Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, July 31, 2008

Political labels are out of whack

July 31, 2008

Advertisement

Had it not been liberals, it would have been something else. Let's grant that from the beginning.

Broken people, after all, can always find some equally broken rationale for the carnage they cause. And the brokenness of 58-year-old Jim Adkisson can hardly be doubted after he walked into a Unitarian Universalist church in Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday and, according to police, shot eight people, killing two.

He might as well have said he did it because he didn't like the color of the building, a black cat crossed his path or the voices in his head thought it a good idea. Except, he didn't. Police say that, according to the four-page note he left, he went on the rampage because he couldn't find a job, and because he hates gay people and liberals.

Even through the brokenness of the man, that reasoning resonates.

From the days the first President Bush branded it "the L word" - i.e., the ideology that dare not speak its name - conservative politicians and media figures have been relentlessly effective in selling the idea that "liberal" is the brand name for every wrong thing they see, every opinion they disagree with, every change they fear. They have not been hampered by excessive devotion to nuance.

As in the pundit who claims "liberal" is a mental disorder. And the politician who says liberals are in league with Satan. And the preacher who said Sept. 11 was caused by liberals. And the other preacher who says liberals cause natural disasters.

It has reached the point where I no longer have the faintest idea what liberal - or, for that matter, conservative - even means.

Oh, I know what they used to mean. To be conservative was to be suspicious of change and federal oversight, to embrace minimalist government, fiscal responsibility and a strong national defense. To be liberal was to be welcoming of change, suspicious of militarism and committed to activist government that worked to protect and uplift those who are shoved to the margins of American life.

That's what they meant then. What they mean now seems to depend on the needs of a given moment.

Your humble correspondent has never been much for ideology. I find it hard to believe liberals have a monopoly on truth. Same for conservatives. And frankly, as far as I'm concerned, any worldview that can be summed up in a word probably isn't much of a worldview.

But it is increasingly the case that what we are being presented isn't a debate between competing worldviews so much as it is a morality play: righteous good versus unholy evil. Conservatives have cast themselves in the former role, leaving liberals the latter. It's a libel to which liberals have responded as the bug does to the windshield: splat.

Unable to say what they believe or to frame it in any compelling way, they have allowed themselves to be defined instead from without, standing ineffectual in a mudstorm of invective. They are, the propaganda goes, effete, unpatriotic, unstable, un-American, anti-God, evil, and the source of a voter's every problem, down to and including the death of his goldfish and the breakup of his marriage. It is so over the top, so patently ridiculous, it's almost funny. Until you remember that dehumanizing people inevitably has consequences.

That's what Knoxville is, a consequence.

No, conservatives did not cause this bloodbath. Jim Adkisson allegedly did. But in telling him "liberals" were the source of his every disaffection and woe, conservatives certainly validated the hatred and madness that drove him.

It would be a fitting tribute to those who were lost in Knoxville if this tragedy gave the authors of the ongoing morality play cause for pause - and reflection. Or is accountability yet another lost conservative value?

- Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald.

Comments

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

Borrow-and-spend republican policy is not an economic policy at all. It is a policy of economic destruction.To cut taxes on the wealthy in a time of an expensive war is not only unprecedented but very foolhardy. Once upon a time, John McCain thought so, too. My how times (and McCain) flip-flop.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Scott3460:You have made several intelligent (but wrong) argument in the past but I am afraid this is nonsense.Again, even if we assumed conservatives owned 100% of the AM dial, does not mean people are forced to listen to it, and even if you were forced you don't have to believe everything you hear. Also the fact that Air American is (or was, not sure if they Soros is still losing money on this sinkhole) available shows that there are options. Whether YOU choose to listen to them or not does not mean they are not available"Finally, since you were so kind as to label my comment ignorant, well, right back at you: your last paragraph is simply laughable. The in my observation the liberal conspiracy is one of the main things you "whack" jobs complain about." - scottThe difference: I labeled your argument and then backed it up with reason; whereas you simply label my argument without substantiation. I also did not complain about a liberal conspiracy, so I don't know why you included that.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

logicsound04...First, if someone believes in liberal philosophy they shouldn't have a problem defending it, so whether my goals are for education or for argument are irrelevant. I would wager that if I wanted to talk about how great a President Bush was, I would get a few counter arguments because people are comfortable in their conclusions. Perhaps people can't discuss liberalism because they themselves don't know what it is. Second, jafs was mainly stating the goals of liberalism, not liberal philosophy (i.e. why it should be government's job to achieve the objectives, specifically how the government should achieve, and whether it produces good outcomes or results in more government bureaucracy and waste). I could have simply said conservatism is about freedom of choice, and end there, but I explained how conservatism achieves that objective, not simply the government shouldn't be involved because I said so. Why is it so difficult to explain liberalism philosophy and its view the government is always the solution to all of our problems. Third, not all of Jafs attempt at explaining liberal philosophy was a failure. Jafs did have one point which wasn't a vague goal: "Liberals believe that large companies, if left unregulated, will tend towards corruption and greed, and that government should put a brake on these through regulations." jafs. This specifically states the problem and most importantly HOW government should solve the problem. To which I responded with an alternative, and misunderstood conservative view of the same issue. I did not dismiss his comment.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Beatrice:Conservatives are upset about Bush's spending habits, and many including McCain have voiced disapproval. Perhaps you just don't pay attention to anything conservatives do unless it is negative. Or maybe it is just hard to hear us yelling at Bush because the liberals are yelling louder and with more numbers. Also, the focus recently has been off Bush an on who the next President will be.

Daytrader23 6 years, 6 months ago

When was the last time you saw a liberal hate crime?

