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Liberals/Conservatives: Post Definitions For Each

Politics Political definitions 2004

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#1 Vapor Trails

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 05:03 PM

Driving my school bus this afternoon, I was listening to NPR (National Public Radio-United States). The folks on the show were talking about phrase and word origins. Inevitably, the words "liberal" and "conservative" came up. The two folks discussed how the meanings of each word had changed over time, and how they've each taken on negative connotations.

As I listened, it dawned on me that-at least to my knowledge-there has NEVER been a thread discussing what the words "liberal" and "conservative" meant to folks here-and more importantly, HOW they came upon these conclusions.

This thread is meant to enlighten-and I expect some vigorous, respectful debate here. I'm trying to learn something by posting this thread. And I hope others will learn too.

So, I'm asking all of you the following:

1) What do the words "liberal" and "conservative" mean to each of you?

2) Where did you come up with your ideas for each? And how sure are you that they truly fit your definition of each word?

Discuss. And I would be particularly interested to hear from folks outside the U.S..

:cool:

Edited by Digital Man, 20 October 2004 - 05:12 PM.

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#2 Rhys

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 05:25 PM

Digital Man, on Oct 20 2004, 06:03 PM, said:

1) What do the words "liberal" and "conservative" mean to each of you?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Liberal: Someone who's not conservative.

Conservative: Someone who's not liberal.



While that may come off as kind of glib, I think those are the definitions that a lot of people are working with these days!

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#3 Vapor Trails

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 05:27 PM

Rhys, on Oct 20 2004, 05:25 PM, said:

Digital Man, on Oct 20 2004, 06:03 PM, said:

1) What do the words "liberal" and "conservative" mean to each of you?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Liberal: Someone who's not conservative.

Conservative: Someone who's not liberal.



While that may come off as kind of glib, I think those are the definitions that a lot of people are working with these days!

Rhys

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


And why do you think that is?

:)

Saul
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#4 sierraleone

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 05:30 PM

^ Does Canada count ;) (I actually heard of a co-worker yesterday having to deal w/ an American thinking that Quebec was part of the US  :wacko: heck, half the time they don't seem to want to be part of Canada ;) he didn't like the extra charges on his bill :p ).

Disclaimer: All the follow are simply my opinion, which I say upfront may be wrong, I don't study politics, I vote on the issues presented, so my opinions are basically my impressions from various parties, elections, the media, school and various benign experiences.
:D

Anyways:
Liberal:
I consider myself a liberal so going into this I figure my idea of Liberal is biased by my own beliefs.
I think initially Liberal Governments/Parties wanted more into private citizen's lives. Me as a liberal, though, I'd like the government *out* of our private lives. As in not legislating what two people do in the bedroom together and whether or not they can get married. I would say that liberals tend to spend more on social spending (though I would prefer they spend what they spend on social spending *better*, not neccessarily more).

Liberals tend to try new innovative methods I would think (while conservatives use old and proven methods). Of course, doesn't mean those aren't spins on whichever method they choose, they could still fail horribly ;) :)

I believe and follow conservative values, but I don't feel everyone should have to follow them. Whether that has any connection w/ "Conservatives" in regards to the Parties, I'm not sure.

Conservatives:
They tend to be more, er, conservative ;) in spending. They also tend to feel people should take care of themselves and not involve the government, though feel the best way for people to do that (take care of themselves) is to follow conservative values.

Where did I come up w/ these ideas? Stated in my disclaimer ;) :D

Now, I'm interested in everyone else's opinion/views/expertise.

Edited by sierraleone, 20 October 2004 - 05:36 PM.

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#5 Rov Judicata

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 06:15 PM

First, I think that the American definition of liberal is bizarre. I consider myself a liberal in the classical sense, but have very little in common with actual "liberals". I think, however, that you have to draw a distinction between "Democrats" and "Liberals" and do something similar for "Republicans" and "Conservatives". There are coherent differences between the two ideologies. However, Ralph Nader is right about one thing (and ONLY one thing): The differences between the two parties are paper-thin, at best. To flip one of Nader's lines, the Democrats get an F, and the Republicans are a D-. Further, this election offers Americans the compelling choice between total incompetence and severe incompetence. And... *ahem, back on topic*.

