I used to carpool with an old, blind professor to the small college I attended and he use to tell me, paraphrasing Gore Vidal, that politics came from two words: poli, meaning many, and tics, meaning blood sucking vermin. Unfortunately, his somewhat suspect etymology, while proving technically untenable, has turned out to be largely correct in principle.
In American politics, where power has become everything, ideology has become a bastard step-child. American politicians think more about how they can fool the masses or get around popular democracy to further their ends than they do about what they truly believe in, if they actually believe in anything?
Of course, it is not my intent to sweep every single politician under the bus with a broad brush, so for this hub it must be understood that I am speaking in general terms.
Two Major Ideologies: Liberal and Conservative
There are two major ideologies in American politics. Understanding these helps us understand each other politically and enables us to make sense of what at times seems senseless. These ideologies are labeled conservative and liberal. Although these terms have changed definitions over the years, I will use them as they are currently defined.
If you took a strip of paper that was blue on one end and gradually changed colors until it was red at the other end, you would end up with a spectrum of colors. At some point toward the center of the strip you could get into a few arguments as to whether the color was red, purple, or blue. It is that way with the liberal and conservative ideologies, so I will be concentrating on the ends of the strip, so to speak, and not the middle.
Conservative Vs. Liberal
At the core of it, Conservatives base there ideology on what they see as reason and logic and it is individualistic by nature, whereas a liberal's ideology is based on emotion and ideals and is collective by nature. A liberal is interested in curing society's ills by social engineering. A conservative is interested in curing society's ills by individuals exercising their own choices to better themselves. Because of this, conservatives view centralized power with deep suspicion. Liberals on the other hand see centralized power as an opportunity to affect great change for good.
The Role of Government
Because of the fundamental differences in the way conservatives and liberals approach the solutions to society's challenges, it should come as no surprise that they have radically different views on the role of government.
The Liberal View
A liberal wants the government deeply involved in our lives. It is often seen as a parent to us all—or the big tent. They believe that the government can force society to confront its ills and legislate and enforce the cures. A liberal point of view diminishes the individual's responsibility and believes people are victims or victimizers. This point of view does not see individuals as having power to rise above their circumstances in large numbers and therefore a savior must be found to "level the playing field."
They point to the example of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Without government intervention, they argue, the rights of minorities would never have been acknowledged nor would there be equal rights for all. In fact the civil rights movement is the basis of the modern liberal's political ideology, and proof that it is essentially correct.
This conviction motivates them to use all means available to impose their vision of goodness on the masses. If they can't get the populous to support their agenda then they will get the courts to legislate it. This is because they firmly believe that their agenda is for the greater good of society.
Liberalism is naturally sympathetic with socialism and suspicious of individualism and even though it shares the same long-term goals as conservatism it's approach, as you can see, is radically different.
The Conservative View
Even though the conservatives share with liberals the desire for a better society, they differ sharply in what role the government should play. In a nutshell, conservatives view the role of government as "the less the better." Since they see the combined strength and sufficiency of the individual as the only honest cure for society they believe that the role of government should be restricted to functions that support and protect individual liberty. They are very suspicious of government interference in individual rights, and they do not see differences in socioeconomic groups as a bad thing since, in their view, it is every individual's right to change those circumstances by choice and action.
They view the government's attempts at redistribution of wealth through its tax codes, its interference in commerce by regulations, and its welfare entitlements as enabling individuals to shirk responsibility for their own lives and rely on the government to take care of them. They reason that the more the government takes responsibility for his or her well being away from the individual, the weaker and more dependent society will become.
At this point in American politics the two ideologies have taken a back seat to power, but if they were brought to bear on our government which would be the best: Socialist Democracy, or an independent go-it-alone capitalist democracy? I would submit to you that the extremes of both ideologies are dangerous and would deepen problems in American society and that one, tempered with the other, might be the best ideology of all.
For example: if we have a struggling class in America, we could provided training opportunities for people who wanted to succeed and would put forth efforts on their own behalf instead of entitlement programs that accomplish nothing and consume copious amounts of money? Along with such programs would also come the responsibility for the recipients to put forth efforts on behalf of their own welfare.
We need to have a heart that includes tough love and foresight, one that looks at America's opportunities and does not retreat into a defensive posture from the world around it. One that can realize the true nature of the threats against America and America's way of life. Not a vision that feels good at the thought of America sinking down to the level of the third world, but instead one that forges on a head and shows the way for the third world to follow.
America must continue to provide unparalleled opportunities, but not bend to whiners and self proclaimed victims who want to short-cut the system and reap benefits they never earned. We must in sympathy try to teach fishing, quit giving fish and realize that poverty is not always the rich or the government's fault. But we must not march on, leaving people behind who, with a little instruction and help, can become productive and successful. In doing this we must also have the heart firm enough to leave those behind who refuse all help and demand instead to be fed from the public coffer's without a contribution of their own.
We must leave classism, racism, and bigotry behind, regardless if it is the old-school-hard-hearted variety wacky right, or the soft feel-good, guilt-washing, variety of the wacky left. No class of Americans should be punished or be held back based on the color of their skin in order to "even the score." We need to let go of power and take hold of responsibility; quit giving the media oracle status, and get the job done.
jon ewall on June 30, 2017:
I enjoyed your hub as informative.
Conservatives believe in Capitalism where as Liberals believe in socialism Simply a clash of the ideologies.
WTP Elect both to Congress to serve the needs of ALL Citzens .Obamacare is failing our citizens, that is fact. One must ask , why can't the two ideologies work TOGETHER to solve the problems?
WTP in 2018, will have an oppurtunity to speak by going to the poll and vote.WTP before voting need to need to review our officials voting records. The question is : Are they voting for the people or the party?
Let your voice be heard loud https://twitter.com/dcexaminer/status/872983111612...
ELECTION 2018 https://votesmart.org KNOW your official VOTING RECORD check it https://twitter.com/HouseDemocrats/status/86778349... your vote ?? ‘
rudrakshi on June 30, 2017:
This is helpful
Johng143 on August 09, 2016:
You are my inspiration , I have few web logs and very sporadically run out from to brand. febcaakccgek
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on December 20, 2015:
I not only opened with my rejection of the premise of your original Hub, I've addressed every one of your additional posts, point by point. And each point is explained to you why I reject your argument in detail in order to make it perfectly clear to you why and where your argument falls apart. That's what makes the posts longer than you might feel comfortable with.
All your points are being addressed and I'm providing a detailed explanation as to why I think it's false reasoning. In fact...I'm doing that right now. So what exactly is it you talking about now? Any response to what you post is characterized as a "screed". Would you prefer a bumper sticker quip? That's not an ad hominem. That's a quip, about a quip. Now had I added; "Conservative/Republicans all love bumper sticker lines. They replace having to actually think". That would be an ad hominem, because I'm lumping you in with people that don't think.
But it's also faulty reasoning to say All conservative/Republicans love bumper sticker lines, for whatever reason. That's a conclusion drawn, by applying inductive reasoning, and you can never prove something like that. You can't really say "ALL" so and so's, are this or that. How could you prove something like that? That's using Inductive reasoning and you can't prove anything using induction. Inductive reasoning gives us a probability based on a generality but it never provides proof. My impression over the years is that conservatives tend to use inductive reasoning a lot more than liberals, who tend to use deductive reasoning more often than conservatives. Obviously the two views reason differently from one another, and we use only two different methods of reasoning. Inductive and deductive. One gives us a generality, and the other gives us absolute proof.
So... you now employ the very ad hominem fallacious argument that you've been suggesting was coming from me? I understand the ad hominem fallacy. I just gave a demonstration of that. You need to characterize my responses to you, as a screed, which has a negative connotation to it. So you link me to a negative. You haven't addressed anything that I said, you just call the response; a "screed". That's an ad hominem. It's a personal attack and doesn't address any part of what I said. And that is the truth and I lean toward the truth. Not any ideology.
I'm not sure that you know very much about the ad hominem based on the context that you try to place it into. It is important to note that the label “ad hominem” is ambiguous, and that not every kind of ad hominem argument is fallacious. In one sense, an ad hominem argument is an argument in which you offer premises that you the arguer don’t accept, but which you know the listener does accept, in order to show that his position is incoherent (as in, for example, the Euthyphro dilemma...which goes back to Plato. It's very interesting and if you are unaware of it you really should do yourself a favor and become familiar with it. ). There is nothing wrong with this type of argument ad hominem.
The other type of ad hominem argument is a form of genetic fallacy. Arguments of this kind focus not on the evidence for a view but on the character of the person advancing it; ( your reference to my response as a "screed" was an example of using the genetic fallacy to discredit what I was saying rather than addressing the argument.) they seek to discredit positions by discrediting those who hold them. ( A tactic that is in complete control of the Republican Campaigns taking place. So why would you support a party that utilizes a tactic that you abhore? Bye the way; that's an example of an ad hominem if you didn't notice.) It is always important to attack arguments, rather than arguers, and this is where arguments that commit the ad hominem fallacy fall down.
"I stand by my assertions."
-- So, you fail to address any of my criticism's and stand by the holes in your theory. How do you ignore those holes in the theory and ever claim to be honest with yourself? And if you can't be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with? You do know, that is the sign of being an ideologue. When the ideology is more important to you than the truth, you've pretty much swallowed the kool-aid.
Truth matters to some people. I guess that's why we prefer deductive reasoning as our compass to the truth. Generalities don't cut it. Being part of the reality based community makes more sense.
Your Hub is an example of Inductive reasoning. What you've offered is a characterization of something you call a "Liberal Ideology". Ideology is not part of liberal reasoning process. Liberals tend to reason deductively. Ideology falls apart under deductive reasoning. Conservatives tend to be more religious than liberals. Conservatives entertain belief systems. Conservatives invest their religious beliefs into their politics. They reason inductively. Belief systems all require inductive reasoning to exist. Belief systems are always looking for things they feel serve as evidence to justify the belief. But the belief always remains unproven.
Belief systems fall apart under deductive reasoning. It's no secret that liberals tend to be less religious than conservatives. They reason differently. They form deductive syllogisms in their head and follow the premises to the conclusion to determine the truth of the claim. And if there is an error in the process, for the sake of truth, it's pointed out.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on December 19, 2015:
I notice that you have given up on my actual post. As far as this last screed, I stand by my assertions.
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on December 19, 2015:
Oh Brother; are you serious?
This: ad hominem examples: "Apparently that didn't sink in" Not an ad hominem
" I'm sure you can't comprehend that..." Where did I say that? I have a feeling that what I may have said was, "I'm sure you CAN comprehend that'.
"No thinking is required." Is not an ad hominem. It's an example of what takes place when a person adopts a theory of rationality to explain everything. No thinking is required. It's what takes place with a fundamentalist in religion. All the answers are provided to him in the Bible. The theory of rationality has already done the "heavy lifting" of considering the idea in question and providing the position to take for those that accept the theory of rationality.
"You're a fallible human being. That means that your thinking has flaws. If you are a critical thinker then you look for errors and try to eliminate them. Obviously you aren't."...And neither is this. Stating factually that you are a fallible human being, is NOT an ad hominem, any more than saying that you breath in and out is an ad hominem.
"Appeal to Authority: "I Have written a book"... I have. It's a true statement. In fact I've written two. The first book deals with the very topic of discussion; Logic. I studied the subject extensively and wrote a book about it and how we use, (or don't use) logic in our political debates. I've already addressed this earlier.
"To dismiss that by saying that Hitler wrote a book is to dismiss every book ever written because Hitler also wrote a book. Besides, Hitler never wrote a book on logic. We can break your argument down to a syllogism."
P1. Adagio wrote a book on logic
P2. Hitler wrote a book
C: Therefore, Adagios book on logic is invalid in an argument about logic.
That's an example of guilt by association. Guilt by association is the attempt to discredit an idea based upon disfavored people or groups associated with it. This is the reverse of an appeal to misleading Authority.
Hitler was a Catholic,
Therefore Catholicism is wrong
Hitler was a vegetarian.
Therefore, vegetarianism is wrong.
The Nazis were conservationists.
Therefore, conservationism is wrong.
Hitler wrote a book
Therefore, writing a book is wrong
Here's a good example of the Genetic Fallacy that we can see from current events on the Political campaign.
Sure, the media claims that Donald Trump was lying about seeing thousands of Muslims dancing and partying in Jersey City on 9/11. But we all know about the media's credibility, don't we."
If you want to see non-stop ad hominem's just watch Donald Trunp in every speech he makes. Now, the rest of the Republican candidates have picked up on the fact that ad hominem attacks are exactly what the base of the Party wants to hear. So Christie calls the president a feckless weakling. Each of the candidates rips each other, or rips Hillary, or rips Obama with one ad hominem after another. I guess my question would be if you're concerned about the use of ad hominems, why doesn't this bother you? Or does it? The entire Republican campaign is one ad hominem attack followed by another. Today Bush called Trump a "jerk". Is this really the level of political discourse in today's GOP. Get personal and toss out as much Red Meat as you can find at your opponent.
You're playing very loose an fast with your assertion that fallacies are in play. Legitimate criticism does not qualify as an ad hominem. It seems to me that you have perhaps rushed through a website of Logical fallacies and reach for the nearest thing you can find to shout, " Fallacy"!, because it doesn't seem that you know how to apply any of what you have found into the context of the discussion.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on December 19, 2015:
ad hominem examples:
"Apparently that didn't sink in"
" I'm sure you can't comprehend that..."
"No thinking is required."
"You're a fallible human being. That means that your thinking has flaws. If you are a critical thinker then you look for errors and try to eliminate them. Obviously you aren't."
Appeal to Authority:
I Have written a book...
Those are counter examples to the side arguments about fallacies.
As to the main point, if you examine the post again. you will discover that the entire post is not about ideologies but about liberal and conservative views based on ideologies and indeed as I stated in the post, any given individual will fall somewhere on the spectrum between modern conservatism and modern liberalism.
You are failing to connect your argument with the current realities of conservatism when you try to define its classical definition. I stated that in the post. Conservatism is the idea of trying to conserve that which people deem as good and this changes over time. Thus one can't compare the conservatism of the Jim-Crow south with the conservatism of today unless they are driven by an ideology themselves.
Were Fred and Barney closet homosexuals? One could argue that based on the admission of their theme song, "You'll have a gay old time." But of course the meaning of those words have intensified with time.
Indeed, one could argue that Lincoln was a conservative for defending the union while also arguing that Jefferson Davis was a conservative for defending the "southern way of life."
The very terms conservative and liberal are all over the map. What I was intending to convey in my post was the realities of the modern political landscape and the only means to do so is to use fallible words which only approximate thought.
