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Conservatives and Liberals

 
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Feb, 2003 10:16 pm
Asherman,

You and tres both seem to miss the point of my "series of concepts". My charactarisations were sarcasm and my point was that these characterisations were pointless.

This is why I reacted with surprise when tres added onto my list ... and dismay when his additions were so earnestly one-sided.

I don't think the terms liberal and conservative are ever helpful. They are just too broad. It is impossible for me to believe that intelligent people can really be clumped into these catagories.

I know fundamentalist christians who believe in (and even study) evolution. I know people who are pro-life and oppose the death penalty. I even know people who support both the death penalty and gun-control. The human experience is just too wonderfully rich for people to fall into these orderly groups.

Equus gives the most reasonable sounding explanation. But even this is problematic. For example, wouldn't you consider the pro-life movement (usually considered conservative) a movement for freedom? Which side supports the freedom to publish pornography or to burn flags?

But what I hate most is the way these characterisations are used to stifle discussion. People say "this is a liberal argument", or "she is a fundamentalist" and expect this to discount what is being said.

What does it matter? Because I disagree with someones religious view mean that they can't have something valuable to say about taxes? Does everyone who is against the death penalty automatically oppose oil drilling in Alaska?

It really annoys me when someone hears my view on one issue and assumes that they can brand me. They presume know what I will say and think about every issue.

All I am asking is that people will stop using these terms to label people or ideas. They simply add no value to a reasoned discussion and only serve to stifle debate.

It would be best if these types of labels would just go away. We should be willing to listen to and discuss a persons thoughts and idease for each issue.

Eric Brown-Muñoz
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Feb, 2003 11:04 pm
<applauds, whistles, stomps.>

Well said. Welcome to A2K -- hope to see a lot of you.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 01:18 am
I am one of those anomalies who are anti gun control and pro-choice. To me there is no contradiction- It's all about freedom. I also support the death penalty, in certain particulary heinous crimes, where guilt is incontrovertible!
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 07:17 am
On the previous page, there were some fairly personal statements made, and that is not only unfortunate, it's also against the Terms of Service (a link is at the bottom of every page).

I'm tired of it, very tired. I'm not asking you all to love one another but I am asking you to respect one another. I hope this message is coming through loudly and clearly. If it isn't, feel free to send me a PM and you'll see just how serious I am.

Thank you.
0 Replies
 
kitchenpete
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 07:30 am
Equus wrote:
I think of Conservatives as the champions of FREEDOM. I think of Liberals as the champions of FAIRNESS. Both are highly desirable ideals, but get in each other's way.


I agree, in general. The classic philosophical divide between Left and Right (Liberal and Conservative, respectively, IMHO) is that:

The Left believes in the Freedom TO do things, the provision of circumstances in which everyone may take their part...education, health, transport etc., which may lead these services to be provided by the state for the good of all, with consequently higher taxation. (e.g. Sweden, Denmark)

The Right believes in the Freedom FROM imposed restrictions, the ability to make personal and financial decisions independently and without constraint of regulation, government intervention and therefore traditionally low taxation and government spending. (e.g. USA)

Perhaps this is all off-point, as I'm British and therefore take a different meaning from certain words from that adopted in standard US English.
0 Replies
 
kitchenpete
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 07:56 am
ebrown_p, or Eric?

I should like to second Sozobe's congratulation of your take on this. I'm one of those who dislikes engaging in slanging matches with no possible chance of achieving greater understanding of the issues.

Maybe my point (above) is irrelevant, but it criticises no-one because they take a different view.

I think my signature quotation should give you that view in a nice sound-bite, which I why I chose it.

tres, I can't understand what you thought you would add to this thread by you points. The question is about defintions and the usefulness thereof, not whether the respondents fall into one camp or the other.

It is the likes of your contribution that make me wary of venturing onto Politics threads, despite having a degree in Social and Political Science.

I'm glad I'm not alone in this view, or I wouldn't return.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 08:35 am
Hey e

I am an iconoclast.

On a continuum with Liberals at position 1 and Conservatives at position 10 -- I can be found at position "p."

I agree with some thing that are considered liberal and some things that are considered conservative -- and I think that much of what transpires as "discussion" between the two camps should be consider less as "food for thought" -- than as "food for rosebushes" -- if you get my drift.

Good luck with this thread -- but I doubt that reason will be its defining moment.
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 10:58 am
snood, so true. There is a bit of good mixed in with the refuse!

