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Definition of Conservative and Liberal

crebigsol

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With the high frequency encountering the labels of Conservative and Liberal in nowadays political affairs, would anyone render some precise defintions for these two groups of people? It sure helps.
 

CaptainCourtesy

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With the high frequency encountering the labels of Conservative and Liberal in nowadays political affairs, would anyone render some precise defintions for these two groups of people? It sure helps.
I think you're going to find that it will depend on who you ask.
 

Harshaw

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There ARE no precise definitions of either.
 

Gipper

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If you like to be controlled by God, you're a conservative. If you like to be controlled by Washington, you're a liberal.
 

crebigsol

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If you like to be controlled by God, you're a conservative. If you like to be controlled by Washington, you're a liberal.
Definitely deserves applause! But "control" is not quite to the nature, because Washington is controlled by someone, too.
 

TurtleDude

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If you like to be controlled by God, you're a conservative. If you like to be controlled by Washington, you're a liberal.
I disagree for many conservatives are not religious and many parasitic socialists are

I see it this way

If you believe that the primary provider of your own safety,wants and needs is you yourself you are generally conservative. If you believe that the government is, then you are a liberal

If you pander to the second class of voters than you are a political pimp
 

WingsOfDesire

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If you like to be controlled by God, you're a conservative. If you like to be controlled by Washington, you're a liberal.
Don't forget Libertarians, they like to be controlled by Ron Paul.
 

Redress

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There are no good answers to this. The topic is too broad for a good single answer. The best I have come up with:

A liberal thinks government can be a force for good in society, and has a responsibility to do so.

A conservative thinks the government is a necessary evil and should do the minimum possible.

Now, obviously this is oversimplified, and there are some pretty clear exceptions. I think it is as close as I can get, but it is not safe to draw conclusions from it.
 

Jetboogieman

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Good and Reasonable Conservatives capable of debate and compromise are good.

Good and Reasonable Liberals capable of debate and compromise are good.

Dumb**** and unreasonable partisans of both sides are bad.

That pretty much sums it up for me.
 

crebigsol

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If you believe that the primary provider of your own safety ,wants and needs is you yourself you are generally conservative. If you believe that the government is, then you are a liberal
The above message is from a CONSERVATIVE

A liberal thinks government can be a force for good in society, and has a responsibility to do so. A conservative thinks the government is a necessary evil and should do the minimum possible.
The above message is from a VERY LIBERAL

It seems both messages define the other "ethnic" group pretty but contrastingly well; they both also have something in common: an evil label belongs to the other camp.
 

Redress

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I did not call conservatives evil, I said they view government as a necessary evil. This is a large, unsubtle difference.
 

Orion

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I stopped trying to define these things a long time ago. I have a general idea of what they are but once you put individual people into the equation the meanings vary a lot. I frankly am tired of boxed in labels. I just say what I want and could care less where it falls on either side of the aisle, or if I'm even standing in the aisle in the first place. :shock:

Humans do enjoy their factionistic ways though, so by all means, define away!
 

obvious Child

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I stopped trying to define these things a long time ago. I have a general idea of what they are but once you put individual people into the equation the meanings vary a lot. I frankly am tired of boxed in labels. I just say what I want and could care less where it falls on either side of the aisle, or if I'm even standing in the aisle in the first place. :shock:

Humans do enjoy their factionistic ways though, so by all means, define away!
Poliwog? Snaglepus?

Replace Liberal/Conservative with the two named organisms. Does it change anything? Nope. Exactly.

The terms mean nothing here anymore. Especially when wankers define them how they so please.
 

reefedjib

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Since we have a conservative and a liberal with pretty good answers, we could always combine them. Here's is the answers from each on their own group:

Pro said:
Redress: A liberal thinks government can be a force for good in society, and has a responsibility to do so.
TurtleDude: If you believe that the primary provider of your own safety ,wants and needs is you yourself you are generally conservative.
and here is their opposite comments:

Con said:
TurtleDude: If you believe that the government is [the primary provider of your own safety,wants and needs], then you are a liberal.
Redress: A conservative thinks the government is a necessary evil and should do the minimum possible.
I think either of these is close, but it fails to capture the policy choices those with these political philosophies promote. Liberals care about fairness of opportunity, whereby those who are "needy" are given funds to raise their prospects without their hard work. Conservatives care about the free market, and are interested in reducing regulation, even if that allows business to act irresponsibly. These are constituent focused issues for each group.
 
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Cold Highway

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If you want mindless war, military socialism, religious bull**** and police state-esque security your a conservative.

If you want mindless war, socialism, police state-esque security, class warfare, and military socialism your a liberal.


Don't forget Libertarians, they like to be controlled by Ron Paul.
Its not our fault, Paul actually stands for full liberty unlike the rest of the scum in Washington.
 

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Poliwog? Snaglepus?

Replace Liberal/Conservative with the two named organisms. Does it change anything? Nope. Exactly.