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Yourworstnightmare:You are confusing the terms liberal vs. conservative with liberal and conservative philosophy. Liberal and conservative philosophy is not based on the speed of change. Another example of liberal and conservative not being related to what we are talking about is: if you are liberal on the mayonnaise you want a lot, as opposed to conservative meaning you want a little. "Hmmm, sounds like to result of deregulation to me. One need only look at corporate scandals (Enron, Tyco) and the mortgage industry collapse, events triggered by deregulation of these industries" - nightmare(1) How does this in any way counter my argument or is on the topic you copied and pasted?(2) Pure free marketers would say if businesses screw up they should fail. However, most neo-conservatives argue some regulation is good, encouraging growth and faith in the system, while other regulation is bad and suffocates growth.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Scott3460:I think your previous comment is the most ignorant thing you have ever said. Do you really think the companies that produce this show are losing a ton of money, and only do so to support propaganda? If so please show me the numbers available in the fiscal reports that they are losing money. Or maybe they are making money because people listen, which their books suggest.Even if the only choice is between two conservative entertainers on the radio people still have a choice to not listen, or turn to the FM dial, no one is forced to choose to listen. Have you ever heard of AIr America, the left wing attempt to counter the success of conservative shows? How are the ratings for that? Or better yet, since we live in a free market society maybe you could create your own company with liberal AM talk, and fill the void you claim is lacking.If you think Fox News is biased you there are plenty of other options available. Most of the films coming out of Hollywood is far left liberal propaganda, but I don't blame some conspiracy, I realize there are just a lot of loons in California, and I choose not to watch most of the half-truth bull.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 6 months ago

I never said that the companies were unprofitable, Satirical. My point was they are successful because they are pretty much all that we are offered. The error in your thinking is in the following statement: "we live in a free market society maybe you could create your own company with liberal AM talk, and fill the void you claim is lacking." We most certainly do not live in a free market with regard to AM hate radio. 20-30 years of consolidation of media ownership means that it is virtually impossible for me to take the steps you suggest I take. The markets are controlled by 7-10 media giants and they control 80-90% of the message that gets broadcast. The "success" of one brand of AM hate radio over another is nothing more than the ability of the marketing arms of these conglomerates to appeal to the ever-dimmer lowest common denominator. I would argue with you about the "choices" people may or may not have because, in my opinion, these same consolidated corporate forces have ruined all radio and that means that the same generic, boring crap that hate radio represents in the "talk" format is all that is available in the music format. So your choices are: Rush Limbaugh spewing his lies, Glen Beck spewing his lies, Paul Harvey spewing his nonsense at noon, a couple of "classic rock" stations playing the same 100 songs you have heard since you were 13 years old, some "ethic" stations for those consumers, an "oldies" station (see classic rock approach and change the playlist by 30-50 years,) NPR and the Midwest Hog Futures Report. Yes, I've heard of Air America. I made the decision a while ago that corporate radio held no interest for me, so I pay to listen to superior content. Finally, since you were so kind as to label my comment ignorant, well, right back at you: your last paragraph is simply laughable. The in my observation the liberal conspiracy is one of the main things you "whack" jobs complain about.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

The success of right-wing talk radio has to do with a consolidation of the industry, as Scott suggests, as well as the popularity of the shows among the brain-dead, of which there are many.If the right-wing shows were not popular, the it would not be long before they were off the air. The sad fact is that there are many idiotic american consumers of this crapola.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Still no one is able to explain pure liberal philosophy and the realistic ultimate social and financial results (other than vague goals of liberalism) ?I would have figured with so many liberals in Lawrence one could do a decent job explaining liberal philosophy. Although I have to give jafs credit for trying.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

I share your dislike of government bureaucracies, though, and agree that there is generally an element of waste/inefficiency in government.Of course, that is often the case with private institutions as well.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

Seriously, Scott, I've seen you post some reasonable stuff before, but you don't actually believe what you wrote in that last post, do you? Rather than a hired and subsidized mouthpiece, I would say the better theory is simple partisan hackery. They talk the (Republican) government's talking points because it guarantees them a devoted listening audience and thus a steady salary, feeding off people's arrogance in their own righteousness to simplify discourse into us versus them, and if they backed out of it now they'd lose their listening audience.

jaywalker 6 years, 6 months ago

jonas says:"Rather than a hired and subsidized mouthpiece, I would say the better theory is simple partisan hackery. They talk the (Republican) government's talking points because it guarantees them a devoted listening audience and thus a steady salary, feeding off people's arrogance in their own righteousness to simplify discourse into us versus them, and if they backed out of it now they'd lose their listening audience."Bingo! Yahtzee! Now that's the correct, rational way to approach the subject. Unfortunately from Scott's post there's furtherance of the 'us vs. them', they're evil - we're angelic polarization technique employed by those he rails against.

BrianR 6 years, 6 months ago

Hey Bondman, I think Staff04 gave your bizarre rant all the consideration it was due.

staff04 6 years, 6 months ago

Well, I guess we know that Tom certainly isn't interested in breaking the destructive cycle...

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

dandelion..."Liberal can't be put into a little paragraph, Satirical"I think the main tenets of the liberal philosophy could be summed up in a couple paragraphs. I did it for conservative philosophy in my first post at 9:33 and for liberal philosophy in my second post at 9:33. Even if someone is part liberal, I would hope they would know why. Or maybe you are hitting my point that most people think they are liberal because that is what their friends or family are, and have never really analyzed what liberalism and conservatism really are. Maybe that is a reason why statistically people get older when they get closer to 35 and start a family. I didn't state anyone was a liberal simply because they disagree with me, although there are some self-avowed liberals, and I think it is not unreasonable to state there are many liberals in Lawrence.

