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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member Scriabin
    Done Asking
    18 Jun '09 18:37
    I long have thought the traditional political labels have changed in meaning and relevance over the last several decades.

    So I'd like to seek input, not arguments, if possible, about what comprises the current meaning for the following terms:

    what does a political conservative in the USA believe and what does he/she oppose?

    what does a political liberal in the USA believe and what does he/she oppose?

    Is there a difference between being a liberal and being a progressive in the USA today?

    Are there any other meaningful labels in play now? If so, same questions as the first 2, above.

    My thought here is to invite views or definitions, then we can take that input and start a series of arguments about them. If we argue about them up front and all at once, it may become unmanageable. So I'm trying to think of a way to organize this subject area to separate out into different threads a series of separate issues.
  2. 18 Jun '09 18:47
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    I long have thought the traditional political labels have changed in meaning and relevance over the last several decades.

    So I'd like to seek input, not arguments, if possible, about what comprises the current meaning for the following terms:

    what does a political conservative in the USA believe and what does he/she oppose?

    what does a political li ...[text shortened]... organize this subject area to separate out into different threads a series of separate issues.
    what does a political conservative in the USA believe and what does he/she oppose?

    A political conservative believes that change in government or society is unnecessary. They generally oppose populism, socialism, progressive social movements, and anarchism.

    what does a political liberal in the USA believe and what does he/she oppose?

    A liberal believes that change in moderation should be pursued. They are usually more populist, but they are also anti-socialist and anti-anarchist.

    Is there a difference between being a liberal and being a progressive in the USA today?

    Yes. Being a progressive is like being a liberal times ten.

    Are there any other meaningful labels in play now? If so, same questions as the first 2, above.

    Radicalism. These people are usually extremely socialist or anarchist, but not necessarily populist. They (we) loathe conservatism with a passion and liberalism with a bit less passion.
  3. 18 Jun '09 19:52 / 4 edits
    Conservatives

    1. free market conservatives who favor policies such as lower taxes and less regulation, which allow business to operate with minimal government interference. This group might sometimes divide into those who favor big businesses vs those who favor small businesses and entrepreneurs and innovations

    2. social conservatives who favor "traditional values" and-or "traditional religion" and worry about the breakdown of families, and the rise of immorality. As of late, their focus has been on opposing abortion and gay marriage.

    3. fiscal conservatives who oppose deficit-spending and favor balanced budgets

    4. military conservatives who favor maintaining a strong defense system and an hawkish approach to foreign policy

    5. law and order conservatives who favor a strong system of police and prisons, and tend to favor a "lock em up and throw away the key" approach - they generally favor the death penalty

    6. radical libertarians who are share the position of the free marketers, but who oppose all government regulation of private lifestyles such as drug use, prostitution etc - this group has major differences with social conservatives

    7. dignity of life advocates who are pro-life on abortion (like the social conservatives) - but who also oppose the death penalty or other acts that involve killing others. This group includes the Roman Catholic Church

    8. anti-immigration activists who see immigrants as a threat, and are especially upset about illegal immigrants - they are strong advocates of "English-only" laws and worry that immigrants aren't assimilating quickly enough

    9. second ammendment advocates - who fear government infringement on their right to hunt, collect guns, or defend themselves - these often share views with the law & order crowd

    10. Ditto-heads - who hold whatever position Rush Limbaugh takes on a given issue


    Liberals

    1. anti-poverty liberals who focus on various measures to help poor people - either directly via various forms of welfare, or indirectly by increasing access to education, job training, etc

    2. anti-discrimination liberals who focus on eliminating discrimination against various minority groups and promoting diversity -- especially women, blacks, latinos, and gays - but also various other groups

    3. healthcare advocates who want to ensure that everyone has access to high quality care for an affordable price - this group also wants people to stay healthy by exercising, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting regular checkups

    4. education advocates who want to ensure that everyone has access to high quality education for an affordable price - and they want to see reforms that improve education -- this group generally includes teacher unions but these tend to oppose reforms that would threaten teachers' jobs.