To deny that there is not a real liberal ideology is to claim that no liberals have a system of ideas and ideals, especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.
In the classical since you, yourself have an ideology by your own admission since you claim to study the science of ideas; the study of their origin and nature.
When dealing with words there will never be conclusive proof that one is right since we are only approximating what we actually mean.
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on December 18, 2015:
There's a bit more to this than saying; "This has turned into a wordy exercise of "I'm right, no I'm right" that is rife with logical fallacies on both sides. That is because they are easier to sling than truth." I actually look for the areas in which I could be wrong, and I freely admit that I could be wrong about a host of things. I always do that. I don't have to be right about everything, but I'd prefer not to be wrong if I can avoid it, and I can avoid that by holding my own views up to the same scrutiny as I hold yours. I haven't heard that from you. Is it possible that you could be wrong about something here? Or are you infallibly correct?
"As you are probably aware, brevity is the soul of wit and this exercise has become witless."
I'm aware of what a "maxim" is and that's a maxim. So is this; "If you can't take advice, you can't be helped". I'm not interested in maxims. And I'm not attempting to be "witty". I'm interested in how an idea is presented and whether it stands up to criticism.
"I suggest that if we wish to continue and for the sake of clarity and time that we select one point about my post with which you disagree and succinctly as possible you tell me what it is."
I believe I did that. I told you that I reject the very premise of your Hub. The Ideology of Liberalism. I'm sure you must know that ideologies are fixed. They don't change. Liberalism constantly changes. It never stays in one place long enough to become an ideology. It doesn't cling to traditionalism. It doesn't fear the unknown. Liberalism is a philosophy. I laid out the origins of the modern Conservative movement which you, being a conservative should know is accurate. I also laid out the origins of liberal thought and it's connection to the Enlightenment. Liberalism is committed to science and reason for one thing. Paine wrote the Age of Reason, and Paine was the polar opposite of the conservative anti-Enlightenment figure, Edmund Burke. Conservatism doesn't trust science or reason at all. You can see that from Burke all the way to the Republican Party of today and the people from the party that sit on the science committee in the House.
"anyone following our thread will not glaze over, quit reading and think of us as buffoons."
I don't think that's the case, but why would it matter to you what somebody might think. I think they'd find this very interesting. I reject the premise of your Hub. How's that? I think that you've attempted to compare apples and oranges. I think you're mistaken about what Liberalism is. You correctly cited Conservatism as an ideology but then there must be a Liberal ideology as well, and so you offered your opinion using Loaded Language in describing Liberalism. What you did was create a Straw Man argument. You're trying to draw a comparison between to things that aren't the same species. So in order to debate you on this, you'd assume that another person would argue on the terms that you set. But that's not the case is it. I've stated the difference between Ideology and Philosophy. Do you find anything about what I said problematic? If so, what?
The thing that I really don't understand about what you're saying here, is that I already have addressed each of your points one by one to illustrate where you went wrong. That's why the responses are long. I don't offer up soundbites in a debate. I make my position as clear as I possibly can and that's not going to be done in some short little quip or a couple of sentences. I take these statements and claims by you and others of your persuasion serious enough to give them full consideration and thought. I expect no less from the person I'm debating with. If you have ANY issues with any part of what I've said, besides your objection to the response being long, then say where you find a problem. What is your objection to anything I have said so far? And give me something of substance. Not my posts are too long. Substantively, what do you not agree with?
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on December 18, 2015:
The greatest difference between you and I that I can see, is that I don't define others. I never define conservatives. I'm not a conservative so what would I know about that? So instead, I consult those that know what conservatism is. I go to the source, and I let them define themselves on their own terms. I trace modern conservative thinking back to it's inception and that would be Edmund Burke. From there I've read the works of Russell Kirk who wrote The Conservative Mind in 1953. Kirk was the greatest influence on the thinking of Mr. Conservative himself, Ronald Reagan, who gave Kirk the Medal of Freedom for his work on establishing conservative thought in this country.
I've read Buckley. The contemporary writers like Will, and Sowell, and Krauthammer. I've researched the Heritage Foundation and Dr. Lee Edwards to gain even more insight into the ideology that they embrace and define. In other words, I look for conservatives to tell me about conservatism. After intensive research on the thinking of those that define the ideology, and who explain it in dogmatic terms to the point of establishing a "Canon" of Conservatism, (which is Kirk's term to describe in concrete terms what exactly conservatism is) which amounts to conservative doctrine, I've then determined that their definitions and descriptions are open to criticism as all ideas and ideologies are.
Are there problems within the doctrine? Within the ideology? Yeah there are. Unless of course you believe that it's infallible, there are many. There always are within every ideology because they rely on absolutism. They are all inflexible. Most importantly, they are all foundational. They are all man-made and man is fallible and you cannot derive an infallible product from a fallible source. Yet the ideology cannot be wrong. And the ideologue would never consider questioning that theory of rationality. It's the thing that provides his world view and gives him a sense of certitude. It can't be wrong. It's infallible. To admit that it's just another fallible idea, is to admit that it could be wrong about something, and the ideologue won't go there.
The basic problem with theories of rationality is that they require justification by some authority. Conservatism is a theory of rationality that cannot justify itself as true. What is it based on? What is the authority that makes it a rational idea? It can't be based on itself. No theory can use itself to prove itself. That's circular reasoning and of course a logical fallacy. Conservatism as a theory of rationality cannot withstand criticism precisely because it cannot justify itself. It requires some authority to provide its rationality. And when you ask what that authority is, what you get is another justification which leads to another question of what is the basis for that authority. By now we should see that Conservatism requires bases. It's a foundationalist theory. So the question will always be what is the basis for the basis, as it cannot be its own basis. Every attempt to provide a basis leads to another justification leading to yet another basis, and another justification. It's called Infinite Regress, and you can push this forever without the conservative ever coming up with a final authority which justifies the entire ideology. This explains why they are always on the attack. They can't defend conservatism as a rational theory.
So...they attack liberalism and employ every ad hominem and derogatory personal attack they can come up with to attack anything that might challenge their theory of rationality. The ideology cannot be wrong. It's infallibly correct, and in some cases conservatives will resort to violence when met with any challenge to it's position. We have many examples of that to look at. You can go back to the days of the Civil Rights movement and the violence that took place when the The racist murdering terrorist, Dylann Roof. The shooter (terrorist) at Planned Parenthood. The various fanatical ideologues that have murdered doctors that perform abortions or the bombing of clinics. ( all examples of Christian terrorism) The attack on a Unitarian Church in Knoxville TN by the conservative ideologue, James Atkisson who decided after reading Hannity, Savage and Goldberg that he couldn't get to Obama, so he'd go to where he knew there would be some liberals and killed four before he was disarmed. His complaint? He hated the gays, and the liberals were stopping his welfare checks, so the Liberals were destroying the country according to Hannity, Savage, Goldberg, Levin, Limbaugh...and the rest of that crowd.
Situationally, conservatism is defined as the ideology arising out of a distinct but recurring type of historical situation in which a fundamental challenge is directed at established institutions and in which the supporters of those institutions employ the conservative ideology in their defense. This is exactly how Burke reacted to any challenge to his traditionalistic conservatism. It's reactionary. It's a rejection of science and reason. Thus, conservatism is that system of ideas employed to justify any established social order, no matter where or when it exists, against any fundamental challenge to its nature or being, no matter from what quarter. Conservatism in this sense is possible in the United States today only if there is a basic challenge to existing American institutions which impels their defenders to articulate conservative values.
The Civil Rights movement was a direct challenge to the existing institutions of the time, and conservatism as an ideology is thus a reaction to a system under challenge, a defense of the status – quo
in a period of intense ideological and social conflict.
The very notion of a race of people that was; at our beginnings as a country, only considered to be 3/5’s of a human being, now having equal footing with those that actually believed in this idea, is a direct
challenge to a long held social concept. It denied the idea of white supremacy as legitimate. It’s surprising how many people still cling to this idea, and will go to extreme lengths to perpetuate it.
The idea that a person that could have been your slave at one time, could today be your boss, or even President of the United States, is more than some people can deal with on an emotional level.
White supremacy as an institution is renounced, discredited, and dismantled, and that is a major blow to an existing order, and conservatism is always a reaction to a challenge to an existing order.
These are people that desperately need somebody to look down to in order to validate their own self-worth. “Sure, life is tough. But at least I’m White.” They can no longer rely on a policy that used to be
institutionally enforceable. When that is removed by law, hostility is the result; hostility for those that have been emancipated by law and elevated to equal status, and hostility for the law itself including
those that proposed it and passed it.
Thus, hatred for African-Americans and for the Liberal’s and liberal policies that endorse their equal status is fully embraced by the conservative.
Personally , I can't understand any way of thinking that doesn't employ some degree of self-examination to find the flaws that may undermine it's ideas. If one accepts ones own fallibility, how can you not question the very ideology that you must know is just as fallible and prone to error as you are?
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on December 18, 2015:
I suspect that your referring to this "That makes you an ideologue.", when you offer this; " You spend an inordinate amount of time adding the ad hominem fallacy to your repertoire."
That could be seen as an ad hominem. A debater commits the Ad Hominem Fallacy when he introduces irrelevant personal premisses about his opponent. But is calling you an ideologue irrelevant to this debate over ideology when you demonstrate conclusively that that's exactly how you present yourself?
It is also one of the most used and abused of fallacies, and both justified and unjustified accusations of Ad Hominem abound in any debate. This debate is no different. It is a frequently misidentified fallacy, for many people seem to think that any personal criticism, attack, or insult counts as an ad hominem fallacy. Moreover, in some contexts the phrase "ad hominem" may refer to an ethical lapse, rather than a logical mistake, as it may be a violation of debate etiquette to engage in personalities.
Finally, the phrase "ad hominem argument" is occasionally used to refer to a very different type of argument, namely, one that uses premisses accepted by the opposition to argue for a position. In other words, if you are trying to convince someone of something, using premisses that the person accepts—whether or not you believe them yourself. This is not necessarily a fallacious argument, and is often rhetorically effective. In fact, I used this very approach in presenting the syllogism with the "Hitler wrote a book" premise; which I know that you accept as a valid premise because you used it as part of your argument, to demonstrate your argument as a syllogistic fallacy.
Had I said, Christian Walker is a Conservative, would you have considered that an ad hominem? Probably not, unless it's false. But, if I used that fact (assuming that you are a conservative) as some kind of dismissal it could be. It's called A Circumstantial Ad Hominem, and is one in which some irrelevant personal circumstance surrounding the opposition is offered as evidence against their position. This fallacy is often introduced by phrases such as: "Of course, that's what you'd expect him to say. He's a conservative." The fallacy claims that the only reason why he argues as he does is because of personal circumstances, such as standing to gain from the argument's acceptance.
So, if I say that you're an ideologue is that a dismissal of your argument, or can I demonstrate how what I said is true, and relevant to the debate over ideology? In one of my comments above I pointed to the difference between Ideology v Philosophy. In that comment I pointed out 5 characteristics that illustrate the differences.
Here is a summary of differences between philosophy and ideology.
1.Philosophy refers to a pragmatic approach of looking and analyzing life. Ideology refers to a set of beliefs and rules belonging to a particular group or set of people
2.Philosophy aims at understand the world as it exists whereas ideology is born out of a vision for the future and aims at changing the current state to that particular vision
3.Philosophy is objective whereas ideology is dogmatic and refuses to participate in any discussion that does not agree with that ideology
4.Philosophy does not have as much impact as an ideology would have on the world ‘“ for ideology aims at spreading the beliefs and imposing them on the rest of the society irrespective of its relevance
5.All ideologies have some underlying philosophy but it is not vice versa.
If you notice, I did not set up an Us v Them scenario. I was not pitting conservative v liberal. What I'm showing is the difference between Ideology and Philosophy. It's up to you, or the reader to determine if, or how, conservatism or liberalism fits the description I presented. Now...do you disagree with any of those examples and if so, why?
I pointed out this: "Ideology is rigid and once fixed on certain beliefs, refuses to change its stance irrespective of any change in the surrounding environment. Challenging an ideologue can be the most difficult task. " "Ideology discourages any thinking that goes against the basic doctrines that govern the ideology". Do you disagree with that statement? If so, why?
Finally this: "Philosophy is objective whereas an ideologue will always impose his or her ideology’s vision and discard anything against it."
You demonstrated that very thing in your Hub. You defined Conservative ideology in positive terms and what you called "Liberal Ideology" in negative terms. It's pretty easy to see where you stand ideologically speaking. You buy into the Conservative Ideology, which makes you an ideologue. Yes, you're a conservative, but conservatism is an ideology so you accept and adopt ideological thinking according to a conservative persuasion. Is anything about that not true?
Now if I dismiss you by saying, "well, he's a conservative, or he's an ideologue, so what would you expect him to say?", that would be an ad hominem. To use some attribute of yours or personality trait or thought process that you use as evidence against you in a debate....that would be an ad hominem. But I'm not doing any of that. I'm pointing out that you are indeed an ideologue and you applied your conservative ideology to your Hub. So your Hub regarding Ideology has a Conservative bias to it. BTW throughout your Hub you used a fallacy known as "loaded language". Here's evidence of that very fallacy:
Speaking of so-called, "Liberal Ideology"
"They believe that the government can force society to confront its ills and legislate and enforce the cures. A liberal point of view diminishes the individual's responsibility and believes people are victims or victimizers. This point of view does not see individuals as having power to rise above their circumstances in large numbers and therefore a savior must be found to "level the playing field." "This conviction motivates them to use all means available to impose their vision of goodness on the masses. If they can't get the populous to support their agenda then they will get the courts to legislate it. This is because they firmly believe that their agenda is for the greater good of society."
Sounds very spooky, and no doubt it's designed to cast liberalism in a negative light. But for you to define how liberals think when you aren't a liberal and can't possibly understand that thought process beyond the stereotyping that is straight out of a conservative theory of rationality, is simply speaking out of ignorance. Did some Liberal tell you that this is what liberalism is about? I doubt it because a liberal wouldn't be that foolish. So if not, then who?
The biggest mistake I find in your Hub and which I find to be a recurring trait of conservatives, is the need to define others and tell them how they think, as if they have some psychic abilities that go with being a conservative.
By contrast here's your take on Conservative Ideology:
"They view the government's attempts at redistribution of wealth through its tax codes, its interference in commerce by regulations, and its welfare entitlements as enabling individuals to shirk responsibility for their own lives and rely on the government to take care of them. They reason that the more the government takes responsibility for his or her well being away from the individual, the weaker and more dependent society will become."
