Liberalism’s Tragic Soul

When I was in seventh grade metal shop, my teacher, Mr. Taylor, announced that only two students were going to be allowed to weld; the rest of us would be using the metal bending equipment, mills, and other steel working machinery to build our projects, but these two students would be welding them together for us.

It seems to me having some introductory welding experience would be a reasonable part of a metal working curriculum and all the students should have been introduced to the art, but I digress

Our class only had two slots for welders and the teacher was looking for volunteers.   When one of the students in the back pointed up front to where I was sitting and suggested the kid sitting next to me would be a good welder, Mr. Taylor, pointed to me and laughed, That little guy, that’s ridiculous.

Earlier in the year this venerable instructor had explained to us the tenure system and how he had arrived at the highest pay grade, $35,000.00 a year.   After the little guy comment which I probably took way too personally, I could only think one way or the other I am going to figure out how to make in a day what you make in a year dickhead.

Working and building a tooling business, I certainly have attained metal working skills far beyond anything good old Mr. Taylor could have conceived and I make a decent living as well, but the point is, I took this negative comment and turned it into a powerful driver in my quest to succeed.

I wasn’t going to go home to tell my dad what a jackass my teacher was, his response would not have been sympathetic.   I had already been programmed to believe that I could succeed and who in the hell was some teacher to pass judgment on my ability or capacity?   The fact is, due to my programming, if anything, Mr. Taylor’s comment only inspired me, and any inclination toward capitulation I may have embraced because of any perception I may have made, because of someone else’s perception of me would have been looked down upon by my father.

And so it is the soul of conservative thought: Anyone can become anything they desire detractors be damned.

This idea, that America guarantees such lofty possibilities, has been a reoccurring theme in my columns and really more than any other has been the theme I have embraced to guide my life.   Recognizing this anyone can theme an intimately entangled foundational principle integral in our founding documents and integral to the creation of this nation; it is hard to understand any philosophy contrary to it.

No matter how foreign such ruminations are, if we are going to continue to drive public policy forward and maintain the good prosperity for future Americans that past Americans have enjoyed, we need to engage and understand prevailing philosophies contrary to these important core beliefs.

It is very difficult to take the ideas of liberalism, socialism, and ultimately communism (where communism is liberalism’s totalitarian evolution to utopia where definitive government power is forced upon the population) and reconcile it with any of the initiatives created by our fledgling nation at her founding.

Liberalism cannot be intellectually resolved with any sensible thought, it is only resolved by feeling, and it quickly falls apart upon event the slightest examination.

As a philosophy liberalism says: Anyone who has become anything has acquired it through theft, luck, deceit, or some other inauspicious method; but importantly, government must always act as a scale to right theses wrongs which manifest themselves as success.

It is virtually impossible to debate this philosophy with its adherents because it is such a dark and negative ideology no one will ever admit it to be their belief.   A Wikipedia search will tell you liberalism emphasizes individual rights, equality of opportunity, and guarantees freedom of thought and speech, all venerated attributes of our Constitution, and all attributes that adherents who lean politically to the right want to conserve.

Further investigation of Wikipedia and the term Conservatism will reveal a liberal’s view of conservatism; that it has no ideology, but that it is only tied inflexibly to outmoded ideologies of the past.   I suppose that is accurate if you believe Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison, Adams, Franklin, and others, gave us the outmoded ideologies of freedom of speech, religion, and the tumultuous inalienable rights that no man or government can claim authority over.

If however, you believe freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution are timeless concepts irrespective of modern technology or prejudice then you must recognize that conservatism ventures to maintain and protect these concepts that are over two hundred years old, and that any liberal interpretation of these concepts is a movement away from them.

The question rising of course is, a movement to where?

To more central authority less individual freedom toward socialism and to communism.

There is no other possible outcome, societies embrace and revere freedom or they evolve away from it.

So how is it we understand the liberal policy makers who promise government will take care of us when all evidence shows that such attempts have been to the contrary?

Johnson’s Great Society, imagined to assuage white guilt, only indentured Black Americans to a heritage of dependence and surrender reaffirming the slave era presumptions that black men and black women were something less, something requiring need in the form of government assistance.

Black America (like all of America) is in need of something; it needs opportunity, it needs optimism and imagination, it needs challenge, and it needs the uplifting and inspiring foundations of character which come when people exert their will to accomplish tasks which create value, all things promised by liberal talk, but taken away by liberal action.

If liberal policy were to accomplish the goals it sets, people would be helped, people would need less government and government would shrink, yet all liberal policies, health care, housing, welfare, etc. always require more money, bigger government, and higher taxes.   Do we then recognize that these policies do not work?   That never seems to be the case.

To really become intimate with the spirit of liberalism we cannot do it by investigating the philosophy which will never adhere to any foundational principles, but the proponents of these so called philosophies.

It’s not what liberal thinkers believe about others which guide them, it is what they believe about themselves.

Anyone can is not primary to their intellectual make up.

Anyone can’t   I can’t   I did because I was lucky  

These are the foundational principles which rule and prejudice liberal thinking.

Meanwhile, some young inexperienced kid who accidentally acquires a role in America’s next big blockbuster and becomes a multi-millionaire at a very young age embraces this liberal ideology which taxes people over half their earnings, professing things like, I got back over a million dollars in tax money because of Bush’s tax cuts, is that fair?

At the same time, some guy in his fifties who has spent more than three decades building business struggling to provide for his family gets taxed at the same rate, making less than a tenth taken home by action-hero boy for three months work.   Then liberals label the struggling businessman a selfish prick because he doesn’t want to give the government a couple of hundred grand and he still can’t afford to send his kid to Harvard.

The next time you get into an argument about freedom with a liberal, the freedom they profess to defend, the freedom that conservatives venture to usurp with their fascist beliefs, ask them what freedom they are talking about.   Is it the freedom to possess firearms to protect ourselves if government fails to, or the freedom to keep most of the money we earn, or the freedom to speak candidly about religion, or the freedom to provide the best for our families; or is it the freedom to hand our lives over to some elected official where he will decide what is best for us, where he will provide for our retirement, where he will provide our health care, where he will present us with our opportunities and our possibilities, and where this government servant will pay for it all by threatening our fellow citizens with prison terms for not handing over half of the money earned through their own diligence, sweat, and toil?

When you don’t get an answer, you will have come face to face with liberalism’s tragic soul.

 

This column was inspired by a spirited conversation I had with a guy responding to my column #49 Get in the Peace Pool.   Following is my final comment which I thought interesting enough to include here:

David,

The stock market crashed and started a bad recession in 1929, the worst years of the depression were the mid 1930’s after FDR had been able to apply some of his earliest policies.

As for destroying pigs, you don’t need to think about it very hard, people are hungry, pigs feed people, give them the pigs. Liberals love to suggest the economy is complicated and our country’s social problems are complicated and conservatives are just dolts who cannot understand the complexities of our time. I know guys with MBA’s who are terrible businessmen and they think they are smarter than everyone else, meanwhile, my barely graduated high school buddy who runs a small business with nothing more than common sense makes ten times more money than MBA guy.

Any time some politician says complex or complexities you can be sure he is lying to you, and obfuscating his real goal socialism (government control).

As far as FDR and FDIC is concerned, we can point to any of our presidents and find some good or bad in their policies (Jimmy Carter may be an exception), the point is what ideologies do they represent in a broad manner and want to promulgate, and do these ideologies secure freedom or do they subjugate freedom.

Conservatism (not Republicanism No one is more disappointed with George W. Bush, or our Governor here in California than real conservatives) is the ideology that most attempts to protect the legacy of freedom and liberty set down by our Founders not liberalism. You never hear conservatives refer to the Constitution as a living document or outmoded , only leading scholars from liberal or progressive persuasion.

Finally, you are victim to the liberal propaganda which suggests CEOs are big all controlling evil despots who can set policy and control the population at their whim. CEOs in a truly capitalist society are the biggest slaves of the planet. They are enslaved to the whims of the market to you and me. Government’s task must be to insure the free market works so these CEO’s do continue to answer to We the People by providing the goods and services that we want. It is when government meddles through subsidies and arbitrary controls that allows (or demands) CEO’s to sidestep the consumer and court the politicians who control these policies, which encourages corruption.

Remember, bureaucracies are not rewarded by solving problems; they reward themselves by promoting themselves which they can only do by finding new problems which gives reason for their existence.

Suggesting you and I have some sort of control when our representatives happen to be in power is naïve, we have control when we get what we want by controlling prices in the market with our pocketbooks.

If you really think these big CEO’s have all this power and control, how have GM and Ford, stalwarts of their industries been taken over by a little shit like Toyota who didn’t even ship their first car here until the mid 1950’s?

Freedom and Liberty are conservative concepts and will never be outmoded. (Check out this week’s column on Friday for more on this.) Liberal concepts are concepts which suggest government can decide for you and I better than we can decide for ourselves and these ideologies can only evolve to communism and totalitarian government control.

Best Wishes,

Jim

By: jim on January 2nd, 2008 at 1:09 pm

 

Copyright 2008 Jim Pontillo

 

 

225 thoughts on “Liberalism’s Tragic Soul

  1. No liberal is ever going to reply to this one Jim.

    You annihilated them with superior wisdom and logic.

    Liberals don’t know how to argue with wisdom and logic.

  2. Jim,

    While I think your friend Sake Mike is an unmitigated ass for calling me a liberal, because I volunteer at a homeless shelter and think that the government should do more to help the homeless and the mentally unstable.

    I agree with the sentiment that big government does not solve problems but create problems.

    If the government is going to take half my income they should use it to help people not provide free mail to the senate and give them a full pension after only one term in office.

    The government is currently out of control.

    Most politicians answer to everything is to spend more money on programs that help their specific jurisdiction or one of their campaign contributors.

    The government already has more money than necessary to run every program they have, if they spent it as it should be spent.

    The government should have to follow the guidelines they place on small businesses through taxes and agencies to police them and make sure they are safe and not a threat to the public.

    I have seen very little in my time as an adult that leads me to believe the government is doing anything for the good of the public.

    It seems that most of their decisions are made in their own best interests or the best interests of their campaign contributors.

    A great example would be the recent debacle of California seizing retirement accounts that had no activity in a three year period, and selling the assets at a state government auction.

    How is that in the interests of the people?

    Fortunately it blew up in the governments face and they are now struggling to handle all of the claims being made for a refund of the seized assets.

    All in all if the government went through some of the downsizing that the small company my family owes has gone through, we would all be better off.

    Less government = more freedom.

    Oh and Sake Mike, you are more of a liberal than I am.

    Keenan

  3. To me, the problem is that most modern “conservatives” do not favor individual freedom and liberty, but, rather, only give it lip service. Perhaps this is the result of infiltration by religious zealots who wish to limit freedom by melding their religious tenets and law. For example, conservatives steadfastly oppose the legalization of prostitution, even though, one might think. Liberals oppose it, too, on the theory that the government ought to protect people from themselves. By why do conservatives? Sounds like the same rationale, though perhaps expressed with “judeo-christian” overtones. Haven’t we had enough of the limits on freedom? Isn’t that one way to start chipping away at the role of a large, paternalistic government?

  4. David,

    What could be more of a threat to freedom and liberty than having government mandate the confiscation of your earnings? All the other rights are pretty unimportant after that.

    This year I took an end of year bonus where my net was less than HALF of my gross pay, and that doesn’t include the extra 6.2% my corporation had to pay to match the 6.2% I had to pay for Social Security.

    Now if I want to spend any of that money, say on a car for instance, I will pay another 7.75%.

    My effective tax on that bonus is over 60%.

    Right now the Democrats are adovcating that the current income tax is too low on guys like me, and I can assure you, if you saw my lifestyle you would not consider me rich or even well-to-do.

    I’m not crazy about the Republicans, but atleast it is not a center piece of their charter to pit Americans against each other to empower government by taking even more tax money.

    By the way, who do you think is hurt more by these policies? Me, or the people I might employ if I wasn’t spending so much wasted time and effort trying to figure out how to minimize my tax liability?

    You are right the Republicans are horrible, but the Democrats are much worse.

  5. Jim,
    I enjoyed this piece. It is reasoned in its exposition, and logical in its construction.

    Sorry for the pseudonym, but in my self-owned business, I might offend any number of the liberal customers I serve, not to mention a few students and parents in courses I teach.

    I see liberalism as an infection of the soul and heart of humanity. One of my favorite quotes is “.. in the end, they couldn’t tell the pigs from the men.” [Animal Farm] The timeless book, is a cold war classic, but points to the insufferable wrongs of socialism and its vain thought of being the end-al-do-all as a structure. Socialism also denies the roles that hope and faith play in a person’s life; somethine you brilliantly pointed out in your exposition of your encounter with Mr. Taylor.

    I have long been a hard line conservative. I have had business successes and business failures. I have never financed a business, but instead started with only the cash in my pocket, and a will to succeed, a beilef that I had the gray matter to solve problems, and hope that I could do it better than the guy [polilitically incorrect, but what the heck?] I wanted to overtake. I value the fair treatment of others, but don’t always expect others to treat me fairly. I negotiate for what I want and need, including how I settle my debts, for negotiation is a cornerstone to capitalism. I trust Mr. Smiths Invisible Hand more than Mr. Keynes’ dynamics, seeing the former as more the harbinger of ingenuity and faith in abilities, and the other as a forced set of rules where success can be dictated.

    As a result, I have learned from my failures as much as I have gained from my successes. I cannot avoid the system we are all in, but I do look to use the rules in ways that make it possible to win. I also learned a lesson from my grandfather, who was a merchant: anything above what it takes to pay the bills is a profit. Be grateful for it, and do not abuse a customer’s goodwill in what you charge.

  6. Where I come from, Liberalism is understood as moving away from restrictive social norms in order to provide the people with the greatest level of personal and social liberty possible, while protecting their rights as human beings. The heart of Liberalism isn’t “You cheated your way to the top,” it is “everyone deserves an equal opportunity.” The Founding Fathers were liberals and the Consitution is a very liberal document.

  7. Crumbunist,

    An equal opportunity to what?

    Vote to take other peoples money away by the mobsters who vote.

    Your an idiot.

  8. Hey Mike, next time you call someone an idiot, make sure you are using the correct “your”

    You’re an idiot, by the way.

  9. Effectively it means “everyone deserves an equal opportunity, free of unjust discrimination.” Liberalism is the Free Market applied to society instead of economy.

  10. “Everyone deserves an equal opportunity, free of unjust discrimination…” is conservatism, not liberalism.

    Liberalism is to continue tilting the playing field until someone less qualified gets the job someone more qualified should have got.

  11. From wiki: “Liberalism refers to a broad array of related ideas and theories of government that consider individual liberty to be the most important political goal.[1] Liberalism has its roots in the Western Age of Enlightenment.

    Broadly speaking, liberalism emphasizes individual rights and equality of opportunity. Different forms of liberalism may propose very different policies, but they are generally united by their support for a number of principles, including extensive freedom of thought and speech, limitations on the power of governments, the rule of law, the free exchange of ideas, a market or mixed economy, and a transparent system of government.[2] All liberals – as well as some adherents of other political ideologies – support some variant of the form of government known as liberal democracy, with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law.[3]”

  12. Conservatism and Liberalism are very easy to differentiate, especially where socio-economic “need” comes into play…

    Liberals provide handouts to the under privileged and/or down trodden, as a way of growing a populous which relies on them (The Government).

    Conservatives provide a hand up, with a short term “free” benefit, then rely on the person to take the new opportunities and the 2nd chance, to become self-reliant once again.

    A man’s regained self-esteem, can carry him much higher on the ladder of success than a monthly handout and government stipend.

  13. Crumbunist,

    Wow, simply amazing! Glad to see you’ve got your copy and paste working but come on Wikipedia is your source of facts. Wikipedia is written by volunteers from around the world and can be edited and added to by anyone at any time. Next time you need facts check out this book store online http://www.theliberalbookclub.com you’d be better off getting your facts from that whacked out site..
    “liberalism emphasizes individual rights and equality of opportunity.”? Liberalism empathize government given rights and government provided equality of opportunity…

    “liberalism supports a number of principles, including extensive freedom of thought and speech”? Liberals think that freedom of speech means the freedom to be heard when really you have no right to be heard or listen to “don’t taze me bro” is that the kind of freedom of speech you support.. You do have the right of freedom of speech just not the right to be heard or listen to.

    “limitations on the power of governments, the rule of law, the free exchange of ideas, a market or mixed economy”?
    Limitations on the power of government are you kidding every damn chance liberals get they create larger government to solve problems that will never be solved because if the government bureaucracy solves the problem it will no longer exist. Now, that bureaucracy has to use its power to justify itself than tax the citizens to fund itself .. Your Democratic Congress wants to save the housing market from collapsing they want to use their power to help the US citizens, did I say citizens I meant some citizens that they feel are entitled to their help. But other citizens who did the right thing and are struggling just as bad are not entitled to government help. Looks like the government knows the “rule of law” steal from the rich and give to the I bought a house more than I can afford guys (funny thing is the rich is the working man)..

    One more thing, You’re an idiot… (thanks Eric)

  14. The Constitution is a fundamentally liberal document. It guarantees in writing the freedom of speech and various other freedoms that could be easily crushed by an oppressive, conservative regime [i.e. Mercantile Britain].

    The power of the government is greatly abridged under liberal philosophy. The government does not have the right to violate the privacy or welfare of the citizen without a warrant [due reason], cannot imprison people without the writ of habeas corpus and right to a trial [due process], and cannot arbitrarily revoke the rights and freedoms of a person unless they are a danger to others and are placed under lawful arrest [due cause]. No matter what, the government will have the power of legislation and law enforcement. Unlike countries where the government has unabridged power, democratic states have power over the government, its decisions, and its laws. Larger government does not necessarily equal more powerful government: it could equal greater representation or meeting the demands and needs of the people.

    There is a big difference between Liberalism and liberalism. One is a banner, the other a philosophy.

    The rest of your comment is just rambling criticism of the Democrats, whom I do not believe to be either liberal or populist: like the rest of Congress, they do not have the best interests of the people in mind and are more than willing to violate human rights and freedoms.

  15. AKBear:

    In countries such as Norway, the welfare state and liberal government policies benefit the middle class, contrary to the myth that they steal from the rich/working class.

    http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-30969382_ITM

    I have yet to see a conservative government that “provides a hand up, with a short term “free” benefit, then relies on the person to take the new opportunities and the 2nd chance, to become self-reliant once again.” Please provide examples of this policy in action and succeeding.

  16. The military industrial complex have you where they want you, arguing about both sides of the same coin.

    You all crack me up!

    bahahaha!

  17. “Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives”

    John Stuart Mill

  18. It’s idiots like you who elected the people we have now who have lied and lived to us and who have gooten us into this huge recession and you are so brainwahsed you don’t realize it or would admit how you have been duped by the big corporations.

  19. Hello,

    Out of curiosity, and for clarity’s sake… if you hold freedom from government intervention as the central (and only) goal of social policy, do you advocate the modern conservative’s social agenda? For example:

    Would you advocate the legalization of marijuana?

    Would you advocate the legalization of gay marriages?

    These examples are issues where conventionally conservative voters would advocate greater government control at the expense of personal freedom. A believer of less government control would be forced to argue that a person, despite marijuana usage, should be able to achieve their maximum potential (and I have met many successful people that have been known to abuse the drug, off the record).

    Your position, it seems to me, is more aligned with that of a libertarianism, not the modern conservative.

