What Divides the Conservatives

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Sundial, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. Sundial
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    Sundial Class Warrior

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    Conservatives are unified, more or less, because of Obama. But in fact there are deep divisions among conservatives that require only time to play themselves out:

    • The Military. The libertarian wing views the military as little more than another branch of the government: bloated, inefficient, and largely unnecessary. Given the opportunity, they'd substantially reduce its size and its funding. The traditional wing of the movement believes the military is the bulwark of our freedom. Without it, our other freedoms would be impossible to sustain. The military is not part of the government; or at least, not the part of the government that conservatives complain about when they complain about the government. Military spending can't be cut without endangering the freedom of the country.
    • Abortion/Gay Rights/Pornography. Libertarians believe what people do in private is their own business, not the government's. Traditionalists believe the government has a role in preventing liberals from destroying the fabric of American society, as well as protecting the rights of the unborn.
    • Social Security. Libertarians view it as a Ponzi scheme which is unsustainable and should be dismantled. Older conservatives see it as a retirement account they've paid into, and are therefore entitled to receive. (I realize "older conservatives" is not the same as "traditionalists" but there's quite a bit of overlap, so I'll leave it in.)
    • Religion. Libertarians view religion as a private choice, which should not be imposed on anyone. Traditionalists believe that the US is a Christian country, founded on Christian principles, and that departure from those principles will lead - ultimately - to the destruction of the country.
    • States Rights/Secession. Libertarians believe that the states have the right to secede. Traditionalists (at least those not from the South) believe that talk of secession is little better than treason (or at least crazy-talk), and that the states have no right to secede.
     
  2. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    For what it's worth, this doesn't actually represent a conflict. Most libertarians want to phase out Social Security and have no intention of denying benefits to people who have already paid for them.
     
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  3. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    Also, it would make for an interesting exercise to compile a similar list of the conflicts among Democrats between progressives and status-quo liberals.

    The fact of the matter is, progressive and libertarians have more in common with each other than they do with the established interests in either major party. We need to follow the lead of Ralph Nadar and Ron Paul and join forces against a common enemy.
     
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  4. Sundial
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    Sundial Class Warrior

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    I'd like to see it too. I'm not sure what progressives and status quo liberals are, though. I thought "progressive" was just a term liberals came up with because conservatives had successfully poisoned peoples' minds against the word "liberal". Personally I'd prefer to take the word back, rather than abandon it. The idea that changing the name of a thing will change people's attitudes about it strikes me as a little naive. But then again, conservatives have latched onto it ("wealth-creators", "death tax") so maybe I'm wrong.

    I'd like to agree with you. I really would. But I can't. :sad face:

    From my point of view the fundamental animating principle of libertarianism is that each person is an isolated individual, and that each person should be allowed to stand or fall on his own. (And that there's a free market that can exist without government - but that's another story.)

    The animating principle of liberalism, from my point of view, is that life is fundamentally unfair, and that we (as a people) should should try to do something about it. We may not always agree about what should be done, but we do agree that we don't just leave someone behind.

    If that means that those of us who are strong, healthy, mentally unimpaired - the winners in life - have to pay more taxes, then that's what should be done.
     
  5. rdean
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    rdean rddean

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    The one thing that unifies conservatives:

    Obama being black.
     
  6. dblack
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    dblack Gold Member

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    I guess we could go with dictionary definitions. What do they mean to you? Do you see any difference between people like Dennis Kucinich and Ralph Nadar, and mainstream Democrats like Clinton and Obama, for example?

    I suggest you read up on libertarian ideology. Nothing you're saying here is accurate. Libertarians don't want to be 'isolated' any more than anyone else. And while we believe fervently that people should be allowed to make their own way, none of us question the value of community and mutual support. The question is whether compulsive government is the right vehicle for such cooperation.

    You're also making the usual equivocation between laissez faire economic policies and anarchy - which is frankly stupid. You can't have a free market without property laws at a bare minimum, and trade would be virtually impossible without laws against fraud. I don't know any prominent libertarians who dispute this.

    Right. And it used to be about freedom and equal rights. What happened?
     
  7. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Never met the libertarian who wanted a full-scale takeover of the medical industry, a massive welfare state, global military empire (remember, the major wars of the last century were embraced by "progressives"), CAFE mandates on automakers, Medicare, Medicaid, gubmint-run education, farm subsidies, a bloated police/nanny state, etcetera....

    Your "matter of fact" just ain't so.
     
  8. cawacko
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    cawacko VIP Member

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    Libertarians are not anarchists. They believe in government and that it has a role to play and that was laid out in the Constitution.
     
  9. cawacko
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    cawacko VIP Member

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    If we could only go to back to the '90's when conservatives were so unified behind President Clinton because, you know, he was a white male.
     
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  10. Mr.Nick
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    Libertarians have absolutely nothing in common with progressives.

    As a matter of fact Libertarians and progressives are opposites.

    I'm a libertarian and I believe progressives belong in prison for treason.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011

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