With the presidential election rapidly approaching, I am reminded of the stark contrast in ideology between the two candidates.

Mitt Romney is a moderate/conservative capitalist. I believe Barack Obama is a liberal/progressive and, yes, a socialist. Yes, I know many liberals are not socialists, but consider that without liberalism, socialism isn’t possible. Never in our lifetime have we been presented with such different paths for the future of our country.

Obama’s “Hope and Change” program consists largely of wealth redistribution through bigger government, using selective taxation and regulation, which amounts to socialism.

Admittedly, most of us benefit  from some form of social program, and Romney is not proposing to eliminate any programs other than Obamacare. I hope everyone agrees that we must always provide for the very poor, the needy and the disabled. The problem is not these groups, but those who can provide for themselves but refuse to work in order to do so.

A person unknown to me, and no doubt more intelligent, once wrote:

“As a child, I was taught that you get what you deserve. If you do not till, if you do not plant, you cannot harvest. If you do not draw the water, you cannot drink. And if you do not work, you cannot earn. Theft was a sin.

“Never was I told that as I plowed the field and planted the seeds there would be others who would lay claim to my harvest. Never was I told that as I drew my water, others would drink. And never was I told, as I worked tirelessly in my studies, that others would take my earnings. Where is the virtue?

“Life is not fair, for if it were, I would have been born a Kennedy or Rockefeller rather than (insert your name). I was not; therefore, it is not. Fairness can come only if we treat every unequal equally. We should all get that which we deserve and we should never lay claim to that which is not ours.”

This is why I hope my children also will be conservative. I want them to respect the tiller of fields, the man who quenches his thirst and the laborer who works tirelessly for his family. I hope my children have the compassion to defend the unequal’s right to become equal. I hope that they never lay claim to another’s harvest, another’s drink or another’s earnings. This would be liberalism, and this is the sin.

— Gary D. Hart, Wellsville