Your conservative ideological position casts conservatism as a positive alternative to your negative description of Liberalism.
To contrast our two different approaches, I rejected your premise of a Liberal Ideology as being real, and presented Liberalism as a Philosophy and demonstrated why that's the case. I then contrasted ideology with philosophy and showed how they are different. In short, I've rejected the basic premise of your Hub.
You failed to point out how anything I posted was false or misleading or any other description you might come up with. Instead your claim is that I'm obfuscating and that's because my responses are long and detailed, as if there is any logic involved in that claim.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on December 18, 2015:
Writing only makes one a writer in the most concrete way. This has turned into a wordy exercise of "I'm right, no I'm right" that is rife with logical fallacies on both sides. That is because they are easier to sling than truth.
As you are probably aware, brevity is the soul of wit and this exercise has become witless. So instead of trading insults, I suggest that if we wish to continue and for the sake of clarity and time that we select one point about my post with which you disagree and succinctly as possible you tell me what it is.
We can move through all of your points one by one in this manner and anyone following our thread will not glaze over, quit reading and think of us as buffoons.
I will then reply in kind and we can have a discussion, otherwise this exchange is devolving into silliness for both of us.
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on December 18, 2015:
Hehe,,..Dude, You don't even know what my argument is. You're an ideologue and you've demonstrated that. In a post above I said this: "Ideology is rigid and once fixed on certain beliefs, refuses to change its stance irrespective of any change in the surrounding environment. Challenging an ideologue can be the most difficult task."
You've certainly demonstrated how that above statement fits you like a glove.
" as far as your obfuscation goes, one only has to look at the length and wordiness of your posts to recognize what you are doing."
You're saying that the length of my posts is evidence of obfuscation?? Obfuscation is the obscuring of intended meaning in communication, making the message confusing, willfully ambiguous, or harder to understand. What part of what I've written don't you understand? It's all very plain English which I assumed was your native language.
I am a writer. I write, and when I respond to something somebody else has said, I respond to every point they bring up, just as I'm doing now. And somehow you see that as a deliberate obfuscation on my part? I've responded to everything you brought up in as complete detail as you could hope for, leaving nothing unaddressed. I'm about as far from obfuscation as one can get, but apparently you have some comprehension issues.
Take this for example: You say; "I am unimpressed by the mere fact that you have written a book, Hitler also wrote one. That is an appeal to authority fallacy."
You seem to marinate in attempts to point out logical fallacy's yet you misread their applications over and over, just like this one. Argumentum ad Verecundiam is the Appeal to Authority. And if I were citing Tarski, or Goedel, or Bertrand Russell, that would be an appeal to authority. But I'm not. I'm actually offering my own credentials as they pertain to the very thing we're talking about. I have studied the subject. I have written a book on this very subject, and to dismiss that by saying that Hitler wrote a book is to dismiss every book ever written because Hitler also wrote a book. Besides, Hitler never wrote a book on logic. We can break your argument down to a syllogism.
P1. Adagio wrote a book on logic
P2. Hitler wrote a book
C: Therefore, Adagios book on logic is invalid in an argument about logic.
A Negative conclusion from affirmative premises is a syllogistic fallacy committed when a categorical syllogism has a negative conclusion yet both premises are affirmative. The inability of affirmative premises to reach a negative conclusion is usually cited as one of the basic rules of constructing a valid categorical syllogism. What you offer with your remark is a syllogistic fallacy.
If you want to dismiss my own credentials regarding the use of logic, you'll need to do it in a logical form. Logic is not opinion.
The informal fallacy (Argumentum ad Verecundiam )occurs only when the authority cited either (a) is not an authority, or (b) is not an authority on the subject on which he is being cited. If someone either isn’t an authority at all, or isn’t an authority on the subject about which they’re speaking, then that undermines the value of their testimony.
There would be a simple way of dismissing my credentials on this subject and that would be to use logic itself to demonstrate how that might be the case. But you haven't done that. You claim a series of fallacies but fail to demonstrate how and why anything I'm saying applies to your claim. What you offer as evidence of obfuscation is this:
"The inability to make a point without writing the equivalent of War and Peace is, in itself, sufficient evidence to support my claim that you are obfuscating."
Again we can put that in syllogistic form.
P1 All long responses are evidence of obfuscation.
P2 Adagio writes long responses
C:Therefore, Adagio is obfuscating.
In a deductive syllogism, if the premises are true, the conclusion must also be true.
P1. is simply false. Obfuscation is not determined by the length of a response. Great examples of obfuscation or obscurantism can be seen in the writing of Derrida. The length of a response does not demonstrate obfuscation. Perhaps you could point out the parts that you find confusing and they could be clarified for you.
p2,may be true, but it may not. The length of my response and the quality or detail of the response go hand in hand. So p2 is subjective. What you think is long, another person may determine as evidence of being thorough.
"You spend an inordinate amount of time adding the ad hominem fallacy to your repertoire. Can you in one paragraph explain wht truth you feel is missing from this post?"
You'll need to point out the ad hominem. Just saying that doesn't make it true. Show me an example of an ad hominem attack on you. So, far, I've demonstrate exactly how there is no truth to what you've posted. And I've applied logic to make that case. I've addressed each of your four paragraphs, while you are asking me to illustrate for you in ONE, why what your saying isn't true. Seriously; you take four paragraphs to complain, and you ask me to address those complaints in one. I don't work that way. I always take every claim point by point as the most effective rebuttal to what somebody has said. If that's too much for you to deal with, then maybe you should find another hobby.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on December 17, 2015:
We could go around and around on this, but the truth is you have failed to make your argument and as far as your obfuscation goes, one only has to look at the length and wordiness of your posts to recognize what you are doing.
I am unimpressed by the mere fact that you have written a book, Hitler also wrote one. That is an appeal to authority fallacy.
The inability to make a point without writing the equivalent of War and Peace is, in itself, sufficient evidence to support my claim that you are obfuscating. This is especially true when over half of what is written is ancillary at best to what might pass as a point.
You spend an inordinate amount of time adding the ad hominem fallacy to your repertoire. Can you in one paragraph explain wht truth you feel is missing from this post?
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on December 17, 2015:
Sorry to disappoint you but I don't have an ideology. I find them confining and narrow and always flawed. I outlined the difference between Ideology and Philosophy for you above. Apparently that didn't sink in. I reject ideological thinking. I prefer philosophy. I'm far more interested in finding Truth, than trying to advance some cause. My college courses were in Philosophy, Logic and Political Science. Your attempts to suggest logical fallacies are abject failures. I doubt that you understand logic at all, but grabbed hold of some terms and then toss them into the ideological salad that you offer in hopes that it might make a difference. I wrote a book titled "Political Logic". It's published by Decent Hill. I'm very well versed on the subject of logic. Logic is essential to every philosophy course. Philosophy requires critical thinking, and that of course requires logic , while ideology is about following some belief system. I'm an atheist and a Critical Rationalist. I don't carry the baggage of belief systems or causes. That means that I don't have an irrational position to defend with more irrationality which is what you demonstrate in your Hub. You're clearly writing from a conservative ideological perspective. I'm not offering a liberal view. I'm simply criticizing what you've written as being based on a false premise. When I do that, you, in the predictable knee jerk way, assume that I'm offering some liberal take on things. But that doesn't make what I'm saying, Liberal. Unless you consider truth and logic to have a liberal bias. You carry a theory of rationality that you apply to whatever situation arises. In doing that, you never have to distinguish between truth and falsity. Your Theory of Rationality does that for you. No heavy lifting of actually having to think is required. For me, I carry the burden of critical thought and apply it to every situation. And that's because the truth matters to me. NOT ideology.
The framework that I come from permits a rationalist to be characterized as one who is willing to entertain any position and holds all his positions including his most basic and fundamental standards, goals, decisions, and basic philosophical position open to criticism; one who never cuts off and argument by resorting to faith or irrational commitment to ideology to justify some belief that has been under severe critical fire. One who is committed, attached, addicted to NO position. I don't think you can say the same thing about yourself. You definitely have a position to defend. You have an ideology that you are attempting to defend irrationally. Every ideology...EVERY ideology has holes in it. That's because they are all man-made, and unless you think that you are "infallible", then you MUST admit that as a fallible human being, you are prone to error. The obvious fallout from that is that you cannot construct an Infallible idea from a fallible source. So...clinging to an ideology as you are doing is an exercise in irrationality. What's more important to you; the Truth, or your ideology?
This isn't liberal dogma. There is nothing political about what I'm saying. What I've done is criticize your characterization as being built on a false premise. You however find that to be a liberal attack on you. Obviously if I don't agree with your conservative nonsense, I must be a liberal by default. I can tell you this much; I'm not a conservative. Conservatism is an ideology and as I've pointed out, I reject ideology.
Take this for example: You say " Ideology is a system of ideas and ideals, especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy. Ideology is downstream from philosophy and to claim that what we call liberalism is not an ideology is false by definition ."
But your definition is false to begin with. Liberalism is a philosophy. The Enlightenment was Liberal thought at its birth. It presented an entirely different way of looking at the world. All ideologies have some underlying philosophy but it is not vice versa. In other words, all philosophies do not have some underlying ideology. There are a variety of ideologies that came out of the Enlightenment. Utilitarianism is one. It was a system based on Consequential Moral reasoning. Marxism is another. Democracy is another. But Liberalism itself is NOT an ideology. It's a philosophy.
"You argument is an obfuscation fallacy. You do not need to burden us with irrelevant rants"
Two points: There is no obfuscation fallacy anywhere to be found. If you're going to make that claim then support it by showing where it exists. Secondly, there is no "rant" taking place. There is a response to your false premise for the Hub you wrote and every word is relevant to your claims.
"This is not a class room and we are not your pupils. Instead of being condescending, why not try to engage."
I am engaging you on this. I'm disagreeing with your claims and I'm showing you why they don't stand up to criticism.
"I reject your conclusions and maintain that the modern-day liberal system of ideas and ideals replaces fatherhood with government."
Spoken like a true ideologue. I reject the premise of your Hub, and I've shown exactly why and where it fails. In response you offer an opinion of a non-existent "liberal" system, and claim that fosters ideas and ideals that replaces "fatherhood, with government" Do you not realize the difference between an opinion based on ideological thinking and the Truth? There is no Liberal system of ideas or ideals. Liberals are all over the map. They have no unified monolithic way of thinking. As a conservative I'm sure you can't comprehend that, because conservatives do have a unified monolithic way of thinking. They hold theories of rationality that has a stated position on every thing that might come before us. No thinking is required. Critical thinking requires that you examine your own way of thinking and to seek out the flaws, and then make the necessary corrections. You're a fallible human being. That means that your thinking has flaws. If you are a critical thinker then you look for errors and try to eliminate them. Obviously you aren't. That makes you an ideologue. Personally I challenge every idea that comes down the pike to see if it holds water, but that's me. I'm interested in the Truth.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on December 17, 2015:
As usual, you follow your liberal ideology and jump up on your gilded soap-box to spew liberal dogma. Ideology is a system of ideas and ideals, especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy. Ideology is downstream from philosophy and to claim that what we call liberalism is not an ideology is false by definition .
You argument is an obfuscation fallacy. You do not need to burden us with irrelevant rants. This is not a class room and we are not your pupils. Instead of being condescending, why not try to engage.
I reject your conclusions and maintain that the modern-day liberal system of ideas and ideals replaces fatherhood with government.
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on December 17, 2015:
"I am personifying the Government exactly as liberals do."
Wrong. You're doing this as you think liberals do.
Here's the fundamental flaw in your Hub: You don't understand the difference between Ideology and Philosophy.
This is for your benefit:
Philosophy vs Ideology
There are very fundamental differences between philosophy and ideology. Ideology refers to a set of beliefs, doctrines that back a certain social institution or a particular organization. Philosophy refers to looking at life in a pragmatic manner and attempting to understand why life is as it is and the principles governing behind it.
Ideology expresses dissatisfaction with the current state and aspires to be some future state whereas philosophy tries to understand the world in its current state. In other words, ideology is aimed at changing the world whereas philosophy is aimed at seeking the truth.
Ideology is rigid and once fixed on certain beliefs, refuses to change its stance irrespective of any change in the surrounding environment. Challenging an ideologue can be the most difficult task. A philosopher, on the other hand, may arrive on some construct for the basis of life and other things but will be willing to discuss and ponder other philosophies. A philosopher is open minded and willing to listen to criticism whereas an ideologue will refute anything challenging his or her ideology outright. This also suggests that while philosophy encourages people to think, ideology discourages any thinking that goes against the basic doctrines that govern the ideology.
The above definitions and differences clearly indicate that philosophy and ideology, if measured on a scale, would occupy two extreme ends of the scale. The purpose of any philosopher is to seek knowledge for the sake of wisdom and truth whereas an ideologue’s sole aim is to advocate and enforce his or her ideology wherever he can.
Philosophy is objective whereas an ideologue will always impose his or her ideology’s vision and discard anything against it. Philosophy requires structured thinking whereas ideology has lot of personal emotions in play.
Philosophy is neither harmful nor helpful as there is no advocacy behind it. On the other hand, an ideology can bring both harm and good to the society. This is because the set of doctrines that govern the ideology may always not serve universal interests and ideology demands advocacy and conversion of other beliefs and thoughts to that particular ideology in order to reign supreme. However, every ideology is born out of some philosophy.
In conclusion, here is a summary of differences between philosophy and ideology.
1.Philosophy refers to a pragmatic approach of looking and analyzing life. Ideology refers to a set of beliefs and rules belonging to a particular group or set of people
2.Philosophy aims at understand the world as it exists whereas ideology is born out of a vision for the future and aims at changing the current state to that particular vision
3.Philosophy is objective whereas ideology is dogmatic and refuses to participate in any discussion that does not agree with that ideology
4.Philosophy does not have as much impact as an ideology would have on the world ‘“ for ideology aims at spreading the beliefs and imposing them on the rest of the society irrespective of its relevance
5.All ideologies have some underlying philosophy but it is not vice versa.
In conclusion; it's clear that Conservatism is an ideology, while liberalism is a philosophy. Conservatism is a construct originating with Anti-Enlightenment traditionalism of Edmund Burke, and Burke was not a philosopher. Liberalism is a product of the Enlightenment and the philosophy of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and others. The philosophy is always open ended, and that's why liberalism is always involved with change. Conservatism is an ideology in which the premise is to maintain the existing institutions. The Status Quo. In other words, the premise of your Hub is false. You've assumed that Liberalism is an ideology. It isn't. Conservatism is. You're attempting to compare apples and oranges. The only thing they have in common is that they're both fruit. Ideology and Philosophy are both ways of thinking, but that's where it ends.
