Skip to comments.'Conservatism' -- Social movement or Political movement?
Posted on 05/31/2006 1:32:23 PM PDT by Dominic Harr
If I may, I'd like to ask for an informal 'poll' of FReepers:
There are 2 'Conservative' movements in this country.
All I would like to know is, what % of us are which? Please respond and say which, or both.
I personally think it is *very* damaging to the C movement for you to say that. Because you are labeling one group as real "Conservatives", and relegating (wrongly) the others to 'neo-' and 'lib'. Realize that many of the other type of C say that they are the "real conservatives" because ya'll believe in using the power of govt to do social engineering things they believe are not a function of govt.
I believe that's not a useful argument to have. We can all be "conservatives".
Besides, 'socially liberal (meaning "live and let live") and politically conservative is *not* 'libertarian. Libertarians believe in many things (like, "non-initiation of force") that we do NOT believe in.
I only use the 'gay' issue here because it is so instructive. We could also use 'victimless crimes', as you point out. Or one of a host of other issues.
Marriage licenses(i.e.'public recognition'), legal child adoption, even artificial child conception, are all matters of reasonable public policy, both because of the public concern about the social impact, and the public concern for the well-being of children who can't vote and have little power to defend their own interests.
Let's just say, I disagree with you. And when ya'll push the R party to fight for this kind of thing, then you lose me, and most 'Political' conservatives.
So I would think it would be best if we keep discussing/debating those kind of 'social' issues, but not yet move for any govt action. Unless you want to split the R party asunder.
I have a gut feeling that this is what has happened here . . . Bush is a social C, political L. He is the leader of the Social Cs, but has completely ignored the political Cs.
Which, I think, is why his approval rating has tanked.
The winning political issues are all 'political'. The contract with america was all 'political' issues like corruption, taxes, etc. Fighting for govt action on social issues will only ruin us.
I'd argue that people are even more interested in defense and security now.
And it was in 1994 that the 'Contract with America' caused a revolution, all on 'political' issues. Not one social issue there.
I'd agree. But that was the last time it was tried -- no one since has even tried to put together a serious 'political reform' movement.
So the last time it was tried, it won in a landslide. It also created a landslide for Reagan. And it was what got Bush I fired -- "no new taxes". Since then, we've had 'social conservatives' like GW, who I believe is a good man, but could barely beat total loser candidates like AlGore and Kerry. So clearly *that* is not much of a winning strategery. :-)
Yes, people are pretty much clueless. But it's always been that way. In fact, because of the Internet, I'd argue it's better than it ever has been.
But people are people. Most folks are overwhelmed just trying to live their lives. They don't have the time, energy, brainpower, whatever, that is required to get into a lot of this.
Well, I'm a history buff. The 'media' has always been this way, back to the revolutionary period.
They present 'news', not "information". They're telling stories, as you said, to sell.
That's just the nature of the beast.
Our constitution does not empower legislation based on "likely negative impact".
In order to deprive anyone of life, liberty or property, -- due process must be used in both enacting & enforcing such laws. [see the 14th]
Prohibitory 'laws' on noncriminal behaviors inevitably violate due process. -- As Justice Harlan recognized:
"[T]he full scope of the liberty guaranteed by the Due Process Clause `cannot be found in or limited by the precise terms of the specific guarantees elsewhere provided in the Constitution.
This `liberty´ is not a series of isolated points pricked out in terms of the taking of property;
the freedom of speech, press, and religion;
the right to keep and bear arms;
the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures; and so on.
It is a rational continuum which, broadly speaking, includes a freedom from all substantial arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints, . . ."
I personally think it is *very* damaging to the C movement for you to say that. Because you are labeling one group as real "Conservatives", and relegating (wrongly) the others to 'neo-' and 'lib'.
No, it's mostly just one of the usual designations because of the chronology: 'neo-conservatives' really did emerge around the mid to late 1970s, cite Irving Kristol- podhoretz-nathanGlazer etc.. And before them there really were Conservatives from Burke to Kirk.
"Neo-" has been the neo-cons preferred designation for themselves. And Libertarians have always preferred to distinguish their approach from 'Conservatism'. We could apply the prefix "paleo-" to Conservatives to distinguish them from "neo-"s, but why bother? The advent of the "neo-" camp shouldn't oblige anyone else to change their own name. And, no, the conservative movement has not been damaged by these terms.
When you get right down to it, the federal government really has only three domestic tasks under the Constitution:
Secure our borders/defend the country.
Count everybody every ten years.
Deliver the mail.
Almost everything else is to be left for the states to do.
I disagree. It divides us.
I would argue that we can't explain ourselves to anyone. That the names, labels, etc we currently use only push people away from us, because the words literally don't mean what we are.
The traditional def of 'Conservative' that everyone seems to use is "opposed to change". Which does not describe us at all. And anyone who sees changes they want, will automatically assume that they can't be a C.
So I believe that it is past time for us to define ourselves. It makes no sense to tell people, "We are Cs. C means 'against change'. And we want these changes."
It's time for us to fix that. And part of fixing that means looking at those who call themselves C -- ALL folks who call themselves C -- and look at what is common amongst all.
Then *that* is what a C is.
Hence, I'd say, C means 'careful'. There is a definition of C, like in 'Conservative Estimates', that perfectly sums up what we all believe in.
It weakens the C movement to divide us. It strenghtens the movement to unite us.
I think the idea of 'news' is what is worthless. News is about what is new or shocking or different. What we need is 'information'.
If an info org was going to cover daily Iraq happenings, then it needs to have *all* the info of everything that happened in Iraq. Stuff that is good, stuff that is bad. Facts, rumors, political, social, etc. Then people can surf thru it all, and learn what they want.
'News' is something else entirely.
Someone who believes as I do = Statesman/Conservative.
Someone who tells me what I want hear for my vote = Republican.
Someone who tells other people what they want to hear for their vote = Democrat.
Someone who calls me vile names and demands I vote for him = Liberal.
Someone who tells me once I have voted for him, I need never vote again = Communist.
I developed this list as an aid to categorize those who wish to engage me politically.
Great list. That's like those 'irregular' verbs.
I made a mistake with my taxes.
You are cheating on your taxes.
He has been charged with section 8 of the Federal Penal code . . .
Political Conservative. Social libertarian.
"that everyone seems to use"? Well,no, I don't know of any Conservative that equates 'Conservative' with 'opposed to change'. Refusal of radical schemes sometimes, but generally favoring steady improvement -- often toward localism/subsidiarity, education reform, and regulation against corruption.
Opposing statist centralizaton schemes as Conservatives have in the 20th century isn't merely "anti-change", but we have been mischaracterized that way by some liberal dictionary editors, and by Leftist political advocates.
100% absolutely BOTH!!
I have no idea.
But it'll take a website, not a print or TV media. They have limited bandwidth (so to speak).