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

Liberal hate crimes include numerous church burnings by anti-Christian fanatics. Liberal hate crimes include homosexuals sexually raping and killing young boys like the Arkansas case a few years ago. Liberal hate crimes include taking down any references to Christianity from public monuments; monuments which make reference to a Creator God. Liberal hate crimes include forcing their anti-god religion of evolution on children and disallowing alternative origins concepts. Liberal hate crimes include the hanging of nooses or scribbled messages of race hate in a public place only to find it was a liberal who did the hanging or the writing in the first place. Liberal hate crimes include infanticide otherwise known as partial birth abortion - all abortion is a hate crime with death penalty the final act!Look to the ACLU and NAMBLA, Planned Parenthood and Media Matters for ideas on how liberals hate. I do not recommend hate for anybody as it is self consuming and destructive. Stay away from haters!

staff04 6 years, 6 months ago

Jeez bondmen, how did you get a hold of Adkisson's manifesto so soon? I would have thought it would be weeks or months before it was made public...

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

Bondman: Do you honestly believe that any of those sparse and potentially disingenuous examples is deserving of a refutation? Fine, I'll match your level of justification and support. You're wrong. If you want anymore try harder to make a decent argument.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

JohnBrown:"Now we know why the Sunni and the Shi'a don't get along. Or, for that matter, why Al Qaida hates us (They feel threatened by western culture)."I don't want everyone to think alike, I want debate and discussion. The difference between American and the groups you cite is that we use rhetoric and the law to solve our problems, while those groups often resort to violence to force submission of their enemies."The vote this fall is a referendum on whether GW and his brand of "ism" has reached that excess." - johnbrownMaybe you didn't receive the memo, but Bush isn't running again. I know the main liberal propaganda is that all Republicans are the same, but that is ignorant. We are choosing among two candidate with different beliefs than Bush. Rather than voting against something, how about you vote for something.

JHOK32 6 years, 6 months ago

Lets put more Republicans in office.......Exxon-Mobil announced 11 Billion dollars in profits today, the most record profits of any US company in US history! its CEO makes 21 Million dollars a year! I know, lets blame this on the Dems! Yeah, that makes sense! Under Bush, the price of gas has doubled. Poor people getting their benefits cut while Exxon-Mobil makes Billions at our expense! Enough is Enough!!!!!

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

logicsoud04...My assessment of conservative philosophy was objective and accurate.I agree my assessment of liberal philosophy is biased, but liberal logic is hard to define so I have to fill in the gaps. Perhaps you could explain liberal philosophy better, and the social and financial results of such a philosophy.I believe most liberals have good intentions, but fail to understand the real consequnces to their policy decisions. They falsely believe the government can always help, when it normally just makes a situation worse. I also think a philosophy that constantly bails out people who make bad decisions, and steals from the hard workers, ultimately will discourage productivity and good behavior, and encourage laziness and bad behavior.

JohnBrown 6 years, 6 months ago

People often opt to hate those who threaten their values. That's obvious from reading these entries. Now we know why the Sunni and the Shi'a don't get along. Or, for that matter, why Al Qaida hates us (They feel threatened by western culture).What we need from government is assurance that government won't be taken over by any of the opposing groups. Meanwhile, the opposing groups are trying to figure out ways to take over the government and enforce their values on everyone else.The value of a functioning democracy is that it ensures that no one group will take over permanently: after one group takes over and goes to excess, the voters boot them out, for a while.The vote this fall is a referendum on whether GW and his brand of "ism" has reached that excess.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Jafs:The problem with your explanation of liberal philosophy is that it is mainly a list of what liberals beliefs or goals are but lack the method of achieving those goals or the social and fiscal costs of such methods."Liberals believe that government can be helpful when dealing with social problems. Liberals believe that all people deserve a chance, and that due to various inequities, one of government's roles is to help create a more level playing field." - jafsThis does not describe a method of dealing with the problem other than : government is there to fix the problem. See my post at 9:33 for the negative outcomes of such help when people's problems are caused by their own choices. Conservatives agree these problems should be solved, they just don't believe it is the purpose of government to solve the problems, and a more efficient solution is available."Liberals believe that large companies, if left unregulated, will tend towards corruption and greed, and that government should put a brake on these through regulations." - jafsConservatives are not opposed to all regulation, just most ill-informed regulation to promote a socialist agenda rather than prevent corruption and increase investor confidence. Anti-trust (anti-monopoly) laws are necessary to ensure competition, efficiency, and low prices, which conservatives support and have long been the law."Liberals believe that personal choices about religion and sexuality are no business of government. Liberals believe that personal freedoms (as set out in the Constitution) are important, and that government should not infringe upon these. The most likely consequences (although it's very hard to predict) of liberal philosophy would be a society in which all have more of an equal chance to succeed or fail, one in which personal freedoms are ensured, and one in which large companies are prevented from dominating the marketplace."" - jafsDespite what you have been told, conservatives believe and want the same thing. Again, a liberal goal is not the same thing as liberal philosophy, which it is the method of dealing with the situation.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Beatrice:":so why, then, do you and other conservatives continue to support and defend him if you are all aware of what a terrible job he is doing?"Unlike you simply because I disagree with part of someone's policy doesn't mean I disagree with every aspect of all of their policies. Increasing spending while simultaneously decreasing taxes is not a conservative philosophy. (Although it is one monetary policy to increase economic growth).