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on December 16, 2015:
"You gave yourself away when you wrote, "Nonsense. Burke is always a topic when discussing Conservatism." To put in in the perspective of my example, it would be like me telling my opponent, "Nonsense. Freud is always a topic when discussing Conservatism." This is a fallacy of composition."
Actually you gave yourself away with this comment. You really do need to brush up on your logic as well. To put this in perspective: "Nonsense. Burke is always a topic when discussing Conservatism." That of course is true, since he is the father of modern conservatism. He's your source. This however; is ridiculous: ""Nonsense. Freud is always a topic when discussing Conservatism." Freud would always be a topic when discussing psychotherapy. Burke is to Conservatism as Freud is to Psychotherapy. Freud however has NOTHING to do with Conservative ideology. Freud isn't involved with politics. How you managed to offer this Non sequitur is beyond me. It does not follow. How could you draw that as an analogy? You offer an argument in which its conclusion does not follow from its premises as some kind of analogy.
And one other thing: You say this: "To a true modern day liberal, the Government is a living entity more powerful and relevant than God."
Are you a liberal? No, I didn't think so. So please tell me how on earth you can speak for what a liberal might believe about anything? Where did you come up with this nonsense? Government as a living entity or God. Wow! You're actually going to tell ME what I think about Government or God?? This seems to be a common affliction with Conservatives. They believe that they're mind readers and they never fail to tell you what it is that you believe. I'll leave with this final bit. You've written this Hub with the stereotypical conservative slant in which you sit at your computer banging out this bilge where you're going to tell everyone how liberals think. You define them on your conservative terms. Of course, your definition falls flat on it's face. On the other hand, I NEVER define Conservatives. Why is that? Because I'm not a Conservative. I let them define themselves and they are always more than willing to do just that. All I do, after they've done it, is hold it up to the light to see where the holes are, and there's plenty. What you fail to understand, is that all ideas are open to criticism. I'm not going to attempt to define the conservative on my terms. They'd just tell me I don't know anything about it. Actually I probably know more about it then they do since I've studied it from the very people that have defined the ideology. Burke, Kirk, Edwards, Buckley. He'll define himself and when he does, that definition is held up to criticism just like any other idea. Do yourself a favor. In the future, don't try to define others. You'll always fail and come off as a hopeless ideologue.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on May 08, 2015:
You are engaging an a straw-man fallacy and mistaking Argumentum verbosium for substance. While discussing the history of conservatism or liberalism for that matter, one could digress to Adam and probably have a pretty good time amusing themselves. However, my hub was not about the history of either.
Let me give you an example. Suppose I disagree with a point someone makes regarding psychology but I do not have a way to directly refute them, so I began quoting Sigmund Freud and point out how mistaken he was on certain points. Then I inform my opponent that his points are wrong since Sigmund Freud is the father of modern Psychology. Not only have I created a straw-man fallacy but I have engaged in the fallacy of composition.
You gave yourself away when you wrote, "Nonsense. Burke is always a topic when discussing Conservatism." To put in in the perspective of my example, it would be like me telling my opponent, "Nonsense. Freud is always a topic when discussing Conservatism." This is a fallacy of composition.
I also noticed that you have added ad hominem arguments to your straw-man fallacy. Just to make things clear, here is a list of fallacies you have used so far.
The Fallacy of Composition
This type of discussion takes us far from my original article. It would be refreshing if you would quote from that article and then make your arguments instead of using the historian's fallacy to create a straw-man argument delivered with Argumentum verbosium and when challenged respond with ad hominem arguments.
One can only hope.
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on April 27, 2015:
"Have you ever heard of the Straw-man fallacy? You have just made an excellent example of it. It is too bad you had to spend so much time setting up Burke so you could knock him down."
Yeah....I'm really well versed in logic. I studied it in college. That's why I know that your assessment of what I wrote is false. The subject of your Hub is "What's a Conservative Ideology and What's a Liberal Ideology? If you're going to answer that question, then it would REALLY be important to know where this stuff comes from. And modern conservatism dates back to Edmund Burke. If you don't know that, you aren't really qualified to answer this question. In short, you can't answer that question without bringing Burke into the discussion which you failed to do. Furthermore, you failed to bring up Russell Kirk and his major book "The Conservative Mind" which was the major influence for Ronald Reagan, who gave Kirk the Medal of Freedom.
"As the prophet of American conservatism, Russell Kirk has taught, nurtured, and inspired a generation. From ... Piety Hill, he reached deep into the roots of American values, writing and editing central works of political philosophy. His intellectual contribution has been a profound act of patriotism. I look forward to the future with anticipation that his work will continue to exert a profound influence in the defense of our values and our cherished civilization.” — Ronald Reagan, 1981.
You say that I didn't address any of your points, (You failed to address any of the arguments and points I have made in the article but spent all of your time attacking Burke who was never even mentioned in the article.) but I did in fact address this very first point that you made: "At the core of it, Conservatives base there ideology on what they see as reason and logic and it is individualistic by nature, whereas a liberal's ideology is based on emotion and ideals and is collective by nature." I answered that about as completely as it gets. And yes, I bring up Burke because as the father of modern conservatism, he refutes catagorically everything you say. It's not based on reason or logic. In fact it stands directly AGAINST reason and logic. He was unimpressed by the human capacity for reason to understand much, let alone to reshape the world in accordance with the particular wills of any generation. You ask me if I know what a Straw man is?? Do you know what Political Science is? How can you pretend to offer a definition of what conservatism or liberalism is without addressing the very origins of these ideas?
"That is classic straw-man. Since you have not refuted any of the points I made in my article there is really nothing more to discuss"
You don't know what a "Straw Man" is, let alone the Truth. Your very first premise was refuted. Can you read? I can see why you wouldn't want to discuss this any further. You're in over your head.
"Burke is a topic for a whole other Hub, one which would be interesting since your take on him is somewhat distorted."
Nonsense. Burke is always a topic when discussing Conservatism. So is Russell Kirk. The Heritage Foundation which I would think that you'd acknowledge as a Conservative Think tank would disagree with you on the significance of both of those men to conservative thought. You would remove the very foundations of conservative thought in a topic on conservatism. Yeah...and I'm supposed to take this seriously?? You also need to brush up on your logic. This is not a straw man.
"Just for your information most modern conservatives do not look at Burke as their founding father (In fact, I'd be surprised if more than 10% even knew who he was.)"
Then they aren't conservatives. They're a hodge- podge foundationalist ideology with no foundation at all. I'm sure that less than 10% even know who Burke was. It never fails for them to talk about stuff that they have no clue about. They don't know the origins of their own thinking. The Heritage Foundation which is the Bastion of Conservative thought would disagree with you. Absorb this: Lee Edwards, Ph.D. Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics The Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity As Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought, Lee Edwards, Ph.D., is Heritage's in-house authority on the U.S. conservative movement.
A leading historian of American conservatism, Edwards is the author or editor of 20 books, including biographies of Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater and Edwin Meese III as well as histories of The Heritage Foundation and the movement as a whole.
This guy has conservative credentials. What are yours?? This guy said this about Russell Kirk who you failed to mention as well: In his lecture on “The Origins of the Modern American Conservative Movement” given to the Heritage Foundation in 2003, Dr. Lee Edwards cited Russell Kirk, author of The Conservative Mind as providing the central idea upon which American conservatism is essentially based, calling it ordered liberty.
Edwards states that “the work established convincingly that there was a tradition of American conservatism that had existed since the Founding of the Republic. With one book, Russell Kirk made conservatism intellectually acceptable in America. Indeed, he gave the conservative movement its name.
Now, if you're going to tell people about conservatism, then I'd suggest going to the source. Conservatives that have an understanding of the roots of the ideology. Where it comes from. What are it's beliefs. What is the Canon, or doctrine of the ideology. I don't define conservatives or liberals. I don't tell others what YOU believe in. And I don't tell anybody what liberals believe in. They believe in a host of things and no two are the same on everything. They don't have a Canon like conservatism does. If I want to know what conservatives believe in I'll look to those that defined the ideology that we know as modern conservatism.
"As I stated in the article the terms liberal and conservative change over time. ."
Conservatism is based on tradition. It resists change. Kirks 6th Canon of conservatism is this: 6. Society must alter slowly. Burke believe that and change would take place Glacially, and that is really
s l o w . Liberalism IS change. It's constantly in motion and often isn't even sure of where it's going. But it's always a challenge to the status - quo.
"No British conservative would have ever dreamed of supporting independence for the colonies"
You're speaking of monarchists. Tory's. Burke the Traditionalist-Conservative,, supported our revolution although he opposed the French Revolution. Burke and the conservative movement in the US are Anti-Enlightenment ideologies. This country was founded on Enlightenment principles based on Locke. Burkes famous book Reflections on the French Revolution was answered by Thomas Paines book "The Rights of Man" which by the way, outsold Burkes book in Europe.
" Neither would any modern Liberal say, out loud," My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
Unless you consider the Declaration of Independence a fairly loud statement, which I think most of us would agree with. That loud statement sits in our national archives. I've seen it.
"The same is true about modern day liberals, they are anything but enlightened. (Except in their own eyes.)"
Or of course when it comes to setting the record straight in pieces like this one that you offered. Let me just say this about that. Modern Liberals are not wedded to an ideology. Meaning this: Conservatives know they are right. Liberals know they could be wrong. Which is more likely to be closer to the truth?
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on April 24, 2015:
I am personifying the Government exactly as liberals do. They want us to believe it is the husband of unwed mothers, the daddy for the fatherless child, the savior of the oppressed only, as you point out, its not.
To a true modern day liberal, the Government is a living entity more powerful and relevant than God.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on April 24, 2015:
Have you ever heard of the Straw-man fallacy? You have just made an excellent example of it. It is too bad you had to spend so much time setting up Burke so you could knock him down. You failed to address any of the arguments and points I have made in the article but spent all of your time attacking Burke who was never even mentioned in the article.
That is classic straw-man. Since you have not refuted any of the points I made in my article there is really nothing more to discuss. If you care to stop flagellating your straw-man and address the points I have made in the article I would then be glad to pick up the debate.
Burke is a topic for a whole other Hub, one which would be interesting since your take on him is somewhat distorted. Just for your information most modern conservatives do not look at Burke as their founding father (In fact, I'd be surprised if more than 10% even knew who he was.) As I stated in the article the terms liberal and conservative change over time. No British conservative would have ever dreamed of supporting independence for the colonies. Neither would any modern Liberal say, out loud," My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
The same is true about modern day liberals, they are anything but enlightened. (Except in their own eyes.)
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on April 24, 2015:
"But isn't it emotion that leads you to believe that the government is less greedy, more honest, and altruistic than we the people?" ---- No. It's an observation. Like noticing that a light bulb is on. There's no emotion involved in that. It isn't the government that is "greedy", or more honest. You speak of government as some kind of thing with a consciousness. It's the people that run it that are greedy and those are the legislators, who pass laws designed to placate those that donate money to their campaigns. I'll give you this much money if you back a bill that I want passed. Ok. Done. That's corruption and greed. That's not the government itself. The government just acts on the laws that are passed.
Larry Allen Brown from Brattleboro Vermont on April 21, 2015:
You say this: "At the core of it, Conservatives base there ideology on what they see as reason and logic and it is individualistic by nature, whereas a liberal's ideology is based on emotion and ideals and is collective by nature."
I wonder if you can tell me where you came up with this? Because, that's not true. Logic and reason play no part in it. I would think that if you were going to define these ideologies you would know something about their origins. Liberalism traces back to the Enlightenment period of Hobbes, John Locke, Descarte and the social contract. Conservatism traces back to Edmund Burke (1729– 1797) who was the philosophical giant of the anti-Enlightenment. This country was founded on the Enlightenment principles of the social contract as laid out by Locke.
When you say this; "Conservatives base there ideology on what they see as reason and logic and it is individualistic by nature"..that's simply not true. Burke is regarded as the father of modern conservatism. I think most people know that, or at least those that have studied political science do. Burke's views are not in line with what you've described at all.The conservative movement goes back to the anti-Enlightenment views of Edmund Burke in the late 1700's. Burke was an Irishman of a Catholic sensibility in believing that the authority of tradition, lies at the core of Christian practice. This stands in stark contrast with Locke's workmanship ideal, with it's emphasis on the sovereignty of each individual's subjective relationship with God. Burke was a traditionalist - conservative. Today, Modern Conservatives look back to Burke as the father of the movement. That’s not me saying this; it’s Conservatives themselves. Thinkers like Burke place individuals as subordinate to society and its traditions.
Burke believed that conserving an imperfect inherited world from the worse imperfections that human beings are capable of contriving is the business of political leadership; hence his emphasis on preserving tradition. He is famous for propounding the doctrine that a Member of Parliament— which he was for a good part of his life— owes it to his constituents not to sacrifice his judgment to conform to their opinions. ( I can certainly see how he would make for a good Republican) He was unimpressed by the human capacity for reason to understand much, let alone to reshape the world in accordance with the particular wills of any generation.
Therefore, the anti-Enlightenment is a rejection of both of the central tenets of the Enlightenment; the commitment to individual rights, and to science and reason. So tradition plays a profound role in the conservative ideology. Conservatism wraps itself in traditional values.
Burke completely rejects the Enlightenment, which of course America was founded upon. Burke really does not have a theory of politics. He does not have a set of premises that you can lay out, conclusions to which he wants to get and then change of reasoning that get him from A to B from the premises to the conclusion. Logic is NOT part of his ideology. There is no theory of politics in Burke. With Kant we talk about universalizability. Locke we talk about this commitment to principles of scientific certainty.
Burke has, rather than a theory, he has an attitude or a disposition, an outlook, and that outlook is informed first and foremost by extreme distrust not only of science, but of anybody who claims to have scientific knowledge.
Burke is a traditionalist conservative. He thinks that tradition is the core of human experience, and he thinks whatever wisdom we have about politics is embedded in the traditions that we have inherited.
What about the commitment to this idea of the importance of individual rights? In Locke's view we're all equal. We're equal in God's sight. He creates us all equally, and we're all also equal in the sense, very important for Locke, that no earthly power has the authority to tell us what the scripture says. Each person must do it for himself, and when they disagree they have to either find a mechanism to manage their disagreement, or if they can't, look for their reward in the next life. But basically each individual is sovereign over themselves. And that's where modern doctrines of individual rights come from. If you don't think that Locke and the Enlightenment was our major influence, consider his basic concept of Life, Liberty, and Property as essential. Jefferson took that and changed Property to the "pursuit of happiness".