    5. labor advocates who want to ensure that workers are treated fairly - they tend to favor strong unions. I would divide this group into traditional unions (such as autoworkers) and government unions (teachers, government workers etc).

    6. environmentalists who want to preserve natural habitats and protect endangered species from development - this group also favors regulations to minimize pollution and is currently extremely concerned about global warming

    7. people concerned about wasting natural resources - this group worries that we're running out of fossil fuels and are strong advocates of renewable energy and conservation

    8. people who want to ensure that police, courts, and prisons treat suspects and convicts fairly and humanely - this group fervently opposes the death penalty and worries about harsh prison conditions

    9. people who oppose warfare (unless it's absolutely necessary) and promote peaceful approaches to global conflicts - they generally favor reduced spending on national defense

    10. animal rights activists who promote the humane treatment of animals, and want people to see that animals feel pain and suffer when mistreated - many of these people are vegetarians


    And there are other groups -- clearly, it is extremely simplistic to try to boil all these interests down into "conservative" or "liberal". And each of these groups can be divided into radicals who seek rapid and-or major change, and others who are more moderate and seek less and-or slower change

    And then there are the many people who don't really care about politics as long as their own lives aren't being affected - but who might complain loudly
  4. Standard member Scriabin
    Done Asking
    18 Jun '09 19:57
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    [b]Conservatives

    1. free market conservatives who favor policies such as lower taxes and less regulation, which allow business to operate with minimal government interference. This group might sometimes divide into those who favor big businesses vs those who favor small businesses and entrepreneurs and innovations

    2. social conservatives who fav ...[text shortened]... long as their own lives aren't being affected - but who might complain loudly[/b]
    good listing. it helps to illustrate what I'm getting at without me having to do the legwork. thank you.
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    18 Jun '09 19:59
    Originally posted by Melanerpes

    2. anti-discrimination liberals who focus on eliminating discrimination against various minority groups and promoting diversity -- especially women, blacks, latinos, and gays - but also various other groups
    Don't forget promoting discrimination in favor of these minority groups in some cases.

    Over-all, great post! Rec'd

    I think though that it's better to focus on the distinction between the groups on an issue by issue basis rather than to just say what issues each groups is concerned with. Many liberals are in favors of some of the things you put under conservative, at least to some extent, and vice versa.
  6. 18 Jun '09 20:08
    Originally posted by sh76
    Many liberals are in favors of some of the things you put under conservative, at least to some extent, and vice versa.
    I completely agree
  7. Standard member StTito
    The Mullverine
    18 Jun '09 20:19
    Originally posted by sh76
    Don't forget promoting discrimination in favor of these minority groups in some cases.

    Over-all, great post! Rec'd

    I think though that it's better to focus on the distinction between the groups on an issue by issue basis rather than to just say what issues each groups is concerned with. Many liberals are in favors of some of the things you put under conservative, at least to some extent, and vice versa.
    I always love the 3rd grade playground argument "they did it to!" "but, but, they did it first!" come on your posts are typically quite intelligent without the petty jabs.
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    18 Jun '09 20:43
    Originally posted by StTito
    I always love the 3rd grade playground argument "they did it to!" "but, but, they did it first!" come on your posts are typically quite intelligent without the petty jabs.
    Thanks.

    But what petty jabs are you referring to? I certainly didn't intend for any part of my post to be a jab at anyone.

    What I meant about the "discrimination in favor of certain minorities" was affirmative action. I didn't mean it to be a jab at anyone. I just mean that affirmative action is a key issue in race relations today and probably the most important distinction between "conservatives" and "liberals" regarding race relations and discrimination today.
  9. Standard member StTito
    The Mullverine
    18 Jun '09 21:57
    Originally posted by sh76
    Thanks.

    But what petty jabs are you referring to? I certainly didn't intend for any part of my post to be a jab at anyone.

