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To be a Conservative you have to have something to conserve. I assume it's some kind of hoard stashed away someplace. If you have nothing, you might just be a Liberal.

See, that's the kind of backwards thinking I'm trying to address in some way in this thread.

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Conservatives don't think that Muslims or Arabs are bad; Conservatives think terrorists are bad.

Why do Liberals equate Muslims or Arabs with terrorists?

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Why do Conservatives think that being a Muslim or Arab is so bad?

Good question! In some of the rallies, folks have come up to McCain telling him they hate or fear Obama because he is a Muslim or Arab.

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Good question! In some of the rallies, folks have come up to McCain telling him they hate or fear Obama because he is a Muslim or Arab.

What did McCain respond to them?

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The Middle Finger…

It's pretty sad when bloggers have to completely clueless in order to make their point. The anchoress has proven herself to be clueless loser because she has no idea of context:

Jonah Goldberg, buried beneath an ancient pyramid of Styrofoam peanuts and assorted chips, emerges from the tomb to confront disturbing footage of liberal fascism in praxis. For those of us who haven't been snoring with our eyes open this stuff is old news--I first saw it on one of the rightwing blogs two weeks ago when I was down in Cape May, which explains why I wasn't among those Upper West Siders flipping the venerable bird at the McCain-Palin supporters as they defiantly marched through Red Square, documenting the audience reaction to their provocative epater of street theater. Of course the entire purpose of their stunt was to be heckled, so the razzing they received represented Mission Accomplished. But I fail to see how the hecking and bird-flipping lay bare the dark viper lurking beneath the liberal pretense of tolerance and free speech (O, the hypocrisy, etc). Nobody was shoved, roughed up, beaten about the head with day-old baguettes; the reaction of the Upper West Siders to the McCain-Palin marchers mirrored that of the red-state audiences who lustily, rowdily booed and walked out when Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young musically petitioned for the impeachment of George Bush* (see CSN&Y/Deja Vu). And it's not as if McCain-Palin supporters are sugar drops of sweet reason, as this recent anthropological foray into the idiocracy reveals. (And then there's this genius at large, freelancing to get out the terrible word about Islamobama.)

One of the reasons the McCain-Palin marchers caught such flak was because they chose to make a spectacle of themselves at a street fair. Manhattan street fairs are tacky and annoying (there were at least two of them on Broadway yesterday screwing up traffic), but they're also apolitical, and this merry band of bozos were as discordant here as they would have been arriving en masse for a volunteer firehouse's spaghetti dinner.

Of course the political purpose of this bargain-basement Michael Moore prank is to reinforce the current conservative scare package storyline that an Obama victory will usher in a "thugocracy" (positing Obama as gangsta thug in chief--racist, anyone?), which has led some of the less bright in the right blogosphere (yes, I know, it's turtles all the way down) to joke darkly about stocking up on canned goods and ammo, just in case.

Sometimes, I just want crank Rammstein up to 11 for 3 more weeks.

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Aia, that is just stupid; I know that you read the hard-core right wing websites but you got nothing if that says all your thoughts for you.

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Convincing people with ideas

I carpooled to a soccer game today. The driver, who is someone I don’t know very well, is a very charming man who is quite obviously a potential Obama voter. He wasn’t quite sure about me and, since he was a very civil individual, he never came out and either insulted McCain or lauded Obama. He did say, though, that he thought it was the government’s responsibility to provide medical care. He also characterized Vietnam as a complete disaster. That gave me an interesting opportunity to explain to him a few historic facts he didn’t know — because very few people know them.

I started out by reminding him of something that most people forget: the Vietnam War was a Democratic War. Kennedy started it and Johnson expanded it. (Nixon, the Republican, ended it.) I didn’t say this in the spirit of accusation, because I wasn’t being partisan. I said it to give historical context to a larger discussion about freedom versus statism.

I noted that, in the 1930s — and, again, most people have forgotten this — the major battle in Europe was between two Leftist ideologies: Communism and Fascism. When he looked a little blank, I pointed out that the Nazis were a socialist party, a fact he readily conceded. I also reminded him that, in the 1930s, given that Stalin was killing millions of his countrymen, and that Hitler hadn’t yet started his killing spree, Fascism actually looked like the better deal. World War II demonstrated that both ideologies — both of which vested all power in the State — were equally murderous.

