government with an emphasis on individual liberty, and those who believe just the opposite. Today, in this country founded on the principles of the first category, we have allowed ourselves to be ruled and controlled by believers of the second. I believe this has happened as a result of propaganda, which has confused in the minds of much of the populace, rights and needs.
In this country we have a Bill of Rights, not a Bill of Needs. Rights and needs are different, although the Left has tried to blur the line between the two in order to grow government. Rights supersede needs, and the needs of one person does not give government, or any other entity, the authority to mitigate the rights of someone else to satisfy those needs. Our needs are not constitutionally guaranteed, something of which the Left has convinced many people. The need for housing, food, clothing and myriad other essentials of life are not rights. And rights can not be provided by any government entity, they come from God and are protected by a properly functioning government.
James Madison's fear of the Bill of Rights being used to actually limit the rights of free people to only those things enumerated, is more present today than when he first expressed them during the drafting and revisions to the United States Constitution. A hundred years of the Progressive cancer, begun with Woodrow Wilson and metastasised with the Obama administration, has been made possible by convincing a significant segment of the population that needs are rights and that they are satisfied by government largess. An idea that is a deliberate tactic of the Left and is illustrated by the growing social safety net that now includes cell phones, air conditioners, refrigerators, child care, vehicle repair and a multitude of other items in addition to the food and housing.
One of the most valuable lessons my mother taught me as a child is that the more dependent one becomes on someone else, the more they lose control of their own life and destiny. By convincing large groups of people that their needs are rights and that they are entitled to have them fulfilled by a confiscatory government to which they have given the authority to do so, the Left has slowly turned this constitutional republic into an entitlement oligarchy.