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How to be a good liberal.

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Here is a column that I particularly enjoyed, from the Wall Street Journal. It was the first in a series on AMERICAN CONSERVATISM.

A Question of Temperament.

An excerpt:

quote:

It is a tautology to say that a conservative is a person who wants to conserve things; the question is what things? To this I think we can give a simple one-word answer, namely: us. At the heart of every conservative endeavor is the effort to conserve a historically given community. In any conflict the conservative is the one who sides with "us" against "them"--not knowing, but trusting. He is the one who looks for the good in the institutions, customs and habits that he has inherited. He is the one who seeks to defend and perpetuate an instinctive sense of loyalty, and who is therefore suspicious of experiments and innovations that put loyalty at risk.

So defined, conservatism is less a philosophy than a temperament; but it is, I believe, a temperament that emerges naturally from the experience of society, and which is indeed necessary if societies are to endure. The conservative strives to diminish social entropy. The second law of thermodynamics implies that, in the long run, all conservatism must fail. But the same is true of life itself, and conservatism might equally be defined as the social organism's will to live.

Of course there are people without the conservative temperament. There are the radicals and innovators, who are impatient with the debris left by the dead; and their temperament too is a necessary ingredient in any healthy social mix. There are also the instinctive rebels of the Chomsky variety, who in every conflict side with "them" against "us," who scoff at the ordinary loyalties of ordinary people, and who look primarily for what is bad in the institutions, customs and habits that define their historical community. Still, by and large, the future of any society depends upon the solid residue of conservative sentiment, which forms the ballast to every innovation, and the equilibriating process that makes innovation possible.

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I tend to be far more libertarian than either liberal or conservative. My views are guided by observation, and logical conclusions independantly reached.

For the most part, I believe in the sovereignty of the individual. That noone has the right to force an ideal (or anything else for that matter) on another person. If *I* come to a conclusion I accept ALL of the implications.

If you are offendable, skip the rest of this post. I don't care what you think your political affiliation is, my ideas can be highly controversial.

A very sensitive topic, as an example: Abortion.

I believe that a woman has a choice... BUT... that choice is made when she decides to have sex. Life begins with the decision, not just the act. An abortion impedes on the rights of the unborn child. Rape is another matter... the woman had no choice. In this instance (and while I don't like the following implications, I accept it as a fair and absolute conclusion) it is actually the unborn child who is impeding upon the rights of the woman (although not by choice). While in this instance I feel the woman should be encouraged to bear through the pregnancy and offer the child up for adoption (making someone else's life better despite the horrible nature of the situation), should the decision be made to abort, I would find it regrettable, but reasonable.

Another huge problem with today's society is that discrimination only works one way... it's become a weapon of hypocrites.

You are legally obligated to allow a woman to join Boy Scouts but it is completely unacceptable for a man to join Girl Scouts. If you have it one way, you MUST have it the other. In this way, discrimination is a necessity of fair and just society.

If some cops (of various skin colors) rough up an uncooperative black drunk, the white cops were racist and unjust while the black cops were not.

The government is not supposed to support any specific religion... so it supports atheism (a religion). Supporting 'no religion' is, in fact, supporting a religion (a set of beliefs).

Firing a gay schoolteacher is discriminitory, firing a christian schoolteacher is not.

That's Liberalism for you.

If you're curious about my stance on anything or would like clarification/elaboration on something, feel free to ask. Rest assured I that would ask you if I saw something *I* disagreed with or didn't understand.

[ 09-01-2003, 03:08 AM: Message edited by: Scrivener ]

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A pre-emptive warning:

This is a thread about liberalism vs. conservatism. The original post was a parody of liberalism using societal generalisms, with rebuttal and cross-rebuttal, which was then followed by an essay on conservatism.

If people want to express personal views in order to clarify the definition of liberalism or conservatism, then fine. But DO NOT attack others for their posted beliefs in this thread. Discuss the issues if you must, but keep it in the context of the definition of liberalism or conservatism.

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quote:


Originally posted by Scrivener:

For the most part, I believe in the sovereignty of the individual. That noone has the right to force an ideal (or anything else for that matter) on another person. If *I* come to a conclusion I accept ALL of the implications.


Please do not take this the wrong way but this seems a dangerous stance to take. You may be using it in moderation but do remember that the law does forces ideals on individuals. It tells us it is wrong to steal or murder, for instance, and enforces consequences on those who do not comply by the ideals it has set forth.