Burke has a very, very different view of the idea of rights. First of all, they are inherited. They're not the product of reason or any contrived theoretical formulations. They're inherited. He wrote this:
"You will observe that from Revolution Society to the Magna Carta it has been the uniform policy of our constitution to claim and assert our liberties as an entailed inheritance derived to us from our forefathers, and to be transmitted to posterity — as an estate specially belonging to the people of this kingdom, without any reference whatever to any other more general or prior right. By this means our constitution preserves a unity in so great a diversity of its parts. We have an inheritable crown, an inheritable peerage, and a House of Commons and a people inheriting privileges, franchises, and liberties from a long line of ancestors."
So what we think of when we talk about rights for Burke; the traditionalist-conservative and father of modern conservatism, first of all, they're not human rights or natural rights for him, they are the rights of Englishmen. They're the result of a particular tradition. The idea that there could be universal rights doesn't make any sense. It's not an intelligible question, as far as Burke is concerned. And those rights, above all, are limited. . "Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. Among these wants is to be reckoned the want out of civil society, of a sufficient restraint upon their passions." We have a right to be restrained, a very different notion than a right to create things over which we have authority, a right to be restrained.
In Burke's words; "Society requires not only that the passions of individuals should be subjected, but that even in the mass and body, as well as in the individuals, the inclinations of men should frequently be thwarted, their will controlled, and their passions brought into subjection. This can only be done by a power out of themselves, and not, in the exercise of its function, subject to that will and to those passions which it is its office to bridle and subdue. In this sense the restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights." The restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights. So we have a right to be restrained. We have a right, most importantly, that others are going to be restrained, and that our passion should be controlled is something that he insists is an important part of what we should think of under the general heading of what it is that people have rights to.
Burke says this: "He says, "Once we see that this social contract is multi-generational between the dead, the living, and those who are yet to be born, who are you (any given individual), who are you to think that you can upend it? What gives you the right to pull the rug out from under this centuries-old evolving social contract? What gives you the right to take it away from those who haven't even been born who are part of this (he even uses the word eternal) eternally reproducing social contract." This means that no matter how tyrannical the contract is, you have no right to change it. It preceded you and it will be there when you are gone. Because preserving the traditions and existing institutions is THE CORE of Conservatism.
Buck on February 16, 2015:
Hahjalulel! I needed this-you're my savior.
JON EWALL from usa on December 23, 2014:
Today, we have too many cowards in our government that remain silent as to right from wrong and in direct violations of their oath of office. One must consider who we have elected to the highest office in the land.
8/18/14 Lawsuit:White House Accused Of Hiding Politically Embarrassing Information http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/18/lawsuit-white-ho... still has not provided the information
GEE, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5CsrTMZAhA WHOIS WHO in Gov http://commieblaster.com/progressives/index.html?v... … SHARED AGENDAS BARACK OBAMA
6/4/12 Obama’s Acts Of Treason & Violations Of Federal Laws http://www.nationalwriterssyndicate.com/content/vi... Congress D’s refuse to act?
When and where will it end?
Brad on December 23, 2014:
What we have learned since this hub was posted is that both parties have been responsible for the decline of this country.
Gridlock in congress, and the executive branch acting as the legislature is a failure in the checks and balances of the government.
Because the democrats and the republicans have opposite goals, this leaves the voters of the party that lost the election, without representation of that office in the government.
History shows that over the last one hundred years, and more that the two parties have only moved the country to the left, or the right, but not forward, and even sometimes backwards.
These two parties have failed the country and the people. Nothing can change unless this system is changed, and that means the loyal party voter has to change.
Dale Johnson from Iowa on November 22, 2014:
I loved your comment about "fishing"! That is an excellent metaphor about the differences between the liberal and conservative philosophies. Teaching the underprivileged anything about their value to society is much more desirable than solving their problem for a day by giving them a short term solution.
Sanxuary on June 04, 2014:
I think it naïve to think that you can put the general population into these two terms. If anything that's what these two groups want to make you do to pick a side. In a democracy something we are not, both sides work towards an agreement on whatever agenda. In other words, you can have both points of view and be or not be one of these two things. You could for instance believe in Capital punishment but not the death penalty or be a liberal who is opposed to abortion because you believe all life is precious. In fact I have no idea how you can support abortion and be a Liberal but that is the current view. Most of these current views are Politically driven but I doubt that most people are full pledged members to either ideology. In fact if you think they are, you our probably living a dream. In fact its just two parties of already chosen candidates who do not need your money or your support, they only need your vote on election day. After that they do whatever they want to meet the agendas agreed upon behind closed doors.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on May 15, 2014:
But what you describe is not a liberal but more of a Libertarian.
JON EWALL from usa on May 15, 2014:
YOUR POST WAS MOST INTERESTING '' Our nation needs conservatives and liberals'', that is true. Your description of your view of liberals, I believe is true.
A few years ago, a retired Democrat Senator (Ga ) warned the Democrats that the party was being taken over by radicals in the party. Today, that is true ,Senator Miller ,ret. was right because the leaders of the party are socialist progressives. They don't believe in the Constitution and do not follow the laws of the land. In high offices of the land, they continue to ignore their oaths of office and willfully violate the law
The mainstream media fails to report the truth as to what has occurred in Washington .In Washington, right is wrong and wrong is right.
Will the people who love our country, vote in Nov to remove the scrum presently in Congress (R House D Senate ).
May God Bless America
Geoff on May 15, 2014:
I have to say I really did enjoy reading that. Yes, it was slightly biased, but good and fair without shoving anything down any throats. The comments do have me interested, though. Just the clash of extreme idealogies and the conflict that arises is so interesting. Sometimes you gotta just step down for a little while and go "how does this apply to my life practically?" and stuff. It almost seems like we need to just step down, and be humans (although that's not always good). True good will arise from those who actually make it happen, not from some one elses wishes or commands. It applies to both the economic rich/poor thing (such as should I be forced to give to the poor?), and also with the drugs thing. Should I be forced to not take drugs, or should that be a decision on my old. Like one person pointed out, without rules it all descends to madness. Put in my opinion that would be because they don't have a moral compass to point them. And sadly not many people have that.
Devrie on May 09, 2014:
You don't really understand the liberal view. You got the conservative view right, and that's important; however, liberals don't want the government "deeply imbedded in our lives." We do look at the social context of a nation and we do consider the advantages of giving everyone an equal opportunity to succeed. We want them to have the opportunity, but we're not saying we believe they should all be successful.
That said, many liberals would decriminalize marijuana due to the high level of incarceration that begets a cycle of poverty that leads to a heavy burden on the taxpayer through a higher level of welfare participants, drug-related crime initiatives, and incarcerations rates. We would rather the government not intervene in people's personal vices.
We would also like the government not to be involved in our religion. Some of us are deeply Christian, but would not like the government to allow prayer in schools directed by teachers, because, what if the prayer leader was not a Christian?
We also want the government to stay out of our reproductive discussions with our doctors.
As liberals, we actually do believe in the power of personal achievement, and it's for that reason we believe in helping poor kids get better educations and funding programs that help single-parents get out of their cycle of poverty so that they can add to our economy and society in the positive way that they dream they can.
We are also not "emotional." We look at statistics. We look at the family statistics of people on welfare, the rates of nonviolent offenders in the prison systems, and the number of food stamp users who are working. We look at tax rates for different tax brackets over the years and try to see when the economy most flourished. Most liberals are actually number-nerds.
Our nation needs conservatives and liberals. We need people who don't want to make changes so that they can save tax money. We need the budgeters. We also need people who work for progress and change when the entirety of our nation is not progressing.
To have such a biased approach to describing liberals vs. conservatives does no service. You should consider asking liberals honestly why they believe what they believe, then revise the liberal section to be less biased.
You can keep your description of the conservatives, as I find that to be a very fair description.
JON EWALL from usa on February 15, 2013:
just another side of the debate.NOT THE US GOVERNMENT WE USED TO KNOW ?
Congressional Progressive Caucus
The House passed their 2012 budget in Feb as require by House rules.
Where are the jobs? Check this site. http://majorityleader.gov/JobsTracker/
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on February 09, 2013:
Thou protesteth too much -- The Bard
The idea that liberals desire Government deeply involved--not rooted--in the lives of Americans is self-evident.
Their solution to virtually every societal problem involves the Federal Government in one way or another. Whether it is Gun Control or No Child Left Behind, liberals view the Federal Government as the tool for social, economic, and political justice.
It is a view that most of them own proudly. To fail to understand this is to fail to understand liberalism which is today's term for progressiveness.
Most liberals do not view this as an insult, but you seem to. I would love to hear your reasons why.
John B. on February 09, 2013:
Interesting how quickly I could peg you as a conservative writer. About one sentence into your description of what a liberal thinks is all it took. I have never heard a human being, liberal or otherwise, say, "I want the government deeply rooted in my life." For all your academic air, you're just another pundit, as biased as the next. One of the big things we have wrong in today's debate is that we are too eager to misrepresent the other side. Both sides do it. We have a lot of healing we need to do if we want to continue this American experience. I still believe in "United we stand". I hope you can learn to stop painting caricatures and try some real journalism for a change.
JON EWALL from usa on October 15, 2012:
The second Presidential debate is this coming Tues 10/16/2012.
Paul Ryan VP nominee previews first presidential debate http://video.foxnews.com/v/1869261696001/exclusive...
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on October 14, 2012:
You are correct if you are considering the dictionary definition of liberal, but I am using it as it is commonly used today in reference to American politics.
DJohnson54 on October 13, 2012:
i think you need to look the definition of liberal again because your a little backward
JON EWALL from usa on September 14, 2012:
On Nov. o6,2012, the people will go to the poles and vote for one of two candidates. President Obama is hopeful for a second term, the choices are for more poverty and deficits or a new begining of hope, jobs and prosperity offered by Candidate Mitt Romney
Mark your calendar, on Oct. 03,2012, the first Presidential debate will take place.
email@example.com from upstate, NY on September 14, 2012:
I see what you call "an independent go-it-alone capitalist democracy" as the only system supported by our Constitution. I'm not sure that mixing a little socialism into our government is a good idea because that's how we got to where we are now.
As for helping the poor. I don't believe a prosperous society like America would allow people to starve in the streets if there wasn't a federal safety net! I believe the poor can be best served in their local communities without government meddling. Local Churches and private organizations are better equipped to assess needs provide accountibility than any state or federal program.
JON EWALL from usa on July 22, 2012:
Just one side of the issue.
‘’ The Life of Julia’’, A Obama propaganda Campaign ad Obama’s Vision of the future for America http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&...
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on July 22, 2012:
Let me address a few of your points. I will list your points in quotes with my comments to follow.
"If conservatives believe in individual freedom, why are they the largest proponents of the so called war on drugs?"
To equate drug use with individual freedom is a non sequitur because it only looks at one side of liberty. One must not mistake individual liberty with anarchy.
If the use of illegal drugs had no affect on other peoples liberty, then you would have a point, but the use of illegal and legal drugs causes untold suffering around the people who use them. Individual liberty must be bounded by law in order for it to be effective for everyone.
"Why are they trying to repeal roe vs wade?"
Again, you are narrowly defining individual liberty to the view of those wishing to kill another human being. But, the violence of such an act completely cancels all individual liberty for those babies being killed.
"How come the same people talking about no entitlements and no welfare are the same people who cried 'we're too big to fail'..."
Let's not confuse conservatism with politics. George Bush was not a pure conservative by any means and Obama doesn't even make a pretense at being one. They are both politicians first. Pure conservatism would have allowed failure in these cases as a natural result of poor business practices.
"Conservatives cry about the lame stream media when fox is the largest media agency in the world! I got news for you conservatives, you are the lamestream media."
First of all FOX is only number one among cable news outlets and NOT "in the world".
Everyone is entitled to complain about the press, but no one should be allowed to silence it. Whether Fox, ABC, NBC, CBS, Or CNN. They should be left to live of die on their own. Complain all you want, but don't try to censure them or stop them from publishing. If you don't like it, there is a remote you can use to change the channel.
"it astounds me how you can get such a huge number of voters to actually vote against their interests."
Unlike a liberal, a conservative does not look at the Government or its programs as being in their best interest. Leave us alone and we will do just fine. We are competent, motivated, and are willing to bear the consequences of our own choices. We don't need a big daddy government to trade our liberty in for security.
"And through their mainstream media sources, they have spread their spin so that the average person is so confused that they end up voting aganst their own interests."
Only a liberal would have such a low opinion of the intelligence of their fellow Americans. That is why they always think that the government is need, because that can't imagine that people just might be able to think and act in their own best self-interests.
"The rich don't need handouts. Did any conservatives really believe that supply side economics would ever work? Only a moron would really believe that the elites would distribute the wealth."
This displays a sorry understanding of the rich. When was that last time a poor guy gave you a job? The rich buy yachts. Who builds yachts? Who works for yacht companies? Who supplies yacht makers with tools and materials? Who works for these suppliers? Where do these workers buy their food, clothing and recreation?
The rich buy fancy cars. Who makes fancy cars...etc. Get it? How many people does Gorge Julies, the guy that lives under the bridge in my town, employ? How many people does the Trump organization employ? Get it?
"What I can't figure out though is do the conservative big wigs really buy their own spin? What the conservative powers that be, want is free reign to rape and pillage the prosperity and future of this nation for their own personal gains, and they would prefer if the government did not interfere."
Liberals are group thinkers, they follow group thought and rely on "leaders" tell them what to think. Therefore they infer that conservatives do the same.
This is essentially incorrect. Conservatives are independent thinkers that often arrive a similar conclusions independently. This is why liberals will never understand people like Rush Limbaugh, they think he has this great ability to influence people and make them believe his spin. The true secret to his success is that he was one of the first to voice publicly, on the radio, what conservatives were already thinking.
It is also why conservatism is underestimated by the liberal establishment. They think it is a giant group think by a bunch of rubes that just fell off the turn up truck. And that is why it has become an annual event to predict the fall of the tea party, or talk radio or conservatism in general, but conservatives are not like liberals.
Even if Rush were struck in the head today and became a flaming liberal, his audience wouldn't. Conservatism is grass roots and individual and the only way to stamp it out would be by force and doing it person by person and that ain't gonna happen.
As to the assumption that these "conservative leaders" are trying to steal all of the wealth in this county and that the "Hero" our Governemnt is their to stop them...Sigh. Where do I began. Who is driving us into eternal debt? Who is taxing the bejeebers out of us?