BuffyloGal 6 years, 6 months ago

"Oh and he was married five times I believe so the fellow practiced a fairly liberal sex and marriage policy, didn't he?"___Yes, conservatives only marry twice - to a younger trophy wife.

dandelion 6 years, 6 months ago

bondmen (Anonymous) says:"Liberal hate crimes include numerous church burnings by anti-Christian fanatics." I believe most church burnings were done by racists burning black churches. Liberals believe in the constitution and freedom of religion, so they would never attack a church. "Liberal hate crimes include homosexuals sexually raping and killing young boys like the Arkansas case a few years ago." I'm not sure what specific case you are referring to, but rape is usually not political and isn't tied to a persons sexual identity. It is a crime of violence, and a need to control. Since liberals don't like violence, I'm not sure how this would fit." Liberal hate crimes include taking down any references to Christianity from public monuments; monuments which make reference to a Creator God." The liberal church that Adkinson attacked believed in God. Again, liberals believe in religious freedom, and people also have the freedom to not belief. The state should not promote any religion. Many of our European ancestors came to the New World to flee persecution. You are free to worship in any church, but not at a government monument. "Liberal hate crimes include forcing their anti-god religion of evolution on children and disallowing alternative origins concepts." Schools teach science, a small part of that teaching involves evolution. As a parent you may opt your child out of science class and public schools will provide an alternative credit. Or you may home school or send your child to a private school. Again, the government cannot promote a religion."Liberal hate crimes include the hanging of nooses or scribbled messages of race hate in a public place only to find it was a liberal who did the hanging or the writing in the first place." This does not happen often. Most race hate messages are left by racists. "Liberal hate crimes include infanticide otherwise known as partial birth abortion - all abortion is a hate crime with death penalty the final act!" Again, this boils down to religion. If your religion teaches you that life begins at conception, then don't get an abortion. However you have no right to tell others who believe life begins at birth that they can't choose for themselves. You are only responsible for your own soul, not theirs.Your post is very scary. I assume you are a Christian, so I hope you follow the commandment about not killing. Try and concentrate on your religion. Go out and help someone less fortunate than you. It will make you less hateful.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 6 years, 6 months ago

So, someone please clear this up for me...effectively, how many pigeonholes are we talkin' here... two... three?

camper 6 years, 6 months ago

A couple of thoughts after reading the article and posts.1) I always thought that change was what made this country great. The US is (or was) always an innovator. 2) Labeling people liberal or conservative is polarizing and often de-humanizing (as stated). It is nonsense....and a lame argument (or lack of argument). 3) Neither the government nor the free market system can solve all of society's needs. Each should play a role. Some services that benefit society just do not lend themselves well to business (ie education, healthcare, and I'm beginning to think energy). Likewise, many goods/services (if not most) are better left to free-market system.4) Another thing I see as lame: This perpetual "liberal media" thing conservatives always talk about. From my viewpoint, I see FoxNews all over the place, and talk radio seems to be mostly conservative. This liberal media stuff is weak.5) It is possible that I might be called liberal now, even though I am not. But nobody is gonna call me conservative...I'm not one of them either.

Solutions101 6 years, 6 months ago

JHOK32:"Ah yes, I can see it now::lying on the beautiful white beaches of Florida, hearing the tide coming & going, and romantically looking at palm trees and a hundred ::: oil wells. Great idea Republicans. Brilliant!"-They already drill offshore. Example: Anaheim, CA. Millions of dollars have been invested to "camouflage" the rig to look like beautiful islands with many palm trees and brilliant lights. They have also invested into silencers; everyone on the beach lounges with their pina coladas without knowing the multi-million, man-made attractions have anything to do with oil.JHOK32, How about you think or do a little research before you post something like that?"But in telling him "liberals" were the source of his every disaffection and woe, conservatives certainly validated the hatred and madness that drove him."What? People have the inability to think for themselves now? People think and choose what to believe on their own. I believe this person heard both sides of the story. Conservatives are not to blame. He constituted in his own brain that he did not like liberals or the like. No one is to blame but himself.

Orwell 6 years, 6 months ago

Conservatism, at least as practiced today, seems to mean government staying out of your pocket but being free to invade your bedroom. Liberalism is pretty much the opposite.Me, I'm not that comfortable with the state having power over private behavior or thought. When it comes to control over assets, I'm rather more agnostic. If there's public consensus that there's a sufficient need, and the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace isn't meeting that need effectively, it's left to the government to act. At that point I tend to side with Oliver Wendell Holmes: "I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization." If the government makes a hash of it, we call in replacements every so often.So, a question or two how is that bad, and which pigeonhole is mine? Finally, how does it advance the common good to choose up sides and attack each other? Can't wait to see the responses, both knee-jerk and thoughtful.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Yourworsenightmare:Again, I don't see how you are counting my argument in your 11:57 post. I feel like I have to keep repeating myself, and explaining to people what I didn't say. I never said I or all conservatives were against any regulation. Some regulation is necessary and encourage investor confidence and growth, while other regulation only suffocates industries and increases consumer prices. However, as a general rule too much regulation is a bad thing because it causes the latter. Your examples do not counter this argument.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 6 months ago

Sadly, unaccountability will be the primary legacy of the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush years.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Mr_Nancy....Have you heard about the poll that stated while Obama has an advantage within the margin of error for all voters, McCain has an advantage among likely voters. I read it on U.S. News and World report's website two days ago.

jaywalker 6 years, 6 months ago

"They are the propaganda organs of our would be corporate and military/industrial complex masters, spewing forth the daily messages of hate, obfuscation, distortion and outright lies all designed to keep a majority of the working class of this country from banding together behind a progressive political movement."Here, here. And Tower 7 was an 'inside' job. What a complete load of horse $%#!