But generalities in today's political climate (not absolutes, obviously):

In general, I'd say these are the most important parts of each ideology. Note that none of these are absolute, and many of the people on this board have ideologies all over the map. Please don't take offense at any of this. I'm somewhat conservative, but I'm doing my best to be even handed here:

Conservatives favor small government and a balanced budget. Liberals tend to favor social programs.
Conservatives favor proportionate tax cuts (i.e., if your bracket pays 40% of the burden, it's going to get a large chunk of the tax cut; also called Reaganomics, supply side economics or trickle-down). Liberals favor giving tax cuts to the lower brackets, to encourage consumer spending.
Conservatives favor free market solutions. Liberals favor government solutions.
Conservatives oppose abortion, except in extreme circumstances (rape, incest, etc.). Liberals generally support abortion, except in extreme circumstances (partial birth abortion).
Conservatives generally favor the death penalty. Liberals don't. [And both sides say the other is inconsistent due to the coupling of these two positions; "How can you protect the life of an unborn fetus and condemn people who are actually born to death?" and "How can you allow an innocent fetus to be destroyed while protecting the life of a serial killer?" are quite common arguments.]
Conservatives favor reading the 2nd amendment as an individual right; i.e., allowing gun ownership to a great degree. Most support banning assault weapons (the real ones, not the ones in the misnamed AWB). Liberals don't read it that way, and prefer tighter controls over gun control, although very few want to ban all guns.
Conservatives favor states rights, and tend to be skeptical of a strong central government. Liberals tend to be skeptical of states rights, and favor a strong central government.
Conservatives oppose race-based affirmative action; often, they read it as a violation of the 14th amendment or basic fairness. Liberals favor race-based affirmative action, saying it doesn't violate equal protection.
Conservatives tend to be less concerned with rights of the accused than liberals, while liberals tend to be much more concerned. I'm trying to come up with an example, but it's just not gelling. If anybody's confused, I can try to think one up.
Liberals admire Europe. Conservatives see Europe as a society in decay.
Conservatives think the media is liberal. Liberals think the media is conservative, but say "corporate" instead.

That's about all I can think of for now...

EDIT: Actually, the issue of smoking in public places is a really good example of an important distinction between liberals and conservatives.

Liberals: We need to protect the public health and the employees of restaurants. A public smoking ban will do that.
Conservatives: Then don't GO to a smoking restaurant. If the market opportunity for a non-smoking restaurant exists, then the market will provide one. There's nothing compelling the employees to work there either.

^
It's a minor issue, but I think it's one that's pretty telling......

Edited by Hotspur Rovinski, 20 October 2004 - 06:19 PM.

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#6 Spectacles

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 06:26 PM

Good idea, DM. I remember years ago asking my students who they were going to vote for in 1988. Most were voting for Bush I. Why not Dukakis, I asked. Pause. Finally someone said, "he's too liberal." Several heads nodded. OK. What does liberal mean. Blank. They didn't know for sure what one was, but they'd heard it was a bad thing.

For myself, I tend to break each up into two categories: fiscal and social. But there are more and it would be interesting to see how others think of the terms.

Economic/fiscal conservative:  one who believes in low taxation, small government, few regulations on business.

Social conservative: one who believes the society is healthier with traditional values--heterosexual marriage, "men are men and goils are goils" (Archie Bunker), also used to be fairly racist but that is changing somewhat; favors blurring the division between church and state; believes that only certain people are "real Americans"--usually those who fit the traditional bill.

