Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Levantine » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:47 pm

Except when they want the government to tell people they can't do something. Lel rights of the individual my arse. I don't know what conservative party you've been subscribing to lately, but it isn't the Republican one, that's for sure.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:28 am

Yes please lecture me on where my belief's and those of my piers, with whom I have in the past been actively involved with politically falls...

Lets cut to it specifically:
Paxen wrote:Fridmarr seems to think that Conservatism is the ideology of personal freedom - it's not, Liberalism (US: Libertarianism) is. Conservatism is concerned with preventing rapid changes and the defense of existing privileges.
You seem to mix terms a ton, sometimes correctly, and other times not so much. For instance, do you know what Libertarians are called? They are called conservatives. So it's an oxymoron to suggest that libertarians believe X and conservatives do not. Libertarians are generally at the "far right" end of conservatism, but they are definitely there. We covered this quite a bit very early in the thread, I understand the Libertarian party pretty well, in fact I've voted for a few of them over the years. I am not one however, and they aren't a huge group overall.

Another example:
Paxen wrote:("socialism as being based upon a commitment of an individual to a community"). Some values are not conservative values but are still values that are right-wing ("domination of society by people deemed racially superior, while purging society of people declared inferior, who were said to be a threat to national survival", nationalism). Some values they shared with current conservatives ("Nazism favoured private property, freedom of contract, and promoted the creation of a national solidarity that would transcend class differences.") Hitler claimed that Nazism was neither right-wing nor left-wing, and it seems to me to be correct.

Here you recognize the difference between right wing and conservative (think Libertarians vs Neo Nazis), and therefore specifically acknowledge that a lot of Nazism is in fact not conservative though some of it is right wing, while at the same time chastising me for making the same claim. Read your own words here, I don't really need to add anything.

One you got right:
Paxen wrote:The american right wing doesn't really have much credibility on freedom issues, as long as it contains social conservatives.

In the end, the right wants freedom on some issues, and not on others, and the same is true of the left.
That's true and you made a very important distinction. Social conservatives, who are generally what we call "the religious right" don't deserve a whole lot of credit for personal freedoms, and they do fall under right wing and even the conservative nomenclature. In particular, they are pro life (though plenty of non religious folks are as well) and against things like gay marriage, more than abstinence only education etc etc. They are a fairly powerful group, especially in the republican party, that's why many conservatives including myself are not republicans. They are conservative only in the sense that their views are old fashioned (usually labelled as traditional).

Sadly, they are what the media and many people in this thread define conservatives as. They make having a reasonable debate pretty difficult. Lord knows I've tried, I think there is a stretch in this thread where I offered up my position several times in a row, only to have a link of a comment from a social conservative thrown back at me. I couldn't even get my point considered.

That said social conservatives aren't exactly silenced by other conservatives and certainly not the Republican party because of their size and power, but I'll get back to that. Most conservatives that aren't in the religious right don't really consider the religious right as conservative because the idea of legislating morality is directly opposed at a fundamental level.

The other group, in which I and the aforementioned Libertarians fall, are those that refer to themselves as fiscal conservatives or limited government conservatives. It's not nearly as small a group as I think many people here believe.

Ross Perot managed to get almost 20% of the popular vote, almost entirely from this group where they were willing to break from the republican party and vote for someone that was certain to lose, and at the same time ensure a democrat won the white house. It's hard to say how many were not willing to "waste" their vote in such a way. They followed that up with a historic 1994 trouncing of the democrats, giving republicans control of the house for the first time in 40 years.

More recently you had the tea party, which made a splash and undid not just the super majority in both houses but the outright majority in one. Unfortunately, the tea party fairly quickly turned socially conservative in a massive way, and is all but dead now. A substantial portion of their early success was a lot of antiestablishment candidates and the party was willing to ignore their social stance for some fiscal conservatism, which ended up just turning them into social conservatives that wanted lower taxes.

Consider this, the percentage of people who claim to be conservative are almost twice that of those that consider themselves to be liberal. It's more than 10% (relative not actual) bigger than those that consider themselves moderate, yet a democrat won the last two presidential elections pretty handily. Further, that while Obama was winning his first election and ushering in an almost unheard of super majority in both houses, the number of people calling themselves conservative, was rising significantly. As the number of conservatives has been rising, the number of republicans has been dropping. Democrats are winning because many conservatives don't vote for republicans, the republican party is shrinking because many conservatives don't even call themselves republicans, because the republican party has been dominated by (especially of late since fiscal conservatives are bailing) those social conservatives.