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Major correction: "Maybe that is a reason why statistically people get older when they get closer to 35 and start a family"Meant to say: "Maybe that is the reason why statistically people become conservative when they get closer to 35 and start a family"

Solutions101 6 years, 6 months ago

"To be conservative was to be suspicious of change and federal oversight, to embrace minimalist government, fiscal responsibility and a strong national defense. To be liberal was to be welcoming of change, suspicious of militarism and committed to activist government that worked to protect and uplift those who are shoved to the margins of American life."If to be suspicious of change would be to analyze the outcome of change for the better or worse, then the statement would be correct of a conservative, which would be opposite of liberals who say change is okay just because it is change, whether for the better or worse. The "activist" government that we have is NOT protecting or uplifting any citizens. I try to understand why people are liberals. I credit it to the disapproval of President Bush, the war, ignorance (creating the elitist attribute) or ungratefulness. I happen to enjoy my freedom. I do not take it, or anything else for that matter, for granted. I do not think you "pick and choose" sections from the Constitution (income tax, for example). It is the government's responsibility is to secure our nation, not save us from ourselves. Liberals do not agree with the war: they do not approve of how the government is spending our money. Why on earth do they want to trust the government with more of our money? Liberals believe the government can spend our money better than they can. I completely disagree. The federal government can bribe the states to withhold their money for a concurrent power, i.e. road construction, unless the states change their laws while disregarding public safety. This is far from a free county. John McCain may not be perfect, but he is the best option. You hear of "tax cuts for the rich;" this is a cut on corporate tax, currently around 35% while other countries are at 11%. If the U.S. wants to maintain and foster business here, the rate needs to be lowered. This is a good economy-stimulator. It gives back to the U.S. economy while providing jobs. Do not be ignorant and/or disapproval of oil companies making money; they do more good than harm. Top 5% pay 60% of the income taxes. Look up info on the IRS and how they fit into our rights. The only difference between a government-ran socialist economy than a communist economy is the enforcement of the state; the state is controlled by the federal government. History then would repeat itself.Please leave me the free will that remains."Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserves neither." -Benjamin Franklin

storm 6 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, I'll say political labels are out whack! Liberal does not mean Democratic, and conservative does not mean Republican. Those are only philosophies about how you think. If you're anti-choice and want ALL states to be anti-choice, you vote Democratic. IF only the anti-choicers knew this, they would have targeted the Democratic party! Ditto for legalized prostitution and same-gender marriage.

jaywalker 6 years, 6 months ago

Camper:Fully agree with your first three points. But your fourth - you must be kidding. You see Fox News all over the place? It's one channel! Conservative talk radio? Usually two channels on AM radio. Liberal media - overwhelming in newspapers. Just off the top of my head - MSNBC and all NBC off shoots, CNN, Time, The New Yorker, Washington Post, LA Times, NY Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Newsweek, and Air America -- all liberal.Besides the Washington Post and Fox News, I don't know of any other major media sources considered 'conservative'.Like you, I'm a fuzzy 'tweener when it comes to political position, but the slant in such publications is readily obvious. And those are some of the most widely read or watched media sources in the country. Time, Newsweek, NY Times, and CNN are the leaders in their respective media, and all heavily liberal.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Logicsound04:You are just repeating the same failed analysis this author used. Conservative and liberal philosophy can be defined. Simply because individuals have variations, and there are numerous exceptions to the general philosophy, does not mean there is no general philosophy or that pure conservative and liberal philosophy are indefinable. A person should always look at the facts to determine if a particular situation requires a deviation from the general rule, but that doesn't mean a general rule doesn't exist.I think many people who vote Democrat, and think they are left-wingers do so because they are socially liberal, even though they are fiscally conservative, believe in free markets and in small government, which is undermined by liberal philosophy (you seem to fall in this category). I understand there is a spectrum of individuals who have a variety of beliefs and I do not claim conservative philosophy is the solution to all of the problems in the universe. I do believe as a general rule conservatism is a wiser and more well reasoned philosophy leading to the better results and more freedom for society and individuals. (You get to choose how to spend your money rather than government deciding how it should be spent on you).Since I consider myself open-minded I would like someone to explain pure liberal philosophy and the realistic ultimate social and financial results.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

The fact is, everyone posting here has benefited immensely from government action and regulation. The internet itself was born of a military (government) initiative.As the old addage goes, we have all been shown to be prostitutes; we're just haggling over price.Everyone posting thinks that government has a some role in civilization and society. To deny this would put one on the fringe.I myself think that government must do what the profit motive will not or cannot. Things like national defense, police, fire, and health care are things that are beyond the abilities of the profit motive. Therefore, the government should have a central role in these issues. The profit motive does not serve the impoverished, so government must have a role. If the profit motive is left to its own devices, it will eventually either destroy itself or destroy all competition. Therefore, the government must regulate markets, monopolies, and businesses to ensure that the profit motive remains the powerful force that it is.

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

Hey staff04, I noticed you didn't think it worthwhile to refute a single one from the list of 6 liberal hate crimes.Did you miss the story the mad Nashville shooter resented being taken to church as a child and became angry when someone brought up Christianity? Oh and he was married five times I believe so the fellow practiced a fairly liberal sex and marriage policy, didn't he?

staff04 6 years, 6 months ago

I didn't bother, bondmen, because only one or two of the "liberal hate crimes" you listed is actually a hate crime in the real world--that would be, the world outside of your little fantasyland.Yes, someone shooting up a church because of hatred for Christians is a hate crime.Defending the 1st amendment is not a crime. Teaching science is not a crime. Abortion is not a crime.Unfortunately, just because YOU think something like abortion, or sexual assault, or science, or the 1st Amendment to the Constitution are hate crimes doesn't make it so.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

Sati, I disagree with every aspect of every Bush administration policies? News to me. Why not be honest and say I disagree with enough of Bush's policies to wish he had never been put in office in the first place. The one thing that bugs me greatly about conservative philosophy are the social agendas that effect others' lives based on conservatives' Christian beliefs. Saying gay marriages will somehow weaken straight marriages is an example that simply makes no sense, but because it can somewhat be supported by an ancient Middle Eastern text filled with ancient Middle Eastern prejudices the cons think it is right and proper. There are others, of course (pro-gun, anti-feminism, anti-choice, pro-war, pro-torture, anti-privacy, etc...) but why beat a conservative dead horse. The times, they are a changin'. The young tend to be more liberal, which will be a good thing for us all. Obama for President!