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Original post Scrivener

quote:

You are legally obligated to allow a woman to join Boy Scouts but it is completely unacceptable for a man to join Girl Scouts. If you have it one way, you MUST have it the other. In this way, discrimination is a necessity of fair and just society.

I agree with this 100%. Not that I would want to join the Girl Scouts but if you open up any men only organization to women you must do the same for any women only organization. The only thing with this is that most men have these male only organizations to get away from women (wives girlfriends etc..) even for just a bit and women know this so what do they do run to the government crying discrimination and have the government make a law to open these organization up and there ya have it no more hideaway for us guys.

quote:

If some cops (of various skin colors) rough up an uncooperative black drunk, the white cops were racist and unjust while the black cops were not.

Agree again. This is not just a problem with the perception of white cop or Black cop but in society in general. Case in point: An African American goes up to another one and say's "What's up niggah" but if a white guy does this a race riot insues. Damn see we still have not gone past

that ethnicity crap. One thing I have noticed in NYC is that it does not matter what color the cop is it is just the COPS V. The Public.

quote:

The government is not supposed to support any specific religion... so it supports atheism (a religion). Supporting 'no religion' is, in fact, supporting a religion (a set of beliefs).

Ummm, have you looked on the back of your dollar bill? What does it read? "IN GOD WE TRUST".

That's why I laugh at all the crap over the Ten Commandments statue that was placed in the lobby of a government building. You even have or had to (not sure if this is done anymore) swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth while placing your hand on the bible in court.

Atheism is not a religion but a point of view rather more of a philosophical view point based on the evidence or lack there of on the existence of GOD any GOD. The government stance has nothing to do with atheism but rather the stance that there are many religions and beliefs and in being fair should not support or show support for one religion over another. In doing so, would give more power to that religion over all the others.

Again that begs the question why is there on a dollar bill "In GOD we trust". Curious that isn't it especially when you think of how much they've lost their marbles over that Ten Commandments statue.

As for me I don't like religion. It has kept us back and has caused so much trouble for so long no telling where we would be now scientificaly and exploration wise. Take for example what religion did to Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus etc.. That's why they called it the Dark Ages. We lost hundreds of years of enlightenment because you were deemed a heretic and blasphemer if you had the slightest inkling of going against religious dogma.

I feel the same way over our political party system.

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quote:

The government stance has nothing to do with atheism but rather the stance that there are many religions and beliefs and in being fair should not support or show support for one religion over another.

Precisely. The idea is for the government to be agnostic rather than atheistic. The current trend is to dissalow all religious ideals (although there tends to be more bias against christian religions than non-christian religions) which puts a damper on not only free speach but also the free flow of ideals... two of the most prime principals on which this country was founded. The fair and reasonable alternative would be for the government to support or at least take a more neutral non-interventionist stance on religion. The implication is that it's just as acceptable for a judge to display a pentagram as it is for him to display the ten commandments.

quote:

Please do not take this the wrong way but this seems a dangerous stance to take. You may be using it in moderation but do remember that the law does forces ideals on individuals. It tells us it is wrong to steal or murder, for instance, and enforces consequences on those who do not comply by the ideals it has set forth.

Yes it does. In some cases this is good in others it is not so good. Theft and murder obviously impinge on the rights of others and so are logically unacceptable. As for legal consequences - by commiting a crime you waive all of your rights and place yourself at the mercy of your peers. As for criminal punishment, the current model is based on revenge/justice. Rather, the emphasis should be placed on protecting the public from that individual and his actions. The goal should not be to punish the criminal but to protect the public. It's an ideal with more subtle implications.

For the most part, I look at the world and see so many narrow minds. People who are unwilling to think things through on their own. We are taught to never question authority, that there are only two answers to any question (right and wrong - there are no creative solutions). To expand your mind try some of these things:

1. Take a different route to work/school - one you've never taken.

2. Change the radio station - spend some time listening to something you've long claimed to dislike.

3. Always ask 'why', not to be rude, but out of honest curiosity.

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U.S. Constitution Amendment I:

quote:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

This is commonly known as the Establishment Clause. It is based on European history.

In Europe, the countries were monarchies. There was a king who ruled the land, but there was also a separate rule by the churches. For instance, during the Hapsburg reign in Austria and parts east, the country was Roman Catholic and the church ruled equally with the royals. England was the first place where the king decided to take over the church and rule as the head of both. These examples created what was known as the Established Church. The Established Church was the recognized church of the country that ruled the people spiritually. As an aside, when today we refer to rebelling against the Establishment, this is where that phrase came from.