Men of the Kennedy/Johnson generation, I said, saw their role in WWII as freeing Europe from the Nazi version of socialism. When that job ended, they saw themselves in a continuing war to bring an end to the Communist version of socialism. Again, they were reacting to overwhelming statism.

Thus, to them, it was all a single battle with America upholding the banner, not of freedom, but of individualism. They knew that America couldn’t necessarily make people free or bring them a democratic form of government, but that it could try to protect people from an all-powerful state. That’s always been an integral part of American identity. He agreed with everything I said.

I then moved to the issue of socialized medicine, which I pointed out, again, gives the state all the power. The state, I said, has no conscience, and it will start doling out medical care based on its determining of which classes of individual are valuable, and which are less valuable, to the state. My friend didn’t know, for example, that Baroness Warnock of Britain, who is considered one of Britain’s leading moralists, announced that demented old people have a “duty to die” because they are a burden on the state.

A few more examples like that, and we agreed that the problem wasn’t too little government when it comes to medicine, but too much. Health insurer companies operating in California are constrained by something like 1,600 state and federal regulations. I suggested that, rather than give the government more control over the medical bureaucracy, we take most of it away. He conceded that this was probably a good idea.

Lastly, I reminded him what happens when government steps in as the pater familias. He didn’t know that, up until Johnson’s Great Society, African-Americans were ever so slowly “making it.” As a result of the Civil Rights movement, opportunities were opening for Northern Blacks, and they — meaning the men — were beginning to make more money. The African-American family was nuclear and starting to thrive.

This upward economic trend collapsed in the mid-1960s, and its collapse coincided absolutely to the minute with government social workers fanning out to black communities and telling them that the government would henceforth provide. Since it seemed stupid to work when you could get paid not to work, black men stopped working. They also stopped caring about their families, or even getting married, since unmarried mothers did even better under welfare than intact families. In a few short years, not only did African-Americans as a group collapse economically, their family structure collapsed too. Men were redundant. The state would provide. Again, my friend nodded his head in agreement.

The ride ended at that point but, as he was dropping me off, my friend told me (and I think he was speaking from his heart), that it was an incredibly interesting ride. And I bet it was, because I gave him real food for thought in the form of facts and ideas that fall outside of the orthodoxy that characterizes our ultra-liberal community.

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Sounds like a monologue and the other guy was so relieved for it to be over but he had to say something so he said 'something to think about'. I especially like "the major battle in Europe was between two Leftist ideologies: Communism and Fascism." Such a load of crap. But you and I have discussed this before. There is just so much wrong with the whole 'rant' that I will just point to a real discussion on just one piece of that rant.

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Sounds like a monologue and the other guy was so relieved for it to be over but he had to say something so he said 'something to think about'. I especially like "the major battle in Europe was between two Leftist ideologies: Communism and Fascism." Such a load of crap. But you and I have discussed this before. There is just so much wrong with the whole 'rant' that I will just point to a real discussion on just one piece of that rant.

Amen to that, brother! I think I would have been tuning out and just nodding mindlessly after I heard this line. Anything to get the guy out of the car.

I started out by reminding him of something that most people forget: the Vietnam War was a Democratic War. Kennedy started it and Johnson expanded it. (Nixon, the Republican, ended it.)

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A conservative person believes in individual responsibility as the cornerstone of behavior. She or he draws upon that conviction for inner strength, when circumstances are not favorable. She or he doesn't accept the principle that “the results justify the means”.
Tradition is a strong anchor in “weathering times”, as well as self-reliance and the value of virtues handled down from generation to generation.
She or he respects and honors any authority that safeguard those cherished values. Therefore she or he accepts government as a form of authority that can protect and safeguard inalienable rights and the ability to exercise that responsibility fore mentioned . Nevertheless, government should be kept in check to not intrude unduly in personal lives, nor force unjust dominion upon its citizenry.
She or he recognizes the value of human live and free agency. Accepting only any form of socialism that results of the free interaction between individuals, for mutual betterment.
It is not uncommon to find that a libertarian individual adhere to some of these same principles, only not necessarily in that order of priority or sense of importance.