    What I meant about the "discrimination in favor of certain minorities" was affirmative action. I didn't mean it to be a jab at anyone. I just mean that affirmative action is a key issue in race relations today and probably the most i ...[text shortened]... etween "conservatives" and "liberals" regarding race relations and discrimination today.
    affirmative action corrects a system that is inherently racist. So I guess your right. Liberals believe that Racism has not been corrected in the US and AA still has a place, where conservatives think what? The system is fine, there is no discrimination? You can use the argument that ability should determine position, fine. But you will never convince me that racism does not starts in elementary schools and affects a person and their ability from then on.
  10. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    18 Jun '09 22:29
    Originally posted by StTito
    affirmative action corrects a system that is inherently racist. So I guess your right. Liberals believe that Racism has not been corrected in the US and AA still has a place, where conservatives think what? The system is fine, there is no discrimination? You can use the argument that ability should determine position, fine. But you will never convince me that ...[text shortened]... acism does not starts in elementary schools and affects a person and their ability from then on.
    The conservative position on affirmative action is that racial preferences of any kind are wrong and destructive in the long run.

    If you think that elementary schools are rigged to give certain minorities a disadvantage (which is difficult to support given that school districts are run locally, not nationally or state-wide), then the remedy is to correct the elementary schools, not to sit and wait until they become less competent adults and try to "curve" real life to correct for the disparity.

    I suppose I could buy preferences to cure past de jure discrimination. But the last incidence of legal de jure discrimination in the US was many decades ago and is irrelevant to today's college students and young workers.

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say the system is "inherently racist."
  11. Standard member StTito
    The Mullverine
    18 Jun '09 22:46
    Originally posted by sh76
    The conservative position on affirmative action is that racial preferences of any kind are wrong and destructive in the long run.

    If you think that elementary schools are rigged to give certain minorities a disadvantage (which is difficult to support given that school districts are run locally, not nationally or state-wide), then the remedy is to correct th ...[text shortened]...

    I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say the system is "inherently racist."
    I would like the schools to be corrected, but your wrong when you say they are completely locally run. There is standardized testing, teachers unions, laws like no child left behind. When I say inherently racist, I mean I think that most(50% or more in some areas) of the US population is racist. We are making headway but hidden racism is still rampant. Just look at this forum for an example. Some of the most racist comments come from people who fly the US flag. I'm not trying to bash my own country either, I think am am a realist though.
  12. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    18 Jun '09 22:52
    Originally posted by Scriabin
    I long have thought the traditional political labels have changed in meaning and relevance over the last several decades.

    So I'd like to seek input, not arguments, if possible, about what comprises the current meaning for the following terms:

    what does a political conservative in the USA believe and what does he/she oppose?

    what does a political li ...[text shortened]... organize this subject area to separate out into different threads a series of separate issues.
    My definition (which may not be widely held) is that a liberal is one who operates the guillotine. A conservative is one whose head goes in the basket.
  13. 18 Jun '09 23:15
    Originally posted by StTito
    I would like the schools to be corrected, but your wrong when you say they are completely locally run. There is standardized testing, teachers unions, laws like no child left behind. When I say inherently racist, I mean I think that most(50% or more in some areas) of the US population is racist. We are making headway but hidden racism is still rampant. Just l ...[text shortened]... fly the US flag. I'm not trying to bash my own country either, I think am am a realist though.
    When you say racist I assume you mean prejudice. The term racist in recent years has been misused, A racist is one who believes one race is genetically superior over another. Example, the nazi party.
    Whatever the wording is you choose you say its 50% in the U.S. ? Is this all groups towards each other or one in particular?
  14. Standard member StTito
    The Mullverine
    18 Jun '09 23:28
    Originally posted by utherpendragon
    When you say racist I assume you mean prejudice. The term racist in recent years has been misused, A racist is one who believes one race is genetically superior over another. Example, the nazi party.
    Whatever the wording is you choose you say its 50% in the U.S. ? Is this all groups towards each other or one in particular?
    I mean the Majority (caucasians) against minorities(non-caucasians)
  15. 18 Jun '09 23:31
    Originally posted by StTito
    I mean the Majority (caucasians) against minorities(non-caucasians)
    And why is that?