The American Founders didn't want a power-sharing church in this country, so they passed the First Amendment prohibiting Congress from establishing a national church like what was being done in Europe. At the same time, they also prohibited Congress from passing laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

Today, anti-religion zealots have referred to this as the "separation of church and state," but that is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. All that was intended was that the Federal Government was not to establish a single national church -- it was not meant to abolish religion from the public sector, nor was it meant that any individual recognition of an aspect of a particular religion was to be construed as promoting that religion above all others.

It is being taken to such an extreme that even the mention of a god is being twisted to mean that religion is being endorsed (not even a specific church over other churches anymore). The question that is never answered is, "What was the law that Congress passed that established the illegality of the 10 Commandments display, or what law did Congress pass that prohibited the free exercise of religion?"

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To Lost in Space:

If I were to walk into Bensonhurst and refer to my Italian friend as a dumb Dago a riot would ensue. If he were to refer to his brother the same way nothing would happen . The difference is intent.

To Jag:

I agree that the conservatives of that era were social libertarians and advocated racial harmony. However that type of conservative; the Rockefeller, Goldwater type who were fiscally conservative and socially progressive is rare these days. The stripe of the strongest wing of conservatism seems more like the dixiecrats you try to pass off as liberal. They comprise a large amount of the most conservative wing. The very people you refer to left the democratic party and now comprise the religious right, the Pat Robertson < Jerry Falwell types who I am sure have no love for any minorities. To imply that liberals were against the Civil rights act, the voting rights act etc.. and that it was championed by conservatives is interesting to say the least.

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History bares me out Race.

It's a sad truth that republicans have worked hard for equal rights.

Democrats on the other hand have done all that they can to make sure that minorities are beholden to them, race preferences, which is another way to say that you can't do it yourself, and welfare, another way of saying you can't do it yourself.

Welfare has DESTROYED the black family unit, I believe the last study done said 73% of black children are born OUT of wedlock to a single mother. I find that sad, and the democrat party with their welfare programs have been the main cause, in my opinion. If you are a single mother, you get money, if you have more children, you get more free money, and it has worked out rather well for the democrats, they get a huge voting block that is beholden to them, and at the same time, destroy the family unit that they claim they love so much.

Conservatives(republicans), here, help YOURSELF.

Liberals(democrats) Here, let me help you.

There is a HUGE difference.

Conservatives believe the individual is the best person to know what they need and want, all they need is the freedom and opportunity to do it, and the money, ID: tax cuts.

Liberals beleive that the individual is incapable of taking care of themselves, and that they need mommy government to take care of them. So, they take money from those that have it and redistribute it to those they think are incapable of getting it on their own.

Who are the racists, those who believe that if you are given the opportunity, you can help yourself, or those who believe that you are incapable of doing it yourself?

You know the way I vote, I like to be left alone.

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Yes I know the way you vote and I do not beleive you have a racist bone in your body. I do think you have an idealized vision of what your party stands for. I draw a disticnt line between what is progressive political thought(what some of you call liberalism) and the Democratic party.

I too feel that given a fair chance the individual can succede on there own Jag. However I am less optimistic than you are about what some people consider a fair chance. For example women and minorities had been shut out of the old boys network and regardless of education, as recently as the early 60's were denied the opportunity for jobs in corporate america. The glass ceiling is not a myth. Oil executives just a few years back sitting in a board meeting telling nigger jokes, some of whom who probably have great influence in hiring. A recent study done by Harvard B school that indicated applicants with African_American sounding names had a fifty percent lower chance of being contacted for an interview, than applicants with anglisized names. To me all these things point to an uneven playing field. Now any attempt to even the playing field is attacked as unfair. I say where were all these defenders of fairness when women and minorties werw getting the shaft?

It is an oversimplification to say that liberals beleive "we" can't do it for ourselves. It is our recognition that left to thier own devices their those who would continue the same hiring practices that preceded the Bakke case.

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I would like to add that I appreciate the tone of this debate. We can agree to disagree and so far this thread has demonstrated this admirably> Though I rarely agree with some of my conservative brethren on this board I am always anxious to hear what they have to say on an issue and welcome the chance to discuss it without being insulted. Again thanks for the civility.

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I have to say that I am rather impressed with how this is going as well.

The debate has been respectful, poigniant, and without any malice that I have seen.

We have each made our points without belittling those that disagree with us etc.

I am very impressed, and relieved actually!!

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As a European, I've never understood how 'Liberal' is used in the US as a term of abuse. Could someone enlighten me please?