dandelion 6 years, 6 months ago

Ok, I googled George Soros and here's what I found out about him. He is a very rich, successful business man, which must really gripe you Nancy boy. He also gave a lot of money to the group in Poland, Solidarity, which helped overthrow Soviet rule there. That must have griped you too. I'm mean those Soviet's took out their enemies. Didn't you say in another incarnation that liberals better not reveal themselves to you? Or was that RR, or are you one of the same. The Soviets were also pro torture and wire tapped all kinds of people without any qualms about human rights. Since you've expressed your support for the US to do the same, you must really have admired those Soviets. He's also given to many charities, and since you hate poor, disadvantaged people, you must really hate him for that. He's also given to many groups that are pro democracy groups, including anti-apartheid groups.Which brings us to the real reason you hate this guy. It really must gripe you that Soros is a rich, successful Jew, who is supporting an African-American man (and half white) for president. Good god almighty, as my granny used to say, you can't even move to South Africa anymore and be around your "kind". I think there are a few compounds left around in the isolated parts of America you could move to. You might even meet the next Tim McVeigh, your hero.

JHOK32 6 years, 6 months ago

Satiracal: Here'a a definition of "conservatism" - 1. Give all your super-rich oil buddies tax breaks while they are making the highest record profits in U.S. history (Exxon-Mobil posted a whopping $11 Billion dollar profit today - It's CEO made a paltry $ 25 Million last year - life must be tough). 2. While your super-rich oil buddies are getting richer, cut benefits to those who are most in need, including the veteran's who sacrificed life & limb for those record Exxon-Mobil profits. 3. Call yourself a "christian" while doing this. 4. Blame oil prices on Obama. 5. Charge up a whopping $500 Billion dollars in debt & leave it for us to pay for, then blame that on the Dems also. Starting to get the picture?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

"(1) How does this in any way counter my argument or is on the topic you copied and pasted?(2) Pure free marketers would say if businesses screw up they should fail. However, most neo-conservatives argue some regulation is good, encouraging growth and faith in the system, while other regulation is bad and suffocates growth."Government regulation of industry prevents things like Enron and the mortgage crash from happening. When these regulations were removed (some by Bill Clinton), the abuses of Enron and the quick-profit bundling of high-risk mortgages were allowed to happen.The unperturbed free market is as much of a fantasy as state control of industry. markets work best when they are wisely regulated. Otherwise, short-term profiteers such as Enron and many mortgage banks will do what they can to make a short-term profit even if it is not in their best long-term interest.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Jafs:"By your definitions, this administration is failing miserably to work for conservative principles, wouldn't you say?"Yes, Bush is not a true fiscal conservative."Interestingly, the only 4 years in the last 35 which produced budget surpluses were during the Clinton administration."Yes, budgets can be balanced by increasing taxes. They can also be balanced by decreasing spending and giving the people back more of their own money to spend as they choose. (another important element of conservative philosophy I failed to initially mention, which is more evidence conservatives care more about choice, and personal accountability)

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Liberals believe in a fundamental different role for the government, which is that the government is there to redistribute wealth and make everyone equal. They believe the federal government should have more influence because they believe individuals are too stupid to make decisions for themselves, and should be protected from any bad choices. Liberals believe that anytime anyone makes a choose the government job offset the outcome to make everyone equal. If an individual makes a bad choice and looses their home, or get too fat, or is lazy, the governments job is to bail out these people from their bad choices, claiming they are really victims. However, if you make good choices and are successful, the government's job is to take away the fruit of your labor and give it to those who made bad choices. They believe this will all lead to equality and is the true purpose of a democracy. Since this system rewards bad behavior and discouraging productive behavior and is not self regulating, numerous laws are required to force people to make good choices and regulate as many aspect of a person's life as possible.

acg 6 years, 6 months ago

Ya'll just never stop, do you? What a destructive way to behave, regardless of which side of the fence you're on.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

I think the terms "liberal" and "conservative" have lost any useful meaning and no longer serve a purpose. This is Pitts' point.The real differences argued here and elsewhere involve right-wing versus left-wing political viewpoints.One can be a right-wing liberal (many who harangue on this forum are just that) and one can be a left-wing conservative (also some of these on the forum)."Liberal" and "conservative" are operational terms. Liberals want change as soon as possible, whereas conservatives tend to move more slowly and cautiously and rely on the status quo to work.A right-wing liberal wants to ban abortion now, cut taxes now, ban gay marriage now, teach creationism in the public schools now, drill in ANWR now, etc...A left-wing conservative wants to move toward health care for all, to move toward new energy sources, to move toward equal rights for all, etc...

Scott Drummond 6 years, 6 months ago

"I just think since Fox News and conservative talk radio hit the airwaves and have been overwhelmingly successful,..."Faux "News" and AM hate radio did not just "hit the airwaves" to overwhelming success. They are the propaganda organs of our would be corporate and military/industrial complex masters, spewing forth the daily messages of hate, obfuscation, distortion and outright lies all designed to keep a majority of the working class of this country from banding together behind a progressive political movement. In most major media markets in the US the "choice" the mainstream media allows you is between Bill Oreilly and Rush Limbaugh, Doctor Laura and Laura Ingram, Shawn Hannity and Glen Beck. Their "overwhelming" success has far more to do with who is controlling the airwaves, than it does with what the American consumer is "choosing."