    Political discussions are tricky because the meanings of various words shift over time… for example, the word “liberal” (as used by, say, John Stuart Mill) used to be equivalent to the present meaning of the word “libertarian.” The new conservative movement (“neoconservativism”) is definitely not the same policy as general conservatism.

    By the way, I stumbled upon your insightful blog through an ad on Gmail, if you were curious.

    – B

  20. Actually, your definition of conservatism isn’t a definition at all. It’s a sentiment, one that any American can appreciate, certainly, but failing a rigorous analysis.

    You’ve carefully constructed a straw man throughout this column that you then tear to shreds for the amusement of those who agree with you.

    Here’s the deal:

    The simple fact of the matter is that conservatism means different things in different countries. Conservatism is normally associated with maintenance of the status quo. The people who insisted that the American colonies remain under the British king were conservatives. Their opposite number, who insisted on representative government, were known at the time as liberals. In fact, anyone who insisted that markets were the source of the wealth of nations and not warfare or the glory of the king (often viewed in the west as an intermediary between the people and God), was widely considered to be “liberal,” since the actual word means “free from restraint,” a reference to Mr. Smith’s invisible hand.

    Modern American fiscal conservatism is associated with free-market economics over government intervention…the ideals that governed a lot of the founding philosophy. It favors market and industry-based regulation over government regulation. It would seem at the outset to conflict with social conservatism, which favors government regulation to advocate for a particular set of social values.

    You point to communism and socialism as inherent evils. They are essentially government regulation taken to the extreme end of the spectrum. Conservatism taken to the extreme end is supernationalism, also known as fascism. Thus, within both ideologies is the potential for what we will call a-democratic governmental forms.

    I think any reasonable man can only admit that there are valid arguments to be made with either approach, such that government should never be the sole owner and proprietor, nor should the unregulated market dictate the whole of the law.

  21. Communism (in its Marxist form) is also against government. Hence Marx’s ‘withering away of the state’ thesis. You guys really are blind to who your ideological bedfellows are aren’t you.

  22. Matt,

    I finally got it. You don’t really believe all this bullshit you have been writing, you are just screwing with us.

    Obviously.

    Only a moron would suggest Marx was against government, and look at the history and see how all the communist regimes have held down their people to the desire of only one man–Stalin, Mao, etc…

    Just answer this—is raising taxes good for “the people”?

    If you say yes, you need to play russian roulette with all six chambers loaded.

  23. I take two issues with your post (neither of which are really issues, and I’m sure you will agree with what I say):

    1. The principles of America, upon which it was founded, and which make it so great, have proven their greatness for much longer than 200 years.

    2. The second, your post in some ways carries with it a connotation that the conservative ideology is about preserving these principles in whole. While I think to some extent that is true, I don’t necessarily think that these principles are preserved as is indefinitely. There is room for these principles to be preserved as they are developed over time. I think G.K. Chesterton said it best, and drew the distinction between liberals and conservatives the best when he said, “for real development is not leaving things behind, as on a road, but drawing life from them, as from a root. Even when we improve we never progress. For progress, the metaphor from the road, implies a man leaving his home behind him: but improvement means a man exalting the towers or extending the gardens of his home.”

  24. Sake Mike
    If you’ve ever read any Marx you would know that he believed the state was an instrument of oppression for the Bourgeoisie over the Proletariat. He wrote that once the final revolution occurred there would be no need for the oppressive state and it would ‘wither away’.

    As for Stalin and Mao, there is a reason why people differentiate between Marxism, Stalinism, Maoism etc – they are distinctly different positions in the socialist ideology. Whereas Stalin was a state socialist (i.e. he thought socialism could be achieved through the instrument of the state), Marx rejected the state as he saw it as an instrument of capitalist oppression. A truly communist (ie. Marxist) position would be as fearful of the state as Jim Pontillo and his mates apparently are.

    “is raising taxes good for “the people”?”
    Well yes if they are provided with good public services and security. As a Conservative I support the state as an important instrument for social cohesion whereas those here appear to want to undermine it.

    PS. It is interesting that whilst this article talks about the American neoconservative commitment to liberty and freedom it is strangely silent on a massive infringement of freedom and liberty perpetrated by this Bush administration – Guantanamo Bay. Any thoughts?

  25. The people in Guantanamo Bay are not our citizens, they are trying to kill our citizens. If Bush has got to deny them there freedom and liberty to protect REAL AMERICANS freedom and liberty–tough shit.

    And who cares what Stalin or Marx or Mao thought…

    look what they wrought!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Matt,

    Since you’re conservative please get yourself and your buddies to vote for us.

    Thanks,

    Jim

    P.S. Currently, the left leaning Opednews is leading the vote count, no self-respecting “Conservative” would allow that.

  27. SakeMike
    There is another famous American value called Habeus Corpus that you might want to look into. It means that whatever crime has been committed the accused is innocent until proven guilty. That’s whether they are an American or a foreigner. By all means slam them in prison for life but only after they’ve gone through a fair trial and justice has been done.

    Jim
    I would vote conservative if I could of course – although that might not always mean voting for a Republican as I’m guessing you would vote. Personally I’m liking Obama at the moment although John McCain is by far the best Republican.

  28. Sake Mike says, “The people in Guantanamo Bay are not our citizens, they are trying to kill our citizens. If Bush has got to deny them there freedom and liberty to protect REAL AMERICANS freedom and liberty–tough shit.” Mike has missed the point. If we KNEW the inmates at Guantanamo were terrorists, I and just about everyone else would agree. But here’s the point: we DON’T! They have been swept up in a war – and in wars all kinds of crazy shit happens. The most basic principle of our justice system is that it’s better to let some guilty people go than to punish the innocent. Are there some bad guys in Guantanamo? Of course. And there are lots and lots of innocents schlumps who got vicitimized by vicious neighbors, greedy warlords who wanted bounties, and so forth, and have nothing at all to do with trying to kill Americans. It’s a nice fantasy to imagine our troops over there have perfect insight insight into everyone’s character, but it’s just that: a fantasy. They’re great soldiers, not perfect diviners of hidden truths. It’s not about the guilty bastards. It’s about the innocents being punished for no crime at all.

  29. Interesting. I love your blog, and will study it more. Had drinks with a friend last night who says she is conservative. When I asked her about healthcare, she said she is not for universal healthcare. She said “call it like it is, socialized medicine”. She said it should be an individual’s issue, and should not be linked to employment. Only since the 40s has it been because they couldn’t raise wages then.
    Okay, so just wondering how can healthcare risk be pooled by private companies so that it can be affordable for all, including those with catastrophic health crises??? I haven’t been able to answer that one yet.
    Another, the thing about opportunity. I am all for that. America should be the place anyone can become anything. But, I do wonder how possible that is now. Well, for example with telcos pressuring Washington about Internet access, would under-capitalized kids be able to create the next Google???
    Also, wondering how the big auto makers dominance of the industry, and all the distribution chains with dealerships etc around the country. Many of whom are congressmen themselves, how can new makers of autos get into the market to compete? seems we have a problem in Detroit now with lots of good conservative people getting turfed out of work because they bet on big autos to give them a career. And, their kids an education. I heard that guys with Masters degrees, ex engineers are now losing their houses and going to food banks. That is the first time that hit the educated white middle class since 1930s.
    Seems we need a new source of business competition in this country so that these big players don’t get too entrenched and uncompetitive, dragging everybody down with them. Problem is, they have lawyers and lobbyists in Washington to make sure they get tax breaks and all kinds of things to keep out upstart competitors, new technologies, energies.
    If the Internet access gets dominated by big telcos, then these kids will lose the one thing they had to break loose.

  30. CONSERVATIVE POLICIES AND HOW THEY HURT YOU AND MOST AMERICANS (part one)

    Questioning Your Morality. Conservatives think you’re too immoral to make decisions about your own sex life. They try to pass laws that block people’s access to birth control and sex education, even though it is very clear that the more access people have, the fewer unwanted pregnancies and cases of sexually-transmitted diseases in our country. The conservative solution to these problems is to tell people not to have sex until marriage. Unfortunately, this solution is not working and never has. Thanks to such ineffective policies, America has the highest rate of unwanted pregnancy and STDs in the developed world.

    Sending the Little Guy to War. Conservatives like to claim the wars they start are fought for good reasons, like freedom and democracy. In reality, rich people get politicians to start wars to gain better access to the resources of other nations (like farmland or oil), or to profit from selling weapons to the government. Of course, most politicians are wealthy elites who would never think of putting themselves at risk by joining the military – out of all members of congress, only a few have children in the military. It’s everyday working people who join the military so they can have a career or pay for college.

  31. You are all very silly, the only reason their are liberals and conservatives, is because people like to
    label people, common sense is common sense, and until the people of this nation wake up and smell the coffee, this country will be doomed to an early death,
    laws legislated in this country should not have to pass a conservative or liberal litmus test, rather laws should be legislated based on need, and in the national interest of the people of this once great country, till you get this thru youre heads rome will continue to burn, and eventually collapse.

  32. Dear whoever,who’s coolaid have you been drinking?When a society of scholars becomes worthless as there pretend genius given to them by them,then only the strong will break bread together in our names sake.As we go every day,day in and day out we make decisions of courage,or weakness. Make your mark for society or against,judge all matters for every landmark is not irrelevant but matter of fact.Men are made of man ,God of himself,and all others do not count. Being a conservative in all matters is prolonged life ,guarnteed start of life ,and the chance to be as GOD intended us to be.

  33. A brilliant and well thought out article. Your analysis of the “Great Society” reflects what I have often felt.

    Hope to be back often!

  34. Modern, Godless, secular conservatism is a loser because it is Godless. More than 100 years ago, speaking of the secular, Christless conservatism of his time, the great Southern Presbyterian theologian, Robert L. Dabney, observed:

    “[Its] history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward to perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It tends to risk nothing serious for the sake of truth.”

    Amen! And what Dabney says has been proven with a vengeance in modern times, under recent Republican Administrations and Congresses who were supported enthusiastically by individuals and organizations who called themselves “Christian” but who, alas, when judged by their fruits, were not.

  35. John,

    That quote is a little over my head, but from what I could gather it says conservatism’s inclination to fight gun control, higher taxes, bigger bureaucratic government, and hold dear the principles of liberty and freedom as written in the Founder’s documents is a futile effort.

    Furthermore, it’s foolish to resist the progressive march toward communism.

    Bravo.

    You read my article and didn’t understand it.

  36. The best definition of what Conservatives believe comes from Milton Friedman:

    1. We believe freedom is the ultimate goal and the individual is the ultimate entity of society.

    2. We support laissez fair at home as a means of reducing the role of government in economic affairs and thereby increasing the role of the individual.

    3. We support free trade abroad as a means of linking the nations of the world together peacefully and democratically.

    4. We support development of representative government, parlimentary institutions, reduction in the arbitrary power of the state and protection of the civil freedoms of the individual.

    Finally, we believe as Adam Smith believes, that the State has only three duties to attend to:

    Protecting the society from violence and invasion of other independent societies.

    Protecting as far as possible, every member of society from the injustice or oppressions of every other member of it and establishing an exact administration of justice.

    Maintaing certain public works and public institutions which it can never be for the interest of any individual or small number of individuals to erect or maintain.

  37. If it were not for conservative ideals there would be no America as we have known it ; liberals are slowly killing our Liberty Tree and if their believed-to-be “nourishing” of it continues soon all the leaves will have fallen to the ground and their will be no more Liberty.

  38. Just listen to Ron Paul and you will soon know what conservatism is and means? All the rest of Republican aspirants to be President are nothing but pure imperialists. McCain the worst of the bunch!

  39. Fascinating to me. It appears that each political term (conservative, liberal,..) is defined by those who aren’t supporters. As a liberal, I dn’t hold to ideals that deny success, deny striving for excellence, that deny anything much. I do however want to strike against patronage. I want our country to be a meritocracy again – where you can get ahead by dint of doing what’s right, what’s necessary, but not what’s Biblical. I would love to see some equality of opportunity, some freedom FROM religion. Most of all I would like to see abolition of “jobs for the boys”. cronyism, “if you aren’t like me you aren’t worth anything” attitudes.
    The whole notion of defining a term, and then using that definition to beat up people who don’t agree with one’s point of view is a weird form of dialectic. Let’s have discourse about injustice, let’s have discourse about how we all succeed, let’s have discourse about something other than stupid labels!
    By stating that I am a liberal has probably turned off a few who cannot see beyond the label. However, I think that I have many of the same positions on those things that better the human condition as do others who read these postings. It isn’t the label, it is the person. Using the label as a weapon is just dumb

  40. Mr. Bird’s response typifies muddied emotive liberal thinking and, not surprising, concomitant inability to write a coherent paragraph. What does it mean “to strike against patronage”? Is that the same as “cronyism” he wants to abolish? If he wants a meritocracy, doesn’t that include the right of any private owner to choose whomever he wants for co-workers without someone yelling cronyism? Well, not if you’re a white male. But that cuts too close to liberal senses and gets shrugged off with a convenient “you just don’t understand”. Which leads back to why things are left undefined; the moment they take a principled stance they would be cut to philosophical ribbons. Dialectic is not “defining a term then using it to beat people up who do not agree” (purported technique used in the original column), rather it’s getting to argumentative agreement first, then showing how similar concepts (the truth of which must also be agreed upon) contradict one’s premise. He wants to talk, wants a ‘discourse’ on how we all can succeed! What’s this ‘we’ and why do you need me to improve your lot? Oh, do I smell the head-cheese of socialism? Bird begins by labelling himself a Liberal and ends decrying the use of labels? Bravo. Liberalism is a disco-ball.

  41. Sorry but the best description of the Conservative mind that I have ever found is:

    “No concept for proportionality. No nuance. No complexity. No understanding of continuous variability; the result of every comparison is either an equality or a categorization. All percentages less than 100% are 0%. Evidence is either complete or nonexistent. A rule is either absolute or it is arbitrary. If there is any primary organizing principle of the conservative mind, this is it.” Mercutio

  42. Classical Liberals like me, reject the disgusting connotations you so rightly apply to liberals as the word has been made to mean by those you describe. I tend to call them Marxists, and Socialists.

    Problem is, McCain, Giuliani, Thompson, Huckabee, Romney and to some extent Tancredo and Hunter all represent the Compromise Conservative. Rush would describe them (when he isn’t toadying up a supportive soapbox for Dick Cheney) as such in his rhetoric as well. Conservatives that stubbornly adhere to support for Interventionist Foreign Policies, that tend to involve warfare state support.

    I feel betrayed by those that call themselves Conservative of this type most of all, because that lot have been compliant with the mainstream media (woah, weren’t they the conservatives enemy?) through this whole 2008 election, and let a good and honest man down by their willingness to deal with the devil that is best described by Napolitano as Positivism.

    The conservative house, truly needs some housecleaning.

  43. I have a story similar to your circumstances, except I was judged for my opinion on Hillary Clinton, & upbraided for it in front of my Calculus class for it. I am the editor of my school’s newspaper, & I believe in our freedom of the press. I submitted an opinion piece to be published, and it featured a less than respectable opinion of Mrs. Clinton. I admit that when I wrote it, I was extremely biased. Two teachers, having no connection to me, walked into my calculus class and asked the teacher where I was. They stood & spoke as if they were about to stone me for my beliefs. They began to read my article to the class, and grossly mis-interpreted my intentions and opinions. I had criticized most of the candidates, even some Republicans, but they were focused on my snipes at Hillary. They thought it was horrible that I would attack a woman as being unfit for the presidency, while in all honesty, I was questioning HIllary’s ability to be president, not a woman’s. I stated in the article that Condoleeza Rice would be a great choice for the presidency. They continued to misinterpret my article, which obviously was taken too seriously. If they were aiming to get an eye for an eye, I would agree they definately left me blind. If that weren’t bad enough, they began to make statements such as “I hope you have a female drill sargent at West Point” as if it were a bad thing. I am proud to say I’ve been accepted to the nations premiere military academy, & I’d have no problem with a female drill sargent.
    Your article, stating “The fact is… Mr. Taylor’s comment only inspired me, and any inclination toward capitulation I may have embraced… would have been looked down upon by my father” meant alot to me.
    I hope to grow from the experience: I learned that when I make a generalizing statement, I’d better have research at hand to defend it. I just hope they let it go, as I believe they have a right to an opinion too. I enjoyed your article.

  44. Jim:
    I had roughly the equivalent experience in high school, having been told by my guidance counselor, (a “conservative”) to forego attending Duke University, insinuating that I would not be successful there, and to attend community college instead. Unlike you, however, I never attributed her disheartening judgment of me to political belief. Like you though, this comment inspired me to succeed. Similar comments were made to me by a woman for whom I worked (who is now a conservative judge) when I sought her support to go to law school. Had I listened to that “conservative,” I would have not gone to law school, found the Army JAG Corps, and been exposed to other cultures that work better for their people than does ours despite the derogation heaped upon them by “conservatives” for being “socialist.”

    The belief that you can do anything you set your mind to cannot be monopolized by liberal or conservative. However, liberal thought has permitted me to be a good father, a successful lawyer, and a community activist for the environment. It has given me and my family the means to care for others. Conservatives scorned my family on our decision to adopt internationally. Notably, people you would deem “liberal,” were there to support us.

    It is heartening to hear your story of how you were motivated to succeed. It is regretful to hear that you somehow believe that dopey teacher you had represents all “liberal” thought. It was also a poor metaphor. In the real world, the “liberlism” I have known has never “quickly fallen apart” as you put it. Rather, it has lead to discovery, change, tolerance, and betterment. Without fail, however, the only people in my 38 years of life who have behaved like your high school teacher are people who voted for Rick Santorum, read Ann Coulter, call themselves “Christian,” and still think global warming is a grand scientific conspiracy. But speaking as a liberal, I wish you many more years of success!
    -Brian DelVecchio

  45. Brian,

    What makes you think the conservatives that scorned you were embracing conservative ideals? The whole point of this article was to explain what conservatism is, not what it is blamed for, or what disingenuous ideologies are attributed to it.

    Plenty of characters on all sides of the political spectrum act in ways that disparage their ideology, no one is pure.

    Additionally, I did not suggest my “dopey teacher” represented liberal thought. I used the story only to illustrate how American culture encourages people to disregard such detractors, and use that God given independence and possibility to overcome such adversities.

    That being said, there are still obvious observations that we can make to attribute specific ideas to specific political ideologies.

    “Living Document” is a liberal ideology. The Left believes the Bill of Rights must be reinterpreted to advance a socialist agenda. Such as higher taxes and universal health care—this is undeniable.

    “Constructionist View” is a conservative ideology. The Right believes we must interpret the Constitution as the Founders would if they were alive today; where a comment like, “We are going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” –Hillary Clinton, would never be endured.

    We are in a simple battle to push our society toward communism (socialism’s only conclusion) or to pull it back toward the freedom and liberty that can only exist when people are not only allowed to succeed, but also allowed to learn from their failures, without government intervention.

  46. I have been called both a liberal and a conservative. I believe many people can have either side in their minds depending on the issue. My issue here are “the government”. This term is used often throughout in other opinions here. Who do you people think the government is. Should you like it or not it is you, it is us. We vote for an individual to perform a specific task for us the citizens. We through our votes “Hire” this person. we are the employer, the senator or congressmen are the employees. If something gets screwed up in the system it is always the responsible of the employer/citizen to fix it, never the responsiblity of the employee/government.