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quote:

Originally posted by vic:

As a European, I've never understood how 'Liberal' is used in the US as a term of abuse. Could someone enlighten me please?

The United States thrives on capitalism: the individual accumulation of wealth. Liberals believe in the involuntary redistribution of that wealth.

An influential liberal is perceived to be someone who acquired his money easily. He cannot fathom the idea of people actually working hard and sacrificing much to gain wealth. Consequently, the liberal feels so guilty that he gives much of his wealth away and expects all other "fortunate" individuals to do the same.

Others, though, believe people must earn what they acquire to appreciate it ... take care of it ... improve it. Their tale is that of the Little Red Hen. They see a liberal as the defender of the lazy, the anti-social, and the immoral.

Capitalists refuse to coddle such people. Which is fine by me. Where capitalists go wrong is when they resort to unethical practices to acquire their wealth. Which, unfortunately, has happened all too often in American history.

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quote:

Originally posted by Marvin:

The lazy, the anti-social, and the immoral.


Hey what's the big idea exposing my secret here!!!

quote:

Capitalists refuse to coddle such people. Which is fine by me. Where capitalists go wrong is when they resort to unethical practices to acquire their wealth. Which, unfortunately, has happened all too often in American history.

Yeah like ENRON and WORLDCOM and that's just the tip of the iceberg. While the workers are damn hard at work putting their life's blood into those companies the CEO's and EXECUTIVES are out diddling with the books and profits and playing golf. Those kind of capitalists should be put 10 years in an old fashion southern chain gang!!!

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Marvins explanation is an example of both oversimplification and stereotype. To indicate that so called rich liberals came by thier money without effort is an example of the worst kind of thinking.

If I were to pursue that line of reasonong in analyzing the "without guilt" conservative, I might posit they are without guilt because they are without conscience.It is for that reason they can acquire so much wealth at the expense of others misfortune or thier greed.

That too is an oversimplification that is inaccurate. Too often some of my conservo buddies are too quick to find a simple answer to a complex problem/situation. Marvin has done that here.

It also explains in part our short sided foreign policy and as a result we now must go hat in hand to the very people we were deriding and marginalizing several months ago.(France and Germany)

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quote:

Originally posted by Race Bannon IV:

Marvins explanation is an example of both oversimplification and stereotype.

I could make it more complicated and more realistic. But, then, nobody would read it.

Except maybe some university student who needs to borrow a thesis.

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quote:

If I were to pursue that line of reasonong in analyzing the "without guilt" conservative, I might posit they are without guilt because they are without conscience.It is for that reason they can acquire so much wealth at the expense of others misfortune or thier greed.

That too is an oversimplification that is inaccurate.

I would say that many (not just "without guilt conservatives") who have large sums of money "without guilt" used to be called a Philanthropist. They would donate large sums of money for grand civic endowments because of tax credits and a desire to give something back to the community. However, today, we overtax and waste the money. Why should anyone want to give when the government is already taking more in the name of the same causes that the philanthropists used to support in the first place?

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quote:

By Steve

I would say that many (not just "without guilt conservatives") who have large sums of money "without guilt" used to be called a Philanthropist. They would donate large sums of money for grand civic endowments because of tax credits and a desire to give something back to the community. However, today, we overtax and waste the money. Why should anyone want to give when the government is already taking more in the name of the same causes that the philanthropists used to support in the first place?


And I would say that you have that EXACTLY right!!

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I hope that both of you guys will notice that statement was made to illustrate a point I disagree with. The agency I work with recieves significant funding from philanthropists whose desire to give isn't curbed by a disagreement with government.

Not giving for that reason goes against true philanthropy. The situational philanthropy you refer to is just that, situational. If thats the way they feel let'em keep thier damn money.

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quote:

Originally posted by Steve Schacher:

Also known as "affluenza."

Pardon me for being obtuse but you will have to explain that term.

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quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by vic:

As a European, I've never understood how 'Liberal' is used in the US as a term of abuse. Could someone enlighten me please?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The United States thrives on capitalism: the individual accumulation of wealth. Liberals believe in the involuntary redistribution of that wealth.

An influential liberal is perceived to be someone who acquired his money easily. He cannot fathom the idea of people actually working hard and sacrificing much to gain wealth. Consequently, the liberal feels so guilty that he gives much of his wealth away and expects all other "fortunate" individuals to do the same.

Others, though, believe people must earn what they acquire to appreciate it ... take care of it ... improve it. Their tale is that of the Little Red Hen. They see a liberal as the defender of the lazy, the anti-social, and the immoral.