Who gave us this recession? Open you eyes man. You are trusting the wolf to protect the chickens.
Try doing for yourself and take charge of your own life. Don't wait for the Government to save you. That ain't gonna happen either.
Michael Manis on May 26, 2012:
If conservatives believe in individual freedom, why are they the largest proponents of the so called war on drugs? Why are they trying to repeal roe vs wade? How come the same people talking about no entitlements and no welfare are the same people who cried "we're too big to fail" and had their hands out for all those bailouts? These are the same guys who shipped all our jobs overseas. Conservatives cry about the lame stream media when fox is the largest media agency in the world! I got news for you conservatives, you are the lamestream media. But it astounds me how you can get such a huge number of voters to actually vote against their interests. The conservative fat cats want more money and more power. And through their mainstream media sources, they have spread their spin so that the average person is so confused that they end up voting aganst their own interests. The rich don't need handouts. Did any conservatives really believe that supply side economics would ever work? Only a moron would really believe that the elites would distribute the wealth. They never did, and they nevcer will. Shame on the puppets who sold it. What I can't figure out though is do the conservative big wigs really buy their own spin? What the conservative powers that be, want is free reign to rape and pillage the prosperity and future of this nation for their own personal gains, and they would prefer if the government did not interfere. Is there anyone who isn't a conservative think George W. won that election by popular vote? Is there anyone who isn't a conservative think that the current economical mess was not the fault of conservative practices? There are two kinds of wrong, those who do not know better and do wrong, and those who know better and choose to do wrong. The conservativesd are lead by the latter, and massed by the former.
Patrick on April 05, 2012:
Hi Christian! Great article! Thanks for posting! -PM
Joe on February 28, 2012:
"no loose screws" he means
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on February 28, 2012:
Hmmmm? To which do you refer? Liberals or Conservatives? At any rate, if you know anything about wing nuts you would realize that they hold things together and are important in making sure that there are no lose screws.
Karlbush on February 26, 2012:
What a bunch of wingnuts!
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on February 02, 2012:
Answer to questions as follows:
1. Yes, conservatism believes in the power of a free market because each individual should be free to choose what they will consume and not the state. As far as "giving each one what they deserve", no. Conservatism believes in each individual achieving the best that they can for themselves. Liberalism does not believe in equality for all, but instead an elite class determining what is fair for the masses.
2. Centrism is confused. What I am suggesting isn't centrism but, instead, taking the parts that work from each philosophy and applying them. There can be no doubt that civil rights was a necessity and long over due. So such righteous activism should not be discounted. Unfortunately the current activism is far from righteous and has devolved into a sort of corruption.
3. Sadly, socialism is far from dead. Right now it is alive and well in the USA. We are headed there at break-neck speed. Currently 50% of our population receives public money while the other 50% pays for that public money and if the trend continues...GAME OVER!
4. Conservatism, if fully exploited, would be India's best approach because it releases the individual to make something of themselves. However, for India, there is a lot to overcome before true conservatism could even be understood.
Student on February 02, 2012:
Hey, so I am a student of the sciences which are exact and definite in answer so I'm having difficulty in understanding a few key concepts :)
1. Are you saying that a conservative approach is pro free markets, minimal govt intervention and also believes in giving each one what they deserve? Is it different from liberalism in that sense since liberalism is all about egalitarianism and equality for all?
2. How would Centrism then be as an ideology? Wouldn't it be the middle color blend between clearly defined red and blue, all confused like most agnostics are criticised of being, or would it be perfect? I feel centrism is too idealistic and is good for a vision but not practical. Am I right?
3. About Socialism from a worldview: Is it dead now? Was it only a passing fancy in the 60s 70s? Why did it fail?
4. From an economic perspective, for a developing nation such as India, can we say that conservatism would be the best approach to growth? Or would it be radical liberalism or socialism or modernism or something else?
Sorry if this was long...Wikipedia isn't really explaining all this well and I am keen on understanding politics since I have just attained voting age:)
JON EWALL from usa on September 10, 2011:
''I don't know what government you have been observing. Have you ever asked yourself where you social security money is right now? It isn't where it is suppose to be because the government that you trusted with it has used it all up.''
Obama wants to continue the pay roll tax deduction FOR WORKING TAXPAYERS. THE UNEMPLOYED DON'T GET a tax break. Also note what really is happening. The treasury is taking money from the General Fund and transferring funds to the Social Security Trust Funds to make up for the tax cuts for working citizens. Result is that WE the tax payers are indirectly paying for the tax breaks
If this is true, AMERICA BETTER WAKE UP!.
JON EWALL from usa on September 02, 2011:
‘’we need to use the government to make it fair... take money or resources from the rich and give them to the poor‘’.
The Obama led government has placed 340 NEW regulations costing the private sector $65 billion to operate their businesses . The continuing threat to add more is the major reason why business is holding back on hiring more people . Result of which is 14 million out of work and a 9.1%unemployment crisis.
On Obama’s recent bus tour, the audience told the president that NEW government regulations are hurting the business industry. President Obama said that he will look into the matter, just another joke.
Sept 8, 2011 8:00 pm Presidential debate
Sept 9, 2011 President Obama speech to a joint session of Congress
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on August 27, 2011:
I can only hope you do not live close by and are at this moment enjoying a free ride off my dime.
If someone wants my help to get where I have gotten I am more than happy to help, but I'll be d*#!d if I will sit and stuff my money down the yawning mouths of birds that have long out grown the nest.
Get off your butt and advocate for yourself with you rown brain and back.
jon ewall on August 24, 2011:
''so we need to use the government to make it fair... take money or resources from the rich and give them to the poor.''
WHO IS ''WE''
WHO IS THE '' GOVERNMENT''
HOW does one believe that it is fair?
Who decides who is the poor?
STEALING FROM ANOTHER IS BREAKING THE LAW
ANARCHY???? is that the solution?
mac on August 24, 2011:
poverty is the rich and the governments fault. as long as a man works 40 hours a week in the richest country and working for the richest corporations in the world should have no problem obtaining food for himself and his children. but you wierdo republicans/conservatives want to take away things like food stamps. The poor class is being screwed over by the rich... to make it fair we iether need to step it up ourselves and demand they pay us the fruits of our labor, (einstein, why socialism) that sounds like a dream but it won't happen because the moment we demand such a thing we get fired and replaced while the law protects the owners from a violent uprising. so we need to use the government to make it fair... take money or resources from the rich and give them to the poor.
T.Walker on June 08, 2011:
That Xicano guy is completely insane, though.
T. Walker on June 08, 2011:
This article is biased towards conservative thinking (the authors replies obviously show him defending conservative practices), but I think it does the best job of explaining both sides with minimal opinionated thoughts.
JON EWALL from usa on March 12, 2011:
I believe that our Constitution was drafted by man with the help of a superior being. No way could it be completed by meer mortals.God is mentioned and appears on our buildings,money and in the halls of congress.There is no doubt that our principles are under attack by members in our government.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on March 12, 2011:
I can not argue with most of what you say; however, what we define as liberal today comes from a humanistic world view that does not acknowledge the existence of God in any real way. In today's liberal view, man is responsible for himself. The idea that God's authority established our nation and our unalienable rights is viewed as the sentiments of bumpkins just off the turnip truck.
The constitution is viewed as a flawed document that is in serious need of an update at best. Since the modern liberal does not equate the constitution with the authority of God they see no reason to abide by it, but instead it becomes an obstacle to their designs on a humanistic utopia where their moral vision of the nation is the rule of the land.
Even though liberals at large may give some lip service to God or a god consept, the fact remains that by their actions and behavior, to them God is dead.
This is one reason today's liberals and today's conservatives will never find common ground.
JON EWALL from usa on March 11, 2011:
The debate goes on for who a liberal is and who a conservative
is. Your article and the replies seem to argue the ideology of both groups. I don’t believe that the liberal will alter his ideology unless we all can recognize that throughout history there are the poor ( mostly uneducated or illiterate ),the so called rich (mostly highly educated and business orientated) and the go betweens (the middle class little education and moderately successful in society).All of them of their own
FREE choice have a place in society.
The conservative and the liberal will eventually fall in one class or another in society. The US Constitution is the foundation of our society. We are a nation of God given rights and freedoms. The people select the officials to represent them in the government in Washington. These elected officials take the oath of their office and it’s their responsibility to govern on behalf of the people
The problems today is that our government is corrupt and is not governing on behalf of the people.
Putting aside both Democrat and Republican ideology of either a liberal or conservative ideology, we the people are not being served as the Constitution requires .
It’s the present that ’’ we the people’’ must be concerned about and the future of our country. Today in Washington, sad to say, right is wrong and wrong is right. There is a right and a wrong that Congress and President Barak ‘’I’’ Obama must recognize if our country is to prosper and grow. Is spending $1 trillion every year since 2009, increasing the National Debt with little to show for spending money that the country doesn’t have. This past Feb the government just in 1 month spent another $222.5 billion, the highest deficit in all history. In 2007 the deficit for 12 months was $1.6 trillion.
Today the government is not only taking from the rich but from future unborn citizens. The middle class is becoming part of the poor class and the so called rich are becoming part of the middle class. Socialism works as long as there are the rich to support the ideology of taking from the rich and giving to the poor.
If one believes in the laws of God ( 10 commandments) and our Government ( constitution ), it is wrong to TAKE from one to give to another, some would call that stealing and doing that breaks a law. Envy, begrudge, covet refer to one's attitude toward the possessions or attainments of others. To envy is to feel resentful and unhappy because someone else possesses, or has achieved, what one wishes oneself to possess, or to have achieved: to envy the wealthy. Charity begins at home not with the government in most cases.
In itself both ideologies are not evil or bad if there is a sense of honesty, integrity, fairness and love of our fellow man or woman.
I’m confident that the debate will continue!
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on February 18, 2011:
"Conservatives feed on FEAR and BIGOTRY not Reason" This is just not true. I realize that it is very common for some individuals to characterize their ideological opponents this way and I am never sure whether it is from ignorance or not but your use of the label "your kind" shows that you are prejudiced and bigoted in your attitudes regarding conservatives and that your bigotry precludes real dialogue.
I do not lay the blame for your display of prejudice and bigotry at the feet of liberals because I know many liberals who would not indulge in this kind of prejudice. This is a human condition and not a liberal, conservative, black or white.
You provide no support for your charges other than a dangerous ignorance and malevolence that characterizes all bigots no matter what their political persuasion, or race is.
The tenor of your post only supports my assertion that you lead by emotions rather than logic or fact. Your emotions distort conservative positions. This results in all of your arguments being straw man arguments.
Human-beings of all stripes are inclined to impose their political views on others and that is the reason our founding fathers created our constitution. Both liberals and conservatives would do well to heed that magnificent document.
Terry Phlip hirneisen from Shenandoah Valley on February 18, 2011:
Let's get this straight. Conservatives feed on FEAR and BIGOTRY not Reason as you put it. Your kind preach that "The blacks, the Muslims, the Mexicans, etc are taking the stuff we want and we need to stop them" The Liberals are the ones seeking better Education for all and a safety net for the sick, the old, and the unfortunate. It is not emotionalism that inspires the Liberal, but a sense of justice. Liberals support the right to collective bargaining because they realize the super rich can force their political will down our throat. Liberals support the folks in Wisconsin standing up for their rights. No we are not stupid or a bunch of emotional retards. We just have a vision you seem incapable of grasping.
RNELSON on January 29, 2011:
Today, fundamentally the ideological divide can be distilled to what is the approppriate role for the federal government. The Left seems to favor a more expansive role for Washington; in the economy, in the environment, and so om. The conservative tendency seems to be for the opposing view, for the government to keeps its involvement, indeed some might say interference, to a minimum. At the moment, the Left is represented by Democrats in Congess and of course the President. The Right is currently representated by the GOP majority in the House. Both sides seek office as both sides seek political power. However, neither will ever see their goals fully realized because there will always be enough opposition, both within and without, to frustrate either agenda. Hence the genius of the American political system.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on October 26, 2010:
But isn't it emotion that leads you to believe that the government is less greedy, more honest, and altruistic than we the people?
I don't know what government you have been observing. Have you ever asked yourself where you social security money is right now? It isn't where it is suppose to be because the government that you trusted with it has used it all up.
I can not see any logic in liberal thought. It is always based on an emotional view of "the way things ought to be" and not what they really are.
Unreasonable Man on October 26, 2010:
I disagree with the statement that “a liberal's ideology is based on emotion” because I am a rational person and I usually side with the views of liberals because they are more logical. Less government oversight might be a better philosophy if everyone was honest and altruistic, but that is an utterly fantastic assumption. History shows that greedy people will inevitably fill the void when government relaxes control.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on October 24, 2010:
"Conservative politics can almost always be boiled down to fear & hate or lack of historic knowledge."
This is an interesting characterization even though it has little to do with the truth. Liberals hate labels but love to label. I think that as liberals see there power beginning to drain away they are the ones filled with fear. As far as hate goes, that is a human emotion equally portrayed by liberals and conservatives alike. It is a personal failing.
As far as historical knowledge goes it is the liberals who rewrite history in order to support their progressive agenda and justify their dislike for individual freedom and its inevitable results in winners and losers.
It is a pipe dream to believe that the US economy has been under the control of conservative thought. Liberalism has dominated US economics since Woodrow Wilson.
Neither I nor any conservative I know would suggest that the government doesn't have a role to play in the economy but liberals want the government to play big brother and make sure everything is fair, whereas conservatives feel government's role is to protect capitalism from cheaters. Then each person can rise or fall according to the effort they put into it.
Your posted numbers make my point exactly. You feel that those that succeed and make a lot of money are somehow evil. You feel that the government's role is to make sure that the rich and big corporations are punished and their money forcibly removed from them and redistributed.
A conservative feels that the government should only make sure that the rich and big corporations play by the rules, but the amount of money they make is up to them and what they do with the money they earned is up to them.
Conservatives see a rich man and say, "Wow, if he can do it so can I!"
Liberals see a rich man and say, "What a cheater we need to take him down."
Your post demonstrates my point.
Xicano on October 24, 2010:
Its been a pleasure Christian Walker, this will be my final post. Thanks for the forum, I appreciate it.
Just want to post some numbers.
