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Liberal Verses Conservative

Written by | November 10th, 2008
As a registered Independent, and someone that feels a bit let down by both parties, I do try my best to look at both parties, objectively, and all proposed policies. I am conservative with some things and liberal with others; I think that many can relate to that. Also, that is what often makes voting a bit difficult for me. 
If we take away the Democrat and Republican labels, there are really two, fundamental, political philosophies, in this country… Liberal and Conservative. 
That being said, I would like to hear other points of view, from a philosophical, less-political, point of view, regardless of your party, political affiliation, if any, or who you voted for.
How do you define conservative and liberal, as it relates to politics, in this country?
I would ask that everyone “please” try to be objective and not over-politicize the answer. I am more interested in the philosophies, as opposed to any conceived or preconceived notion of how things should be done, politically.
Thank you,
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3 thoughts on “Liberal Verses Conservative

  1. KEB Post author

    Wow … you realize this is a wide open field. I couldn’t begin to explain my own views of liberalism and conservatism, but I can give you a somewhat objective view of how I feel about the different geo-political parties and how they fit my worldview.

    First I’ll tackle “liberal”. In my mind the liberal agenda involves such ideologies as:

    Rich people are typically evil
    Poor people are taken advantage of by rich people
    Health care is a God given right
    Religion is antiquated, it is ok if you don’t have any
    Government must do more to protect us

    I am sure there are more, but those are the main items I typically hear from the liberal folks I know.

    Now for “conservative”. I purposely will address the ideologies put forth above for comparison sake.

    Rich people built this country
    Poor people are lazy
    Health care is a service for which you must pay
    Religion is a core philosophy, you must be heathen if you don’t have any i.e. athiests are dumb.
    Government does too much already, in fact the only reason we need government is to manage the masses of poor people. The elite rich don’t have to abide by the rules.

    Of course if you read those and compare, you will note that while there is some truth in just about every statement, there is also falsehoods in each as well.

    Rich people aren’t neccessarily evil, but some are, there are of course evil poor folks too, so to label the rich as being evil is being disenginuous. This is typical of people, regardless of economic status. The folks living in poverty are poor in comparison to the ones making $50k, and they are poor in relation to those making $100k. The number get bigger, but the comparison stays the same. No matter what your income, there always seem to be someone else making more that is “rich” while you seem to be barely scraping by. I know this is little consolation to those barely making a living, but the fact is, monetary wealth can be more of a burden than people imagine. I’ve been on both sides. I was happier as a “poor” person. Maybe I’ll tell some stories one day. Rich people didn’t really build this country, the poor folks did, but it was financed by the rich folks. Without the rich folks spending the capital, those seeking a better life i.e. the poor, would not have been building the country. So, while the poor actually did the labor, the rich made it happen. This is probably a better example of how cooperative efforts bring things to fruition – how we (rich and poor) need each other to make things happen.

    Poor people are lazy … nope … most poor people are some of the hardest working folks I know, the problem is that the few that take advantage of the system give the rest a very bad name. Remember the poor folks are the ones actually doing the grunt work, the hard, callus building, back breaking labor – and some wouldn’t have it any other way. A case can be made for an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. Of course poor people are advantaged by the rich. Without the poor folks needing jobs and income, the rich folks couldn’t pay to have anything done. Most poor people don’t have employees, and most employees feel taken advantage of by their employer, so in that instance, poor people are indeed taken advantage of by rich folks.

    Health care is a God given right … well, this is unique in that many “liberals” are self proclaimed athiests, yet somehow man has the right to have health care, to endenture another human being to take care of them when they are sick. Conservatives feel this is only true if you pay for the privelege. Nonetheless, there is some creedence to this. If you are a rich person, you want to have a healthy workforce. Is it not in your best interest to provide health care to your workforce? Of course that would be true if there were a limited number of employees, but employees are plentiful. When they are not, you will note that employers generally do provide health care as a benefits package. Of course, when employment drops, and there is a vast pool of people wanting employment, the employer can pick and choose the healthy folks and has no need for the sick. It seems so callus, but those are the facts as I see them.

    Religion is a core value for most conservatives, although it isn’t a requirement. Indeed there are athiest conservatives, and religious liberals. The key difference in philosophy, I think, is that the “conservative christian” many times gets confused with “conservative political”. While conservative christians are typically conservative politicals, the inverse is generally not true. The misconceptions abound in both liberal and conservative political groups.

    The government, at least the federal government, when initially formulated was for only a few purposes. Those purposes, as outlined in the constitution, gives the federal government the task of providing for the cumulative defense of the several states, a mechanism by which the several states may interact in fairness, and provide a mechanism by which the several states may interact cohesively with foreign nations. To protect “us” the federal government must promote fairness among and between the several states. It tries to do that, however, it is clear that more could be done to protect the individuals. On the other hand, the federal government has no mandate to protect “us” is merely has the mandate to protect the “several states”. That is why each of the several states have and maintain an active military force. That is why we have the “national guard”. In a free society, where government injects the will of people 4000 miles away, is inconceivable, yet it happens on a regular basis. On that note, each state should be able to govern themselves within their borders, as a soverign entity. The point being, that if Massachussetts for example, wants to have gay marriage, then they should be allowed to have it, however, if another state does not wish to have it, they should be allowed to legislate against it. Of course that is another discussion altogether, and not one I am prepared to tackle at the moment.

    Forgive me for the diatribe, but in an effort to be fair, I felt the need to expand on many of the concepts.

  2. markross Post author

    K, yes, I am well aware of that : ) It seemed like an interesting topic.

    I do believe that there must be a point to where we can all find some level of agreement.

    Your comments are right to the point! Very informative, and very objective, thank you. I can not see trying to explain it much better then you have : )


  3. markross Post author

    K, have you noticed an overlap between the two ideologies, as of late?

    It is interesting how lifelong democrats, like myself, shifted further toward the right and people that were to the right, seem to have shifted more to the left.

    Hopefully this will guide us to a more Independent-minded, centralist government, in the future.

    In my personal opinion, extremities are never good, on either side.



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