  47. Someone above made the following statement:

    “You point to communism and socialism as inherent evils. They are essentially government regulation taken to the extreme end of the spectrum. Conservatism taken to the extreme end is supernationalism, also known as fascism. Thus, within both ideologies is the potential for what we will call a-democratic governmental forms.”

    The Left (Liberals) in this country have performed a sleight-of-hand in making people believe that “too much Conservatism” becomes Fascism. That’s not true. Fascism is a product of the Left. Fascism is, after all, nothing more than another “big governement”. Conservatives can’t be fascists because they uphold the Limited Government of our Founders. It’s impossible for a true Conservative in this country who adheres to our Founders principles to be a Fascist…it’s not possible…and it’s time for the truth to be told. It’s the Left & the Left only who believe they know what’s best for everyone and that Big Brother can solve all of our problems, which, as we all know leads to tyranny. And, before you say, “The Christian Right tries to force morality…”–that’s an entirely different issue–but, they are incorrect as well.

    Chris

  48. The true definition of democracy: is the definition that is negotiated on the streets person-to-person, everyday!
    What chaos is here, what creativity! Dynamic!! Keep it up!

  49. I always wonder about Conservatives who’s only knowledge of Liberals comes through listening to Rush Limbaugh and watching Fox News.

    I guess it wouldn’t be fair to think that all Conservatives are a-holes just because I read Sake Mike’s comments. But it is far easier to write anything while painting with the broadest brush strokes possible, don’t you think?

  50. There is a difference between conservative and liberal arguments about freedom and equality. Tony Snow made an excellent point about those in his speech at CPAC this year.

    But this is one of the tricks that liberals (democrats/socialists) have pulled on conservatives and liberals (real liberals).

    Socialists of the 1930s and 1940s were promising great things and “new freedoms” by doing so they hijacked the term “liberal” which comes from the root word for liberty. Liberalism promotes liberty, individual rights and equality of opportunity. That is where the socialists (to some extent American democrats) pulled the rug out from under us by calling for “new freedoms”. They confused the meaning of the words and took liberal to mean their ideas about new freedom for the middle class, new freedom for the “little guy”. New freedom for the bureaucrat, the politican, the socialist. Less freedom for John Q. Voter.

    The Founding Fathers were liberals, and liberty has won the day in American and will win the day worldwide.

    Socialists have looked at the liberal playbook and seen the powerful reaction in favor of liberal ideas and freedom. They have taken words like “liberty” and “freedom” and though noodling and rhetorical manuvering made the Socialists seem like the champions of liberty.

    In the United States however the real champions of liberty are those who want to keep things like they were, to keep freedom and liberty and equality of opportunity at the forefront and on the pedestal.

    These are the conservatives because to be a conservative means to maintain the status quo. The status quo in America is the values of the Founders……FREEDOM, LIBERTY.

  51. White Liberal Guilt is all that you need to know about any programs or agendas the Left will inflict upon the world.

    Everything Liberals stand for can boil down to White Liberal Guilt. It is a law for politics in America.

    Prove me wrong.

  52. Affirmative action is the only liberal program I can think of that’s caused by white guilt.

  53. You say that the liberal attitude is that anyone who has anything acquired it through deceit. I say that the conservative attitude is that everyone who has anything has acquired it legitimately. You say that the liberal attitude is that the government needs to elevate anyone without means up to the level of those with means. I say that the conservative attitude is that anybody without means deserves to be where they are, because it’s entirely due to their own fault.

    Realistically speaking, the truth is likely somewhere in between these two extremes. Every person’s circumstances are the result of their own efforts, as well as the efforts of other individuals (we do not live in bubbles) and the results of circumstances that are both random and beyond control. The proportionate level of responsibility to be allocated to these three contributing factors certainly fluctuates from one person to the next.

  54. I would like to add that your policy of “distasteful and vulgar comments being removed” apparently doesn’t apply to conservatives. I realize that you are a conservative, and that this is a conservative forum, but if you’re going to go out of your way (with a condescending attitude reminiscent of an elementary schoolyard bully) to be insulting, and allow for the same from your favorite responders, whilst making liberals well and bluntly aware that they are unwelcome, what’s the point of having a forum at all? If you’re not providing for and openly encouraging of an equal and unbiased chance towards those who might wish to make an intelligent and informed argument contrary to yours, it gives the appearance of a lack of confidence in your own stance. If you’re that certain of your logic and wisdom (which, according to certain responses allowed to remain, no liberal possesses in any quantity… now there’s insight for you) what’s the fear of liberal response based on?

  55. Nicholas Oefinger,

    The vulgar or distasteful comments passage is what we call a joke.

    In over a year that this website has been up, the only comments we have ever deleted have been spam. It would cut against the character and integrity of this site and the philosophies I defend to not allow everyone their voice.

    I don’t believe it is a conservative attitude that “everyone who has anything has acquired it legitimately”. Certainly some who obtain wealth have acquired it through deceptive or dishonest means. The point was—the liberal remedy is to punish everyone who has success. I prefer to punish criminals when we catch them, but not everyone who obtains success because some are mad at those who succeed dishonestly.

    It doesn’t really matter how success is arrived upon, by punishing success strictly because of envy, opportunity is quashed for those who are most in need of opportunity.

    A basic study of economics demonstrates this unequivocally.

  56. Well, little fellow, you sure made a good run at it but you have displayed another example of consuming your own myth.

    What you speak of in terms of mind and the noble idea are all liberal constructs. I do believe that you have failed to consider that much of your ideation is couched in the very heart of liberalism. Your bobble-head fan are not much more cognizant of their true beginnings.

    You have attempted to graft on to liberalism concepts of dominionism and a truly twisted idea of individualism as an insular achievement.

    I own firearms. I have tracked and brought down big game and I weld well enough to have certificates in gas transmission and high pressure systems. I also have a Masters in English Literature. I am a Liberal in a way that I would not allow you to walk my slack in combat.

    “Liberals don’t know how to argue with wisdom and logic.”

    What utter ill informed cheek!?

    So dream on.

    Lantern Bearer
    Lantern.bearer@gmail.com

  57. Your error is to adopt the connotations of “conservative” and “liberal” that have been foisted on us by selfish politicians and their propagandists. The Founding Fathers, as you pointed out, established a Liberal form of government. Relative to the Liberalism of their era, Conservatives were the pro-aristocracy traditionalists. Regardless of which historical epoch we’re talking about, Conservatism proper is a tendency among the body politic to retain traditional modes of government, family, and society. While this serves a necessary function, it can be retardant upon genuine progress. In the modern American context, Conservatives are at a dissonance – they have a natural tendency to preserve the traditions and mores of the past, but traditions pertaining to the Constitution are distinctly Liberal in their philosophical construction – this is very unlike Europe where “Liberal” still retains some of it’s classical definition. Modern American “Liberals” on the other hand, in their attempt to continuously transform society, have begun to adopt authoritarian tools. What would be most beneficial to us now is if we could recognize that we have confused the terms and return to a more academic discussion. To wit, I suggest a google search for Hayek’s speech, “Why I Am Not a Conservative” and Ludwig von Mises’ work “Liberalism” – especially the APPENDIX, “On the Term ‘Liberalism’ “.

  58. I really like the sentiments expressed in the original post. However, a good question to ask, in discussions of this sort, is what do conservatives seek to conserve?

    The answer is Liberty.

    A principled conservative position always turns on whether Liberty is being restricted or expanded. As an aside, the conservatism, as defined above, used to be called, until very, very recently, Liberalism (note the capital ‘L’).

    Cheers,

  59. Thanks, this forum has completely dissolved my concept of Liberal and Conservative.

    According to some in this forum, I have always been conservative. According to others, my ideology is Liberal.

    Crap.

    I have come to the conclusion that I need to go back to a more basic categorization for politicians and those around me.

    I think this will be Bastards and Non-Bastards, leaving the connotations of fatherhood intact with my regards to Our Founding Fathers.

    Cheers, and thanks again for the apologies I am going to have to make to some of my friends, and the arguments I will have with others.

  60. It’s amusing that you feel compelled to buy advertising in an attempt to get more people to read this sort of thing.

  61. “You annhialated them with superior wisdom and logic.”

    Good thing that spelling apparently doesn’t count.

  62. Jim, I call myself a liberal, but wait until you hear of my experiences that caused me to become this way before you chastise me too severely. When I was a junior in high school, (a baby of sixteen years) I called myself a republican, because bush #1 appeared to be saner than clinton, & bush #2 just BUTCHERED Gore in the debates, et al. At this young, innocent age, I was involved in a near-fatal car accident (I slipped on black ice). In this wreck, I WAS wearing my seabelt, and I sustained a SEVERE Blow to my head, and suffered a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (Google this, it SHOULD have killed me right then & there), but there were MIRACLES that transpired in the Emergency Room that night which allowed me to remain among the living. I won’t get into them, but I have met MANY people, however, who did’t make the miraculous recovery I did, and are presently alive, but they are in a vegetative, minimally concious state. They are lying in a bed WITH THEIR EYES OPEN, fully aware, they just are unable to move a muscle. It is as if they are in a coma, but they are awake!!! This could have happened to me. Anyways, these people can just spontaneously wake up at any time, yet it costs huge sums of money to keep them alive in the inerim. We cannot merely “pull the plug” on them, as I think even republicans would agree that such an action would amount to medical murder. I have a question, though; why do conservatives always rail against social programs in this country that are designed to help people like this? and Why do we have to solve everything through fighting? Hasn’t the human race progressed to the point where it is no longer necessary for us to KILL our opponents to prove our superiority over them? I encourage people to write me; tpre007@gmail.com

  63. “The [U.S.] Constitution is a limitation on the government, not on private individuals … it does not prescribe the conduct of private individuals, only the conduct of the government … it is not a charter for government power, but a charter of the citizen’s protection against the government.”
    -Ayn Rand

    There are several camps within the Liberal and Conservative movements… and both have their fringe, their extremists, and their black sheep. Liberalism, however, has always been about “social justice”… at it’s core, on it’s fringes, and within it’s mainstream approach. It is controlled by the Will of the “People”… it’s power comes from the manipulation of popular opinion, using legislation to enforce that power, and dismissing opposing views out of hand.

    Conservatism has always been about the individual. The rights of the individual to persue their life free of Government interference. It’s about allowing the individual to prosper without the governments’ heavy handed treatment of any difficulty which might arise. Why do so many religious extremists vote with conservatism if the very foundation of it’s principles would prohibit them from outlawing behaviour they find reprehensible? Because it’s the same ideology that prevents their behaviour and their beliefs from becoming legislated against. Why do conservatives strongly support the military? Because the military is the only thing that stands between America and the Tyranny that could replace our free society.

    One additional note to one of the posters before: We are not in a recession… a recession is a very specific thing, the result of two quarters that have resulted in Negative Economic growth. We have not yet had one quarter of negative economic growth, so we are not in a recession. Words mean something… we are in a social panic due to negative coverage of the economic state of the US.

  64. You don’t work, you don’t eat. Save half of your money for retirement and education. You want health care join the military. Why didn’t the republicans back WILSON in WWI when he made his 14 point speech, and now their all over the Iraq and middle eastern stuff.

    Industry. Isolation & Intimacy. We have a love affair with God and technology. WE need a little more caring and sharing and a little less cooperation and we might just have our hopes for a weapon.

    Tools come in handy when it comes to building a successful relationship with ourselves and society. You will know a new freedom and a new happiness if you follow the path that ends the suffering.

    Breathe deep. Maybe we can sell insurance to each other. Think about your children and your future. Abandon materialism. These are liberal values. We don’t care what George bush and arnold are doing in their million dollar mansions.

    We are commiting welfare fraud and sending our food stamp money to African refugees so they can learn. (They have resourses there too!) So go build your toliet in the desert someplace. We will put our faith in the guy who owns the service station down the block selling our slurpies.

    There has to be two sides to every coin. This is the bigest lie. I saw one set of foot prints in the sand and realized I was incredably focused and had unity of thought when I needed it the most!

    When you were there God I felt like I was going to lose it and blew my stack. Don’t go anywhere without enough incense! Mom was a liberal republican from the city and Dad was a conservitive democrat from the country. They met at church in Minneapolis and we were raised in Chicago in the 70’s.

    Peace and love!

  65. Jim,
    Why do people who call themselves “conservative” construct arguments by telling me what I think rather than asking? If I get to define my view and your view too, I’d be pretty sorry if I didn’t win the debate.

    You write:
    “It is very difficult to take the ideas of liberalism, socialism, and ultimately communism (where communism is liberalism’s totalitarian evolution to utopia where definitive government power is forced upon the population) and reconcile it with any of the initiatives created by our fledgling nation at her founding.”

    Well, I’m not a communist nor have I ever been one nor do I think they had a good system. Just to clear that up. I don’t admire Fidel Castro, and rank Mao, Stalin and Hitler, as poster boys for capital punishment, probably in that order of murderous insanity.

    Ok: The list below are touchstones of Liberalism in the USA that I cannot see as conflicting with the basic intent of the Founding Fathers, much less the wider group that put their lives, fortunes and sacred honor on the line.

    Abolishing slavery. The passage that goes, “We hold these truths to be self evident…” seems to cover that one.

    Brown Vs. Board of Education. Straight 14th ammendment stuff- equal protection under the law cannot be reconciled with separate and unequal.

    Abolishing “racial”, gender, religious, sexual segregation in government at all levels. By what reasoning can tax money collected from two persons with different skin color, gender, etc can be used to provide different levels of public service to them?

    Separation of church and state. Our founders saw the problems of state Christianity of the world they were born in. The tragic paths of Communists, radical Islamists, the Tamil Tigers, both sides in Northern Ireland, amply reinforce this.

    Now, the devil is in the details, but where is the government imposition in these astonishing afirmations of individual liberty? Isn’t this what Americans of all sorts have died to defend? Isn’t this our best?

  66. Bill Abbott,

    The point of this piece was to refute the erroneous definition of contemporary conservatism thrust upon us by academia, and to point out how this same exalted body has perverted traditional liberalism to become an ideology which does not strive for freedom or liberty, but strives for an equality of outcome perceived and managed by a bureaucratic structure of socialist construction.

    On Mao, Stalin, Hitler, on slavery, and on Brown vs. Board of Education, I don’t see a disagreement. We could construct a disagreement if you believe government ought to take your kids from their neighborhoods and involuntarily bus them an hour across town to accomplish educational equality (a policy which could not spring from conservatism’s dedication to liberty and freedom).

    I don’t comprehend your last three paragraphs.

    Is tax money collected from two persons with different skin color, gender, etc., and used to provide different levels of public service to them?

    You have a misunderstanding of religious freedom and make flawed comparisons to other world religions.

    Separation of Church and State is intended to insure government does not have influence over religion; it was not intended to take religious influence out of government.

    As for the Communists—religious freedom was deliberately subjugated to demand allegiance to the State and not God.

    On Islamists—our recognition of God gives us the moral authority and understanding that, “…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” means that government cannot and shall not have authority over the moral and honest efforts of individual citizens, contrary to the mechanisms inculcated into people by these other religions and contrary to the Judeo/Christian edict celebrated in the U.S. (to contemporary liberalism’s dismay).

    The best that I can interpret your last paragraph, the liberal inclination to redistribute income via confiscatory tax policy is a great imposition to individual liberty.

  67. “On Islamists—our recognition of God gives us the moral authority and understanding that, “…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” means that government cannot and shall not have authority over the moral and honest efforts of individual citizens, contrary to the mechanisms inculcated into people by these other religions and contrary to the Judeo/Christian edict celebrated in the U.S. (to contemporary liberalism’s dismay).”

    If this is true, why do Christian politicians in the US try to legislate morality over the “moral and honest efforts of individual citizens”?

  68. Crumb, Crumb, Crumb,

    How do you legislate MORALITY over the MORAL and honest efforts of your citizens?

    If your moral, you are within the confines of any moral legislation…

    Right?

  69. Legislating Catholic morality over a Protestant public, or a Quaker morality over an Anglican public, or a religious morality over a secular public, or a particular moral standard over a diverse public; those are all ways that you can legislate morality over people who live moral lives according to a different standard.

  70. You point out wikipedia’s definition of Conservatism as a Liberal definition of Conservatism, but does that not also disqualify this article from defining Liberalism, for it would be a Conservatist definition of Liberalism?

  71. Angel,

    You can make that argument, but it will not hold up. I do not proclaim to be an unbiased source as does Wikipedia by virtue of it being and “Encyclopedia”.

    Furthermore, I give explanation for bias in my opinion and make supporting arguments for that opinion.

    You can disagree, but your disagreements do not have influence unless you support those disagreements with good argument.

    Wikipedia infers it is a balanced source of information (which clearly it is not evidenced by the terrible definition of conservatism “having no ideology”) and it must be held to a standard different than that governing opinion.

    Finally, I am telling you what I think as a Conservative.  Neither you nor Wikipedia can dispute what I think.  I may be wrong, but I still think it.  Wikipedia on the other hand is putting forth a definition which is supposedly factual.  I dispute that and find their definition erroneous.

  72. Jim,
    I think you’re wandering a bit. If your article entitled “Liberalism’s Tragic Soul” is what you are describing in this paragraph

    “The point of this piece was to refute the erroneous definition of contemporary conservatism thrust upon us by academia, and to point out how this same exalted body has perverted traditional liberalism to become an ideology which does not strive for freedom or liberty, but strives for an equality of outcome perceived and managed by a bureaucratic structure of socialist construction.”

    then I’m afraid we’re talking past each other as much as to each other. I can see mention of definitions of Conservatism, but the majority of what you wrote addresses the title topic, your analysis of Liberalism and its faults. Since I’m a liberal, and I don’t see myself reflected in what you describe, I continue to wonder at the rhetorical device of telling the other person what they think and then demolishing it, rather than telling your own truth, or finding out what others think and reflecting on it first.

    I’m glad we agree about slavery and, Mao, Stalin, Hitler and Brown Vs. Board of Education. We disagree about religious fredom. I am going to do some research on that one.

    I think you’ve jumped to a conclusion about confiscatory behavior that I didn’t mean. You got three out of my four points, though, so I’d say you followed the second to last paragraph well enough.

    I over condensed my argument in my third point, of the four, the one you didn’t follow, Sorry to be unclear.

    Bill

  73. Bill,

    I took a great deal of care in constructing this piece and endeavored to clearly define contemporary liberalism and contemporary conservatism because I have learned that upon extended argument with my greatest detractors, it turns out, more often then not we agree.

    “Talking past each other” is definitely a big problem and I find this problem is almost entirely born from emotional attachment to one’s philosophies.

    I’ll be happy to revisit, modify, defend, or change any of the statements or philosophies I promote here upon a rigorous and intellectually provocative argument.

    Problem is, most of my debates in this forum have started and ended in me being called an idiot (or some other equally complimentary sobriquet), or me replying to a post in my characteristic cerebral fashion only to receive no reply in kind.

    My point is that today’s conservatism embraces many of the concepts of yesterday’s liberalism and your inclination to call yourself liberal is probably wedded to your appreciation of freedom and liberty as defined in our Founding documents.

    I submit today’s conservative political philosophy (Republican Party) is much better positioned to protect those freedoms than is today’s liberal political philosophy (Democratic Party).

