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.
That characterizes me to a T. I guess I'm an American conservative.
I've always thought the best definition of conservative was one who put individual freedom ahead of everything else, to the point where they would give their life for it.
A liberal is someone who puts what the think is best for society ahead of all else, to the point where they would take your life for it.
Politicians who claim to be "fiscal conservatives" are most likely neither, definitely will vote to spend more on social programs, against tax cuts as it will "expand the deficit" (when it is Congressional spending that explodes the deficit, not tax cuts) and they are never, ever conservative on Judicial power grabs, parental choice, school choice, filth on network TV, etc.
I'd like to borrow some of your ideas and add my own priorities--
- Eliminate the deficit PERIOD. Make REAL cuts in wasteful and extra-constitutional spending!
- Fair Tax
- Eliminate the Depts of Education, Commerce, Labor, and Agriculture. Sell off half of the Federal lands. Cut needless regulation of business. Remove the EPA from cabinet status
- Phase out Social Security, go to private accounts
- Constitutional Amendment to remove citizenship status from children born in the US of illegals
- Secure the borders with a wall and 100,000 troops
- Fine employers $100,000 for EVERY illegal they employ
- Allow controlled legal immigration of those whose presence is beneficial to the country. Require that those who seek citizenship pass a comprehensive test on US history and government and speak PROFICIENT ENGLISH!
- Repeal all Federal gun control laws. They're all unconstitutional!
- Resolve marriage and abortion issues at the state level with the requirement that no state be required to recognize the same sex marriage of another state.
The "other" conservatives are "politically conservative" as in "She makes conservative estimates" or "He's conservative with his money."
Not all 'politically conservative' folks believe that the govt should be in the business of 'social engineering' laws like defining what marriage is, or criminalizing victimless behavior.
The 1994 Contract with America was a 'politically conservative' movement. It swept the Rs into Congress on the basis of promises about cleaning up govt corruption, controlling the size of govt, and the like. Now it seems this movement is under assault by the Rs.
So I just thought it would be useful for me to have a ballpark idea of how the percentages breaks down here.
If you're financially conservative but socially liberal, you'll end up voting on the side of your social causes, meaning more gubmint money, so whenever someone says they're financially conservative, I never believe it. Can't occupy the same space at the same time. For further research on the matter, please watch the movie Time Cop.
In the reverse (socially conservative, financially liberal) it simply doesn't make sense. A financial liberal doesn't have the brains to be socially conservative.
I would argue that this is just being "careful". As in 'Better safe than sorry'.
Strictly speaking, conservative as a political description means "disposed to preserving existing institutions and conditions". We are that, too.
That's the traditional def of 'social' conservatism, I think.
And personally, I've seen both Ls and Cs revert to 'emotional' arguments on far too many occasions. I am afraid that is more a matter of personality than anything else.
You are quite mistaken about that.
'socially' liberal does not mean 'collectivist'. I don't mean 'Liberal' as in collectivist here.
By 'Socially' liberal I mean, "against govt control of social issues.
Sorry for the confusion, I didn't phrase it as clearly as I might.
"Conservative with my money" is a rather disparaging way to describe conservatives who aren't part of the religion-driven social conservative movement. I'm "conservative with my money", but that's as a proxy for "conservative with my (and everybody's) freedom". Freedom to run your personal life however you want to, on your own dime, with no taxpayer-funded "safety net" to soften the consequences of bad choices.
The effectiveness of various lifestyles should be demonstrated in the free market. The government has no business outlining what is the proper way to live, and then rigging the system so that laws and tax schemes favor people who follow the government's prescribed lifestyle. Nor does it have any business confiscating money from taxpayers whose lifestyles have led to surplus funds, in order to prop up people whose lifestyles have led to unemployment, hunger, homelessness, drug addiction, etc.
To me, it's both, PLUS trying to "conserve" the greatest and highest traditions of Americanism both socially and politically, including world peace through actual victory! Thus there are three crucial fundamental factors!!!
Well, I think there are a lot of people that are fiscally conservative, but not socially conservative.
I am both.
I agree! I need some help. Does anyone know where I can get a bumper sticker that reads: Don't Be A Girly Man,Vote Republican? My brother wants one but I am having trouble finding a web site that sells this one.Thanks so much.
The problem with that is, it leaves out the 'social' conservatives who want govt enforcement of social rules like marriage and victimless crimes.
I think the R party got strong by combining these 2 groups under the title 'conservative'. And the R party will fall from power unless these 2 groups can come to an understanding.
In this thread, many of the folks are saying that many other of the folks are NOT conservative -- which is not right.
I think we all are Cs.
Conservative and liberal are dead terms.
Now, are you an independent (one who wants to preserve the United States, and our American culture of liberty and exceptionalism) or are you an internationalist (one who is a 'citizen of the world', wants America to be just as ordinary as every other country in wages and living standards and supports supranational institutions to make it so)?
That really is the question you should be asking.
Lots of liberals live very conservatives lives and raise their kids and spend their money conservatively. But they have some overwhelming guilt about their own success in life which requires them to believe that nobody else can achieve what they achieve because everybody else in inferior and requires government assistance (with somebody elses money, of course).
I, myself, am both.
This is the conversation I am hoping to start here.
WE need to save the R party. November looks -- dicey, to say the least.
The two main groups of the R party are Social and Political conservatives. We worked together in '94. We can do it again.
We have Social Cs saying Political Cs aren't "real" conservatives -- and vice versa.
This is not true. We're all conservatives, just with some differing opinions.
We have to decide what we all agree on, then push for that.