JHOK32 6 years, 6 months ago

Ah yes, I can see it now::lying on the beautiful white beaches of Florida, hearing the tide coming & going, and romantically looking at palm trees and a hundred ::: oil wells. Great idea Republicans. Brilliant!

jaywalker 6 years, 6 months ago

Ok, bondmen, I'll take you up on your dare to refute."Liberal hate crimes include homosexuals sexually raping and killing young boys like the Arkansas case a few years ago"First, I think it's fair to say that being homosexual does not make you a 'liberal'. As Pitts wrote, liberalism is supposed to be a 'worldview' or political position, not a label for morality. Classifying such an act as a liberal hate crime is ludicrous. Second, while such a crime is despicable, how exactly is it a 'hate crime'? You're asserting that they 'hate' kids? Was the kid a 'conservative'? What about the kid did the suspect 'hate'? Third, if a heterosexual rapes and murders a kid, how are you classifying that? It's a liberal hate crime if a homosexual commits it, everyone else it's ....what?As a matter of fact, after re-reading your post, with the possible exception of church burnings (which is not limited to 'liberals' either), all of your other examples are nothing more than YOUR definition of 'hate crimes', not what is enforceable by law. Your last name wouldn't be Adkisson, would it?

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 6 months ago

"They falsely believe the government can always help, when it normally just makes a situation worse. I also think a philosophy that constantly bails out people who make bad decisions, and steals from the hard workers, ultimately will discourage productivity and good behavior, and encourage laziness and bad behavior."Hmmm, sounds like to result of deregulation to me. One need only look at corporate scandals (Enron, Tyco) and the mortgage industry collapse, events triggered by deregulation of these industries.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

I see these comments took a hard and fast turn into stupid pretty quickly. After calling child rape a liberal hate crime, what else can be said? There is just no arguing with that level of stupidity. right-thinker -- that "F" word you say liberals are so fond of -- was that the same one used by Dick Cheney? I guess I just didn't realize Cheney was a liberal. Thanks for clarifying.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

4125: "His wheel gets stuck in that rut, and he spends his remaining ink there. The opposite (which he clearly illustrated previously) is also true."Not rounding on conservatives for so many sentences probably left him shaking and sweating with withdrawal. You can hardly blame the man. Well, no, you probably can.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

Whoops, that was directed towards the 1102 comment, not the above.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Orwell:.Conservatism isn't about invading the bedroom. While social conservatives do believe government has a duty to protect the health, safety and morals of society, most don't care what you do in private. However, marriage is a public matter, and whether the definition should be changed is open to debate."If there's public consensus that there's a sufficient need, and the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace isn't meeting that need effectively, it's left to the government to act." orwellI think most neo-conservatives would agree with this statement. The market sometimes fails, but it is the exception rather than the rule, and in those instance government should act."Finally, how does it advance the common good to choose up sides and attack each other?" - orwellI agree. I am not attacking anyone, but asking for a clearly definition of liberal philosophy so it can be compared to conservative philosophy and people can decide for themselves which philosophy is logically more sound and produces better social results.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Of course liberals are always the victims. They never try to charactize conservatives has hate-filled, unempathetic, forcing their religious beliefs on others, or only caring about the rich. No, liberals have never done that.Both groups try to charactize the other groups to persuade the ignorant. This author has an incorrect understanding of conservative and liberal philosophy.I have divided conservative and liberal philosophy in the next two posts for easier reading.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

Sati, by McCain voicing disapproval of Bush's spending, do you mean like when he initially opposed Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest of the wealthy? Guess what, McCain now approves of them (flip-flop). Not exactly what I would call a voice of disapproval. You say liberals can't hear the conservatives yelling at Bush for his policies because of their own yelling -- so why, then, do you and other conservatives continue to support and defend him if you are all aware of what a terrible job he is doing?Orwell, the national debt has doubled since Bush took office, while he pushes tax cuts for the wealthy. Well, if you think conservative politicians want to keep their hands out of your pocket -- who do you think is going to have to pay off this debt? To cut taxes and spend like there is no tomorrow is a sure way to force a government into your pocket eventually. The national debt is now more than 9 trillion dollars. If you added a dollar to a pot at the speed of light -- roughly 186,000 dollars per second -- the pot would be coming up on two light years worth of debt. Clearly, McCain is out of touch if he thinks the tax cuts for the wealthy should continue if they are still contributing to this runaway debt during a time of war. Where is the call for sacrifice as during past wars? Instead, we are asked to spend -- as Bush has done, and McCain will continue to do. Obama for President!

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Agnostick:"The fact that you believe marriage to be a "public matter" clearly illustrates your political roots in the false conservatism that Orwell pointed out"Are you serious? If marriage is simply a private matter than why does it require public government approval and recognition to be valid? It is a civil institution. People can "commit to each other and build a life together" without the need of a government sanctioning the relationship or providing benefits thereto.This is however a distraction on what is the definition of liberal philosophy.

dandelion 6 years, 6 months ago

Nancy boy,Who is this George Soros guy you keep ranting about? You seem so obsessed with him. If I was him I would get a protection order. Your posts are pretty threatening.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Conservatism is not suspicious of change, it is suspicious of stupidity. Conservatives realize government is inefficient and wasteful, and while government can be helpful it is the exception rather than the rule. They believe the government that works best is the government that is closest to the people, rather than a large federal government who wants to make decisions for everyone else in their infinite wisdom. They believe in free markets and minimal government regulation. Conservatives believe in the freedom of choice and personal responsibility, which works two ways. The freedom to succeed and not be robbed the fruits of one's labor after taking risks and working hard to succeed; and the freedom to fail and be personally responsible if your actions lead to you situation since you can't help someone who won't help themselves. This leads to an inherent system rewarding and encouraging productive and good behavior, and discouraging bad behavior. This does not mean conservatives hate the poor and only care about the rich, it is a philosophy of personal responsibility.

dandelion 6 years, 6 months ago

Liberal can't be put into a little paragraph, Satirical. Especially considering that most of those who you label liberal are really middle of the road. I guess the definition of liberal on this forum is anyone who disagrees with RightThinker, Nancy Boy, RR, and other alias they are posting under, including you Satirical.