In the other hand, a liberal person works under the assumption that solution to problems and betterment in livelihood, can be achieved by compulsion, brought through social programs and mandates. The “results justify the means”. Sacrifices are acceptable as long as do not rest upon him or her.
The masses are always saw after, to legitimize dominion. Individual responsibility it is shifted, quite often, to government.
She or he demands unreasonable comfort and security, to the suffering of individual freedoms.
Socialism is the right way of living, without regards for the cost, material or otherwise.
Change is a constant motto, since unhappiness and contempt depends always of unreachable high level of entitlement.

liberalism is against nationalism, authoritarianism, militarism, corporatism. Conservatism is PRO nationalism, authoritarianism, militarism, and corporatism.

Liberalism is an ideology which seeks freedom for the individual,

“ Liberalism wagers that a state . . . can be strong but constrained – strong because constrained . . . Rights to education and other requirements for human development and security aim to advance equal opportunity and personal dignity and to promote a creative and productive society. To guarantee those rights, liberals have supported a wider social and economic role for the state, counterbalanced by more robust guarantees of civil liberties and a wider social system of checks and balances anchored in an independent press and pluralistic society. – Paul Starr, sociologist at Princeton University, The New Republic, March 2007

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liberalism is against nationalism, authoritarianism, militarism, corporatism. Conservatism is PRO nationalism, authoritarianism, militarism, and corporatism.

Liberalism is an ideology which seeks freedom for the individual,

That point I would argue has been lost in the modern version. The only way to do many of the things mentioned is by state control over the individual.

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Thinking about it more while I was away, I would also contest the nationalism one. It seems that every program must be a national one. National health care, national pre-K, national this, national that. Conservatives are the ones want less "federal" (read national) this and that and more local control.

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By chance, this article recently arrived in my "inbox".

It is certainly true that if political ads are the source of most Americans' understanding of the liberal/conservative balance (from either side), conservatives have been pretty deeply smeared. To be honest, it will take a lot for my opinion of conservatives to (corrected?) raised.

I am reading the referenced article now and it looks like there is no room for atheists, gay families. I like the view of schools and individual beliefs. I wish he had stuck with defining conservatives without trying to define liberals as everything they are not (okay, I exaggerate for effect).

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I am reading the referenced article now and it looks like there is no room for atheists, gay families.

Both tend to fall under this:

Conservatives believe that the marketplace of ideas should be open to a free and vigorous exchange of religious thought. People should have the freedom to advocate the propriety of their own religious views and to challenge the views of others. Nevertheless, because one's beliefs are ultimately a matter of personal conscience, conservatives believe that neither government nor anyone else should have the power to impose particular religious views on others. People should be free to believe (or disbelieve) in accordance with the dictates of their own conscience.

In regard to homosexuals, I might suggest that conservatives might find that "neither government nor anyone else should have the power to impose particular [...] views on others" is not being honored and that "[p]eople should have the freedom to advocate the propriety of their own [...] views and to challenge the views of others" is being discarded.

Votes + Comments
"If any man have ears to hear, let him hear!"
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These are actually the points I was questioning:

Conservatives also believe that one's rights come from the Creator, not from the government. They believe that Government's chief role is to protect the rights that God has endowed to humankind.

and

Conservatives believe that both mothers and fathers have unique and invaluable roles to play in the development of healthy children. Feminine and masculine role models are important for girls and boys alike. In our youth, we look to our mothers and fathers to learn how to live and relate to others

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These are actually the points I was questioning:

Conservatives also believe that one's rights come from the Creator, not from the government. They believe that Government's chief role is to protect the rights that God has endowed to humankind.

I thought Jefferson was sufficiently slippery with his references so as to allow much leeway: "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" "their Creator" "divine Providence".

and:

Conservatives believe that both mothers and fathers have unique and invaluable roles to play in the development of healthy children. Feminine and masculine role models are important for girls and boys alike. In our youth, we look to our mothers and fathers to learn how to live and relate to others

That would seem to throw a wrench in the works. I might suggest that no one is expected to be ideal, but merely to aim for it. Perhaps along the line that marriage before children is the preferred narrative but other valuable storylines can be accepted.

Maybe I'll have to subscribe to http://www.gaypatriot.net instead of merely happening upon articles here and there.

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I thought Jefferson was sufficiently slippery with his references so as to allow much leeway: "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" "their Creator" "divine Providence".