Capitalists refuse to coddle such people. Which is fine by me. Where capitalists go wrong is when they resort to unethical practices to acquire their wealth. Which, unfortunately, has happened all too often in American history.


I work hard six days out of every week of my life. I have done so ever since I was the age of sixteen. I am a liberal and I understand that working hard is the way to earn wealth. Thus your /massive/ generalization about "liberals" is wrong in this case, and doubtlessly in many others.

If I have noticed one thing about liberals and conseritives it is that they both have very general views about the others. "Liberals" seem to consider the other half to be "hicks" and gun toating sister screwing idiots. I'm sorry to say but all the right wings I know are EXTREMELY well read and either small business owners or investers. Most of them are smarter than I am but are willing to teach me.

At the same time when they get into politics with me they seem to consider liberals tree hugging facist/communists that want to turn America into Mother Russia. This isn't the case with any liberals I know, because they all want freedom for everyone just as much as anyone else.

I really don't understand why there is so much hate between the two parties, since we are ALL Americans. I love my brothers and sisters regardless of what they believe because THEY have the RIGHT to believe in what ever they want! It isn't liberal to take away freedom, and it isn't conservative to horde all your money and screw everything in your path to get more. THESE traits are NOT attached to political parties my friends. These traits are attached to PEOPLE in those parties that seem to stand out. Some of these traits aren't even found in the other party.

I'm really not trying to get into politics with you guys. I'm just trying to say that both of you are wrong about the other in so many ways that it is very sad in my eyes. Why do you have to hate each other so much just because you have diffrent views? Marvin you may not realize it but your words are very hateful and would be filled with slander were they spoken instead of written. I do not defend the lazy or the immoral. I believe that everyone should do there part to help out those that can't take care of themselves or need help getting on their feet. It is OBVIOUS to everyone that wellfare is abused to the extreme, but the IDEA of wellfare is worth beleaving in. I believe that everyone should be able to protect themselves with whatever weapons they want, but in truth I see children killing each other with their parents guns. Killing their parents, or friends, and ruining the lives of their family, and their own lives. I've never seen a news story talking about how someone used a gun to defend himself in his own home. Then again I've never seen a non-liberal news channel ;P willing to report it.

Jagur you say you don't know any racist conservatives well I tell you that almost all of the ones I know ARE racist to one degree or another. Some of them extremely so, the same small business owners. Regardless I also know a lot of racist liberals, so I don't really think racism has anything to do with politics other than being used as a tool.

As for liberals having no brains, that is an insult indeed. I have the right to believe in what I would believe, would you have that right taken from me? Would you call me stupid, or small brained for having my own opinion? Would you call me opressive for wanting to help people by paying whatever tax the government lays upon me without complaint?

What do you think those mothers with all those children would do if suddenly welfare disappeared and they no longer had that money? The homeless rate would sky rocket instantly, and no one would want to hire a mother with 6 kids. Nor would they want to hire those 6 children. I would be interested in whatever idea you have for those seven human beings, now that they have become addicted to my money and yours keeping them alive. I REALLY have no idea, honestly.

quote:

There were a multitude of reasons for attacking of Iraq. Liberals would have you have believe that there was but one, and it was incorrect. Saddam harboured terrorists, opressed (and even murdered) his people, was a continuing threat to our allies (including Isreal), and had an ongoing weapons development program.


Liberals aren't arch evil enemies that try to make everyone believe what they want. I wouldn't have you believe anything other than what you want to believe. Honestly I think Bush was wrong when he focused on the WOMD crap. Who cares if he has such weapons, he would never have the balls to use them. If he was going to give them to terrorist he would have already done so before. I love Bush, because sent our troops to Iraq (my brother included) and FREED those people. He saved countless lives, those soliders saved countless lives. He did something his Father couldn't do because of bad public opinion after the "Highway of Death" thing. He finished Sadam off and gave Iraq a chance to really breath and free itself. I just hope they can continue down that path to freedom with or without our help.

Vic, liberal is a massive generalization that puts something like half the people in the United States under a single heading. I find it to be bullshit when it is used to bash people, because half the population of the United States isn't exactly the same, nor is the other half. So Vic, I place "liberal", when used like the term above, under the "ignorant" category. However I also place the term "conservative" into the same category when used to describe the other half of the population. Of course half the popluation isn't really conservatives or liberal. It is a mixed bag of ideas which makes up America. It is just the more vocal people that give one side or the other a bad name. I mean, shyte Howard Stern is suposed to be a "liberal". I don't want to be compared to him!

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