Economic/Fiscal liberal: one who believes that government cures all ills--poverty, etc.--so it is free to tax heavily to pay for social programs to improve society; government is necessarily large; is in favor of regulations on business like wage controls, price caps, environmental regulations

Social liberal: one who believes that mores change with the times and so should our laws; for changing attitudes and values that hold back a group of people simply because of their identity (race, gender, religion, sexual orientation); for removing laws that act as barriers to equality (government out of the bedroom stuff); firmly opposed to blurring the line between church and state

I'm pretty much a social liberal who likes some aspects of fiscal conservatism. I distrust bureaucracy and think that much government spending is wasteful. I'm big on personal responsibility but think that no one should be discriminated against. I'm for public education, since it's the best hope we have for levelling the playing field, but that "bureaucracy thing" has messed it up--plus unequal funding. I think taxes should be kept as low as possible by cutting waste. I was for Welfare Reform. I don't trust totally unregulated business to be ethical, so I'm for safety and environmental regulations. I'm for spending what is necessary to maintain the best military. I think gays and lesbians are citizens and so they should have the same rights as everyone else in the country....So, like most people, I'm a mixed bag. Mostly liberal, but not outrageously so.
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#7 Gefiltefishmon

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 07:16 PM

I was going to answer this but Rov posted the BEST explanation I have ever read of the differences between the Liberal and Conservative.

I WOULD like to see a side by side comparison of Conservatives and NEO-Conservatives, since the current Republican administration doesn't seem to uphold "typical" conservative viewpoints.

I'm staunchly in the middle of the two definitions of liberal and conservative - but it's interesting to see how much of one and the other I feel I am. Hmmmm..... :wideeyed:
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#8 Nonny

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 07:21 PM

The way the words are used these days, they seem to mean the same thing: The Other.  In extreme cases, The Folks We Don't Agree With Who Should Be Disenfranchised and Banished.  

Checking my dictionary, I see nothing surprising for conservative, "favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change."  Or for liberal, "not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.  Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behaviors of others; broad-minded."  Not polar opposites, conservative sticks to the traditional, while liberal embraces a wide variety including the traditional.  

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#9 SilverNeonASH

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 07:42 PM

Conservatives are right wing and believe in deities to make things work.
Liberals are Left Wing and believe  in themselves to make things work.
Most of us are somewhere between the two extremes.

#10 Delvo

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 07:53 PM

The idea that conservatism is by definition religious is a liberal stereotype embraced by religious conservatives but not by those who are one or the other. In fact that's just one of the two or three major sects of conservatism that are at civil war with each other.

#11 Vapor Trails

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 07:55 PM

SilverNeonASH, on Oct 20 2004, 07:42 PM, said:

Conservatives are right wing and believe in deities to make things work.
Liberals are Left Wing and believe  in themselves to make things work.
Most of us are somewhere between the two extremes.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


And what do *you* define as "right wing" and "left wing"? Why?

:)

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#12 SilverNeonASH

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 08:43 PM

In a classic sense:
The Spanish Inquisition represented the ultimate in Right Wing politics.
It could not sustain itself, simply because its raison d'etre was a search and destroy mission for minions of the elusive Satan. When that proved unworkable, they existed to root out Heretics. These were easier to find because that encompassed anyone who so much as believed, " what went up, must come down."  The logical outcome was The Protestant Reformation, which in its day, was fairly Left Wing, as they had demoted all the Saints from the category of Deity. In nations, that were Protestant, technology made a quantum leap forward, because, they were no longer being burnt at the stake for Heracy. This continued for three more centuries until WWI. Then technology snowballed leaving many prople, technologically extinct. The Nazi Party rose giving validity to the Right Wing, because people, initially, believed they would destroy the Left Wing or the Godless Communists.
The official line was that the Nazi Party was searching for SuperMan. They had to say that, for obvious reasons. Actually, they were searching for the precise Race created by the Almighty, in Genesis, before The Fall From Grace. They had difficulty believeing that Jesus Christ was Jewish, or that Jews could ever have written the Holy Writ. It would be a return to the fifteenth Century, something that appealed to a great many people as technology had trampled them into unemployment.
By the beginning of the 1980's, Conservatism was creeping back in. Why? Technology had made another quantum leap. Jobs were either eliminated or had been shipped over seas. Most people understood that if you turn back the clock, you might have a job, again. At any rate, turning back the clock seemed much easier than reading about ring resonance, computer urls, and quantum physics.
Liberals favor social programs for one very real reason:

We do not have the same IQ!!!!! Technology will march on, whether you can maneuver it or not.

