What exactly does "conservative" mean, to you?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by NCbear, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. NCbear

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,433
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Back in NC
    I saw this --

    -- and wondered what you think.

    To me, there are multiple varieties of "conservative":
    1. Archie Bunker/kneejerk reactionary/bigot: I've got the right to hate anyone I want to, based on how I was brought up, which of course means that my upbringing is not only correct based on some generic moral standards but also part of the tradition of my times. Change is evil! My traditions are the right way! The only way, in fact.
    2. Thinking conservative: I know what I believe and why I believe it. I can defend my belief system adequately against fairly strong rhetorical/ideological attack. I can even make points against my attackers' arguments that they concede as valid and meaningful. And in the end, I can live next to people with whom I disagree wholeheartedly.
    3. Religious fundamentalist conservative: I'm not too sure of anything except what my god (or my pastor) tells me is true. I don't really think much about gray areas, because my god (or my pastor) says they don't exist. It's all about what my religion dictates.
    4. Libertarian conservative: I got to this point because I want more control over my own life and less interference from government, which is truly bass-ackward in too many ways to count. I hate being treated like a child by a nanny-state that doesn't even take care of me very well. I'd much rather be somewhere else, someplace where I can "live free or die."
    These are broad characterizations (some would call them caricatures) but we all know people like each of these "types" of conservatives.

    What does "conservative" mean to you?

    NCbear (who is also planning to start a "what does 'liberal' mean to you" thread)
     
  2. joeweekend

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,740
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    98
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    US
    Verified:
    Photo
    You forgot "Western Conservative". We're a combination of 2 and 4.

    Reagan was a Western Conservative.

    And there's rumor that Ronnie was seriously hung. Somehow that's very fitting, isn't it, that Ron Reagan should have had a big dick?
     
  3. Bbucko

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,413
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sunny SoFla
    This is the type I'm most familiar with, along with Libertarians. It describes my parents, two of my four grandparents and my father's second wife. The only thing I'll add is the Xenophobia, which is one the specialties of this group, along with those instinctively insulted by anything in any language other than English, which they believe is spoken better on this side of the Atlantic.

    FWIW, the most homophobic person I met before I came out was my mother. Everyone whom she disagreed with was a "faggot": and, yeah...she meant cocksucker, not Nancy-Boy. She had a shuddering dislike for nay man who wouldn't succumb to her charms (which, admittedly, were plentiful when she was younger) and routinely called men "hippy cocksucking faggots", 'cause she just knew.

    Once I came out, her sphere of tolerance extended only to me personally. She was frequently, actively rude to anyone I brought home, especially after a couple of cocktails.

    My parents (and grandparents, too) were not Archie Bunker Types, though. They were cocktail party-going social butterflies firmly set into the middle class. My dad was an executive for a large insurance company, and we always had two cars in the driveway and a nice house.

    This type cannot be reasoned with and cannot be contradicted. I stopped caring about their opinions a very long time ago. They are basically reactionary PaleoCons and, thankfully, are dying out fast.

    Most of the folks I've met of this type are pretty moderate. They even break rank with conservative orthodoxy, especially on social issues. I have counted (and still do) this type among my friends, but in all but two cases avoid any political discussions whatsoever, for the sake of our relationships.

    I call these either Cafeteria Conservatives or StealthCons. Many gay conservatives fall in this group.

    Frankly, I'm the least familiar with this type as individuals. They are a species not often seen in Massachusetts where I grew up, and encountered them only in my travels. They smell me coming a mile away, and avoid me as much as I avoid them.

    They are called TheoCons and are the Culture Warriors. But, much like the first group, they have no sense of hypocracy when their own actions deviate from their professed ideals, and resent it when it's pointed out to them. They are very "do as I say, not as I do".

    I can relate most readily with this type, and they are the most common version of gay conservatives, as they are the least likely to be influenced by social/religious conservatives. They are, perhaps, the biggest Cafeteria Conservatives of them all, and are able to turn huge blind spots and contradictions into "nuanced position making". I find they pick and choose which parts of government are evil-evil and which are necessary-evil.

    They are also the first to alter their position as life's necessaries get thrown their way. Show me a Libertarian with a chronic health condition who loses his/her private insurance and I'll show you someone ready to accept government largess.

    ~~~~~~~~~~

    I was always taught that the right is all about the individual, whereas the right are all about the collectivity. But my experience has been that, of the two, the right (since the 1960s, when I started paying attention) is most likely to punish individuality and enforce societal conformity.

    It's always struck me as odd that those favoring greater collectivity also shelter the non-conformists, who by definition are the most individualistic. But maybe my experiences have jaded me to the possibilities that Cafeteria Cons offer.
     
  4. HazelGod

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    7,531
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    The Other Side of the Pillow
    Your characterization #4 is amusing, but misapplied in my opinion.

    Aside from the last part about preferring to be somewhere else, that's a good description of my own beliefs, which definitely run in the libertarian vein...I definitely don't think of myself as conservative, although many of my views on fiscal policy tend to align with the traditionally "conservative" positions.