Mom and Dad acting together.

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I understand the Republican party will have 'liberals' replaced with 'anti-Americans.'

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Convincing people with ideas "I started out by reminding him of something that most people forget: the Vietnam War was a Democratic War. Kennedy started it and Johnson expanded it. (Nixon, the Republican, ended it.) I didn’t say this in the spirit of accusation, because I wasn’t being partisan. I said it to give historical context to a larger discussion about freedom versus statism."

This is misleading at best since Truman and Eisenhower both sent 'advisers' in to support the South Vietnam regime.

People tend to think of the VN war as a war between the North and the South but the South was making war on it's own people. There were so many different issues going on people lose sight but some images stay in the mind.

Attachments budist_monk_on_fire.jpg 101.11 KB
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More commentary:

Liberals and conservatives, Voegeli observes, have been arguing about the welfare state for 75 years, each side going so far as so define itself in terms of its stance on big government: "If the expansion of the welfare state is the reason liberals get up and go to work in the morning, its contraction is the reason conservatives do," he writes. The long tug of war between liberals and conservatives may achieve some tentative resolution in favor of liberals in the coming election, but Voegeli suggests that reality may yet intrude and serve to prolong what Voegeli terms our long Era of Bad Feelings between liberals and conservatives.

Voegli's essay poses difficult questions for liberals and conservatives. It includes, for example, a tabulation of federal spending on "human resources" programs since 1940. It shows that welfare state programs have increased under every president since FDR. Real, per capita federal spending on such programs was 15 times greater in 2007 than in 1940. Even the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who called for cuts to federal spending more than any other recent president, saw a slight increase. Should conservatives reconciles themselves to the welfare state? If so, how?

The welfare state has massively increased since 1940 and stands poised for another great expansion. Despite this massive growth, liberals keep calling for more. Since the beginning of the Progressive era, no liberal politician has suggested the ultimate and sufficient size of government. Instead, liberals demand more growth, refusing to consider the limits to growth of the welfare state.

Voegeli argues that Democrats' welfare state aspirations cannot be realized merely by soaking the rich: "Since even a 70% tax bracket won't do much good if it applies only to one-fiftieth of the population, the revenue yield from a much lower, politically feasible top bracket is going to be underwhelming."

To liberals Voegeli poses the question: "How do we render entitlements solvent, and pay for liberals' numerous initiatives for those who aren't elderly, and do all this without resorting to the kind of tax increases that imperil Democrats and the economy?"

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Life is hard then you die.

[T]he real crisis of conservatism…can be boiled down to two propositions. The first is that, at least as the American electorate is presently con­stituted, there is no imaginable political coali­tion…capable of sustaining a majority that takes a reduction of the scope of the federal govern­ment as one of its central tasks. The second [proposition] is that modern American conserva­tism is incapable of organizing itself without tak­ing that as a central mission.

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The Conservative Elevator Story

See, Conservatives still can't define themselves without bringing in Liberals. Every time Conservatives get into power and screw things up - Conservatives disown them and say "they aren't Conservative - REAL conservatives would have made things better" and besides it was Clinton that did it or Clinton did it first or the Liberals did it. Not us, We are Conservative - we do no wrong.

Sorry.

Point numero uno - Obama is not even president yet and the 2nd paragraph is "So much for hope and change."

2 - "Good question, Bob. In America today, conservatives believe, government is cruel, corrupt, unjust; and it just costs too much. And we conservatives just can't stand there and do nothing
" The conservatives in Washington have made the government cruel, corrupt, unjust, and expensive - we are still reeling from 8 years of Conservative 'do nothing'.

3 - Liberals created this monster, Bob. Liberals believe that compulsory government programs are the way to help the poor and comfort the afflicted. But they are wrong. Government is not compassion. Government is force. You cannot solve social problems by force. It is the conservative Gov under Bush that tortures people, incarcerates them w/o due process, perverts the Justice system, et c. Conservatives created the monster and blames the Liberals.

Ralph (since he is talking to Bob, I will call him Ralph), Ralph is flailing around trying to define himself by denigrating others; Ralph is an empty suit of clothes - the clothes are fine, bought at Brooks Bros., the tie is Armani, and the shoes Gucci but it is an empty suit.

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