I've mentioned it before in this thread, the Republican party is a mess. I think satisfaction within (even before the last election) was less than 25%, because there is a massive group there that aren't on board with the social conservative agenda and another massive group that has simply fled or never joined in the first place because of it. Although there are some fiscal conservatives in the democratic party (generally called the blue dogs), the democratic platform overall doesn't fit well.

Brekkie wrote:Fridmarr has a different definition of "Conservative" than every single other Conservative I have ever met.
If I'm being honest, your summaries of "conservative" positions throughout this thread have frankly, astonished me. If I didn't otherwise respect you, I'd think you were just trolling. They are literally worse than I would expect to read from the "Think Progress Playbook for Conservatives are Idiots herp durp"

Although my personal experience couldn't be more different than yours (and I don't think any of the other conservatives that have posted in this thread fall under your definition either), there's really not much I can say about the folks you've met. I'm glad that you find me different than the other conservatives you've met because they sound like real assholes.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:31 am

Levantine wrote:Except when they want the government to tell people they can't do something. Lel rights of the individual my arse. I don't know what conservative party you've been subscribing to lately, but it isn't the Republican one, that's for sure.
Well he said he's a Libertarian. Of the main stream conservative parties (which basically consists of republicans and libertarians at the moment), they are the one that basically doesn't want the government telling folks what they can or can't do pretty much at all. Especially at the federal level.

Again, republican and conservative shouldn't be considered synonyms. It's fair enough to group them together, after all Republicans are the largest conservative party in the US, but they are definitely not the same thing.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:57 am

I tend to vote Republican, because I view the needs of putting our fiscal house in order as more important than the social rights agenda. That said, I'm originally from the district that Gabby Giffords represented, and had I not been in the military and changed my state of residence at the time, I probably would have voted for her. Completely as a side note, before that it was represented by Jim Kolbe, one of the first openly gay Republicans in Congress. Also off topic, I went to the same high school as Gabby (10 years later), and was in the same graduating class as Gabe Zimmerman, her aide who was murdered.

I can't find the exact graph I like to use, but there was a quiz I once took on the internet that divided political philosophy basically thusly:
Image
Typically on quizzes about such matters I would fall into the individualism quadrant, somewhere close-ish to the Right-ism quadrant. But as far as conservative rights, there are plenty. Consider the Bill of Rights: free speech, assembly, expression, the right to defend yourself through the ownership of firearms, the right not to incriminate yourself, and the concept that the federal government is a LIMITED body, constrained by the Constitution to ONLY perform those actions enumerated ss federal powers. Everything else specifically not listed is supposed to be a freedom to the people, or to be managed by the several states.

I personally support gay marriage. I don't support abortion, and I think it's generally a necessary evil and the least awful of several decisions. I knew several women who had them, and saw how absolutely crushing the ordeal was and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. That said, I believe they should be legal. I just don't support paying for them save in exceptional circumstances.

Once upon a time I subscribed to a series of ideals that I was given on a piece of paper in high school:
I am a Republican Because...
I BELIEVE the strength of our nation lies with the individual and that each person's dignity, freedom, ability and responsibility must be honored.

I BELIEVE in equal rights, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, sex, age or disability.

I BELIEVE free enterprise and encouraging individual initiative have brought this nation opportunity, economic growth and prosperity.

I BELIEVE government must practice fiscal responsibility and allow individuals to keep more of the money they earn.

I BELIEVE the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations and that the best government is that which governs least.

I BELIEVE the most effective, responsible and responsive government is government closest to the people.

I BELIEVE Americans must retain the principles that have made us strong while developing new and innovative ideas to meet the challenges of changing times.

I BELIEVE Americans value and should preserve our national strength and pride while working to extend peace, freedom and human rights throughout the world.

FINALLY, I believe the Republican Party is the best vehicle for translating these ideals into positive and successful principles of government.


That said, the last several years continue to demonstrate to me that the Republicans have not been living up to this creed, despite my wishes that they would. I fervently wish for them to get on board, and I had hoped the Tea Party would do it, but they were co-opted by the Religious Right, as Frid pointed out. I generally don't vote Libertarian because I'm willing to work with a partial solution and work on it progressively as the the Progressive movement did so successfully, and that was one of the reasons I initially backed Newt before his meltdowns: because I felt he could get shit done and at least get a partial solution. Deadlock is fine and well and it slows down legislation, which was intended by the founders, but the level of retardation the nation has reached with the 24 hour news cycle and partisan hatred is beyond exhausting at this point.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:52 am