  74. It is hypocritical to say you are defending the definition of conservatism from biased liberals and to follow up by claiming that a core tenet of liberalism is

    “Anyone who has become anything has acquired it through theft, luck, deceit, or some other inauspicious method”

  75. The problems with conservatives like yourself is that you define liberals as those who think the government should have absolute power. We do not. We believe in FDR’s principles of a government’s role, in that it should exist to help those who need it. Plain and simple. If anything, we believe in less government than conservatives because we believe in social freedoms, in the government not telling us what rights we have as citizens. If conservatives had absolute power, women would have no rights to their bodies, even more money would be poured into the biggest waste of tax money, the drug war (supported far more by the right than left), and Jesus would be on the dollar bill (I exaggerate a bit here, but your piece is full of exaggerations). Conservative ideologies are full of hypocrisies – you say one thing than do another (example being the vast majority of conservative politicians). And please don’t compare the Founding Fathers to conservatives: They are the epitome of liberalism.

  76. Hi there,

    I’ve read your blog and think you’re a good writer. I would like to invite you to join our new online community, polzoo.com. We’re a user generated political editorial and social network site. We also choose amongst our own bloggers to appear on the front page as featured columnists. Please check us out. I think your voice would be a great addition to our site.

  77. The difference between dems/liberals and Republicans is this;

    Dems/liberals think america is evil and does evil in the world

    Republicans believe america is a great place and does alot of good in the world

    The values that this country has(hard work,help your nieghbor,go to church on sunday) has made us the greatest country the world has ever known….then comes liberalism…big goverment,lazy,wants,expects the goverment to give them everything,no value’s,say love your neighbor(which means cheat on your wife),does not believe in god,the flag,or anything…..but yourself……LIBERALISM is a cancer on society

    It is getting very difficult to tell the differance between liberals,dems and terrorists….they all have the same message….america is evel
    and now comes obama or is it osama? hussian

    I love my country and i am proud of my president!
    as i am a Republican
    scott
    vermont

  78. I grew up in the “People’s Republic Of Massachusetts”. A state which, as of this writing, has NO Republicans holding Federal office. My mother is a Democrat. She votes for Ted Kennedy, because of “all the wonderful things he’s done for women”. LOL! I honestly couldn’t tell you what my dad was politically. My grandmother was a union steward for 25 years, and a closet Republican. At 94, she still votes Republican.
    I grew up in the late 60s & 70s and always fancied myself as a bit of a Hippy, but I never really defined myself as a Republican or Democrat until the 1992 elections. The first President I ever voted for was Ronald Reagan. His ideas and beliefs just seemed to make the most sense to me at the time. But I still wasn’t fully aware of my political beliefs.
    That happened when I first laid eyes on Bill Clinton. All I saw was a con-man, a used car salesman. (my apologies to used car salesmen) I knew I could never vote for this man. It seemed so obvious to me. I was shocked that others couldn’t see him for what he really was.
    That’s when I started becoming aware of the differences between Republican and Democrat, Conservative and Liberal.
    I don’t remember the first time I heard the adage, “Conservatives think, Liberals feel”. But I found it to be fitting when it came to Bill Clinton. He put some lovely wrapping paper and a bow on a big box of nothing and sold it to the American people, just as Barack Obama is doing now. And then, as now, the American people “oohed” and “aahed” about how wonderful it looked and sounded. Bill Clinton helped me understand that all Liberals sell are feelings. All you need is a well wrapped package, like a Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. It doesn’t seem to matter that the box is empty.

  79. What kind of “Awful Hippie” would vote for Ronald Reagan? Like I said, I did have a clue what my political leanings were at the time. I was into music, I smoked pot, I wore my hair long. I didn’t know that I was supposed to be a Liberal. I just voted for the person who made the most sense to me at the time. Then I joined the Army. I guess because I loved my Country and hated Communism, I was destined to be a Republican. (as opposed to Liberals, who hate the country and love Communism!)I don’t really consider myself a Republican, as much as I do a Conservative.
    Anyway, let’s just say that I was a wanna-be Hippie who got a clue!

  80. this did’t really help me with what i was looking for. i expected much better.

  81. The main thing about being a hippie… is peace and love. Two things Reagan had no time for.

  82. Your” superior wisdom and logic” is a little convoluted (mixed up for you true conservatives) Jim. In truth the terms have many meanings and are not mutually exclusive. What you are trying to communicate is that conservatives are good people and liberals are bad. It makes you and your supporters feel secure to be part of something which represents order, control, tradition. It’s a mental state of fear that some cannot overcome, so they join together against “them”. Well guess what, chaos and randomness is awaiting us all, and joining mass movements against the boogie men (them, liberals, anti americans, etc.) will not make you any safer than the good Germans were in the 1940’s.

  83. God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat. He is, however, the “grand-daddy” of all Conservatives. Leftists will literally HOWL at that statement. I can hear it now. There’s going to be a lot more howling some day when the Leftists discover the truth, only to find they are “Left” out in the cold, er, the hot, the very very hot…

  84. I don’t have a problem with peace and love. And I don’t think Reagan did either. But, I do have a big problem with pacifism. I believe, as I think Reagan did, that there are things worth fighting for. Freedom for one thing. You see Reagan escalating the cold war and provoking the Russians. I see him helping to free millions of people from the tyranny of Soviet Communism. And, he did it without firing a shot! What could be more peaceful and loving than that?

  85. “Anyone can become anything they desire…”

    This is perhaps the best distillation of the the essence of modern conservatism.

    I have come to believe that the core difference between liberals and conservatives is someting an old philosophy professor of mine talked about:
    “locus of control.”

    Those who have an internal locus of control tend to be conservatives, while those whose locus of control is external tend to be liberals.

    Put anoter way, if you don’t believe that anyone can become anything they desire, because the deck is stacked against them… You are a liberal.

    It occurs to me that since the word ‘conservative’ implies conserving the status quo, and the current status quo is certainly not what most conservatives would want…perhaps we should rebrand our movement.

  86. limited definition of liberals and conservatives:

    Conservative: next time you need a helping hand, look to the end of your arm.

    Liberal: let me give you a hand

  87. Your definition’s bias can easily be shifted the other way:

    Liberal: Let’s work together to solve your problem

    Conservative: It’s your own fault you’re in this mess, piss off

    An actual limited definition of liberal and conservative would be

    Liberal: liberty is good
    Conservative: don’t abandon the old ways

  88. Conservative: tied to the old ways–liberty and freedom like Adams, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, etc. fought for.

    Liberal: Change away from the old ways–confiscatory taxes, no freedom of religion, no freedom of speech, forced health insurance whether you want to pay for it or not, fairness doctrine, and right to life only if mom doesn’t want to abort your ass!

  89. Conservative: dominating and exploitive, using tax cuts to lure working class voters into supporting a policy that undermines their position, evangelical Christian theocracy, no privacy, no healthcare without bankruptcy, plutocracy, and the right to life unless we decide you don’t deserve it anymore

    We can go back and forth like this, but the simple fact is that Conservatism=keep the past, liberalism=liberty is good.

    p.s. The founding fathers were liberals, prove me wrong

  90. Oh, PLEASE! If any of the Founders were running for President right now, all of you Libs would be calling them Right-wing lunatics. Not a single one of them would have a prayer of getting elected in the current political climate. All of the founders are spinning in their graves at the idea of things that Liberals are trying to force on us, like trying to remove all mention of Religion from our society, banning the private ownership of firearms, social “entitlements”, confiscatory taxes, redistribution of wealth, etc. The founders deliberately gave the majority of the power of government to the states, with a limited Federal Government, to try to prevent the monstrosity we have now. Sadly, it didn’t work. They failed to predict that the enemies of freedom (Marxists, Communists, Socialists, Liberals and Progressives… They are really all just different strains of the same disease) would become so powerful. The dreams that Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, Hamilton, Adams, and the rest of the founders had for this Country are slowly turning into the dreams of Marx, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, etc. Dreams that are supported and promoted by “Liberals”. Dreams that are destroying this once great Country.

  91. The Founding father do NOT live in this time however, they lived at the end of the eighteenth century, and they were liberals.

  92. Liberal: Let me do it for you because you’re not smart enough to do it yourself.

    Conservative: You are capable of doing it yourself, but we will help you if you REALLY need it.

  93. So, because none of the founders are alive now, their vision for this country should be discarded? Whether they fall under the dictionary definition of “Liberal” or not, they would certainly be appalled by what this country has become… thanks to Liberal idealism!

  94. I don’t see too many “conservative” governments offering to help the truly needy.

  95. Ronzo:

    The Founding Fathers were liberals. They were not conservatives. I don’t know what raving tangent you’ve gone on, but it’s irrelevant. The Founding Fathers were not conservatives.

  96. “The Founders were liberals!”
    “The Founders were liberals!”
    “The Founders were liberals!”
    “I’m rubber you’re glue…”
    “I’m rubber you’re glue…”
    “I’m from Canada and I hate you tax avoiding scumbag Americans”

    by: CRUMB

    Can’t you ban this idiot Dave, he’s giving me a headache and he’s polluting Jim’s website!

  97. Who are the “truly needy”? Is it my sister who has been on welfare for more than 25 years? Is she poor? Yup, she sure is. But it’s HER own fault, because instead of getting off her ass and doing something to better herself, she decided to let the Government pay her to sit on her ass and do nothing instead. And there are MILLIONS like her. How does creating a cycle of dependence with no incentive to better yourself “help” anyone? There are plenty of people who have started with nothing and have done quite well for themselves, with nothing but motivation and hard work. If you sit around waiting for the Government to take care of you, you will be poor for the rest of your life.

  98. That doesn’t answer my question.
    “Conservative: You are capable of doing it yourself, but we will help you if you REALLY need it.”
    Who do conservatives reach out to and help?

  99. “I’m from Canada and I hate you tax avoiding scumbag Americans”

    by: CRUMB

    LOL! That tells me everything I need to know about you. I am SO glad my Grandparents moved down here from Canada. I’m a scumbag because I don’t want to pay 70% of my taxes to fund a health care system that doesn’t work, like you do? Thanks, I’m all set.

  100. “I’m from Canada and I hate you tax avoiding scumbag Americans”

    by: CRUMB

    LOL! That tells me everything I need to know about you. ”

    Of course it tells you everything you need to know. You wrote it.

    Now spot avoiding my question: Who do conservative government reach out to and help?

  101. Let me see if I can put this simply enough so even you, Mr. Crumbunist, can understand it. It is NOT the job of the Government to take care of you! Period. Plain and simple. Got it?

  102. So… the government will help you if you need it… but the government will not help you if you need it. Thanks for your well thought out arguments!

  103. It’s funny, I can understand my arguments perfectly well, but I can’t seem to make YOU understand them. I’m not sure if the failing is your’s or mine. Let’s try this another way. What do YOU think the role of the government should be?

  104. I consider myself politically conservative, but we have to remember that the words “conservative” and “liberal” are entirely relative.
    For example, the philosophy of the founding fathers could be said to be “conservative” today, but in their time they were considered “liberal”. These days the ideology can even be called “classical liberalism”.
    “Modern conservatism” is also different from the “classical conservatism” that the founders espoused, as it includes a philosophy of foreign interventionism (an idea introduced by the Democratic party in the early 20th century ironically).

    I would just warn against using any of the worlds in a general sense. You could argue that you are using them in the way they are used today, but that still doesn’t diminish the possible confusion, and it may propagate some collectivism.

    I guess my point is, we’re all liberals and conservatives in some context, so bashing or rallying for “liberalism” or “conservatism” should be avoided.

  105. Just adding to my previous post:
    I’m not saying “don’t take a stand for the specific principles that you believe in (free markets, globalism, etc.”, I’m just saying “don’t use vague words like ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ as rally cries”. A lot less emotion will be involved in the arguments, and we can discuss things on a cool-headed intellectual level.

  106. Thank you, Justin.

    Ronzo: I think the government should serve as a collective insurance agency, to protect the people that would otherwise fall through the cracks thanks to unmitigated capitalism. Health care, education, employment insurance, these things make the working classes more productive, more competitive, and more valuable to employers. This is an idea that goes back to the time of the Revolution, when abolitionists argued that slaves would work better if they were treated more fairly [i.e. like humans]. I don’t see taxation as a crime, nor do I see tax increases as a burden, because as the workers become more productive and wealthy as a result of the welfare state, their purchasing power and productivity soar: in the end, corporations benefit from a wealthier working class with more disposable income. Social Liberal Democracies around the world demonstrate this, I believe. Norway, Germany, the rest of Europe and Canada reflect this in statistics and international rankings.

  107. “…I think the government should serve as a collective insurance agency, to protect the people that would otherwise fall through the cracks thanks to unmitigated capitalism…This is an idea that goes back to the time of the Revolution…”

    This is a load of manure, a blatant falsehood of the lowest kind.

    The founders were deeply committed to severely limited government.

    As such, we defecate on their sacrifices and erode our national sovereignty every time we vote money from the public treasury (i.e. rob our neighbors) to fund any sort of social safety net, regardless of how noble the cause sounds.

    As Justin pointed out, the labels have shifted a bit since then. British loyalists (Tory’s in the language of the time), were conservatives. While the founding fathers were classical liberals.

    Then…Thomas Jefferson would have called me a fellow liberal, while today Hillary Clinton would accuse me of being a part of her “vast right wing conspiracy,” and nut jobs like Ward Churchill would call me a little Eichmann.

    I would refer back to my earlier comment…Perhaps we should re-brand our movement.

    For a new revolution.

  108. Thank your for your phenomenal debate skills, which ignored the immediate context of what I said and put words in my mouth about the slave-holding founders.

    “This is an idea that goes back to the time of the Revolution, when abolitionists argued that slaves would work better if they were treated more fairly [i.e. like humans].”

  109. And furthermore…

    “…Social Liberal Democracies around the world demonstrate this, I believe. Norway, Germany, the rest of Europe and Canada reflect this in statistics and international rankings….”

    Why ever would we want to emulate lesser nations?

    We live in the greatest nation in the history of the planet precisely BECAUSE of our founding principles of liberty,property rights and limited government.

    As it is tax season, I found myself in a casual conversation with someone in which I expressed my deep dissatisfaction with the current tax rates.

    He pointed out how the Germans pay something like 50% of their income in taxes.

    After thinking about it a bit, I had to respond “Why should we have to console ourselves by pointing out the (even worse) predicament of any western European socialist nation failing under the weight of its own policies?”

    “Why don’t we instead remember that this nation was founded in outrage over a 3% tax on tea…Then look to the Constitution of the United States of America for our solutions.”

    P.S. Now, I understand that there was more to it than a 3% tax on tea… but the principles upon which our discontent with the crown lay were taxes and representation.

    The best way to alleviate this discontent (even today) is to allow people to decide for themselves which charitable organizations will get their money.

  110. Pay no mind to Crumb Ron,

    He makes shit up as he goes.

    He also isn’t even an American. The only thing he knows about capitalism is that we have it and he doesn’t, and we are kicking the crap out of the whole world economically and militarily and it pisses him off.

  111. “Why ever would we want to emulate lesser nations? . . . Why should we have to console ourselves by pointing out the (even worse) predicament of any western European socialist nation failing under the weight of its own policies?”

    The problem with your view is that it completely ignores that the rest of the developed world has a well developed welfare state and yet is not failing. In fact, the US economy is suffering more than the European or Canadian economies. One need look only at the falling US dollar, the rising Euro and Canadian dollar; America’s current economic and social crises; and the international rankings of quality of life and other measures of national success. If you look at the HDI, the Failed States Index, Privacy International, or any of the many other international rankings, you would see that the developed world is very well off. If the western socialisms were failing, then they would not be among the wealthiest, most successful nations in the world, would they?

    “The only thing he knows about capitalism is that we have it and he doesn’t, and we are kicking the crap out of the whole world economically and militarily and it pisses him off.” As much as you would love to paint all of your opponents commie pinko Stalin-worshippers, I justified my political philosophy as a means to greater capitalism.

    “because as the workers become more productive and wealthy as a result of the welfare state, their purchasing power and productivity soar: in the end, corporations benefit from a wealthier working class with more disposable income.”

    Capitalism is good because it generates a lot of wealth and innovation very fast, but it is flawed, like any system, because it doesn’t deal with social issues, only economic. If you remove the economic element of Classical Liberalism, you’re let with the social element: human rights. And I think we can all agree that human rights are valuable because they protect human dignity.

  112. From The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself.

    “[The slaves’] huts, which ought to be well covered, and the place dry where they take their little repose, are often open sheds, built in damp places; so that, when the poor creatures return tired from the toils of the field, they contract many disorders, from being exposed to the damp air in this uncomfortable state, while they are heated, and their pores are open. This neglect certainly conspires with many others to cause a decrease in the births as well as in the lives of the grown negroes. I can quote many instances of gentlemen who reside on their estates in the West Indies, and then the scene is quite changed; the negroes are treated with lenity and proper care, by which their lives are prolonged, and their masters are profited. To the honour of humanity, I knew several gentlemen who managed their estates in this manner; and they found that benevolence was their true interest. And, among many I could mention in several of the islands, I knew one in Montserrat[R] whose slaves looked remarkably well, and never needed any fresh supplies of negroes; and there are many other estates, especially in Barbadoes, which, from such judicious treatment, need no fresh stock of negroes at any time. I have the honour of knowing a most worthy and humane gentleman, who is a native of Barbadoes, and has estates there[S]. This gentleman has written a treatise on the usage of his own slaves. He allows them two hours for refreshment at mid-day; and many other indulgencies and comforts, particularly in their lying; and, besides this, he raises more provisions on his estate than they can destroy; so that by these attentions he saves the lives of his negroes, and keeps them healthy, and as happy as the condition of slavery can admit.”

  113. Equiano was an emancipated slave who wrote his memoir in 1789 to show the cruelties of the transatlantic slave trade. The section I just pasted is where he demonstrates, through his own experience, that better-treated workers work better and more cheerfully. The more productive slaves that refers to were owned by men who provided for their welfare, unlike the cruel slaveowners, who extracted labor from the workers without caring for their needs.

  114. The problem I have with your idea of what Government should provide, is that the US Government has a pretty obvious track record of having the “Reverse Midas Touch”, in that, everything it touches turns to shit.
    We have (had) the best health care system in the world. And the more we try to make it like the Canadian system, the worse it gets. Our education system is getting worse and worse, yet we spend more per child than any almost other country in the world. The welfare system was supposed to reduce the number of poor people in this country, and instead, it creates a cycle of dependence and perpetual poverty for the people stuck in the system, while punishing them for trying to get off of welfare. There are millions more people on welfare now than there were when the program began. You want to talk about slavery? The welfare system is the very definition of slavery! The government gives you barely enough to survive, and punishes you for trying to do better. Of course, in order for the government to give you anything in the first place, it has to take it from someone else. It takes from those who produce, and gives it to those who don’t. It is nothing more than a redistribution of wealth. And how many of these wonderful programs have EVER accomplished their goals and went away? The answer is NONE OF THEM!!! No matter how bad an idea they were, the people who support them believe that all they need is a little more of MY money to make it work! Well, the fact is that they will NEVER work!
    You don’t see increased taxes as a burden? How is it not a burden that your family has to work harder to support the bottomless pit of taxation? Every time I turn around some politician is coming up with new ways to waste MY money! No matter how much we pay, people like you think it’s not enough! If you want to pay more taxes, please feel free to send the government more of YOUR money. You have every right to do that! I’m paying enough!

  115. By the way, Mr. Crumbunist, it’s interesting that you would choose a book on slavery to illustrate your point. Because, in the Orwellian Society you envision, we would all be slaves. A happy, healthy, productive slave, is still a slave.

  116. If you insist on reading slavery into modern systems, then you should know that wage labor is exactly what you’re talking about. You labor for someone else’s benefit, and in exchange you get room and board [a shed and bread, a paycheck for rent and groceries].

    Historically, federal US welfare systems may fail and become money pits, but I believe in the power of federalism, and state rights. The states should be responsible for their own social welfare systems. Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, California, Texas, these could all support social safety nets. It doesn’t matter if it’s pure public health care or two-tiered, as long as it provides better coverage to the public without bankrupting them. It should be up to the states to run their own programs according to their own unique, local needs.

  117. In response to jim:
    Just a heads up brother,
    the United States is, unfortunately, digging it’s own grave economically. We’ve got a multi-trillion dollar debt, both Republicans and Democrats are increasing spending, and the Federal Reserve continues to print us more paper money while borrowing from China. Today is a record low for the U.S. federal reserve note, as one once of gold is worth more than 1000 U.S. federal reserve notes.

  118. Wage labor is slavery? I perform a service in exchange for a wage, yes. But, I don’t have to stay at a job I don’t like. If I apply for a job and it turns out the job isn’t going to pay as much as I think I’m worth, I don’t have to take the job. I get to decide, not the Goverment. That is the beauty of Capitalism. Anyone CAN succeed, if they want to.
    And as far as your “safety net” goes, it may be a safety net for some, but it is a hammock for others.

  119. I don’t deny that it’s a safety net for some and a hammock for others [my uncle uses it as a hammock and he is a fat lazy slob] but there are very few lazy slobs compared to the number of diligent workers who would benefit from social security.

    Wage slavery is more like the traditional slavery in Africa; you’re kidnapped or sold, but you’re treated by your owner as human, as a member of their own society with the same food, clothes, home etc. Wage slaves still exchange labor for room and board, but they aren’t purely utensils.

  120. Don’t even get me started on Social Security! It is nothing but a ponzi scheme that is well on it’s way to collapsing! People were duped into thinking that they were putting money away for their retirement, when all they did was put more money into the coffers of Government. I have been working since I was 16 (I am 47 now), and I will be very surprised if I get anything out of Social Security. (Especially if the Government allows millions if illegal aliens to collect.) Once again, it is nothing but another tax. It is just another way for the Government to confiscate hard earned money from people. It would have been a good idea, IF it had truly been what the people were lead to believe it was, an interest earning retirement account, most people would be able to retire quite comfortably. But then, the Govenment wouldn’t have had access to the money, and therefore wouldn’t have been able to spend it. The supposed “Social Security Trust Fund” hasn’t existed in years. It is nothing but numbers on a page. It is nothing but another glaring example of the inabilty of the Government to succeed at ANYTHING!

  121. I was talking about social security in an abstract sense. Welfare state, not pension.

  122. The bottom line is that I have yet to see ANY evidence that the Government is capable of doing more for anyone than they are capable of doing for themselves. Everything the government gets involved in, no matter how well intentioned it may be, inevitably turns out to be a disaster. There is nothing the Government gets involved in that does not end up being more expensive, more complicated and less efficient than it otherwise would, could or should be. If Government REALLY wanted to help people, it would them keep more of what they earn, and then leave them the hell alone!

  123. Well, if you think high taxation and high unemployment a good thing, feel free to move to one of those countries. I’m staying in this one. I like freedom and Capitolism. I like knowing that the Government doesn’t own me. And I’m going to continue to do what I can to keep Marxists like yourself from taking over America.

  124. Wow…now lets think about this. Liberal means open-minded. So from what you’re saying, it is bad to be open-minded. Hmmm. You dont have me there. See, its “dickhead” conservatives, like you, that make open-minded or liberal people, like me, wonder why and how anybody can think the way you do. It is obviously the close-mindedness of the conservatives that causes this country to loose focus of other situations until they get too far out of hand. Let’s take a look. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) brought this country out of the great depression that started during the reign of three Republican presidents (Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover). The other day a report of Preident George W. Bush’s approval ratings had hit an alltime low at 34%. The first time since 1992 when, oh look, another Republican president, Bush’s father, was in office. Now, let’s go back to President Lincoln, who was a Republican, but if you look at Republican and Democratic presidents back then, their ideals were reversed from what they are today. So, it took a at that time republican, for this time democratic, president to keep this nation together and end slavery.

    If we take a look at which presidents are considered the worst in history we obviously have George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Richard M. Nixon, Herbert Hoover, and Calvin Coolidge. All of which are Republican. Yeah, you can argue that Clinton was “bad” (no pun intended), but who would you rather have? A president who is able to get some and have his private life displayed for the world to see, or one who is able to destroy 2 countries at once?

  125. Don’t you think it’s funny, Dane, that while Mr. Crumbunist and I obviously disagree greatly on our political views, we have been able to have a rational discussion without resorting to calling each other names? Maybe you could learn a little something from us, hmmm? Also, you might have noticed that I haven’t mentioned any presidents, except for the two who help define my political ideology. Also, I haven’t praised George W. Bush, and I won’t. He has been a great disappointment to me, and I voted for him both times. But the reason that I am disappointed in him is because he is not the Conservative he lead me to believe he was when he asked for my vote. He has been quite Liberal in his spending and support for amnesty for illegal aliens, among other things.
    He may have cut taxes, but the Democrats will raise them again when he’s gone, just as they always do. As for the war? It will be up to the historians of the future to decide if it was a mistake or not.
    By the way, the dictionary definition of “Liberal” does not accurately describe modern Liberals. The terms “Liberal” and “Progressive” are words that Marxists, Communists and Socialists hide behind, because they could never get elected if they were honest about what they truly believe.
    By the way, if you want to be honest about your
    list of “Worst Presidents”, number one on your list should be Jimmy Carter.

  126. Good call Ronzo,

    Also, anyone who understood economics and history would know FDR made the Depression worse, he did not save us from it.

    Furthermore, anyone who values freedom, liberty, and ventures to reign in despotic government power would rank Coolidge one or our very best presidents.

  127. By the way, L.B.J. should probably be on your list of worst Presidents as well. He is the reason Vietnam turned into what it did. Also, his “Great Society” is responsible for many of our current social ills. Every President has done both good and bad things while in office. You can’t please everyone. And you’re a fool if you try to. That is one of the biggest problems with the Democrat party. They try to be all things to all people. And they fail every time. As they should.

  128. “Well, if you think high taxation and high unemployment a good thing, feel free to move to one of those countries. I’m staying in this one. I like freedom and Capitolism. I like knowing that the Government doesn’t own me. And I’m going to continue to do what I can to keep Marxists like yourself from taking over America.”

    High taxes and unemployment aren’t so bad when the quality of the public’s life rises. There are countries with excessive, unbelievable income tax rates [I think Finland is 60%, and it has a ton of ridiculous taxes on top of that]. The economy is becoming more and more fluid too. People can’t stay in the same career for thirty years anymore; there’s much higher job turnover now. I don’t think that’s a bad thing; it requires workers to be more flexible and generally skilled/knowledgeable. It would probably be better to look at long-term unemployment rates than transitional unemployment.

    The rest of the developed world has a great deal of freedom and capitalism, too. We all come from the same liberal heritage, of course. Rights and freedoms are the central values of Western Civilization. The rest of the West is hardly a command economy, either. I have no idea how you come to the conclusion that the government owns the public in Britain or Germany or Denmark . It’s ridiculous hyperbole to call social liberalism Marxist. Of course, Marx didn’t believe in the state; that was Stalin.

  129. This site is hella biased and i hate how u NEOCONS try to lump every liberal into a nice neat little definition that applies to every liberal. IF you notice NEOCONS already have their choice set, liberals are still undecided becuase there is a huge difference between the left and far left just like there is a difference between the right and the far right. So stop please, and liberalism in america cant do any worse then conservitism. I mean look Reagan double the deficit during his term, and the otherside carter had the worst economic outlook since the great depression. BOTH LIBERAL AND CONSERVITVE IDEOLOGIES HAVE GREAT FLAWS, THAT FLAW IS THE FACT THAT THEY BOTH DONT HAVE ROOM FOR COMPROMISE AND CHANGE TO A EVER CHANGING WORLD. LIBERALS FIND THEIR LOT IN PROTESTING THE WAR RIGHTFULLY SO AND NEOCONS FIND THEIRS IN FEARING THE TERRORIST. THIS ESSAY IS DEF BULL, I DONT WANT TO HERE YOUR NEOCON ANTICS. SURRISSSLY, NEOCONS DONT DO NOTHIN FOR ME AND IM TIRED OF LEBERALS HANGING ON TO THE LATINO VOTE BY NOT MAKING A DECISION ABOUT THE BORDER SO MAYBE I WOULD VOTE CONSERVITIVE BUT WAIT……..CONSERVITVES DONT MAKE A STAND ON THAT EITHER. THATS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW BOTHS SIDES PLAY THE BULL SHIT RECORD LIKE THEY GOT WHAT WE WANT AS AMERICANS BUT IN THE END NO MATTER HE WE VOTE IN OFFICE BLUE OR RED, SOMEBODY GOTTA GET FUCKED.

  130. I still don’t understand how you think that the Government confiscating 60% of someone’s income, and then adding a ton of taxes on top of it is a good thing? At some point you have to stop and wonder what the point of working is?
    My biggest problem with taxation in this country is, the more they take, the more they spend. When I want to buy something, the first thing I have to ask myself is, can I afford it? If the answer is yes, I can afford it, the next question is, do I really need it? Are there other, more important things I could do with that money? Imagine how wonderful my life would be, if there were no limit on how much of YOUR money I could spend!
    The Government doesn’t ask those questions. When some politician wants to build a bridge costing hundreds of millions of dollars to an island with 50 people living on it, he just sticks it into a bill. This is known as “Pork”. When it goes before the President, he must either sign or veto the bill as a whole. He can’t pick and choose what Items he thinks are good or bad. I think that is criminal. I have long supported giving the President a line item veto. That would help remove a lot of waste from out government. It would also piss off a lot of politicians, depending on what party held the Presidency, because their little pet pork projects would end up on the cutting room floor, where most of them belong.
    The fact is, we will NEVER get rid of the deficit as long as there are no limits on how much the Government can spend. And as long as they can stick their hand in my pocket when ever they feel like it, there will never be any limit.

  131. Few countries have the freedoms that we do. Most countries do not have a Constitution to protect the rights of it’s citizens. Canada, for instance, does not recognize freedom of speech. You can be charged with a crime for saying something that someone else finds offensive. Sadly, we are heading in that direction ourselves. Just ask Geraldine Ferraro. It doesn’t seem to matter if the statement is true, it only matters that someone was offended by it.
    One thing many people don’t seem to understand, probably because it’s not taught in school anymore, is that the Constitution does not GIVE us rights, it prevents the Government from taking our “inalienable rights” away!
    You say Marx didn’t believe in the State? Who else would implement his ideas? Perhaps Marx didn’t intend for his ideas to become what monsters like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, Ceausescu and others turned them into, but historically, that has always been the inevitable outcome. Any form of Government that requires putting up a wall to keep people IN, is a bad one. America needs to put up a wall to keep people OUT. That tells me all I need to know about this country and our form of Government.

  132. The very assertion that ‘liberals don’t know how to argue with wisdom and logic’ makes me cringe.

    The assumption made in the latter part of the article seems to be that liberalism denies all principles of the past whereas conservatism holds them dear and sacred.

    This would be accurate if one were permitted to pick and choose principles, but we are talking about ideologies here; they apply to a broad range of principles.

    According to your flowery definition, Conservatism looks upon the past with a kind reverence towards values of freedom and self-dependance (approximately 75% true).
    On the other hand, according to you, liberalism claims to hold values which apparently are truly believed in only by conservatives.

    I don’t mean to be offensive, but looking upon this analysis, it is quite delusional.

    While Democrat vs. Republican politics has stuck many unsightly (imo) issues alongside the democrats/liberals, such as economic redistributions to groups key to elections (on the other hand, Republicans use the same principles to get elected, so the argument is weak anyway), liberalism still does hold the principles of personal liberties, equality of opportunity, and rational governace in its ideology.

    For example, on personal freedom issues such as homosexual behavior, use of illicit drugs, or euthanasia, one with a liberal ideology would seek that the individual, NOT THE STATE, should be the one to make the decision.

    A conservative would (generally) oppose the right to participate in said acts, therefore taking power from the individual to the state.

    The entire battle of liberal vs conservative on the issues of personal liberties tends to be that the liberal desires that the individual have the right to decide, whereas the conservative declares that said behaviors violate the society’s “traditional values” and therefore the individual does not have rights to partake in them.

  133. Another, more brief criticism:

    In your article, you herald the value that ‘anyone can become anything he/she wishes, if he/she tries hard enough’ as a core, seemingly-defining conservative value.

    On that, I do not disagree, and going one further, I would suggest that the concept applies within both conservative and liberal ideologies, with the only difference being the question of “To what degree will we provide an equal opportunity?”

    My issue is that you apply this economic issue with a questionable degree of difference between the two ideologies, and you somehow seem to imply that it applies to both economic and social spheres.

    May I suggest that you research “The Political Compass”?
    It splits ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ into a two-axis continuum of ideology which, in my opinion, is much more descriptive than ‘conservative’ or ‘liberal’.

  134. Conservatism does rely on a “I can do anything attitude” which is commendable in the pursuit of success (difined according to personal/ proffessional aspirations), however, tragicly that attitude is a self-made moral/ethical trap for most people. They stride towards accomplishment only to realize too late that they attained their goals but sadly crossed “the line”. In their rush to accomplish, they may have left others behind, or accidently/purposely trampled those who carried them.

    To “Conserve” implies ownership or better yet “Stewardship” over properties, resources and people. You may only “Conserve” that which is yours or that for which you have a responsiblity.

    Time and again people argue over generalizationalized topics and rarely on specific thoughts of a common good. So here is my “generalized” pitch, often I think that Right-Wingers feel that the Left-Wingers want to “take something away from them” whereas the Left-Wingers feel as if something already has been taken away. Those in the middle realize that the eagle doesn’t fly without the benefit of either wing. Our liberties rest in the center, with our strength and our purpose.

    Finally, before I go I must say those “shepards” of the herd who truly understand Conservatism, know to tend to and “milk” the herd for sustainance–not to gut it and expect it to always be there (economicly speaking of course). And this much I am certain of:

    1. Liberals- If you were to die today, don’t worry– I would work and provide for the
    loved ones you leave behind, in all
    capacities required for human dignity
    by our society.

    2. Conservatives- If I were to die today at work,
    would you have the dignity to
    provide for mine?

    Opportunity, or the lack thereof, leads to criminals at both ends– in the middle lies the tragedy of the common man, woman and child.

  135. Everyone seems to be getting hung up on dictionary definitions of words, that in reality, don’t fit the true definitions of the IDEOLOGY of Conservative and Liberal.
    The “definitons” of Conservative and Liberal are really very simple. Conservatives generally believe that Government is the problem, and Liberals generally believe that Government is the solution.
    ———————————————————-
    1. Liberals- If you were to die today, don’t worry– I would work and provide for the
    loved ones you leave behind, in all
    capacities required for human dignity
    by our society.
    ———————————————————-
    Yet, it’s Liberals who refuse to give up on the “Death Tax”. They think it’s wrong for the Government not to get a cut of your life savings when you die. If you really want to help people, let them inherit what’s rightfully theirs. I know, you’re going to say that it only affects certain people who make more than a certain amount of money. But why should it matter how much you make or saved? You’ve already paid taxes on what you’ve earned, and the interest on what you saved. The rest should belong to your loved ones. But, no! The Government takes more than HALF!
    ———————————————————-
    2. Conservatives- If I were to die today at work,
    would you have the dignity to
    provide for mine?
    ———————————————————-
    I’ll provide for my family so they won’t need anyone else to provide for them when I am gone. That is assuming that the Government lets me leave them anything, of course.

  136. You’re simplifying much too far: there’s more to Liberalism and Conservatism than government intervention.

  137. Maybe I do simplify too much, but dependence on Government IS the basic difference between Liberal and Conservative. Historically, Liberals need Government to force their ideals on Society, because they are rarely accepted by the people willingly.
    Here in Massachusetts, the State refused to allow the people to vote on a referendum on homosexual marriage, after an unelected LLIBERAL Judge forced the state legislature to pass a law allowing homosexual marriage. The legislature knew full well that, left up to the people to decide, there was no way the marriage amendment would pass.
    A few years ago in California, the people voted on a bill called Prop. 187. It would have prevented illegal aliens, criminals who shouldn’t be in the country in the first place, from collecting Government benefits, like welfare, education, etc. The bill passed overwhelmingly, with about 80% of the people voting in favor of it. It was then struck down as unconstitutional by a single LIBERAL Federal Judge.
    Those are just two examples of how Liberals use the Government to deny the will of the people. There are many, many more.

  138. There’s a little thing in most countries called a “minority,” and unless you want democracy to be a mob rule, you can’t simply legislate your values over that minority. Most people would have voted against repealing sodomy laws in Texas; does being a majority make them right?

  139. That is why this Country is NOT a Democracy, it is a Representitive Republic. By a majority vote, we elect representitives, who are SUPPOSED to do the will of the people who elected them. That part of it seems to have been lost over time. Most people, for instance, want something to be done about the illegal immigration problem. Yet most of those we elected to represent us, refuse to do anything meaningful to fix the problem. The Democrats want the votes, and the Republicans want the supposedly “cheap” labor. Of course, the reality is that while we might pay a little less up front for lettuce and strawberries, it costs us hundreds of millions of dollars on the back side to provide education, medical care, housing, law enforcement etc., for criminals who have no right to be in the country in the first place.
    We have gone from Majority rule to Minority rule. Every “Minority” group is out there trying to
    out-whine the others, so they can force the rest of us to give them what they want, regardless of how WE are affected by their demands.
    I’m sorry, but while I support equal rights for Homosexuals, I refuse to change the definition of the word “Marriage” so it fits someone who doesn’t fit the definition. I’m all for civil unions, property rights, spousal rights, etc., but a
    “Marriage” is between a man and a woman. Period. I shouldn’t be forced to accept something that I believe is wrong just because it makes you feel better.

  140. Then you should be very happy at the way things are going. We are slowly morphing into a one party system. There are few true Conservatives with any real power left in Washington. What we have left are Liberal Democrats and Liberal Republicans. While the Democrats may be further to the left than the Republicans, people like George W. Bush and John McCain are not true Conservatives, no matter how much they may protest to the contrary. You should be very happy that, no matter who wins in November, there will be a Liberal in the White House.

  141. Well, I seriously doubt that my definition of “Torture” and your’s are the same. I believe that anything that does not cause serious physical harm is not “Torture”. None of the detainees at GITMO have experienced “Torture”, regardless of what that buffoon, Ted Kennedy says. The “extreme” interrogation techniques we use do not cause physical harm. Are they uncomfortable? Yes. Unpleasant? Probably. Humiliating? Maybe. Injurious? No. For all the crying and whining about you hear about “Waterboarding”, what you don’t hear is that our Special Ops. soldiers have to be “waterboarded” as part of their training. When I was in basic training we had to go through Interrogation Training, to get some idea what it would be like if we were captured. Nothing as extreme as the Special Ops. guys have go through, but it wasn’t fun. It didn’t kill me.
    And as far as attacking Iran goes, that’s not going to happen unless Iran attacks us first. Especially after the Iraq debacle. And when did national defense become a Republican or Democrat ideal? Why isn’t it just plain old common sense? Democrat deity, JFK, had no problem standing up to our enemies. What’s changed? Has the Democrat party been completely taken over by Pacifists? As far as I’m concerned, pacifism is suicide.
    And “Liberal Values” is an oxymoron.

  142. What a sad, pathetic, stupid little loser you are. But then, that’s the definition of a conservatoad — hypocritical, insane, pathologically paranoid, and completely incapable of thinking.

    Your teacher laughed at you because you’re a laughable, pathetic little excuse for a person. That’s all you are, and all you ever will be.

  143. What a sad, pathetic, stupid little loser you are. But then, that’s the definition of a conservatoad — hypocritical, insane, pathologically paranoid, and completely incapable of thinking.
    Your teacher laughed at you because you’re a laughable, pathetic little excuse for a person. That’s all you are, and all you ever will be.

    By: The Die Hard on March 26th, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Typical. Completely incapable of having an intelligent conversation, so he has to resort to name calling and personal attacks. And he’s calling someone else “pathetic”! Too funny!

  144. Your definition of torture assumes that humans are fleshy machines, and the only type of damage or suffering they can ever endure is physical. You sort of leave out emotions and psychology and everything non-material about humanity.

    The difference between Kennedy readying for conflict and Bush readying for conflict is that America was not the aggressor in 1963 and the USA was facing a real, tangible, even probable chance of mass destruction.

    Your conclusions are weak appeals to emotion, so I can hardly take you seriously when you criticize rational arguments from liberal perspectives as based solely on emotion.

  145. Most of our extreme interrogation techniques are psychological. I know that. and I also know that subjecting a prisoner to sleep deprivation, loud music, changes in temperature, and in rare cases, waterboarding, are far less harmful pysically or mentally, than say, cutting off his head with a dull knife. We treat our prisoners far better than our enemies treat theirs.
    Both Kennedy and Bush did what they believed to be the right thing to do at the time. We can second guess them all we like, but we weren’t the ones who had to make decision.
    And I deal in common sense and reality, not emotion. I live in the real world. I don’t pretend that it’s anything other than it is.

  146. Ronzo,

    You have somewhere developed the idea that it is each individual’s job to provide for everyone — you and Karl Marx!

    A conservative believes he can best serve society by becoming successful, then offering a hand up to another who possesses the vision and commitment to succeed.

    A liberal believes the conservative can best serve society by paying all he has in taxes, which the liberal will give to people with no vision.

    On estate taxes, wise people accumulate an estate over the course of their lives IN SPITE OF government taxes. In no just universe would government have any legitimate claim on that estate!

  147. Texancelt,

    Dude, you’ve got me confused with someone else. I despise the very idea of Marxism and all of it’s bastard children! (Communism, Socialism, Liberalism, Progressivism) There are plenty of Commies posting on this board, but I’m not one of them!

  148. Sorry, Ronzo. I was responding to a writer who apparently posted just below your by-line. After rereading some of your posts, I appreciate that you are, indeed, one of the informed. Keep it up!

    For all you liberals – watch John Adams on HBO. You’ll learn what Liberty is and how dearly it was won.

  149. “Has the Democrat party been completely taken over by Pacifists? As far as I’m concerned, pacifism is suicide.
    And “Liberal Values” is an oxymoron.”Emotional appeals.

  150. I think it’s dangerous to stand in one party and look at another and treat it as though it has no merit; it’s a dangerous and juvenile fallacy. Yes, conservatives want liberties; but, so do liberals. The difference is in what kind of liberties. Conservatives want economic liberty. They want to practice business without regulations by the government, and at some point, that may have sounded like a good idea, but it’s clearly not working because the disparity between the classes is too great, and there comes a point when any rational person would agree that the chances of someone growing up in a low income family has about as many chances of becoming economically successful are about as good as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. So the liberties liberals want are not an unregulated market, because they perceive it as something that dangers the common person’s personal rights. They are also under the impression that if you have things like universal healthcare, a healthy person is a productive person, as opposed to someone who can’t get medical treatment, and is then scorned for being lazy. It’s not that anyone’s saying Richie-Rich shouldn’t get paid for being a CEO, but he shouldn’t be getting paid more in one day (which very likely involved a couple of rounds of golf with his buddies) than school-teachers in low-income areas, or social-workers, or the cleaning staff at the local hospital will make in a whole year. No, the liberties that liberals seek to defend are the rights to religion – and I’m not talking about the majority, cause we all know how painful it is to Christians that they can’t pray in school, but other religions that people like to pretend don’t exist. Or the right to marry the person you love, regardless of what genders you are (in a church that recognizes gay marriage, which most conservatives would like to pretend a church like that isn’t a “real” church). Or a woman’s right to choose what she wants to do with her body – yeah, I

  151. “there comes a point when any rational person would agree that the chances of someone growing up in a low income family has about as many chances of becoming economically successful are about as good as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.”

    By: lamich on March 28th, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Really? Isn’t such a person well on his way to becoming the Democrat nominee for President Of The United States? The fact is, anyone with the motivation and drive to succeed can do well in this country, regardless of race, creed, color, upbringing or income. Of course, if you sit around and wait for the government to do it for you, you are never going to get anywhere. The only people getting rich off of the Government are politicians and their cronies.
    And as far as a CEO making a lot of money goes, that is a private transaction between an employer and an employee. The businees pays the CEO what they think he or she is worth for their service and expertise. The Government shouldn’t have any say in the matter. Nor should anyone else.
    That’s is one of the biggest problems with Liberals. They seem to believe that those who are successful haven’t earned their success. They seem to think that if your successful, that you have either “won life’s lottery”, or you’ve gotten what you have at the expense of someone else. They try to convince people that the reason they have little is because someone else has more. They use class envy and class warfare to try to turn people against each other. The fact is, anyone who wishes to succeed in this country has the opportunity to do so.

  152. You just confirmed what lamich said. You called lower-class people, that cannot succeed because of economic and social roadblocks, lazy.

    Plus you just said that people should earn their money, but then defended CEO entitlement.

    The real truth is, life isn’t black and white or shades of grey. Economic and social roadblocks exist and prevent most people from having social mobility, but there are still many who can transcend class because of their personal qualities [nature or nurture or both]. These aren’t the only issues, wither. Class mobility is affected by much more than stratification and innovation. It’s nonsense to discount the uncountable other factors of the situation. It’s stupid to treat life as a conflict between two “opposites”, which may not have any logical connection [light is the opposite of dark, but darkness is an absence of light, it is not anti-light]. You can;t think so linearly.

  153. All this talk about about roadblocks to mobility and success are hot air — the kind that fills the space that should be occupied by brains.

    My wife of 39 years and I were both raised by single mothers with little or no monetary support from dear old dad. If there had been welfare in the 1950s, we would have qualified for it. My mom could afford to buy me one new pair of blue jeans, one shirt, and one pair of sneakers a year.

    We both worked our way through private colleges living at home.

    After graduation, we both joined the Air Force, where we met and married. We immediately began saving and investing systematically. She got out after 6 years when our first child was born.

    I retired after 21 years, and became a well-compensated writer. She became a school teacher,

    We are both now retired with a substantial investment account, a valuable home that we own free and clear, and enough recurring income to allow us to do what we wish. One of our children is a successful medical professional who graduated without debt thanks to merit scholarships. The other is a flight attendant on a major airline.

    I don’t know what the rest of you consider “success,” but I think we are living it. We got here without “sponsors,” in spite of government taxation, and without government assistance.

    The fact is, anyone willing to work hard, improve him/herself when the opportunity arises, and commit to always give more than expected on the job can achieve financial security and personal success in this country.

  154. You just confirmed what lamich said. You called lower-class people, that cannot succeed because of economic and social roadblocks, lazy.

    By: Crumbunist on March 28th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Please tell me what these supposed “economic and social roadblocks” are? Who are they designed to hold back? How do they work? How is it that some are able to avoid them, while others are not?
    You refuse to see the reality that people have the free will to make choices, both good and bad, that effect their lives. EVERYONE in this country has the OPPORTUNITY to succeed. Whether they do or not is entirely up to them.
    I’m a truck driver. I’m not wealthy, or even well off. I work hard for what I have, and believe me, it’s not a lot. I have an old duplex that needs a lot of work that I can’t afford to do right now. I drive a 5 year old Hyundai. The only thing I have that might be considered “extravagant” is a 4 year old Harley, which will help me deal with the gas prices this summer.
    I grew up in a lower middle class family, with a brother and 3 sisters. My dad worked for the city and drove a cab part time. My mom spent most of her time raising us, but she did work some when we got older. We didn’t have a lot. I worked as a janitor when I got out of high school. After a couple of years of that, I joined the Army. I got into telephones when I got out, but the economy tanked and I got laid off. After 6 months of being out of work, out of desperation, I took a job driving a school bus. That got me interested in driving, and from there, I got my license for tractor-trailer. I’ve been doing that for 15 years. What’s your story?

  155. Plus you just said that people should earn their money, but then defended CEO entitlement.

    By: Crumbunist on March 28th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    “CEO entitlement”? If I show up for work and do the job I was hired to do, I am “entitled” to the wages promised to me by my employer for doing that job. They are not just giving me money out of the goodness of their hearts. I am performing a service in return for that wage. It seems to me that if someone is hired to do a job, regardless of the job or the pay, and they then do that job, they have then earned their pay. How is that an “entitlement”?
    Have you ever had a job? You really don’t seem to have any grasp of how it all works.

  156. lamich wrote:
    “Conservatives want economic liberty. They want to practice business without regulations by the government, and at some point, that may have sounded like a good idea, but it’s clearly not working because the disparity between the classes is too great, ”

    What is the acceptable disparity? Who defined it? What is causing it?

    Is it nasty old conservatives building businesses — and creating jobs? Is it free enterprise creating wealth to pay salaries and taxes? Governments cannot crea\ate wealth, they confiscate it.

    If you want to know why there is a disparity, go to your local fast-food restaurant and order a hamburger with other than the normal configuration. The odds are against you getting what you actually ordered, because the teenybopper who took your order didn’t actually listen to what you said, and the manager is doing his/her best just to get food out the door.

    Or go to a department store and try to find a salesperson who actually knows about their merchandise.

    “Customer Service” is o longer about making your shopping and buying experience more rewarding, because it is just a job.

    You want to move up? Show up early and try to find ways to improve your performance every day. If you deal with customers, put yourself in their place and exceed your own expectations. The plaudits you get from satisfied customers will earn management’s notice and you will benefit.

    Always keep our eye open for opportunities, better know as problems. Problem solvers are in great demand and well-compensated.

    Improve yourself through education and experiences as the opportunity comes your way.

    The only sure thing is that if you do nothing more, you will get nothing more. Read anything by Og Mandino, then tell me there is no opportunity in this country.

    Or, sit on your butt and gripe about how you are not getting ahead. But, don’t expect any sympathy!

  157. While I’m at it…

    There are free institutions in every city in America. They are filled with information intended to make those who enter their doors better informed and more qualified for a whole range of occupations. They even have people to help you find the information you need.

    Only about 3% of Americans use these institutions. They’re called “public libraries.”

    The knowledge is there for the taking, but you have to get up off the couch and go to the library, check out books, and read them. That may mean missing Smackdown, the Braves game, or America’s Next Top Model, but nobody ever got a better job by watching TV.

  158. I guess in the end, liberals expect their government to care when people are suffering of illness, and are too sick to work, and too poor to pay for healthcare, and are stuck in a vicious circle of poverty and illness, or when a soldier’s wife is widowed with children and now can’t care for them herself. Instead of pointing fingers at this person and saying, “get off your lazy butt!” liberals want a government that reaches out a hand and helps. If you think helping is wrong, you’ve probably never really needed help, but it’s not because you’re so hard working; it IS because you’re lucky. And I can admit I’ve been lucky, but I still don’t deny the merits of helping others. Meanwhile, if you think this system breeds dependency and week wills, maybe we should look at another neoliberal stance on the cutting of public funding – if low-income people were getting a better education, they would be more self-sufficient. The idea behind educating people is that you can help them to BECOME self-sufficient. But for them to become educated, schools have to be funded. The truth that I think SOME conservatives (I would never be so crass as to imply all conservatives would agree with most of what you’re saying, texancelt) should understand is that if you want to exist in a civilized society, you have to contribute to it, most likely monetarily. If you don’t want to contribute to it, you should think about ways to remove yourself from society. I’m sure there are plenty of go-getter liberals who would be happy to help you think of a few ways you could manage that.
    Oh, and about people not using libraries: maybe not having a decent mode of transportation to the library affects that because they don’t have a job to buy a car, and taxes were cut, so the bus line to the library isn’t running anymore. Or maybe the low-income housing surrounding the library is too dangerous for them to be able to make it inside the library safely. Or maybe the school they attend is so overcrowded and so understaffed that they’ve managed to make it through without anyone ever noticing that they can’t even read.
    Oh, and the jobs those “nasty old conservatives” are creating (hey buddy, you said it, not me) are going overseas anyway. And you tell me, by the way, when will the economic disparity be enough? Can you fathom a time when you would say, “yeah, the difference really isn’t fair anymore,” or will that day never happen in your eyes? How ludicrous would the world you live in have to be before you said to yourself there was something fundamentally wrong? What if you noticed you lived in a world where someone working their fingers to the bone and isn’t making enough to eat that day, and another person is making enough money to buy his own island by schmoozing on the golf course and attending catered board meetings in an air-conditioned office. Would you think that’s a little off, or are you still sure that’s totally socially just?

  159. Ronzo and your friend: I already addressed this.

    “The real truth is, life isn’t black and white or shades of grey. Economic and social roadblocks exist and prevent most people from having social mobility, but there are still many who can transcend class because of their personal qualities [nature or nurture or both]. These aren’t the only issues, wither. Class mobility is affected by much more than stratification and innovation. It’s nonsense to discount the uncountable other factors of the situation. It’s stupid to treat life as a conflict between two “opposites”, which may not have any logical connection [light is the opposite of dark, but darkness is an absence of light, it is not anti-light]. You can;t think so linearly.”

  160. “Conservative”

    Remembering what one’s ancestors, told them
    Not being swayed with every doctrine, or whim
    Conservative is seeking what is right
    Willing to hold on, to what’s right, in spite

    Conservative, is going with your conscience
    Not willing to put up with much non-sense
    In public, not willing to shed one’s
    clothes
    Believes some things should be private, as
    everyone knows

    Conservative, is having good values
    It’s doing good, not being callous
    Often considered, right-wing
    It can be seen as, extreme

    Conservative, is being a model citizen
    It’s holding on, to values, that’ve been given
    Conservatism, is not so much, a religion
    It’s just being responsible
    Often, making good, decisions
    (Amazon.com Book: America and Religion, Lewis, page 22)

  161. Lamich, if you think that the Government “Helps” anyone but itself, you are sadly mistaken. The Government is responsible for creating far more poverty than has ever cured.
    You complain about the funding of schools, yet we spend more per child on education that almost any other country on the planet, and every year our schools get worse. Money is not the problem. The NEA and the teacher’s unions are. We stopped “educating” children 20 or 30 years ago. Now, the schools are more interested in teaching kids WHAT to think, than HOW to think. Little Johnny can’t read or write or do math, but he is a good “citizen”, he has high self esteem and he believes in all the socially and politically correct things that we think he should, and that’s good enough. That is modern “education”. I believe that “Indoctrination” is probably a better term for it.

    And Mr. Crumbunist, repeating yourself isn’t answering the question. So, I’ll ask you again… Please tell me what these supposed “economic and social roadblocks” are? Who are they designed to hold back? How do they work? and how is it that some are able to avoid them, while others are not?

  162. Lamich,

    Please give me your definition of “fair.” Somehow, to you it is fair for government to take more from the people who are saving and investing responsibly and risking their (after tax) capital to build businesses, and give it to the “less fortunate”

    So far as exporting jobs goes, >85% of jobs in the US are created by small businesses (300 people or less). Those companies are not exporting anything except products.

    As for being ludicrous you are blaming those who are producing for the disparity with those that aren’t. There is a name for the form of government you want. Walter Williams defines it as “spreading the misery equally.”

    So far as getting to a library goes, you have given a lot of thought to excuses, but riddle me this: every school in America has a library, which generally only gets used for classroom projects and can get loaners from any public library and many state university libraries. What stops kid from going to their school library? Most public libraries today also have programs that allow you to receive books by mail.

    The trouble with liberals and neo-socialists like you is that you are always ready with a reason why people can’t help themselves, instead of finding ways to show them that they can!

  163. Lammich,

    I wish you could talk to Mike, a security guard where I used to work. Mike always had a smile on his face, which lifted everyone’s spirits as they came to work. One morning, I stopped to express my appreciation for his attitude and he told me his story.

    Mikhail (his real name) and his wife had been medical doctors in Communist Czechoslovakia. When the opportunity came to escape to the US, they came literally with only the clothes on their backs. He was working three minimum wage jobs and she, two. He was overjoyed that they owned a “good used car” and they were buying a small house. He closed his story with “America is a wonderful country!” (A postscript: Shortly thereafter, Mike suffered an on-the-job injury that cost him the security job. While he was waiting at the hospital ER nearby, he got hired there as an orderly.

    Mike only saw opportunity where you see only oppression.

  164. Maybe it’s the late hour making me irritable, but Ronzo, do you choose to be this dense, or were you born with a cinderblock for a skull? these roadblocks aren’t constructed by anyone. They aren’t intentional or malicious. They’re things like John the riveter getting multiple sclerosis, or Ahmed being beaten up by thugs for his race, or society’s utter failure to solve the drug problem [hint: abstinence has never been and will never be a viable education strategy for anything]. It’s things like Jennifer’s condom breaking in grade ten and her parents force her to keep the baby. Or Mike the steelworker being laid off, with no marketable skills. Or Sam and Haley, who both work full time and still can’t support their family.

    I’m not talking about some paranoid nutjob conspiracy to keep the working man down. I have never argued a class war. YOU have brought that up. YOU are the one seeing the upper-lower class divide as a struggle. I see it as a Berlin Wall; a barrier that keeps most out, and those few who slip through are congratulated by both sides. Pure market capitalism has failed, plain and simple, to provide the best possible society. You are late to the party, everyone got an invitation, yours was lost in the mail.

  165. Mikhail is a lucky man; not everyone gets the right opportunity, and not everyone is prepared to take advantage of it.

    Nobody is arguing that the rich are somehow oppressing the poor. Nobody is arguing that America is a bad country. Putting words in people’s mouths will not solve anything and will never prove your point.

  166. Another thing; stop demanding concrete, quantifiable definitions of “what is too much?” “what is fair?” Unless you are an unfeeling robot, you are human enough to intuit when something is very wrong. When is too young for sex? When is too young to vote? When is too much taxation? When is too much tolerance? When is it okay to systematically violate civilian rights?

    Humans are not purely logical beings. They think, yes, but they also feel, and intuit, and understand, and perceive, and judge, and valuate, and procrastinate, and want things, want pleasure, want comfort, want meaning. You can’t define humanity entirely within logic. You can’t assign a value to human life. Too much will be too much when people FEEL that it is too much.

  167. Crumbunist,

    What do you propose to do when the Gap gets “too wide?” Levy a massive tax on those who are saving, investing, and producing. Here’s a clue from Economics 101: they’ll stop! The job supply will dry up, interest rates will go through the roof (because there are no savings or investment capital to loan), and you will create inflation (too few dollars in circulation to purchase necessary goods and services), adding to the misery of the “have nots.”

    Oh, and about Mike, he wasn’t fortunate at all. He had experienced life under a Socialist dictator, with the state dictating how much he could be paid, what services he could provide and virtually every other aspect of his life. There, he and his wife were doctors. Here, the were forced to take multiple, minimum wage jobs. Yet, here they enjoyed liberty.

