What Divides the Conservatives

Sundial

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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.
 

dblack

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[*]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.)
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.
 

dblack

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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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Sundial

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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.
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.

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.
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.
 
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rdean

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The one thing that unifies conservatives:

Obama being black.
 

dblack

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I'd like to see it too. I'm not sure what progressives and status quo liberals are, though.
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?

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.
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.)
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.

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.
Right. And it used to be about freedom and equal rights. What happened?
 

Oddball

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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.
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.
 

cawacko

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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.
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.

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

Mr.Nick

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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.
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.
 
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dblack

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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.
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.
I didn't say there weren't differences, even significant ones. But we have more in common than we realize. The thing is, we're not going to get anything that progressives or libertarians want as long as authoritarians and corporatists are running things.
 

Mr.Nick

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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.
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.
I didn't say there weren't differences, even significant ones. But we have more in common than we realize. The thing is, we're not going to get anything that progressives or libertarians want as long as authoritarians and corporatists are running things.
You have nothing in common with libertarians....
 

JoeB131

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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.
I think you give too much credit to "Libertarians" as a major factor within the GOP. I doubt they are more than 10% of the GOP electorate, and it's not like they have anywhere else to go.

The REAL divide I see is between the establishment of the millionaires and billionaires who care about trade policy and tax policy and regulation, and the grass roots who care about moral and security issues. There's some overlap in these groups, but they don't have the same priorities.
 

JoeB131

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The one thing that unifies conservatives:

Obama being black.
actually, it's more like "Obama being incompetant".

But I see the talking points came out today, Chris Matthews devoted the whole first segment of his show about how racism amongst whites was weakening Obama's position.

Obama got 43% of the White Vote in 2008, on par with Clinton and better than Gore or Kerry. However, in the 2010 mid-term, Democrats share of the white vote declined to 37% and polling indicates that's about where it will be for Obama next November.
 

Mr.Nick

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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.
I think you give too much credit to "Libertarians" as a major factor within the GOP. I doubt they are more than 10% of the GOP electorate, and it's not like they have anywhere else to go.

The REAL divide I see is between the establishment of the millionaires and billionaires who care about trade policy and tax policy and regulation, and the grass roots who care about moral and security issues. There's some overlap in these groups, but they don't have the same priorities.
It's not about class warfare with real libertarians,

The Bill of Rights or the progressives nemesis is a different story,post or comment.
 

Google

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The one thing that unifies conservatives:

Obama being black.
All of your posts are redundant and simplistic. Conservatives are like Gordon Geko meets David Duke.
 

Oddball

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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.
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.
I didn't say there weren't differences, even significant ones. But we have more in common than we realize. The thing is, we're not going to get anything that progressives or libertarians want as long as authoritarians and corporatists are running things.
Progressives are authoritarians and corporatists....That's how they roll.
 

initforme

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The conservatives of today are quite an interesting topic. Today the conservative aspect of the country is represented strongly by the huge corporate powers who are interested only in attaining as much wealth as possible. They have a hatred for those who work hard just to make ends meet and believe in stripping them of any assistance whatsoever. Hence they would love to see SS and medicare and medicaid stopped.
 

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