    #2 shouldn't even be in the list, as this type of thinking spans the political spectrum...although it becomes more and more scarce as you travel farther from the center in either direction. It's more a characterization of the person than of any particular ideas they subscribe to.

    When I hear the term these days, I tend to think of #1, often mixed with #3...the prototypical "stick in the mud" types who lack common sense and actively resist efforts to change.
     
  5. SpeedoGuy

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Messages:
    4,229
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Kudos. That's the best description of Libertarians I've seen in a while.

    I've heard it said that a conservative is a liberal who was recently mugged.

    I've also heard it said that a liberal is a conservative whose campus newspaper was censored by the school administration.
     
  6. Notaguru2

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Conservatism has become so bastardized by various wings of the GOP, I honestly don't know what it means to be conservative nowadays. Here's the short list of what I believe it has become in the last 10 years:

    Conservatism is;

    1. Govern by ideology
    2. Refuse bipartisanship
    3. Say you're against huge federal spending, but do the exact opposite
    4. Huge military
    5. Always be in military conflict with at least one sovereign nation
    6. Propagate negativity & fear
    7. Polarizing
    8. Anti-gay
    9. Weak immigration policies
    10. Anti-scientific advancement
    11. Pro life
    12. A system of virtues that expands distance between "haves" and "have nots"
    13. Pro-captialism
    14. Anti-welfare
    15. Anti-separation of church and state


    Thats just a short list of what it has become; not because I say so, but because of their actions and behaviors over the last 10 years.
     
  7. Bbucko

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,413
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sunny SoFla
    Try the last 30 years, at least.

    Regarding the last ten years (eight, actually): I never really understood how "compassionate conservatism" got sold to the Republican party. Activist conservatism is pretty much a contradiction in terms. Conservatives by nature are supposed to be cautious, have doubt and resist any attempt at utopianist social engineering. But it's what GW Bush promised and it won him the election in 2000.

    It also seems both condescending and insulting to any real conservative, as it suggests that up until then there hadn't been much compassion to be seen in the Republican party or in conservatism in general, and needed to be introduced as a novel concept. If I were a conservative (which I most definitely am not), I'd find the whole concept insulting.
     
  8. Principessa

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,494
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    Does that mean y'all wear cowboy hats? :confused:


    Yes, it takes a big dick to completely screw over a country this size for as long as he did. :irked: :mad:
     
  9. houtx48

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    7,095
    Likes Received:
    35
    Gender:
    Male
    something that leaves a bad taste in your mouth every time you say it.
     
  10. Dave NoCal

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,994
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    249
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Sacramento (CA, US)
    Paranoid, selfish and sanctimonious. Frequently they are closet cases.
    Dave
     
  11. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,409
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Midwest
    1. Has something to conserve.
    2. Has a brain
    3. Can function without government assistance.
     
  12. D_Jared Padalicki

    D_Jared Padalicki Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    8,104
    Likes Received:
    33
    Someone who is conservative is uptight and not open for new things around, especially about sexuallity and politics. Too old tradition in ideas.
     
  13. Joll

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    14,509
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    722
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Wales (GB)
    Someone who is moderate and cautious in their views. Perhaps too rigid and rule-bound in their thinking, but who may question things eventually and gradually change their point of view.
     
  14. Jason

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2004
    Messages:
    9,924
    Likes Received:
    639
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    London (GB)
    In Britain we invented the term. I think it was for the 1841 election, so it is still quite recent.

    The original idea is to conserve what is good and change what is bad. In Britain it has come to be defined as the opposite of socialism. In British terms both US Republicans and Democrats are conservatives. By contrast in Britain there is a Conservative party within a liberal tradition and a Labour party that is socialist.
     
  15. Magnum Excel

    Magnum Excel New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Messages:
    750
    Likes Received:
    9
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Bergsvilletownington, USA
    a few things: narrow-minded, greedy, bound to tradition, anti-science
     
  16. B_Hung Jon

    B_Hung Jon New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,008
    Likes Received:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California

    I think there's a big difference between being responsible and being an entrepreneur. I have this discussion with my conservative and wealthy relatives who don't seem to realize that the majority of Americans don't have the skills or drive or interest to be wealthy or independent business people. I don't think it makes them irresponsible or dependent on welfare. I think that the American Dream of some day being rich is a fantasy. The majority of people will have a job, hopefully buy a home for their family and if they're lucky create some retirement for themselves.
     
  17. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,409
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Midwest
    Certainly don't need to be rich to be responsible and self sufficient.
     
  18. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,724
    Likes Received:
    386
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    Dirty filthy sex. Conservative ladies are pure obscenity - magnificent.
     
  19. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    Messages:
    11,912
    Likes Received:
    44
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New York City, by way of Marblehead, Boston and Ge
    Check.
    Check.
    Check.

    And I'm a raving libtard.
     
  20. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,409
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Midwest
    I know.

    What a waste of talent.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted