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What is a conservative ?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by otago, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. Bud2998

    Bud2998 Bud the Ironfist

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    I'm not so sure I can agree with this. Many conservatives today abhor at some of the status quo as of right now, for example a good portion of self-described conservatives do call for social security to be privatized which would be quite a change.

    To be honest, a label as relative as "conservative" or "liberal" will vary greatly depending on whom you are speaking with. In American terms, however, I'd say a conservative is generally one who believes strongly in the free market system without thinking there needs to be very many regulations in place for it to work most effectively. Therefore, you'll see many advocating for the privatization of programs such as social security. This also coincides with advocating a smaller government and less government spending (with the notable exception of neo-conservatives), less welfare, etc. Just this alone, of course, would include a lot of libertarians as well, so there's more to it than just that - most conservatives also support, or at least personally admire, more traditional social values, which can include making references to Christianity more pervasive in school, courts, etc., a greater advocacy for gun ownership / rights, a more traditional view of marriage (namely in the opposition to homosexual marriages), and among others.
     
  2. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

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    Conservative in American politics means:

    • Strong nationalistic tendancies
      This manifests itself in various ways, including:
      • Advocacy for beligerent foreign policy behaviors
      • Curbing citizen behavior and expression when threatening state supremecy (anti flag burning laws, etc)
    • A theocratic based concept of social norms and ethics, which translates into advocating theocratic government actions (placing "Under God" in the pledge of alligiance, ban on gay marriage, etc)
    • Property rights are considered superior to human wealfare
    • Absolutist, and zero sum aproach to ethical issues. An eye for an eye, and other such simplistic euphamisms effectively sums up the moral depth of conservative ideology.


    Not all American conservatives will subscribe to this entire list (but many do). However to be a conservative in America one of these bullets must be the most pertinent issue when it comes to politics. It is a bizzare alliance actually, as the Theocrats and Free Marketers come into conflict very often. But it is the way politics in the US have played out, and to be a conservative you must either be fiercely nationalistic, consider property rights superior to societal welfare, be inclined toward theocratic legislation, or be limited to Stage 1-3 Moral Reasoning (usually itself tied to fierce nationalism, theocracy, or property rights; simply because being inclined to consider higher level --stage 4-6 moral cognition-- does not lend itself to these tenents) to consider oneself conservative in modern American Politics.
     
  3. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    What it really means, and what it means in the current American political/social/economic/religious context are entirely different things. The people who have laid claim to the name conservative in America in recent times do not fit much of any actual definition that would, in and of itself, describe conservatives. However that's what they're called, so we're stuck with the name.
     
  4. phungus420

    phungus420 Deity

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    I personally find this line of reasoning irrelevant. Words have meaning because they are accepted standards of categorizing sounds (or other medium such as hand gestures or visual representations) in order to share information with other humans. If you are in the US, and someone tells you they are conservative, they do not mean to say they wish to conserve the status quo, they mean they are fiercely nationalistic, theocratic, or believe property rights supercede social wealfare.
     
  5. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    But not always. JerichoHill would call himself a conservative, but, IIRC, would not meet your other descriptors.

    How if a person SCREAMED that they are a conservative, as many do, then you would be right. And that's the problem in America today. The people who are most in your face demanding that they are conservatives really are not. But what else are we to call them?
     
  6. jessiecat

    jessiecat Divine Monarch

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  7. jessiecat

    jessiecat Divine Monarch

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    Fools?
     
  8. mrt144

    mrt144 Deity

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    of a bygone era.
     
  9. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    As a great man once said "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward."
     
  10. AngryZealot

    AngryZealot King

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    Not all conservatives obviously, but it covers a significant portion of them.
     
  11. amadeus

    amadeus Civ2 / Law and Order!

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    It is also stupid and simplistic... I could write an opposite one for all of the statists out there, but that would be the same only with an opposite political slant.
     
  12. BasketCase

    BasketCase Username sez it all

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    Heheh. Check out what I found.

    Wikipedia for Conservatives

    Now, before anybody goes crying foul--this is no different from Mother Jones or the San Francisco Guardian. And it sums up (in far fewer words) what I pointed out in my last post. There's no one thing that makes a person a conservative, because from Conservapedia and from these recent town hall protests over health care, it's clear conservatives are learning how to protest loudly and whack people on the heads with picket signs.
     
  13. Miles Teg

    Miles Teg Nuclear Powered Mentat

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    It is however a decent satire of the people who don't feel the government is capable of doing anything efficiently, just as your version would probably do the same for the private sector.
     
  14. AngryZealot

    AngryZealot King

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    And I would totally agree with you. But in America at least, a sizeable portion of "conservatives" don't appear to know what they're conservative about. They hate some imaginary beast but can't explain it in any tangible terms. I would argue they're not technically conservatives, but they call themselves that and I don't have a better term. PPP did a poll that found 39% of voters (62% of Republicans) think the government should stay out of medicare. Obviously that makes no sense whatsoever, but it is what it is.
     
  15. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    The real meaning of the term has long since been lost in translation. Originally, it meant a person who tended to consume less, thus saving more resources for the long term.

    Now it's tied to something much less noble and has very little to do with conservation.
     
  16. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    :lol:
     
  17. storical

    storical Prince

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    The status quo may change not to our liking, through the fault of the liberals. They could fix things right but their proposals are radical to say the least. They are trying to fix things too fast too soon. Americans seem to know when something just seems fishy, even liberal supporters will realize before long. Sometimes by trying to help everyone you end up hurting everyone, no matter how valid the intentions may be. Too many loopholes in their proposals for disaster, on the outside they seem like good ideas, until you look at the consequences of the outcomes in depth.
     
  18. Phlegmak

    Phlegmak Deity

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    Man, where have you been? Conservapedia is already world famous. It's also an amazing load of craziness. For giggles, I looked at this recently:

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Same_sex_marriage

     
  19. Gustave5436

    Gustave5436 Emperor

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    Statists are by definition conservative (or, in some cases, reactionary).
     

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