The terms mean nothing here anymore. Especially when wankers define them how they so please.
Yeah basically... it's why I no longer have a declared learn on these boards anymore. It doesn't really matter what you call yourself. People will call you whatever they want based on any given moment.
 

disneydude

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The people who love to claim that they are "conservative" are usually the ones who are anything but. The true Barry Goldwater Conservative is hard to find these days.
Just look at the people who list themselves as "very conservative" on this site. They are usually the ones that advocate for huge government and regulation when it comes to social issues and homeland security issues. The concept of huge government/big brother was a foreign concept to the true Barry Goldwater Conservative, but is the foundation for the so-called "Conservatives" of today.
 

Dav

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This is a tricky one, and something I've actually spent a lot of time thinking about. The truth is that you can't find one good, all-encompasing definition for either of the terms; but that doesn't mean they are completely without meaning.

"Conservative" has traditionally been used to describe people favoring a strict adherence to, well, tradition. (Not the status quo, or else Roe v Wade would be a lot more popular.) In places like the Middle East, this might mean favoring Islamism; but in the United States, the "tradition" goes back to the Founding Fathers. Since these were a pretty classical liberal bunch, traditionalist conservatism has become tied to (classical) liberal conservatism (sort of like libertarianism without the Heinlein). Conservatism means small government and free markets for liberals, traditional values and societal structures for traditionalists, and adherence to the Constitution and DoI for both. It could also be all of the above for either, and often is. People can come to the same conclusions through many different methods. Conservatives don't even have to be either traditionalists or classical liberals.

"Liberal" is a bit tricker. One thing I've noticed most of them have in common is a disdain for imperfect conditions - war, poverty, etc. Conservatives and others will write these off as necessary evils, as will to a smaller extent many liberals... but through one way or another, there's always a solution of some sort. I'd probably split it up into two main groups: elitist liberals (no derogatory connotations intended) and populist liberals. Elitists tend to view the main cure of the world's problems as via the powerful, coercive force of a large central government. Since unregulated masses can't take care of themselves enough to not have poverty and violence, they see the need for a group of intelligent, logical-minded elites to be smart where most people are stupid, and to make decisions for the masses that the masses, in their view, are incapable of making. Then there's populist liberals, who don't see the government as a place for elites to converge, but rather as an expression of the will of the people. In their view, it is a choice between government control and corporate control, so one might as well go for the one that is popularly elected. This is the more hippie side of liberals, which doesn't so much see an inherent need for bigger government as for an inherent need for people to change their ways. It's my opinion that the extreme of elitist liberalism is socialism, whereas the extreme of populist liberalism is communism.


Note that the above doesn't even begin to scratch the surface on this, and most of it is probably wrong (or worded imperfectly). It's a fascinating subject that frankly deserves more study than it gets.
 

tacomancer

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This is a tricky one, and something I've actually spent a lot of time thinking about. The truth is that you can't find one good, all-encompasing definition for either of the terms; but that doesn't mean they are completely without meaning.

"Conservative" has traditionally been used to describe people favoring a strict adherence to, well, tradition. (Not the status quo, or else Roe v Wade would be a lot more popular.) In places like the Middle East, this might mean favoring Islamism; but in the United States, the "tradition" goes back to the Founding Fathers. Since these were a pretty classical liberal bunch, traditionalist conservatism has become tied to (classical) liberal conservatism (sort of like libertarianism without the Heinlein). Conservatism means small government and free markets for liberals, traditional values and societal structures for traditionalists, and adherence to the Constitution and DoI for both. It could also be all of the above for either, and often is. People can come to the same conclusions through many different methods. Conservatives don't even have to be either traditionalists or classical liberals.

"Liberal" is a bit tricker. One thing I've noticed most of them have in common is a disdain for imperfect conditions - war, poverty, etc. Conservatives and others will write these off as necessary evils, as will to a smaller extent many liberals... but through one way or another, there's always a solution of some sort. I'd probably split it up into two main groups: elitist liberals (no derogatory connotations intended) and populist liberals. Elitists tend to view the main cure of the world's problems as via the powerful, coercive force of a large central government. Since unregulated masses can't take care of themselves enough to not have poverty and violence, they see the need for a group of intelligent, logical-minded elites to be smart where most people are stupid, and to make decisions for the masses that the masses, in their view, are incapable of making. Then there's populist liberals, who don't see the government as a place for elites to converge, but rather as an expression of the will of the people. In their view, it is a choice between government control and corporate control, so one might as well go for the one that is popularly elected. This is the more hippie side of liberals, which doesn't so much see an inherent need for bigger government as for an inherent need for people to change their ways. It's my opinion that the extreme of elitist liberalism is socialism, whereas the extreme of populist liberalism is communism.


Note that the above doesn't even begin to scratch the surface on this, and most of it is probably wrong (or worded imperfectly). It's a fascinating subject that frankly deserves more study than it gets.
Great post and essentially fair I think, except for a lack of mentioning the negative results from extreme forms of conservatism.
 

