Sorry to push your buttons, but this is more of the same. Conservatives (I don't know if you are one) generally see the world in terms of self interest. This view is affected by what you have called a "filter".
Now, I don't blame a conservative for being drawn to a certain 'filtered' view of the world, and it seems almost impossible for them to get beyond it. However, there are others who don't see the world that way. Plenty of people have a decent income, good living standard (including various possessions) and also pay their taxes, give to charity, help others and don't vote conservative.
This is not an all or nothing thing, and does not have to be reduced in that way.
You always make me smile. And you always interpret whatever I post in ways I can't even imagine, and read intent into my post that I can't even imagine. Even to the point of I often think "He does not read a single word I write, why respond?" People, I guess we are like that. No need to apologize, why you assumed you prompted offense in me, also baffles me. Examine thy own filters.
IMSMO, the words conservative and liberal seem to have lost all meaning. But then again, classifying people as herds seems meaningless also. I know I was raised on another planet, and I know in political discussions, the individual is too small to count. Voting blocks are where the power is won or lost.
To me, it is pretty "simple." Get past morality/intent and enter into a pure accounting mode for a minute. Does program X help more people than it hurts? How to evaluate? If one can't do the evaluation, don't pitch it as beneficial. Pitch it as I want to do this. If 50%+1 agree, law of the land. For the 50%-1 who disagree, tough luck, majority rules. Organize, form a PAC, donate to the right politicians, and tomorrow your gang may be in the majority and you can reverse it, for now, suck it up.
Back to morality/intent. The private sector is the voluntary sector, the public sector is the coercive sector. Govt has no money, it takes from Peter to pay Paul.
Me personally: I (Peter) walk down the street a panhandler (Paul) asks me for money. I give him some money with two intents, to help him, and it makes me feel good. So am I selfishly motivated or not? I really don't care how that call is made, but it is fun to discuss and project.
Next day, I encounter another panhandler, this time I reach into my pocket, I pull out a gun and I take money from bystanders to give to Paul. I helped Paul, but I hurt others. For some reason, that does not make me feel good at all. Damn, I thought playing Robin Hood would be more fun. Why are those whom I took money from upset? Don't they enjoy being generous? Those selfish bastards! Don't they know I am a better person than they?
When govts engage in deficit spending, it is simply voting generations stealing from future generations. I can't morally condone that.
When politician Z claims the program produces free benefits he is lying. That simple. When the politician tells Fred, that Fred will not pay, but industry will pay, he is also lying. Fred and everyone who buys from that industry will pay more. Fred's desire for free forces the little old lady and the single mom down the street, to pay more for their needs. The politician's sales pitch is preying upon the stupidity of the populace to advance his ideology.
When the politician presents the plan benefits, but not the plan's costs, hidden costs, perverse incentives, and unintended consequences, they are being deceitful. But hey, the mob wants magic, not detailed analysis.
Anyway, that is me in a nutshell, I don't possess the mental agility to play Robin Hood and not be cognizant of those whom I am hurting. That is why I evaluate the "good intention" of a person on their own personal, voluntary, charitable actions and giving rather than on their preaching, or upon their organizing the bigger, more powerful gang to force others to do the "right" thing. "Talk is cheap" and "Actions speak louder than words." and all that.
Back to important stuff. Don't send me one of those crappy Kawasakis, I want the R1. Not that I am being "selfish," but I know my happiness is important to you!
"It takes a remote mountain village.... in either Iran or Apple-achia.... to raise a child.