    Don’t you ever wonder why people from Eastern Europe risked their lives to get here? It’s the same thing that brought he pilgrims to Massachusetts and caused men to sell themselves into indentured servitude for 7 years to get to Georgia. It’s Freedom, and it still only exists in the USA. But economic freedom has a downside: because you are free to pursue your dream, you are also free to do nothing.

    Socialism looks the best to those who have neever experienced it!

  168. “They think, yes, but they also feel, and intuit, and understand, and perceive, and judge, and valuate, and procrastinate, and want things, want pleasure, want comfort, want meaning. ‘

    DO THEY WANT THEM BAD ENOUGH TO DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO EARN THEM?

    Unless a luxury costs you something, it is worth only what it cost.

  169. These roadblocks aren’t constructed by anyone. They aren’t intentional or malicious. They’re things like John the riveter getting multiple sclerosis, or Ahmed being beaten up by thugs for his race, or society’s utter failure to solve the drug problem [hint: abstinence has never been and will never be a viable education strategy for anything]. It’s things like Jennifer’s condom breaking in grade ten and her parents force her to keep the baby. Or Mike the steelworker being laid off, with no marketable skills. Or Sam and Haley, who both work full time and still can’t support their family.

    There IS a defintion for the things you describe. It’s called “LIFE”. Bad things happen to good people all the time. It sucks, but you keep fighting. You do what you have to do to get through it. It boggles my “cinderblock”, that you think the Government is actually capable of solving any of these problems.

  170. Let me tell you a story. A few years ago, the tenant who was living in my duplex, decided to move out to go live with her boyfriend. About the same time, a “friend” whom I had known for more than 20 years, but wasn’t really close to, was splitting up with his wife, whom I have known since I was 5 years old. He asked me if he could move in with his son, who was about 12 at the time. I had concerns about renting to friends or family, but I couldn’t afford for the place to be empty long. Plus, the place needed some work. He promised me that he would have the rent on time every month and, as he was a painter, he told me he would fix the place up. So, I let him move in. I even gave him a break on the rent since he was going to fix it up.
    Long story short, he ended up owing me about $8200 by the time I was able to have him evicted for not paying his rent. And it cost me about $15,000 to get the place ready to rent after he “fixed it up”, which consisted of him tearing down walls and wall paper and not finishing anything. Add to that the two years the unit was empty, because I couldn’t afford to carry the place by myself AND pay for the renovations all at once. When it was all said and done, helping out a “friend” cost me a little over $50,000. Thanks to the laws here in MA, the tenant has all the rights and the landlord basically has none. My lawyer said it would be a waste of time and money to take him to court. I learned a hard lesson. No good deed goes unpunished.
    I found out later that, before they split up for real, that they told the state that they had split up so they could collect welfare. He and his wife had been scamming the state for housing, welfare and child support for years. He worked under the table and paid no taxes. He is a product of the welfare state and Government assistance. He certainly had no problem screwing a friend. The fact is, you can’t help those who won’t help themselves. They just don’t appreciate it.

  171. I’m not proposing any kind of crippling tax on the wealthy. I’m not in favor of corporate tax hikes. I’m in favour of smarter government spending. US military spending makes up almost half of the world total. The next closest nation spends only one eighth of the US total. If the US military budget was cut even by half, then that would be $10,000 per citizen reed up that could be spent on, oh, say, health insurance, or tuition fees, or a trust fund or every child.

    Mikhail was fortunate to get out of a totalitarian state and find a job [orderly] that matches his skill set and pays pretty well, not to mention being personally rewarding.

    Of course, I come from a communist totalitarian state that oppresses citizens through dreaded socialist tactics, where nobody is allowed to excel and capitalism is punishable by death apparently!

    Socialism looks best to those who thrive under it [see: me, versus you.]

    “DO THEY WANT THEM BAD ENOUGH TO DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO EARN THEM?

    Unless a luxury costs you something, it is worth only what it cost. ”
    Do you really think only in terms of materialism?

    Ronzo: Yet in so many countries other than America, the government successfully prevents those situations from occurring. Universal health care, employment insurance, modern multicultural education, progressive drug policies, legal abortion, job training centers, welfare, etc etc are not seen as COMMIE policies; they’re functioning long- and short-term solutions to many problems that hold people back. If a person is held back from success by external circumstance or regressive morality or their own unpreparedness, then they’ll have restricted social mobility.

    It looks like you just need to be a better judge of character.

  172. Crumbunist,

    If our military budget was cut in half, you could just close down the military. Currently, there are not enough spare parts and not enough bodies to fight a real war, notwithstanding our current incursion into Iraq. If–when–we are attacked again by anther nation, it is too late to mobilize a fighting force. A standing military is our only defense; without it, none of what you propose matters.

    As a percentage of our GDP, military expenditures are very low (@4.6%). Twenty-seven other nations spend a greater percentage (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2034rank.html).

    Liberty is neither cheap to gain nor cheap to maintain. The capitalism that you decry has created wealth for all Americans beyond the imaginations of the rest of the world. Even our poorest live better that most of the people in the world.

    “$10,000 per citizen freed up that could be spent on, oh, say, health insurance, or tuition fees, or a trust fund or every child.”

    IF the government spent $10000 per citizen for health insurance, the actual cost would double. Do some research into healthcare costs before and 20 years after the inception of Medicare.

    tuition fees … the “poor’ already have Pell grants to pay for continued education. How would your idea make any difference?

    trust fund for every child … So the government, which would be in bankruptcy if it couldn’t print money, would become everybody’s rich uncle Charley, handing out trust funds without strings attached?

    You are either a dreamer or deluded. Reliance on government always comes at a price, and that price is reduced liberty.

    By the way, which communist country are you from? And, are you currently in the US?

  173. Texancelt,

    Crumb is definitely deluded.

    Not only are our military expenditures low, leftists are totally lost not understanding that military expenditures fund the efforts of working people. Military contractors develop new technology and employ workers. These expenditures also train and develop character in young people serving in our armed services.

    What we should do is completely cut out our ridiculous and wasteful expenditures in Medicare and Social Security (two-thirds of our federal budget and soon to be bankrupt) and spend all the money on the military where people could become employed and pay for their own retirement and medical costs.

    Of course this is a ridiculous postulate—but the postulate that we fund a system that will definitely not be able to pay its promised benefits makes perfect sense! Payroll deductions for Social Security are now 6.9%, to keep the system solvent that must increase to over 14%. Think about that, 14% from the worker and another 14% from the employer. 28% total, not including the other taxes Democrats can’t wait to increase. If you’re a worker you’re screwed! Crumb doesn’t seem to realize when business costs increase it’s tougher to employ people and tougher for workers to get ahead.

  174. “If–when–we are attacked again by anther nation, it is too late to mobilize a fighting force. A standing military is our only defense; without it, none of what you propose matters.” What force in the world could invade the United States that cannot be defeated by the United States military?

    “As a percentage of our GDP, military expenditures are very low (@4.6%). Twenty-seven other nations spend a greater percentage” Truly America is in good company; after all, twenty-seven of the worst countries in the world outrank it, and 32 third world dumps follow it before the next First-World country shows up on the list!

    “IF the government spent $10000 per citizen for health insurance, the actual cost would double. Do some research into healthcare costs before and 20 years after the inception of Medicare.” Obviously there would have to be healthcare reform. Once such an enormous amount of funding becomes available, a two-tiered healthcare system could work very well.

    “Character development” aside, the military can be replaced by civilian industry that creates rather than destroys. Billions of dollars freed up for research, infrastructure, new technologies etc benefit out society much more than missiles that will never be used, or so many bombs that even Vietnam, the Gulf Wars and Desert Storm could not deplete them all. What you are suggesting is a ludicrously militant society. The military cannot be the core of any free and democratic society.

    The efforts of the working people would be much better and much more directly funded by direct government grants, not no-bid military contracts. Why can’t the government establish a tax fund or a grant that is accessible to all new entrepreneurs? Why can’t they funnel wasted military funds into private business and industry? Why can’t they give money directly to those people with the brilliant ideas?

    Isn’t it more efficient and democratic to prioritize peaceful, civilian research instead of pouring trillions into war profiteers?

  175. The best option is to overthrow this corrupt bourgeois government and give money back to the downtrodden workers of the world who have have been opressed for so long by the imperialist corporations and governments of America.

    To read people on here arguing for MORE spending on the imperialist American military so they can murder yet more innocent civilians across the world as well as kicking the American working classes who fund their sickening activities is utterly disgusting. Yet further evidence for the need to rise up against imperialism across the world and overthrow the ruling elite.

  176. Communism had its chance and it turned out to be as shitty and imperialistic as capitalism.

  177. It is true the government wastes a lot of money, and when it comes down to it we created the government to do three things, protect everyone’s right to life, liberty, and property.

    The federal government employs about 1.8 million civilians and about 2.9 million military personnel. So how much do we expect from government? Do we expect government to throw us a uniform whenever we can’t find a job? Or is it the American free market that should answer the call?

    Imagine if the government worked like a regular business, manage the debt, employ necessary positions, maintain efficiency.

    But it doesn’t

    The government creates jobs that are unnecessary. Makes no attempt to balance the budget, and works innefficiently due to its lack of incentive.

    To take a look at “big” government we work our way to Ronald Reagan, he created 950,000 jobs. How could the Unites States need such a splurge of government jobs? Was the IRS doubled? Did the post office suddenly find itself needing more workers? No, it was the military that was in short supply. Do you become aggravated when the government sends out checks to people who don’t work? I sure do. We usually call it welfare but in his era their called military employment cheques. And you know something? None of those new jobs were assigned to active duty, because it just so happens the Cold War wasn’t really a war at all.

    So 950,000 men and women found the free market unsatisfying and decided to give government a spin. Tell me how much money can the government offer to have you work for them, remember have they ever tried to work with the budget their given?

    Well in Reagan’s instance he broke the $1,000,000,000,000 mark which seems like decades ago now. And by the time he left the bill was up to $3.5 trillion. But that’s ok because that $3.5 trillion went to Americans, who love America, paid by the rest of the hardworking America who didn’t jump on the bandwagon of “big” government you hate so much.

  178. Crumbinist,

    NO. STATE SOCIALISM failed but there is no reason to believe that a new form of democratic socialism cannot arise with the withering away of the state. Marx predicted that the capitalism would transcend national boundaries and he was right! All that is required is for the workers of the world to realise their common humanity and rise up to defeat the oppressors of America who wish to divide them.

  179. Sorry broseph but all socialism requires a central governing agency to ensure equality and enforce it in communist countries.

  180. I would like to start by saying, I have never made any comments on blogs such as this. I stumbled on this while looking up information on the differences between “liberals” and “conservatives”. I consider myself to be a liberal woman. I couldn’t believe some of the nonsense I came across during my search. One website actually had a woman claiming conservative women are better looking than liberal women. She went to two meetings discussing important government policies, and all she could think about is how much better looking the conservatives were. She claimed “liberals” didn’t comb their hair or wear mascara, as though those were key to making good decisions. Well, I brush my hair, wear make-up, and take care of myself; I have worked since I was 10 years old; and I am a liberal. I am a liberal because I care about not only myself, but also my neighbors, my enemies, and people I have never met. This planet is the only one we will ever get, and I’m pretty sure that most people aren’t going to take a percentage of what they make and put it towards saving our natural resources. I also am wondering if “anyone can become anything they desire”, what age you believe that begins or ends?? Can an 8 year old child get a job and provide for themselves? Was it a choice to be born into a family with out enough money to keep them fed? Yes, I believe there are ample reforms needed, but until that happens it is societies moral responsibility to assist those in need when ever possible. Should we turn the other cheek when you see an elderly person unable to pay their bills or buy their own groceries? I’m not saying I have all the answers. Unlike most of the people on here, I know I know nothing, but what I do know is life isn’t supposed to be every man for him or herself. I believe there does need to be heart involved in the choices made by the government and the people. I have worked my whole life, and am just barely keeping my head above water.

  181. mia, no one says people shouldn’t help each other, its just that individuals do a better job than the governemt. Hurricane Katrina and its after math would of happened under any administration because the majority of FEMA employees get a job by knowing someone,(not political appointment or a meritcratic system) office politics, gets bigger with and worse with more government, especially since the oversight is its self. Competiton allows the common folk who are the consumers alos become the regulators. So If the governemnt is in charge and its not doing its job, are you going to got to mexico and have it take over New Orleans? but If the Red Cross doesn’t do well, we can not fund it and bring in Someone else like the Catholic Aid Society or Doctors Without Borders. Its not about caring, its about which solution is best.

  182. Ironically, what you call “conservatism” is more often known as “Classical Liberalism” or “Laizze Faire”, i.e. the belief that the economy is better off without any government intervention.
    Naturally the liberals you oppose are closer to the definition of “socialist” than “liberal”.

    Ultimately the definition of “liberal” is anyone who wants policy to constantly change, and hold no value in tradition.
    “Conservatives” are those who oppose change, only want slow and gradual change, or want to return to previous values.
    Because of this what it means to be liberal or conservative is entirely dependent on what the status quo actually is within the time frame.
    What was once liberal is now conservative.

    So here liberals are those who want to implement changes to the government to deal with all the problems they can possibly identify, and conservatives are those who want to return to a smaller, less intrusive government.

  183. I am a conservative but I am a bit turned off by your “retard credits here” banner on the right site of the page. You have every right to mock Gore (as we all should!) but the word “retard” is so overused and is really disparaging toward the mentally disabled.

  184. I’m glad to see conservatives re-taking the standard of fact- and logic-based debate. We’ve suffered a lot the past ten or fifteen years from radio-host exhortations and sermon-style rhetoric as opposed to cool consideration of fact and policy. And more often than not, it’s blogs (like this one) where twenty-first century conservatives are exercising reason in politics. Check out http://tompainesclubhouse.blogspot.com/ for more.

  185. Subject: one strategy and two conservative objectives / plus news tip question

    Two objectives are promoting conservative ideals and earning money for your favorite non-profit organization. Strategy, go to Google “john r marshall conservative author profile” then scroll down to “Let The Winning Begin”

    All that remains for success is content. You might start by considering last two writing exercises published by theconservativevoice.com: News Tip Question and Three Texas Officers Plus Two. As I work at trying to write like I speak, my writing exercises should provide marketing and product edge, but also are my references.

    My background involves decades in private sector intelligence and security industries. I divide my writing exercises between essays and short stories.

    You can reference self published short stories and lyrical visual prose; go to writesafe.com to “view” to “new gallery” to “data base search” enter “marshall” go to Farmer’s Son Volume III Dreams – to contents – You might start with: “Takes Less Than A Village”; “Prosecution For Constitution”; and apolitical work “Heart of The Ebony” and “Life s Not Fair”.

    In the same volume you can check out my non-fiction book “Spy As A Verb: The Art and Ethics of Surveillance” which is the training manual I use in my classes. I am licensed by the state of Texas to teach surveillance to private sector agents.

    Also check out Volume V which represents my current non-fiction writing exercises in progress. Note all of my short stories are intended to be marketed as screen play concepts.

    As an individual who has never married and has no children or surviving family, who has a background of surviving over thirty years as a private sector hired gun, my writing reflects experiences of someone who has seen the very little of humanity’s best but mostly humanity’s worst.

    Explaining not complaining, my political views are based on my life’s experiences: go to Google search “John R. Marshall conservative” to Author Profile: John R. Marshall. The thirty plus published essays at theconservativevoice.com would be perfect for an audio book (subject of this contact).

    I also have a blog site called “Citizens Passions” which is kind of a recent bio that could easily be incorporated into audio book: go to Goggle blog search enter “Citizens Passions”. Again my essays can be marketed as audio books since I try to write like I speak. I have done over four hundred radio interviews throughout my career.

    A fun tip I will pass on to you. When you need to get a list of good guys, go to bad guys web site like southern Poverty Center and get a list of their bad guys. Irony, bad guys are providing good guys with a list of potential allies.

    Your time and interest are appreciated – John R. Marshall

  186. amdrew, first I would like to say thank you for your comments. I do appreciate someone taking the time to reply in a polite and informative way. However, I have not had many good experiences in discussions with self proclaimed conservatives. I actually just started describing myself as a liberal simply because of my negative outcomes during debates with conservatives. When I read some of the complaints in the original blog I couldn’t wrap my head around them. One such complaint, “the struggling business man… still can’t afford to send his kid to Harvard”, made me want to scream. When my mother had to leave my father she had no work experience and no money. The only job she could get was McDonalds, and we lived in a tiny two bedroom apartment. She walked to work since my father had the only car. We had to use food stamps for almost a year, until she finally began to get on her feet. When I hear some, obviously privileged, conservative complaining about some business man not sending his son to Harvard, and having issues with forms of welfare such as food stamps I can’t believe it. I also received a Federal Grant to attend college. I would have never been able to afford school with out it, even though I usually work 2 to 3 jobs at a time. And even though I am still struggling, not nearly as much, I donated all of my state tax return to state charities. It seems apparent to me that policies and the government as a whole need to constantly be changing and developing along with The People. It used to be illegal for women to own land. I mean to want everything to stay the same just doesn’t sound logical. We should constantly be learning and improving. I also don’t think any other organizations that wanted to assist in the Katrina efforts would have not been allowed. No one is stopping individuals from helping each other, but the government is there when the individuals are not.

  187. Mia,

    You’re naiveté is quite revealing. You have to struggle to go to college—poor baby. You have no empathy for that poor businessman who works 80 or more hours a week and just barely makes ends meet and that’s why he can’t afford to send his kid to college, but it’s OK for you to advocate legal confiscation of his money while you GET TO GO to college. He never had that opportunity.

    Your struggle is tough and we admire you for the effort. The effort you invest will make you successful, but when you’re off doing fine with your college degree in hand think about that “privileged” businessman who made it possible for you to go and never attained the level of education you will have acquired.

    While you’re working those three jobs to put yourself through school, check out the origin and history of income tax (started at 1 to 7% only for the “rich”), and now even middle class people pay 25% of their wages to income tax.

    The top 1% of earners pay 39% of all income tax and the Dems want to increase their rate. But they can afford it, right? By the way, when their rates increase they shift their efforts to more leisure activities and guess what? The total tax burden shifts downward and the “rich” pay less of the total income tax thrusting a greater load onto the middle class.

    Social Security and Medicaire will become insolvent by 2040 at our current rate of expenditure, but Democrats are trying to spend more and provide even more entitlements to “buy” votes. This means the system is going to fail earlier. You are young enough to be able to witness this pending catastrophe.

    What are you going to do when the government can’t meet its obligations even by confiscating 100% of rich people’s earnings? And where do you think you’re going to get a job when rich people find it not advantageous to employ people and earn because of draconian fiscal policy?

    Study France’s 25% unemployment rate among people 19 to 25 and their stalled economy and you will see a vision of our future.

    The entitlement mentality our leftists have bread into the American people is so ingrained now you will get every liberal program you can conjure in your imagination.

    Even Republicans are now willing to spend us into oblivion.

    One more thing—how can you be so irresponsible to be donating your state return to charity when you need that money to help your mom and finish your degree. It doesn’t sound like things are as tough as you say.

  188. “You have to struggle to go to college—poor baby. You have no empathy for that poor businessman who works 80 or more hours a week and just barely makes ends meet and that’s why he can’t afford to send his kid to college, but it’s OK for you to advocate legal confiscation of his money while you GET TO GO to college. He never had that opportunity.”
    First off, that condescension is completely unnecessary and works against the image of a rational conservative that you are trying to put up.