Net worth Forbes 400—2007—1.5 TRILLION
Net worth Poorest 50%-2007---1.6 Trillion
Minimum wage--$7.25 per hour
Ceo Chespeake Energy--$27,034.74 per hour
Average hourly wage inflation adjusted—1972--$20.06
Average hourly wage inflation adjusted----2008--$18.52
“Real” after-tax income growth 1979-2008
Bottom quintile to top—11%-18-21-32-86-112%-(Top 5% 143%—Top 1% 256%)
Change Family Income growth 1947-1979
Bottom quintile to top---+116%-100-111-114-99-86%
1945-1979 was Equitable Distribution
1980-2008 was Third World Distribution
Harvard and Duke Universities made a survey of 5000 people.
They showed the Wealth held by the richest 20% and middle 20% of population in two nations.
One was labeled A one B. 92% chose A.
In A the distribution was 20% had 36% of wealth—middle 20% had 15%--60% had 49%
In B the distribution was 20% had 84% of wealth---middle 20% had 4%----60% had 12%
Which would you choose?
Xicano on October 23, 2010:
Unfortunately Christian Walker, your attitude in what I write about conservatives fits a lot of my descriptions about conservatives.
I noticed one thing you bring up again is the "fear" rhetoric conservatives always try to use to justify everything they do against not only the framework of the constitution, but, also, to their own stated view points about individualism and responsibility. Conservative politics can almost always be boiled down to fear & hate or lack of historic knowledge.
Also, the last 40 yrs of conservative economics is baffling to you because of your apparent ignorance of just how long conservatives have been tearing down on regulations and pushing supply-side economics. Again, when in history we have a more consumer-side economic model and healthy regulations, we see a broader base of Americans at work in a jobs paying livable wages. And when we have a more supply-side economic model with deregulation we always see a concentration of the wealth with heavy consolidation of businesses resulting in heavy unemployment, lower paying wages and less market competition and more government/corporate cronyism. Exactly what we see in Mexico and exactly the road we see ourselves going down today as a result of this steady eroding of regulations and consumer-sided economics.
To make a comparisons about deregulation being nothing more than about corporate lawlessness. Let me compare it to traffic regulations (I mean laws). How absurd would it be for me to propose deregulating traffic laws? Clearly I hope you have enough wit about you to see what really is being proposed in this example is proposing lawlessness on the highway. Lawlessness is exactly what would happen because if you have any sense at all you'll know you just can't rely upon enough people to act responsibly when there's no laws.
Just as important as the laws which protect us in traffic are the laws which protect us as consumers and as labor. End of discussion as far as I and history are concerned with that point.
You can go on and willfully ignore history and conflict with the principles of the constitution and your own stated position with respect to less government interference in personal lives. I on the other hand will remain on the side of history and the principle of "We The People."
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on October 23, 2010:
Thanks grammar and spelling for the critique.
Unfortunately all of the points you make about conservatives interfering in an individuals life miss the target by a long shot. For instance, what you see as interference in a womans reproductive rights is seen by conservatives as protecting the right to life for each person in the United States. At what age may a woman kill her child? What rights should that child have to live.
Obama has continued all of Bush's covert attempts at gather information on terrorists. Even he feels this is important to do to combat terrorists.
Whether it is or not is a different debate but obviously two presidents from each party feel it must continue. I am not ignorant of the potential danger this poses to freedom.
As far as your claim that a conservative economy has been "shoved down" our throats for the past 40 years is baffling to me. I feel that if you spend some time researching capitalism and socialism you will revise your remarks. It has been the unbridled regulations of the government that has driven up prices.
Even a very rudimentary understanding of capitalism and supply and demand would reveal that when you control prices then you have supply problems and visa versa.
The government does have a role to play and that is to ensure that capitalism is prosecuted fairly. It is also arguable that FDR actually exacerbated the nations economic woes with his misguided nanny state policies and that WWII is what kick started the economy.
I would say that whether liberal or conservative our government is not good when it is corrupted by power.
Your attitude in what you write illustrates what I wrote in this hub. You fit a lot of my description of a liberal.
Xicano on October 23, 2010:
in the preamble of the constitution it is written: "We the people of the United States, in order to......promote the general welfare..." Now what does promote the general welfare mean? Did they mean for government to "provide for" the general welfare? Or did they just mean something else?
Well, if we look at the first article of the constitution we see: U.S. Constitution Article 1 section 8: "The Congress shall have the power to......."provide for the".....general welfare of the United States.
Also, notice conspicuously its says "We the people" and not we the corporate interest? So the statement to provide for the general welfare means to provide for the general welfare of the people. It does not mean to provide for the general welfare of corporate interests. Ergo, it is one of the duties of Congress (who ultimately are representatives of us the body politic) to provide for the general welfare of the public. THAT is what was established by the founders of our country. It is written right there at the top of our constitution for anybody and everyone to read.
Now if you're the traditionalists you claim to be then stop being so unpatriotic and anti-American and fight the fight that the early Americans you claim to mimicking fought. But you won't will you? Because lets face it, you're too willfully ignorant because of blind Partisanship to realize you're fighting against your own interests and against our country's interests.
Xicano on October 23, 2010:
Sorry but the OP is confused and conflicted. The OP cites:
Quote: -- "A liberal wants the government deeply involved in our lives. It is often seen as a parent to us all—or the big tent. They believe that the government can force society to confront its ills and legislate and enforce the cures."
A liberal wants government deeply involved in our lives? You mean like the way conservatives want to allow authorities to wiretap and search our persons & property without a warrant or any other constitutional requirements? After all it was conservatives who backed Bush's implementation of the patriot act, as well as, ignoring FISA rules on top of it.
Or how about the way conservatives want the government all into our private lives by banning gay couple marriages? Or how about the way conservatives want the government to step in against the rights of workers to organize unions under the rubric of protecting corporations? Or how about the way conservatives want the government to tell you what you can and cannot do to your own body, such as which intoxicant you can and cannot use - even if done in the privacy of your own home? Talk about the ones who “believe that the government can force society to confront its ills and legislate and enforce the cures.” Clearly conservatives are the ones guilty of that.
I could continue, but the point is you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about, certainly about your comment with regard to social engineering. Conservatives (not liberals) are the ones big on social engineering.
The OP also cites:
Quote: -- “At the core of it, Conservatives base there ideology on what they see as reason and logic and it is individualistic by nature, whereas a liberal's ideology is based on emotion and ideals and is collective by nature. A liberal is interested in curing society's ills by social engineering. A conservative is interested in curing society's ills by individuals exercising their own choices to better themselves.”
If conservatives based THEIR (not there) ideologies on reason and logic, then, they would repudiate supply-side economics (aka Reaganomics / trickle-down) and repudiate deregulation (aka corporate lawlessness). Why? For the same reason we all repudiate communism. Communism is repudiated on the bases of its failure to deliver its promises as compared to capitalism.
However, deregulated capitalism (aka laissez-faire), and, supply-side economics took an American economy where America far out produced the world as compared to today, and where just one income could afford to buy what two, three or more incomes can’t afford to buy today. All because of these conservative economic ideologies we’ve had shoved down our throats for the past forty to fifty years by conservatives who either don’t know what they’re talking about, or, by corporate interests playing on the ignorance of your average conservative.
So if conservatives based their ideologies on reason and logic, then examining history, reason and logic would dictate that capitalism under liberal economic ideologies as being the far superior model and the way to go. America was far better off under the effects of FDR economic principles than any conservative principle, and I do not consider Obama much different than Bush or Reagan because today’s (D) or (R) party is too heavily bribed-off (I mean lobbied) by corporate interests, so there’s too many similarities between the two of them today.
Our past history, plus, what’s currently happening today, and, what happened in the interim make it clear which economic model is best. Plus you can also look at any other country and you’ll see the same trend. A perfect example of how bad of a train-wreck the conservative economic model is, is look at Mexico for example. If conservatives like to use Russia as an example (and correctly so) as an example of why communism is a failure, then why do they flip-flop by ignoring or own history, or ignoring Mexico currently and other examples of deregulated (laissez-faire) and supply-side economics? My answer is because that’s the conservative for you. They listen to hate & fear mongering radio or other media and are not able to cognize reality. Talk about the ones acting emotionally. Just look at how easily conservatives get all emotionally worked up into a frenzy of fear and anger at minorities, immigrants, gays, or whatever other dribble by their talk radio personalities or politicians.
The fact of the matter what history shows is: Conservative ideologies want an economic model which has time and again throughout history ultra concentrated the wealth (exactly like Mexico today). So that tells me they value their economic partisanship over the success of our country and fellow countrymen, or they are just plain ignorant of history.
Also, conservative ideologies want the government to enforce their social engineering ideals onto everyone because they don’t want to live in a society based on individual freedom and equality. Rather, they want a society which lives the way THEY want to live. I re-cite as examples their actions against gay marriages, a woman’s reproductive rights. Also, it was conservatives who in our past banned interracial marriages. Also its conservatives who fight against an individual’s right to chose their intoxicant. Now you can’t get more against the idea of individual freedom then to oppress against what one can and cannot do to their own body.
On that last point many conservatives will come up with the contradicting to their own stated ideas about “individual freedom and responsibility” by saying its necessary to “legislate and enforce the cures” against these substances because of their potential “ills” on society.
I mean I can keep going on and on and on with example after example on how conservatives (albeit maybe meaning well) are confused and conflicted, and void of critical thinking.
Lastly I’d like to respond to an often cited point conservatives like to incorrectly make about principles the United States was founded upon. Contrary to what conservatives think the United States was not founded upon the economic principles they are always pushing for today. Early on the United States and the colonies before it hated corporate sovereignty and the wealth/power concentrating effects of its principles. That is why originally corporations were severely restrained within our new republic. They could only be authorized by an act of legislature in one specific state, and not at the federal level. They could only exist for a single purpose serving the public good and only then for a limited period. State legislatures held the power to revoke corporate charters, and voter referendum could initiate that process. Read John Locke “Two Treatises of Government.” A 1690 publication cited by many early Americans as justification to separate from Great Britain.
John Locke's publication criticizing corporate power played an arguable part in influencing the start of the American war of independence, and the era of individual sovereignty which emerged. Some colonial subjects in America had tired of corporate governance and cited doctor Locke as their legal basis. The American revolution fought to replace British corporate rule with a new republic form of government. Colonial Americans hated corporations, in the sense that they hated the Crown exercising absolute control over chartering them. In another sense, they hated missing a share of the profits. Damn them liberals wanting to "spread the wealth" I mean wanting freedom, true democracy (not corporate interest democracy), and fair compensation for their labor.
I will close by adding this to corroborate the two above paragraphs. The resulting United States constitution made no mention of the word "corporation" whatsoever. Instead, the new United States of America enjoyed a national sovereignty. The system was built on “collections” of individual sovereignty posed directly against governmental tendencies that had become characteristic of corporate sovereignty.
In the preamble of the constitution it is
Mike Ward on October 23, 2010:
I had to stop reading because of all the spelling and grammar errors. What a joke.
I guess this crap appeals to low information voters, like teabaggers.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on August 15, 2010:
I think you are confusing a characterization of conservatism with conservatism. Conservatives do not care what people do in there bedroom and very few of them would oppose a civil union that would confer all of the rights of marriage on a gay couple. It is the term marriage that is the sticking point with most of them. As far as I am concerned heterosexuals have already all but destroyed the sanctity of marriage so the gay marriage thing is mostly a visceral reaction.
No conservative wants to regulate sexual activity and to lay that charge against either Conservatives or Liberals is disingenuous at best and purely ignorant at worst.
Liberals are collectivists on social issues also. They boast about there concern for reproductive rights while denying human beings the right to life. Conservatives, on the other hand do not deny reproductive rights for anyone. No conservative would advocate forcing anyone to engage in activities that would lead to pregnancy. That is soley up to the individual to do so.
Mutale on August 15, 2010:
Oh brother. This article is obviously biased towards the conservative position.
If conservatives value individualism, why do they want to prevent gay couples from sharing the same legal benefits as heterosexual couples, to regulate sexual activity between consenting adults or to deny women the right to reproductive autonomy? Conservatives are only individualists on economic issues, liberals are only collectivists on economic issues.
JON EWALL from usa on June 30, 2010:
Well written hub
‘’America must continue to provide unparalleled opportunities, but not bend to whiners and self proclaimed victims who want to short-cut the system and reap benefits they never earned
if we have a struggling class in America, we could provided training opportunities for people who wanted to succeed and would put forth efforts on their own behalf instead of entitlement programs that accomplish nothing and consume copious amounts of money? ‘’
A short description of a liberal and a conservative. Let’s just say, they both want to help the poor.
The liberal wants to help the poor with someone else's money
The conservative is willing to help the poor with his own money
Somewhere down the line politicians have forgotten that they have a fiduciary responsibility to spend the taxpayers money in a fair and honest way.
For what it’s worth regarding unauthorized aliens cost to the legal taxpayers.
ILLEGAL ALIENS, how much it is costing the taxpayers over the government's refusal to enforce the immigration laws to the fullest extent of the law
The following facts.
1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year by state governments.
Verify at: http://tinyurl.com/zob77
2.$2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps,WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.
3.$2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.&nabs;
4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English!
5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.
6.$3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.
7.30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.
8.$90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare & social services by the American taxpayers.
9 $200 Billion dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal aliens.
Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSC RI PTS/0604/01/ldt.01.html
10 The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that's two and a half times that of white non-illegal aliens.
11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that crossed our Southern Border. Also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from Terrorist Countries. border.Verify at: Homeland Security Report: http://tinyurl.com/t9sht <
12. The National policy Institute, estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average
cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.'
13.In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances to their countries of origin.
Verify at: http://www.rense.com/general75/niht.htm>
14.'The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One million sex crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States .
Verify at: http: // www.drdsk.com/articleshtml
The total cost is a whopping $ 338.3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR AND IF YOU'RE LIKE ME HAVING TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY; IT IS $338,300,000,000.00 WHICH WOULD BE ENOUGH TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY
FOR THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY.
Are we THAT stupid? YES, FOR LETTING THOSE IN THE U.S. CONGRESS GET AWAY WITH LETTING THIS HAPPEN YEAR AFTER YEAR!!!!!
It's all about votes and politics. Washington's silence is deafening about their responsibility's to the rule of law and the US Constitution.
If this doesn't bother you then just delete the message. If, on the other hand, it does raise the hair on the back of your neck, forward it to every legal resident in the country including every elected representative in Washington , D.C. - five times a week for as long as it takes to restore some resemblance of intelligence in our policies and enforcement thereof. Stop the insanity now and start working for the benefit of legal citizens.
hush87 on June 30, 2010:
One, if not the best article of political assimilation that I have read. Aesthetically written and well thought out.
johnpolk on May 25, 2010:
I agree on this...your hub is very informative on differentiation of conservative and liberal, I really learned from it.