It was once said that only seven percent of all women can maneuver mathematics in order to be profficient in engineering. What they are not saying, what they dare not say, is that same percentage is true of men. ( Seven percent is a high figure, considering that engineers are only 5% of the employment rolls) Bottom line? As technology continues, only 14% of all humans will have employment opportunities. Telling the remaining 86% of all humans to get up off their fat tukis and get a job, won't work. The jobs will not be there.

#13 sierraleone

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 09:00 PM

^ did you get 14 % from adding 7 % of men and 7 % of women, or some other statistics on IQs/etc? (because 7 % of women and 7 % of men, add up to about 7 % of the population).

There likely always be manual jobs, but their pay will likely suck, your pay won't depend on how hard you are willing to work anymore....
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#14 Nick

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 09:32 PM

Excellent post, Rov!

I think it's the most un-stupid thing you've done in recent memory. ;)

Just as an excersize, I'm gunna number Rov's points and see how I score:

Hotspur Rovinski, on Oct 20 2004, 07:15 PM, said:

1. Conservatives favor small government and a balanced budget. Liberals tend to favor social programs.
2. Conservatives favor proportionate tax cuts (i.e., if your bracket pays 40% of the burden, it's going to get a large chunk of the tax cut; also called Reaganomics, supply side economics or trickle-down). Liberals favor giving tax cuts to the lower brackets, to encourage consumer spending.
3. Conservatives favor free market solutions. Liberals favor government solutions.
4. Conservatives oppose abortion, except in extreme circumstances (rape, incest, etc.). Liberals generally support abortion, except in extreme circumstances (partial birth abortion).
5. Conservatives generally favor the death penalty. Liberals don't. [And both sides say the other is inconsistent due to the coupling of these two positions; "How can you protect the life of an unborn fetus and condemn people who are actually born to death?" and "How can you allow an innocent fetus to be destroyed while protecting the life of a serial killer?" are quite common arguments.]
6. Conservatives favor reading the 2nd amendment as an individual right; i.e., allowing gun ownership to a great degree. Most support banning assault weapons (the real ones, not the ones in the misnamed AWB). Liberals don't read it that way, and prefer tighter controls over gun control, although very few want to ban all guns.
7. Conservatives favor states rights, and tend to be skeptical of a strong central government. Liberals tend to be skeptical of states rights, and favor a strong central government.
8. Conservatives oppose race-based affirmative action; often, they read it as a violation of the 14th amendment or basic fairness. Liberals favor race-based affirmative action, saying it doesn't violate equal protection.
9. Conservatives tend to be less concerned with rights of the accused than liberals, while liberals tend to be much more concerned. I'm trying to come up with an example, but it's just not gelling. If anybody's confused, I can try to think one up.
10. Liberals admire Europe. Conservatives see Europe as a society in decay.
11. Conservatives think the media is liberal. Liberals think the media is conservative, but say "corporate" instead.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

1. C, 2. L, 3.C, 4.L, 5.L, 6.C, 7.C, 8.C, 9.L,  10.L, 11.L

So 5 C's and 6 L's . . . I think "a little left of center" describes me pretty well.

Also a few important distinctions I've noticed:

-Conservatives tend to be more Hawkish (that is, favoring military action sooner), whereas Liberals tend to be more Dovish, preferring diplomatic solutions wherever possible.  
-I'm going to disagree slightly w/ Rov about Conservatives viewing Europe negatively vs. Liberals admiring it.  I think it would be more accurate to say that Conservatives are more isolationist, preferring to stay out of the affairs of other nations (and other nations staying out of ours), whereas Liberals prefer a more global-community approach.

Also, the "NeoCons" break from a few key "traditional" conservative ideas.  Some that come to mind:
-A desire to legislate morality
-Not just supporting private solutions over government ones, but specifically courting faith-based initiatives.
-"Deficits don't Matter" fiscal policy

-Nick

#15 Cardie

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 09:39 PM

To me the crucial difference between liberal and conservative ideologies hinges on the view of the proper role of the state.  Liberals believe that the state has an obligation to ameliorate people's problems if they can't do it themselves and to regulate practices that are harmful to the general welfare.  They believe that it is acceptable for tax revenues to be collected from the solvent population in order to fund essential public services.