Frank - WOW - so true! And guess where rosebush material comes from?
0 Replies
 
gezzy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 07:25 pm
EBrown
I also agree with you. I don't like labels either.
0 Replies
 
BillW
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 08:24 pm
Keep wanting to put my own list out, but gee - I don't really like labels either. I guess you are what you avatar!
0 Replies
 
trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 08:34 pm
kitchenpete wrote:
tres, I can't understand what you thought you would add to this thread by you points. The question is about defintions and the usefulness thereof, not whether the respondents fall into one camp or the other.
It is the likes of your contribution that make me wary of venturing onto Politics threads, despite having a degree in Social and Political Science.

I'm glad I'm not alone in this view, or I wouldn't return.

Above you characterize this discussion as being about "...definitions and the usefulness thereof, not whether the respondents fall into one camp or the other." Please show me where I commented to any extent on whether any respondents were liberals or conservatives....

Guess what? You can't, because I didn't.

In fact, all I did was offer my opinion on what those labels mean. I differed with the author's categorization of these terms, and offered my own legitimate, honest take on them. Surely that is precisely and specifically on topic. I did not do so to cast aspersions, but to highlight what I see--my opinion--as the fundamental differences between these poles. That some have taken offense at this only makes me wonder why they do so it does not change my point of view, nor make it wrong for me to have shared it.

My comments went directly to the topic, and were intended to amplify it, not derail it. (Others have done that, with complaints that they don't care for my opinion. ???)

You have some fairly obvious options if you disagree with me; explain how, giving specifics as to what you don't like about my point of view, or alternatively you can do as some have chosen to do and attack me personally. If you choose the latter, am I to blame?

Now, the author started a topic about political labels. I commented on what I think those labels mean. If anyone wants to disagree with my comments, please do. Beyond that, my comments should not be the subject of discussion, and as the moderator has attempted to point out neither I nor any other individual should be the topic here.

If you are making a negative statement about another person in this or any discussion, you are the problem here, not the person who simply deigned to have a different viewpoint than yours.

Now, can we PLEASE discuss the topic for a change? I don't know about anyone else, but that's why I came here.
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Feb, 2003 08:44 pm
It would appear there is consensus that labels carry considerable emoptional baggage and do little to foster meaningful discourse.
It would also appear Jespah's admonition has been heeded Laughing
And to ebrown_p and Dreamweaver MX, howdy! I'd like to offer you both a personal welcome to A2K ... good posts, keep it up, please!



timber
0 Replies
 
kitchenpete
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Feb, 2003 08:49 am
Re: Conservatives and Liberals
tres, I see your point - you did not state your preference for one or other side, that was just my inference.

I'll explain why I came to that point:

trespassers will wrote:

Conservatives like:................Liberals like:
rights......................................entitlements
defense .................................appeasement
unborn-babies........................freedom from accountability
trees.......................................trees
clean air..................................clean air
quality education.....................government education
equality of access....................equality of outcome
rule of law...............................cosmic justice
families....................................government programs
constitutional government.......nanny-state
religious freedom.....................religious tolerance
tax cuts....................................government programs
local control..............................federal control


One by one, I think you belittled the "Liberals" view. See my comments in Red:

Conservatives like:................Liberals like:
rights......................................entitlements implies liberals want to take without the right to do so
defense .................................appeasement implies inherent weakness in Liberal viewpoint, just as a contrast of "War....Peace" would have been inherently favourable to Liberals (equally unacceptable in a theoretical discussion, I contend)
unborn-babies........................freedom from accountabilityHardly seems a fair contrasts - highly normative - there are many arguments on both sides, but that's not why we're here
trees.......................................trees
clean air..................................clean air
quality education.....................government education So Liberals don't like quality education?
equality of access....................equality of outcome
rule of law...............................cosmic justice hardly complimentary about the treatment of offenders/the underprivileged by understanding and treatment rather than punishment
families....................................government programs Which liberals don't believe in families? A very small fringe, perhaps!
constitutional government.......nanny-state Again, highly normative: "nanny state" is exclusively used as abuse for a system of governmental intervention - intended (if not acheived) for the good of all
religious freedom.....................religious tolerance
tax cuts....................................government programs
local control..............................federal control

Where I have not commented, it is because I agree with your general difference, albeit that I may not have chosen the same words. If you see my point about Left vs. Right, above, you will see that "tax cuts - government programs" is a difference which I see, too.

When taken together, you will see how I reacted to your points. Perhaps this does not condone my response, but at least it explains it.

If I'm wrong, and you're generally considered a Liberal, you have a funny way of showing it!
0 Replies
 
trespassers will
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Feb, 2003 10:00 am
kitchenP - You make some valid points. Some of my comments were a bit loaded, others I think you infer something I did not mean. I will respond more in depth later, but thank you for engaging in a discussion of the points I made. This is where we can learn something.
0 Replies
 
 

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