A 14 Year Old Conservative on March 27, 2010:
Wow, I've never read anything more straight to the point and right on with the topic - I've gotta hand it out to yu, Mr. Walker that you did a fine job on this.
The one thing that's good about it, is that in the capital building you always find people trying to sound so smart and such like our saviors when really they are only trying to fool americans by tricking them into their sneaky little traps, and this document my friends, is the exact opposite of what is going on in ObamaWorld, and again, well done.
The thing I would like to make known is that yes, I'm a 14 year old and I'm sick and tired of the president and all of his buddies in D.C. This year in school I have written nothing but stuff from the lies of Global Warming to Socialism and Capitalism, and so on, all in my English Class.
The thing that Mr. Walker has most explicitly shown to us is that there are people in this country that can take the time to write things out without any discrimination, or biased based information, and here Mr. Walker has shown no signs of such things. Well done.
I agree that Liberalism is the way to send this country to hell, literally, because one, THERE IS A BELLIGERENT FOOL IN THE OVAL OFFICE THAT IS CURRENTLY UNDER WAR WITH THE AMERICAN WELFARE AS A WHOLE. He has shown countless signs of planning on doing nothing but eventually destroying america. JUST LOOK AT WHAT HE HAS DONE! For example, his tax cut plan to help those of us whom I DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER AMERICANS get 'back on their feet', by giving them one grand worth in tax cuts. AND THE GOV MAKES IT LOOK LIKE THEY ARE THE ONE GIVING THEM THE MONEY, WHEN IT REALLY COMES FROM PEOPLE WHO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS NATION'S WELFARE!!! IT'S INSULTING!!!
Also, his health care plan, to give health care to those same 45 or so million, LESSENS EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN'S CHANCE OF SURVIVAL, SHOULD THEY CONTRACT CANCER OR DISEASE!!! JUST LOOK AT ENGLAND, AND CANADA!!! THE CONDITIONS THERE WILL BECOME KNOWN HERE TOO. Have fun dieing in the waiting room while waiting for a doctor, america, BECAUSE WE HAVE CHOSEN THIS!IT'S INSULTING!!!
Again, I am sick and tired of this current government, and mark my 14-year-old words; THEY ARE ONLY PLANNING ON DESTROYING THIS NATION SO THEY CAN 'SAVE IT!'Thank you america for thinking before we acted.
someonewhoknows from south and west of canada,north of ohio on March 02, 2010:
The Irony of giving government assistance like housing to people in need because some private bank made a bad loan ,and probably knew it is, there are private corporations that are willing to provide those services at an inflated cost.We are told that government workers saleries and benefits are too high,but we don't complain enough about that.The government is not a business and those in government that are in charge are not as willing to layoff or fire someone as easily as they do in a private sector.Corporations are more likely to do that,with the exception of people under contract.Governments always try to increase taxes.But with the state of the economy we have today that's unlikely,and in that case layoffs even in government are possible.But,it seems to take a lot of convincing before the brakes are applied to convince everyone the economy isn't doing well,
Private corporations don't mind getting paid huge sums for doing what the military could do for at a fraction of the cost.Can you spell Haliburton."RIPOFF ARTISTS"and this is supposedly a conservitive backed corporation.I'm sure liberals have their own corporate sweethearts as well.The ones that are more than willing to provide services to the poor at inflated prices too.
If,we really want to help the poor,why do we insist that they lose everything they have in order to get any help.I can understand the conservitives point of view of someone who is well off and doesn't need help.I'm sure there are people who are well off,who don't need help.I don't know how many ,but who ever they are,if,they can live comfortably without needing government assistance,like social security,then as long as that's the case ,why give it to them. If,for some reason they lose the money they have in income,savings etc.and they end up without the ability to provide for themselves,they would still be eligible for social security as the need arises.After all they paid more into the system,probably more than the average person,and they would also get a proportionately larger amount in benefits as well,if they needed them.After all that's what social security was setup for in the first place right.Isn't that a conservitive idea? Liberals might think differently,even rich liberals.It,seems we are only willing to help out the poor if we can make a profit doing it.If,that's the case why not invest in creating jobs.Why,do we need to export jobs,and import so many foreign goods?
Because the rich liberals that import those goods ,make money and the rich conservitives who export jobs can demand lower wages. So they both win.They both make money,but in different ways.Liberals,are liberal as long as they can make money at it,this also helps the conservitives who also make money because of what the liberals have done ,the conservitives can lower wages,because the cost of living,at least when it comes to buying imported clothing,and food,and all those dollar items we sell to people.Too bad we can't say the same for banking,insurance and healthcare.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on February 28, 2010:
Spending our resources on those who refuse to be helped denies those very resources to others who would welcome and benefit from those resources.
Is it not a more serious consequence to our nation to deny resources to people who would benefit greatly from them in order for us to have pearls to cast?
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on February 28, 2010:
The liberal's dream of equality comes by brute force of big government. Liberalism leads to a "benevolent" Aristocracy which only lends liberty to its approved underlings. It always takes, by force, from the producers and gives to the consumers who do not produce. The inevitable consequence is ruin. One only needs to read history and observe nature to see how wrong headed this is.
mrteacher from London on February 21, 2010:
I liked your hub. However I just wanted a little clarification on this point: 'we must also have the heart firm enough to leave those behind who refuse all help.' Did you mean we as individuals must withdraw our sympathy and personal aid or that literally the government must withdraw all resources?
I definitely agree with the first interpretation: withdrawing individual compassion, resources, time and general help. Regarding the second... do you not think that this would cause greater problems for the rest of society? Are we as a group not shirking our responsibility if we literally 'leave those behind who refuse all help?' Leaving us wide open to consequences?
OpinionDuck on February 20, 2010:
The two party system doesn't represent the incredible shrinking middle class of this country.
It is the middle class that made the United States of America different and better than the rest of the world.
A vote for Row A or Row B is a vote against the middle class.
dfager from Federal Way, Washington on February 11, 2010:
I think your opinion of the parties leans a little too much to the conservative side giving it a little too much lean to the right. Librals are more concerned with equality because wealth gives some more power. If wealth becomes the new American ideal, then we lose other values.
sremmah from Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia on November 17, 2009:
Excellent article thanks Christian. I agree that the dangers to our democratic societies (I live in Australia) exist at both extremes of the political spectrum. Thanks for succinctly summarising the agenda.
Like the comment btw: "Don't vote because someone from the DNC or RNC has picked you up in a van and promised you smokes."
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on November 16, 2009:
Gryffon, you message is right on point. There is one amendment I would add to it though: Don't vote if you have not educated yourself to the issues and candidates. Don't vote because someone from the DNC or RNC has picked you up in a van and promised you smokes.
Doyle Wheeler from firstname.lastname@example.org on November 15, 2009:
Good Hub well written with both description being really very acturate. Iknow about the extremes I was at one time a stright ticket hard line Republican. Ronald Regan was a friend, a mentor and then my dream president. After Ronald Regan left office and was ill, the party became ill too. The neo-conservatives became very close to neo nazi's. They lost me The far right scared the hell out of me.
The far left scares me for the same reason. I'm a middle of the road kind of guy now and take my half out of the center.
gryffon on November 10, 2009:
(Tongue in cheek) But you don't understand, Mr. Walker... trying to understand or be involved in politics isn't any FUN!! I don't care that I have a civic responsibility because it belongs to me and was handed down my ancestors. Hell, the last thing I want to do is get stuck on a jury, that's why I didn't register to vote. Besides, I don't like any of the candidates I have to choose from, and my vote doesn't REALLY count anyway cuz of the Electoral College and look at the fiasco that was made of the election in 2000.
Besides, they hold all this political crap when I'm either busy hangin' with my homeboys or watchin' Survivor on tv. I aint got time to be bothered by all that nonsense 'bout Socialism, Communism, Fascism or religion, aint none of that gonna pass anyway, this is America, fool. The Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free, you know, red, white, and blue, mom, baseball and apple pie.
Seriously, the lesson for today is that while Greatness may be achieved through great acts, Greatness is maintained by by simple acts.
America is THE world leader. The rest of the world looks to us for direction. They come to America for opportunity. They come to America for a better life. They come to America for education or for medical procedures.
America is great because Americans get involved. How much greater would America be if ALL Americans got involved?
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on October 23, 2009:
I could not agree more. If we as Americans have differences let them be honestly and openly discussed and not traded in the back rooms of political parties bent on spinning them for their own power profits.
It is even our own greed that drove wall street. We shouldn't look to our government to regulate wall street, we should look to ourselves!
Valentine Logar from Dallas, Texas on October 22, 2009:
Very nicely done. I think you have identified correctly what most understand as the polar opposites of the political ideologies of today. The parties are no longer relevant it is only the underlying claim to right and political correctness.
As neither a liberal nor a conservative but rather a social progressive and a Constitutional purist with a strong leaning toward smaller government; I can only say that we have, that is we the people, have failed in our duty. We have allowed our government to grow out of control. We have sold our greatness to the lowest bidder in favor of deregulation, Wall Street, and CEO bonus's.
Ah well, maybe there will be a time soon I hope, that we the people well stand up and truly hold the government and our elected officials accountable. When we stop and consider the slogans we shout and the demands we make. When we vote for the candidate with ethics, standards, and ideas rather than name recognition. Maybe it will happen before it is too late.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on September 13, 2009:
I think you have it correct. An uneducated populace makes for a poor government of we the people.
Barry Davidson on September 12, 2009:
Think back to the GOALS 2000 Act, sponsored by Hillary Clinton for the most part. It took a page right out socialist/totalitarian papers - complete government take-over of the schools. The No Child Left Behind Act only enforces it.
I've read the constitution more times that I care to admit. Nowhere in Article 1 section 8 is there an enumerated power which gives the government control of schools or curriculum. Someone could argue the "necessary and proper" clause, but they obviously have never read the rest of that line. "To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof." What this means is that they can only make laws which are necessary and proper in executing the 17 enumerated powers given to the congress by the constitution. The ninth and tenth amendments grant ALL other powers to the people and the states.
I wish other people would at least read the document.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on September 08, 2009:
You are correct. It all comes back to we the people. And it is only us who can save us. As for the I-Don't-Care group they do not vote anyway. Right now clowns run the show in DC along with the News Media because we are to inept to think for ourselves. Liberalism thrives on ignorance and poverty and has a vested interest in keeping both alive and well.
If either you or I were a CEO of a company and we ran it like our government runs this country we'd be thrown in jail. Right now our current government is interested in making this nation a two class nation: The ruling class and the dependent class.
God help us do the right thing.
Barry Davidson on September 08, 2009:
Ironic that in the late 1800's the above defined roles of the parties were reversed. (I know, that's neither here nor there.)
I would submit another class, of which I was a member (to my shame) when I was younger, and which is a majority. I just didn't care as long as they left me the hell alone. I didn't understand the differences between liberals and conservatives, didn't care, and thought that my one little voice didn't amount to much.
I agree with your statement that modern politicians are only after the power. The only politicians I've met who actually do give a damn about the people they want to represent are out of a job. Ironically, We the People allowed this to come about. The very system only encourages those of less than noble ideas to run for office.
Think about it this way. It takes several million dollars to get elected to any federal office. To get that money, a politician has to fundraiser. The people who have the money to give also want assurances that the person taking the money will take their view. So, said politician has to make promises.
Even if the politician doesn't compromise, he'she will quickly find out that in order to keep their elected seat, they have to start fund-raising for the next election cycle immediately. This process tends to corrupt even the most moral and trustworthy of politicians. (Unless your family made huge fortunes running alcohol during prohibition, had one member assasinated, and yet another kill a woman by driving off a bridge. Then you become canonized.)
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on August 14, 2009:
Thanks Unfortunately there are more people in America today who do not want to know the difference but should.
Cari Jean from Bismarck, ND on August 13, 2009:
Great Hub - perfect for anyone wondering what the differences are between conservatives and liberals.
Christian Walker (author) from Maryland on July 30, 2009:
You are correct. I used the term incorrectly because it is what most people understand. Like the term liberal and conservative. They are not used correctly by the media, so if I use it as they do it keeps people from being confused. Today's liberals are really institutional conservatives.
Thanks for your comments.
A Texan on July 30, 2009:
Good Hub and more factually correct than incorrect. The only thing I see that I would disagree with is your wording of "Capitalist democracy" The US is a Representative Republic not democracy. If I missed the point please correct me. I enjoyed the article.
Dave McClure from Kyle, Scotland on July 25, 2009:
Nice descriptions of the polar opposites. I agree that most politicians are true to no ideal these days, beyond grabbing and hanging onto power, or what passes for power, since the real power is in global corporatism, not government.
comp3820 from Michigan on July 07, 2009:
Very well-written article! It clearly outlines the ideologies, and I have to say that you are quite right, although I also have to say that I would side on the "wacky" right. Madame X is right in the fact that the religious groups have the responsibility for the homeless, not the government.
Madame X on June 20, 2009:
Fine reading. I agree that there needs to be a balance, but I guess I lean more toward the right. There is nothing so uplifting as knowing you've accomplished something on your own, by your own steam. It gives a person a tremendous boost in confidence knowing that they can take care of them self, which then engenders the desire to keep on doing so.
I have worked with the homeless. I saw first-hand what kind of people are homeless and I can loosely put them into three broad catagories-
1- the guy that lost his job and will do anything to work his way back up. This guy only takes a handout because he has no choice. He can't get work and hold a job if he has no place to sleep - but he resents the hell out of the fact that he has to do so at all and works like the dickens to "pay his own way".
2- the guy who is emotionally shattered. Society, events, PTSD, whatever, has broken this guy and no matter how hard he tries he can't seem to make a go of it. This guy needs our compassion and aid the most and, he deserves it. A civilized society does not throw it's weakest members onto the trash heap.
3- abusers of the system. They can get a handout and they'll take that handout for as long as they can get it. Work? Are you kidding? Why work when they can get all this stuff for free?
I do not address here why people have become homeless. There are as many reasons as there are homeless. But I would say that group #2 is the biggest group. And so yes, I believe that they should be helped but not necessarily by the government. These people were MOSTLY helped by religious groups in the area that believed in helping their fellow man.
So to get back to the main point, no, I do not believe that the government should be in the business of social programs. I have found, from my own experience, that more people are helped and treated with compassion when helped by private organizations and individuals. When the government did get involved, it was callous, faceless and brazenly self-serving - as in "the more homeless we can "claim" we've "helped" the bigger our subsidy will be!"