Conservatives believe that government should limit its activities, its regulations and its revenue collections to those things that benefit the country as a whole: national defense, economic growth, infrastructure, public health.  Direct benefits to specific needy individuals are frowned upon.

Ironically social conservatism of the old stripe would want government completely out of the business of regulating people's sex lives, recreational behavior, or reproductive choices.  Liberals are much more likely to meddle in these areas.

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#16 Rov Judicata

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 09:51 PM

Gefiltefishmon, on Oct 20 2004, 05:16 PM, said:

I was going to answer this but Rov posted the BEST explanation I have ever read of the differences between the Liberal and Conservative.

Thank you. :D. :blush:.

Quote

I WOULD like to see a side by side comparison of Conservatives and NEO-Conservatives, since the current Republican administration doesn't seem to uphold "typical" conservative viewpoints.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I concur. Frankly, if Bush has an ideology, it's too nuanced for me. It seems almost completely arbitrary.

Delvo, on Oct 20 2004, 05:53 PM, said:

The idea that conservatism is by definition religious is a liberal stereotype embraced by religious conservatives but not by those who are one or the other. In fact that's just one of the two or three major sects of conservatism that are at civil war with each other.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I concur. There's no conservative position I'm aware of that must be based in religion. There are secular arguments against gay marriage, against abortion, and for faith based initiatives.  [Since that last one is the most likely to raise eyebrows: Religious institutions have a way of organizing and coordinating people that other organizations have a hard time doing. Further, in some areas, a church is simply the center of a community and the best way to distribute resources. It would be folly to ignore the utility of a church simply because it is religious. As somebody 'not religious', I have no problem with faith-based initiatives, so long as they work.]

Nick, on Oct 20 2004, 07:32 PM, said:

Excellent post, Rov!

I think it's the most un-stupid thing you've done in recent memory. ;)

Huzzah!

Quote

-Conservatives tend to be more Hawkish (that is, favoring military action sooner), whereas Liberals tend to be more Dovish, preferring diplomatic solutions wherever possible. 

That's a crucial one I forgot. Good point. Viewing the UN as a source of problem vs. the UN as a solution to problems is also an important subpoint...

Quote

-I'm going to disagree slightly w/ Rov about Conservatives viewing Europe negatively vs. Liberals admiring it.  I think it would be more accurate to say that Conservatives are more isolationist, preferring to stay out of the affairs of other nations (and other nations staying out of ours), whereas Liberals prefer a more global-community approach.

I totally disagree. Just as a random sample, I searched the site of National Review for Europe. First reference that came up:

http://www.nationalr...00404020835.asp

Now, granted, some of that is motivated by recent events. But I also think it's very telling that Kerry is being referred to as "too European". Conservatives simply don't trust European intellectualism, European ideology, European approaches to world problems, or much of anything European. [Yes, I know I'm conflating a lot of different things when I say "European", but still.]. The crux of it is often that military has money, but has allowed its military to crumble.  



Cardie, on Oct 20 2004, 07:39 PM, said:

To me the crucial difference between liberal and conservative ideologies hinges on the view of the proper role of the state.  Liberals believe that the state has an obligation to ameliorate people's problems if they can't do it themselves and to regulate practices that are harmful to the general welfare.  They believe that it is acceptable for tax revenues to be collected from the solvent population in order to fund essential public services.

Yes. Often with very generous views of what's "essential"....

Quote

Conservatives believe that government should limit its activities, its regulations and its revenue collections to those things that benefit the country as a whole: national defense, economic growth, infrastructure, public health.  Direct benefits to specific needy individuals are frowned upon.

Yep.
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Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

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#17 Delvo

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 10:26 PM

We've now had people mention both hawkishness and isolationism as conservative traits, but nobody's mentioned that they sound contradictory. What seems consistent between the two is that military action in other countries is seen as a tool, which, like any other tool, can sit on the shelf most of the time but is the ONLY thing that can do its job what that particular job happens to need to be done. Another way to put it would be that those who want to be left alone are still occasionally forced to forcefully compel others to leave them alone.