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

Sati: "Yes, Bush is not a true fiscal conservative."He isn't even a false fiscal conservative. Why doesn't this anger conservatives to no end? He ran initially as being the "CEO President," remember that? Then his buddy Kenneth Lay at Enron, his largest contributor, got into a bit of trouble and that was the last we heard the bogus line. This would be like someone -- lets say Obama -- running on a change platform, and then as soon as he gets into office he starts doing things exactly as Bush had. Us liberals would not be taking it silently, and certainly not like the silence coming from the right on Bush's economic spending, spending, spending habits. So why aren't more conservatives upset over Bush's absolutely horrible record regarding his fiscal responsibilities? I feel that for at least the next 8 years, Republicans shouldn't even be allowed to use the term "fiscal conservative" unless addressing someone else. right-thinker: when you say that liberals are the most intolerant people, is that because we won't tolerate intolerance or because we won't tolerate on-line posts from racists who are known to frequent White Supremacist websites? Is that the kind of thing you tolerate? Never mind. We know it is.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Satirical,By your definitions, this administration is failing miserably to work for conservative principles, wouldn't you say?All corporate bailouts should stop immediately, as well as all corporate welfare.Rather than continuing the practice of running up huge budget deficits, they should have (or be promoting) balanced budgets.Interestingly, the only 4 years in the last 35 which produced budget surpluses were during the Clinton administration.A better statement of liberal philosophy would be:Liberals believe that government can be helpful when dealing with social problems.Liberals believe that all people deserve a chance, and that due to various inequities, one of government's roles is to help create a more level playing field.Liberals believe that large companies, if left unregulated, will tend towards corruption and greed, and that government should put a brake on these through regulations.Liberals believe that personal choices about religion and sexuality are no business of government.Liberals believe that personal freedoms (as set out in the Constitution) are important, and that government should not infringe upon these.The most likely consequences (although it's very hard to predict) of liberal philosophy would be a society in which all have more of an equal chance to succeed or fail, one in which personal freedoms are ensured, and one in which large companies are prevented from dominating the marketplace.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

The reason liberals believe it is the government's job to do the things I mentioned is because private individuals and/or private corporation will not do them.The only entity which stands a chance of doing things that are in the "public good" is the government. All other entities operate on a general principle of "self-interest".If people and/or private institutions did a good enough job, then the government would not need to get involved.The notion that separate entities operating on a "self-interest" principle will somehow arrive at a "common good" seems fallacious to liberals.It's similar to the problem with the legal system - when you add a biased presentation of a prosecutor to a biased presentation of a defense attorney, you don't generally arrive at the objective truth.The only way that disparate "self-interest" objectives would coalesce into the "common good" is if all involved understood and realized our interdependence and connection, which seems far from the situation today.

Orwell 6 years, 5 months ago

Satirical:Just so I'm clear on this, how do we decide which "morals of society" trump what one does in private? No problem with health and safety, but the "morals" part troubles me. It seems as slippery a category as Jefferson's description of the "necessary and proper" clause:"Congress are authorized to defend the nation. Ships are necessary for defense; copper is necessary for ships; mines, necessary for copper; a company necessary to work the mines; and who can doubt this reasoning who has ever played at 'This is the House that Jack Built'? Under such a process of filiation of necessities the sweeping clause makes clean work."I.e., if you base the right to government action on such an subjective criterion as the "morals of society," you justify either government without limits or an absolute tyranny of the majority. Neither is within my understanding of "conservative."

JohnBrown 6 years, 6 months ago

Stairical:"Maybe you didn't receive the memo, but Bush isn't running again. "There are more people running for office than McCain and O'Bama; the entire House and 1/3 of the Senate, too.Like I said, it's up to the people to decide when to push the pendulum the other way. Bush could not have "achieved" what he did without being enabled by the Senate and House.If its okay to the voters that the GW "isms" to beat around the bush about torture, threaten privacy rights embedded in the Constitution, thwart civil service entrance exams by requiring a political litmus test in the Justice Department, grind our military into the ground to the point we have no reserve personnel or equipment, ignore Bin Ladin, create as much debt as all the other Presidents that came before him did, and ignore the future energy needs of the country by failing to create a forward-looking energy plan (just to name a few), then the referendum this fall should be okay for you.

Mike Blur 6 years, 5 months ago

It's a proven fact: When facing imminent death, more conservatives recant their ideologies than do liberals. (In fact, there is no recorded case of a liberal apologizing for being a liberal!)Quoting Lee Atwater, arch conservative mouthpiece for the GOP after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor:"My illness helped me to see that what was missing in society is what was missing in me: a little heart, a lot of brotherhood. The '80s were about acquiring - acquiring wealth, power, prestige. I know. I acquired more wealth, power, and prestige than most. But you can acquire all you want and still feel empty. What power wouldn't I trade for a little more time with my family? What price wouldn't I pay for an evening with friends? It took a deadly illness to put me eye to eye with that truth, but it is a truth that the country, caught up in its ruthless ambitions and moral decay, can learn on my dime. I don't know who will lead us through the '90s, but they must be made to speak to this spiritual vacuum at the heart of American society, this tumor of the soul."

ReadingSports 6 years, 6 months ago

Camper,I'm a conservative...I'm a Christian...I'm a fundamentalist...I feel polarized already. Yea, and sub-human too. Somebody give me a banana, I'm going to climb a tree.

JHOK32 6 years, 6 months ago

Did you know if you scrambled the word "Republican" you get the following words:Greedy Kick the homeless in the headTake food out of poor kids' mouths so I can buy another HumVeeLet people die of cancer because of no health insuranceI'm a REAL American!I'm a REAL Christian!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.