    Second, calling taxation “confiscation of money” is an emotional response. Rationally, the government provides services to you [defence, police, firefighters] and they need money to do it. If you don’t believe in taxes, then I’m sure some anarchist state like Bolivia would be glad to have you.

    Third, your column #13 says that “Over 84% of all federal income taxes are paid by the top 25% of wage earners.” How then, is Mia’s education grant or someone’s student loan, coming from the struggling businessman who works criminally long hours to “barely make ends meet”? How is Mia, who came from a very poor background, robbing the poor when you repeatedly state on this site that she is “robbing” the rich?

    Fourth, Mia is an example of someone using their individual skills and aptitude to make something better of her life. She is the conservative ideal. But you try to make her feel guilty for succeeding when an obviously ineffective businessman can’t keep his struggling business together? Shouldn’t success be based on merit and aptitude, not failure?

    Fifth, you chastise Mia for trying to help the extremely unfortunate with her INDIVIDUAL EFFORT. You say that social/liberal policies are wrong because the state shouldn’t help the poor, individuals are more effective at it, but when this individual tries to help the less fortunate, you criticize her efforts!

  189. You say that you support a meritocracy, but then try to make successful people feel guilty for succeeding when less apt people can’t.

    You say that state socialism is unnecessary because individuals are more efficient and effective at helping the needy, then criticize an individual for helping the most needy.

    You say that most of the taxes come from the extremely wealthy, then say that food stamps are being confiscated from the poor.

    You say that welfare is unnecessary, and makes things worse for those on it, but without it Mia could have wound up on the street, squandering her aptitude and potential.

    You say that “liberals” cannot argue logically and rationally, then use condescension, emotional language, constant ad hominem attacks, unrelated tangential arguments, and many other fallacies.

    Stop being a hypocrite and start arguing “with wisdom and logic.”

  190. Crumb,

    It’s nice to know that you can count to five.

    Here is wisdom and logic:

    The United States pounded the Soviet Union into submission militarily and economically embracing a capitalist form of government.

    The poor in the United States enjoy the highest standard of living anywhere in the world due to a capitalist form of government.

    The defining quality that gives the United States of America its moral superiority is its recognition of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as inalienable rights, bestowed by God. In other words, individual aspiration shall never be subjugated by bureaucratic bullies for some allegedly higher purpose. The State is not endowed with such a power no matter how much democracy thinks it ought to be.

    All good intentions fly out the window when the State subjugates and penalizes the efforts of those few rugged individualists who create the framework from which wealth grows.

    In your perfect world, the government takes half the seed from the famer’s rows before it has had a chance to grow—because it’s not fair the farmer has so much seed. Shortsighted and envious, either ignorant or just spiteful, it matters not that allowing the seed to sprout would create sturdy stalks of plentiful seed many times the bounty your bureaucratic pirates absconded with in the name of fairness and equality.

    Of course, your moronic bureaucrats have neither the skill nor inclination to grow seed, and most of what they took goes to waste.

    How is that for condescension, emotional language, constant ad hominem attacks, unrelated tangential arguments, and many other fallacies?

  191. “The United States pounded the Soviet Union into submission militarily and economically embracing a capitalist form of government.

    The poor in the United States enjoy the highest standard of living anywhere in the world due to a capitalist form of government.” I never said otherwise, but thanks for the unrelated tangential argument. [although to further the tangent, poor people in every other first world nation are better off because they get free health care and better welfare]

    “All good intentions fly out the window when the State subjugates and penalizes the efforts of those few rugged individualists who create the framework from which wealth grows.” Who are these individualists? Are they the wealthy CEOs that are entitled to their enormous paychecks? The children of those CEOs who are entitled to the fruits of their parent’s labor [column 46]? Are they the struggling businessmen who cannot be the foundation of America’s greatness [column 24]? But wait, why am I even confronting you on this? It’s another one of your deflective tangents.

    “In your perfect world, the government takes half the seed from the famer’s rows before it has had a chance to grow—because it’s not fair the farmer has so much seed…” this entire section is a strawman argument and an ad hominem attack in one.

    “Of course, your moronic bureaucrats have neither the skill nor inclination to grow seed, and most of what they took goes to waste.” More strawman; you’re saying that I support these imaginary bureaucrats that you just invented to smear me.

    How is this for condescension, emotional language, constant ad hominem attacks, unrelated tangential arguments, and many other fallacies? It is the glass slipper to your Cinderella.

  192. Jim, Are you claiming the father or the son was not able to attend college? I assume the son, but your writing was a little unclear. I am certain he was able to go to college, perhaps not Harvard. I find it interesting that you say poor baby you had to work to go to college to me, and at the same time the business man’s son is a victim because daddy can’t pay for him to go to Harvard. He is capable of working isn’t he? I’m sure if he put forth effort he could’ve made it to Harvard, anyone can right? The small but helpful amount of money I received is less than my family and I have paid in taxes, so I wouldn’t say the “rich” paid for me to go to school. Also, I find it quite presumptuous of you to assume I will need to be employed by the rich, and will not eventually become the rich. What happened to the anyone can attitude? As far as all of the problems connected to taxes and welfare go, I am the first to admit we have problems. I am just saying that doing away with the programs is not the answer. One more thing… I never said how long ago we were struggling. My mother now owns her own business, and I help her run it. So, yes I am still not “rich”, but I’m in a much better position than I was. When I have a little extra, I give back as much as possible. And when you are sleeping on a mattress on the floor and eating with food stamps, tell me how “tough” things really are!

  193. I want to clarify my comment about paying more in taxes than I received to attend college, because I can already see where that might lead. At the time, I hadn’t paid that much in taxes. I have paid that much, now. That is what I consider to be the whole concept of the many forms of federal aid. When people are struggling, they receive the assistance they need at the time. In doing so, we prevent the situation from worsening and may even give the opportunity of improvement. When they are on there feet, they are able to pay higher taxes providing for someone else who may need a little assistance. I have witnessed many different sides to this very difficult and controversial subject. I know a republican who makes over $100,000 a year and complains constantly about how much he is paying in taxes. I understand being upset when I hear how much it is, but I also know he is able to pay for 3 mortgages, 2 vehicles, and a nice land lot. I know a single mother who never feels the need to keep a job because she knows between her parents and the tax payers she has nothing to worry about. It makes me so angry to see the federal assistance being used in that way. I know my mother used food stamps for 8 months until she was able to get on her feet, and then stopped receiving assistance. I can see all the issues clearly, but that doesn’t mean that we should do away with federal aid all together. I’m searching for some answers. I’m trying to become better educated concerning political policies and the different political parties. I’m not on here claiming to know everything. I feel the need to share about myself because I believe that many of the people on here have no concept of what it means to be one of the people in need. I am not any more, but I vividly remember when I was. I was ashamed to use food stamps. Most people using federal aid are in need, and are not misusing it. We just need to figure out a better answer. I admittedly don’t have it.

  194. Crumbunist

    Just want to show my appreciation for such a thorough and educated rebuttal to Jim’s not so on point answer to my blog. Some of the information he randomly added had nothing to do with what was said in the previous response. I don’t think I could’ve explained my point of view any better. Thanks again

  195. Pingback: The Patriot’s Den at formykountry.com » A Post for Mia

  196. Mia,

    I don’t know where I advocated stopping all federal aid.

    I also apologize if I have not answered your queries more directly.

    The point of this article was to point out what conservatism is what liberalism is and what consequences have reigned via their policies.

    It matters not that liberals want to help people if their policies ultimately end with negative consequences.

    I don’t have rich parents and I didn’t go to college. After failing previous attempts in business, I started the one I own today with $2,000.00. I slept on a piece of shag carpet on concrete with a small electric heater warming me. My food budget was about six bucks a day which provided more than enough tacos and bean burritos from Taco Bell. Once a week I traveled 65 miles home for a shower. I don’t know if your experience was more difficult, but I do think I know what it means to get by with little.

    To really know an ideology you must see the results from the policies those ideologies promote.

    While all political philosophies “market” their policies with genuine and disingenuous obsequious sales presentations, it takes quite a bit of examination to discover truth. My quest in this article was to describe not the “sales pitch” but the true ideology behind the rhetoric.

    I am sorry “conservatives” in your life have been so disagreeable, that does not mean conservatism is bad, and just because they labeled themselves “conservative” does not mean they have embraced conservative ideology.

    I am posting another article today that follows up on this theme.

    If I am incorrect in my presentation, I would enthusiastically hear your laments; however, I am driven by logical analysis, emotional arguments will not sway me. I could attempt to console you through emotional manipulation and I might even win you over, I would not however be candid nor convey to you the information needed to ferret out the truth which is foundation to these ideologies.

    Perhaps you will get more from this:

    A Post for Mia

  197. I am surprised to learn about your time of struggle. I apologize for my assumptions. The fact that you were so bothered by the business man not sending his son to Harvard is what caused me to make that assumption. I found it interesting that you addressed the definitions of liberal and conservative, because I had just looked at that before I found your blog. It did make me much more comfortable with the idea of being a liberal over a conservative. And it did sound the way I would describe most liberals and conservatives that I have met. Maybe you don’t feel they are accurate definitions, but I can only go on personal experience. I enjoy learning more about the conservative perspective, and hope you understand that I may not use the same tools in debate. I realize that most people say it is not useful or intelligent to use emotions when discussing politics, and that is quite accurate when trying to win a debate. However, I am not trying to win anything, and I am a Thinking and Feeling human being and converse as such. You are a strong political writer, but sometimes showing you are just a person like anyone else will make others ears open to your voice. And isn’t that really the point? You aren’t just on here to pat other conservatives on the back for not being a liberal are you? I don’t think you are, but it may come off that way. Just my opinion. You can do what you wish with it. I appreciate you posting a blog for me, but I hope that there was not a bit of underlying condescension. I am taking it as you taking the time to address some of your basic beliefs, because I was curious on the differences between liberals and conservatives.

  198. I found this at http://www.whoisjohngalt.com. I think it’s pretty fitting for our conversation.

    Liberals and “Progressives” — What’s in a Name?
    I read a “progressive” blogger who essentially believes a ‘liberal’ is a person with a leftist political agenda, while a ‘progressive’ is a person who wants liberals to get elected. I don’t think that’s contrast, but it is interesting to see the left rationalize this latest name change. I find that the left has to rationalize a lot, because much of what they subscribe to doesn’t even pass their own smell test.

    Another liberal suggested that the left is beginning to favor ‘progressive’ because Bush ’41 somehow tarnished ‘liberal.’ Yet somehow, the party for whom Orwellian wordplay is everything has never successfully smeared ‘conservative’ — a word which has always been something of a badge of honor in America.

    If the truth be told, it boggles my mind that anyone can subscribe to leftist doctrine without considering the trail of wrecked words that have been used to describe it.

    At its root, ‘communism’ suggests a harmonious community; a peaceful cooperative effort. And I can’t help but think the word was carefully chosen for that very vision, though modern liberals realize that today the word conjures mental images of gulags and the KGB.

    A liberal will argue that ‘socialism’ is different from ‘communism.’ In fact, the horror of communism is so well established that even though today’s Democrat political platform largely resembles Marx’s Communist Manifesto, Dems themselves won’t come near The ‘C’ Word.

    ‘Socialism,’ or “communism light,” still has some shiny spots. Socialized services are available throughout Europe, and our lefists often hold up the “successes” of those programs as models for America. “Social Security” — now there’s a pretty term, relying on whatever remains of the positive connotation of ‘social,’ I suppose. And, of course, there will always be one nagging problem with ‘socialism,’ the fact that the brutal, and quite communist U.S.S.R. included ‘socialist’ in its name. Oops.

    Nevertheless, the word stem of ‘socialism’ once evoked thoughts of generally benevolent relationships between people, or between the individual and society. And you can bet the word was chosen specifically for that sort of appeal. (I’ll leave out “social diseases,” though I suppose liberalism has been thought of that way.) Now, though, you can even see Hillary Clinton (yes, she’s a socialist) carefully structuring her health care proposal so it can’t accurately be called “socialized medicine.”

    ‘Liberal’ is the most Orwellian of leftist euphemisms. It’s nothing short of comical to associate an ideology of unlimited government growth with “freedom,” as ‘liberal’ does. And the origin of ‘liberal’ as a term for the left is consistent with the ideology: they stole it — stole it from movements who once used it to denote their commitment to actual liberty.

    In fact, if it weren’t for leftism, adopting ‘liberal’ would have been a master stroke. History holds numerous references to “liberal” and “liberalism,” and today’s liberal bloggers can now claim alliance with the likes of Aristotle and Hayek for having used those words. (That vibration you sometimes feel is Aristotle and Hayek spinning in their graves.)

    But in the end, I suppose it was the fact that ‘liberal’ was so unambiguous a word that caused its inevitable downfall as a label for the left. I mean, you could disregard the originally intended connotation of ‘socialism’ and it would still technically define leftism: some sort of deification of society over the individual (not to be confused with ‘defecation,’ though the similarity is obvious).

    But ‘liberal’ — that word’s only origin lay in freedom. Except for maybe “the liberal application of government,” you can’t find some technical relationship between what the word means and what the movement stands for. Something had to give, and I guess in this case it had to be the word.

    It’s as if the left cobbles together its platform of irrational, inconsistent, socially unacceptable planks, and is then surprised to find that the prettiest looking nameplates won’t fit on it without getting damaged. ‘Socialism’ got bent pretty badly, but a once noble word like ‘liberal’ was utterly destroyed by the abuse.

    Now ‘liberal’ is an insult. People who are liberals deny it. Today’s socialists want to be called “progressives.” Some radicals are proud to be called “liberal,” and curiously they’re the ones who are most reminiscent of communism. Go figure.

    I predict that in a hundred years ‘progressive’ will be on the trash heap, too, and the left will have moved on to something else. But ‘progressive’ won’t fold completely like ‘liberal’ did — it’ll be more like ‘communism’ and ‘socialism.’ Sure, the libs call themselves “progressive” today because it suggests that the movement improves things, but long after that joke’s not funny anymore they’ll still have a technical relationship to the word — the usage previously associated with disease, or cancer.

    I’ll give you a hint, libs: the problem isn’t your movement’s name — it’s the movement.

    October 21, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

  199. Fitting in that it’s hypocritically accusing others of using labels and word games, I guess?

  200. “today’s Democrat political platform largely resembles Marx’s Communist Manifesto”

    This is a hilarious comment!!!! Ronzo, you should either engage in a bit of self-education and actually read the two documents you’re talking about or join a circus.

  201. That’ especially laughable since you criticise the Democrats because they want to expand state power, and Marx explicitly and repeatedly states that the State is a tool of bourgeois oppression and must “wither away.”

  202. First off, had you bothered to read the beginning of the post, you would see I stated that I did not write the article. I just found it interesting. And, since it seems that you Liberals are having such a difficult time defining your ideals, I thought it might help you out. Apparently it didn’t. I guess in order for you to find a definition for your ideals, you would have to have some in the first place.

    Marx my have said that the state “must whither away”, but that doesn’t seem to prevent the Democrats from using it to force their Socialist agenda on us. Case in point, the Supreme Court of California, overturning the will of the people and allowing homosexual marriage. Both the people of California and the state Constitution say the “Marriage” is between a man and a woman. Yet, as in Massachusetts, a small group of UNELECTED Judges decide that the will of the people doesn’t matter. The cancer of Socialism has been spreading throughout this country for more than 40 years, by Democrats and their Liberal idealism.

  203. If you knew anything about communism you wouldn’t have cited that article at all.

    “Marx my have said that the state “must whither away”, but that doesn’t seem to prevent the Democrats from using it to force their Socialist agenda on us.” In this sentence, you admit that the Democrats are not Marxists, yet you do so without admitting that you are wrong.

    Thank you for trying to define someone’s ideals for them. It works especially well when you have even less an idea of what they believe in than they do.

    As for the rest, you should keep in mind that the California State Constitution, hosted here http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/const.html does not say anything about a marriage being between a man and a woman. In fact, it does not once use the words ‘man’ or ‘woman’. Whoops!

  204. “Marx my have said that the state “must whither away”, but that doesn’t seem to prevent the Democrats from using it to force their Socialist agenda on us. Case in point, the Supreme Court of California, overturning the will of the people and allowing homosexual marriage. Both the people of California and the state Constitution say the “Marriage” is between a man and a woman.”

    This is incoherent garbage. As Crumbinist pointed out below, you have just disproved your own argument. Read your post back to yourself and realise how stupid it sounds.

    Anyway, homosexual marriage isn’t a socialist cause, it’s more of a social liberal cause, perhaps even linked to a libertarian outlook on society.

    And how do you know that the ‘people of California’ want a marriage to only be between a man and a woman? Have you looked the statistics up?

    Finally:
    “since it seems that you Liberals are having such a difficult time defining your ideals, I thought it might help you out.”

    That’s the first time I’ve actually seen someone admit that they’re constructing a straw man argument and saying that it needs to be done! Ask me to tell you my opinions on issues and I’ll tell you them and then you can criticise them, don’t impose a set of values and beliefs on me and then attack me.

  205. I didn’t even notice that it was a straw man argument. Come on Matt, time for bro grabs.

  206. The confusion expressed in this crock of baseless opinions labeling people as either ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ needs to be ignored by all. To really understand the nature of a ‘liberal’ stance and/or a ‘conservative’ one go to the topic ‘liberalism versus conservatism’ in this forum.

    Most of the misbegotten messages in this topic assume that it is possible to identify people as either a ‘liberal’ or a ‘conservative’. It just is not so. Everyone is a conglomeration of both ‘liberal’ stances and ‘conservative’ stances on issues. In fact, many are both conservative and liberal on the identical issue. Why not? The two paradigms have no moral valuation until associated with a specific issue. They do not have to conflict. It is possible to have both a positive liberal stance and a positive conservative stance on the identical issue. Consider the issue of who builds a road system in the USA.

    Example: Most of us have a liberal view on big government using its powers to build an interstate highway system. However, most of us have a conservative view that private companies can also build their own toll road system, too. We are also not against government competing with a plethora of other infrastructure issues like postal service, sewer systems, etc… For example, The Ambassador Bridge going from Canada to the USA is a privately owned bridge.

    Do you see? We can be liberal and conservative at the same time on an issue because there is no conflict. What is really germane about the issue of liberalism versus conservatism is that we in fact pick positive responses to issues whether we pick a conservative or a liberal position on the issue. And in many cases we can have both!!! Don’t you get it? Your labeling of people as either liberals or conservatives is Limba-ugh drivel. Creating an imaginary conflict between liberalism and conservatism makes entertaining radio for shitto-heads but is absurd.

  207. I attempted to leave a reply with you on twitter, but methinks this would be a better way to communicate. Your post was brilliant. Stunning. Well worded. (I’m done jocking it now.) Here’s my questions, though:

    How do you feel about those that sought to protect our country and are looking for the VA to provide PROPER healthcare? Is that along the same lines as state mandated healthcare in your eyes? (I can’t imagine that it is, but I figured I’d ask) It seems to me that while Obama keeps thumping on about healthcare and the such, he’s done nothing for what’s already state mandated, which is the VA system. He promised “Change” and we got a letter saying, the reason it’s this bad in Chicago is because, “…it’s always been that way…” to paraphrase. How can someone who sits on the National Veterans Healthcare Board talk about “Change” for a NATION when he’s implemented none for a state.

    Thanks and keep up the wonderful posts!

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