Without some such way to reconcile those two claims, you'd have to either declare one of them false, say neither is relevant as a defining characteristic because liberal/conservative is really about domestic issues not international ones, or say that conservatives who wouldn't be in favor of this war right now are driven to defend it by the way the liberals have been attacking it and them.

#18 Cardie

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 10:34 PM

What's always fascinated me, because I lived through most of it, is how fundamentally the particulars of the liberal/conservative debate shifted after the second World War.

For the first half of the twentieth century, the law of the land was perfectly consonant with majority values.  Through Democratic and Republican administrations, public policy did little to address any of the oppressions, large and small, of people who didn't fit into what a white, Southern Baptist male conservative movement would be happy with today.  There were Christian prayers in public schools, Jim Crow in the South, a segregated military.  Abortion, miscegenation, and "sodomy" were illegal.  Nobody was fighting over affirmative action or whether "under God" should be in the Pledge of Allegiance, or the parameters of sexual harassment.  

When the differences between conservatives and liberals were first explained to me growing up, they were all about class, region and foreign policy.  Liberals fought for the workingman, conservatives followed the dictates of Wall Street.  Liberals flourished in urban areas, conservatives in the heartland. Democrats always got you into wars, my Republican mother said repeatedly.  Her party was better at keeping America's nose out of other people's business. It always seemed to me that conservative anti-Communism in the 50s was much more fixated on rooting out Reds at home than taking up arms against them abroad.  It was the Democrats who were out on foreign adventures until Vietnam made everyone gun-shy.

It was when Democrats and liberals decided to support minority rights of all kinds, using the intellectual arguments of academic humanism, that the working man was no longer sure that liberalism was working for him.  It was when Vietnam turned most liberals Dovish that the strong military tradition of the heartland found itself much more sympatico with Republican foreign policy.

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#19 Kevin Street

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 02:44 AM

Digital Man said:

...So, I'm asking all of you the following:

1) What do the words "liberal" and "conservative" mean to each of you?

2) Where did you come up with your ideas for each? And how sure are you that they truly fit your definition of each word?

I've been thinking about your question all day, DM, and here's what finally came out:

In the most basic sense, Liberals are always looking for a better tomorrow. They are utopians at heart, and they seek ways to make our imperfect, dull reality more ideal, even if only in small measures. Liberal values tend to reflect ideals like humanism and fairness.

Conservatives are always trying to protect and preserve the reality we already have. They're realists at heart, and they seek ways to manage and cherish the good things that we often take for granted or neglect. Conservative values tend to reflect ideals like patriotism and common sense.

Liberals strive to reach for the things that are just beyond our grasp, which is why so many artists happen to be liberal. Art is all about taking something mundane like a story or a picture and making it beautiful - artists are idealists.

Conservatives strive to protect and preserve the things we're already blessed with, which is why so many soldiers happen to be conservative. Soldiers don't judge the people they protect, they love the whole country and believe in the values for which it stands - soldiers are patriots.

Or to put it in another way, let's put a Xena spin on the definitions and look for representative gods from Greek mythology. Imo, the ultimate Liberal God is Prometheus, and the ultimate Conservative god is Hestia. Prometheus saw the suffering of the human race, and defied Zeus himself to make things better for people. Hestia was the gentlest of gods, and the most loved, for she guarded the hearth and home.

In a healthy society, the Liberal and Conservative impulses are equally powerful and influential, for each one needs the balance of the other. Without Liberals, there would be no progress - and without Conservatives, society would have fallen apart long ago.

Edited by Kevin Street, 21 October 2004 - 02:53 AM.

Per aspera ad astra

#20 nutmeg

nutmeg

    Just passing through

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Posted 21 October 2004 - 11:17 AM

And in the middle are us 'moderates' (who are fighting the 'you're either a liberal or conservative, based upon whether you are a Democrat or Repulican' nonsense) who see value in both sides. In fact, political ideology in the US used to be seen more as a continuum rather than a polarity. I'm more comfortable with that and I wish we could allow the shades of gray that make democracy such a rich tradition.

communist --- socialist ----liberal-----moderate ----conservative ----( now we have: neoconservative) ---- fascist

nutmeg

Edited by nutmeg, 21 October 2004 - 11:19 AM.




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