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While definition is hard to formulate, it is certainly puzzled to learn why the conservatives insist they are for "pro-life" toward the issue of abortion. "Pro-life" is definitely a self strangling principle to the conservatives. While insisting "pro-life", the conservatives must indifferently give protection to all newly emerging lives . So, children of unwedded parents, or bastards, must be fully escorted with all rights and benefits that legitimated children enjoy.

Do the conservatives have higher percentage population among them to have produced bastards? Believe or not, most bastards are the result of irresponsible sexual behavior; their parents would expect someone else to care for the remnant of their enjoyment. This is obviously not the personality that the conservatives want to show themselves having, otherwise they won't call themselves conservatives. Resulted by the irresponsible parents, should the bastards be expected to grow up in an environment to learn that responsibility is a major core of personal integrity? Far more often than not, they just repeat what they learn: Be irresponsible, someone would come to wipe their ass. Naturally, they must grow into having hostile feeling toward those who oppose their irresponsible behavior. Then more nooses are put around the necks of the conservatives, and those extra nooses are exactly from those whom the conservatives once protect by all means.

So, conservatives, if you want to survive: Let the inept, unable, irresponsible visit the abortion clinic as often as they need or as the society needs. Otherwise, prepare to pay more to feed the welfare system and meet your end; you ask for it.
 
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TurtleDude

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The above message is from a CONSERVATIVE


The above message is from a VERY LIBERAL

It seems both messages define the other "ethnic" group pretty but contrastingly well; they both also have something in common: an evil label belongs to the other camp.
I fully agree with Redress's definition of a real conservative. Government is a necessary evil=like a colonoscopy. you do the bare minimum

or as one man smarter than both of us once said--the government that governs the least governs the best.

I didn't attribute evil to the left.
 

Dittohead not!

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A conservative is someone who affixes the term "liberal" to anyone, or any point of view with which they disagree.

A liberal, on the other hand is someone who affixes the term "conservative" to anyone, or any point of view with which they disagree.

An extreme conservative is someone who thinks all of the ills of the world come from liberals, by which they mean, anyone with whom they disagree.

An extreme liberal, on the other hand, is someone who thinks all of the ills of the world come from conservatives, by which they mean, anyone with whom they disagree.

A conservative generally wants the government to be limited and to stay out of people's lives, except to define marriage, to outlaw abortion, continue the war on drugs, and maintain a strong enough military to police the rest of the world.

A liberal generally wants the government to stay out of people's lives, except to provide a social safety net to keep him out of trouble when he makes poor choices.

A liberal wants to continue illegal immigration, and offer amnesty, because he feels sorry for the illegals. A conservative, on the other hand, wants to continue illegal immigration because his constituency likes the cheap labor.

Conservatives like the Republican Party. Why is a mystery, as the Republican party is just as statist as the Democrats ever were. Liberals, on the other hand, like the Democrat Party, because they think the Republicans are conservatives.

There. That should clear the matter up.
 

crebigsol

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A conservative is someone who affixes the term "liberal" to anyone, or any point of view with which they disagree.

A liberal, on the other hand is someone who affixes the term "conservative" to anyone, or any point of view with which they disagree.

An extreme conservative is someone who thinks all of the ills of the world come from liberals, by which they mean, anyone with whom they disagree.

An extreme liberal, on the other hand, is someone who thinks all of the ills of the world come from conservatives, by which they mean, anyone with whom they disagree.

A conservative generally wants the government to be limited and to stay out of people's lives, except to define marriage, to outlaw abortion, continue the war on drugs, and maintain a strong enough military to police the rest of the world.

A liberal generally wants the government to stay out of people's lives, except to provide a social safety net to keep him out of trouble when he makes poor choices.

A liberal wants to continue illegal immigration, and offer amnesty, because he feels sorry for the illegals. A conservative, on the other hand, wants to continue illegal immigration because his constituency likes the cheap labor.

Conservatives like the Republican Party. Why is a mystery, as the Republican party is just as statist as the Democrats ever were. Liberals, on the other hand, like the Democrat Party, because they think the Republicans are conservatives.

There. That should clear the matter up.
You do have many good points.
 

TurtleDude

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You do have many good points.
some he missed-most extreme liberals tend to bash the rich and corporations more than conservatives. Most conservatives I know are against illegals due to crime, welfare and the fact that they often vote for liberals.
 

Dittohead not!

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some he missed-most extreme liberals tend to bash the rich and corporations more than conservatives. Most conservatives I know are against illegals due to crime, welfare and the fact that they often vote for liberals.
True, liberals like to bash the rich, while conservatives would rather bash the unions. Conservatives are against illegals because they're afraid they might vote for liberals, even though it would be very difficlt for them to vote at all. They still like illegal immigration, though, because of the cheap labor. It is kind of hard to be against illegals, but for illegal immigration. It takes a lot of practice at Orwellian doublethink.

But, it can be done.
 
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