Conservative as a label, especially in the US, is so wide that it has become almost meaningless. It's very obvious in the split between the social conservatives and the fiscal conservatives in the US Republican party - they manage to live together in the same party only because they have different priorities. A fiscal conservative is often (but not always) a person who wants personal freedom over anything else, and wouldn't mind it for social questions like gay marriage, the right for a woman to have an abortion and such. But small government is paramount. A social conservative is one who puts issues such as protection of marriage and all that comes under that (opposition to gay rights, no sex before marriage and such), issues like being pro-life, and sometimes also the more lunatic positions like intelligent design or wanting the US to be a totally christian nation. Fiscal issues are secondary. They usually haven't got a very clear position on that, wanting small government on some things (taxes) and big government on others (no abortions, no gay marriage).

How can these positions both be "conservative"? Well, it's pretty easy if you look at the defintion of conservative that wikipedia uses:

Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to retain") is a political and social philosophy that promotes retaining traditional social institutions. A person who follows the philosophies of conservatism is referred to as a traditionalist or conservative.

Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others, called reactionaries, oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".[1][2] The first established use of the term in a political context was by François-René de Chateaubriand in 1819, following the French Revolution.[3] The term, historically associated with right-wing politics, has since been used to describe a wide range of views. There is no single set of policies that are universally regarded as conservative, because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Thus, conservatives from different parts of the world - each upholding their respective traditions - may disagree on a wide range of issues.


This is a very wide definition. But at the core, it highlights what makes conservative philosphy so confusing: It's not about how you want society to be, it's about how you want society to change - ie slowly or not at all. It's a philosophy of stability, or of stagnation (take your pick), not a philosophy of values. The values of a conservative are whatever he percieves as being the traditional values of his nation/culture/region.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:59 am

Oh, and a final thing about "freedom" not being a right-wing value: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collectivist_anarchism

Anarchism had close ties to early communists, and was widely regarded as a left-wing philosophy.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:12 am

I just think the gop has shifted so much to the right, that what fridmarr calls conservative and what the gop does are on two totally different parts of the political spectrum...


Hence the graphic i posted earlier...

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:06 am

Paxen wrote:How can these positions both be "conservative"? Well, it's pretty easy if you look at the defintion of conservative that wikipedia uses:...

This is a very wide definition. But at the core, it highlights what makes conservative philosphy so confusing: It's not about how you want society to be, it's about how you want society to change - ie slowly or not at all. It's a philosophy of stability, or of stagnation (take your pick), not a philosophy of values. The values of a conservative are whatever he percieves as being the traditional values of his nation/culture/region.

It's really not that hard. The groups fall under one umbrella because we have a two party system. It's hard to fit 300million people into two buckets without some significant contradictions, both sides have them. Wikipedia and your desire to label people is really causing you issues though. Libertarians and fiscal conservatives want massive change from the current system, and I would presume that they want it to occur at a reasonable clip. It can be considered traditional I guess based on the constitutional model, but what difference does it make?

Paxen wrote:Oh, and a final thing about "freedom" not being a right-wing value: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collectivist_anarchism

Anarchism had close ties to early communists, and was widely regarded as a left-wing philosophy.
Who ever said freedom is exclusively a right wing value? That said, stop with the freaking Wikipedia, it's just confusing you. Collective anarchy is not particularly free, under that system the government controls the entire economic system, including how much money everyone makes.

When you talk about US parties/groups, the conversation basically assumes a free market system. You have to get pretty far away from center to find groups that want a government controlled economic system. When you move more right to the fiscal conservatives and libertarians, individual rights take precedent over the group concept and the role of government particularly at a federal level is reduced.

If you're actually interested understanding conservatives as opposed to trying to specifically find a negative way to define or label them, maybe you should start here.

Klaudandus wrote:I just think the gop has shifted so much to the right, that what fridmarr calls conservative and what the gop does are on two totally different parts of the political spectrum...
I don't think the GOP has a definition of conservative. The GOP does campaign on fiscally conservative principles at times, but also those socially conservative values too. There are elected members of the party from each faction and a lot that try to represent both. (Aside: it's widely accepted that both parties notoriously campaign on far more conservative values than they actually follow through with.)

As I said, the party is shrinking and it's mostly the fiscal conservatives leaving, so the result is that the needle has moved for the party. Though from my perspective, that's a movement to the left, not the right. Based on the links you post and therefore the sources you read, they are going to provide a pretty narrow view of the party, so your perception is understandable.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:35 am

Fridmarr, what is your defintion of Conservative? (The link you posted contains no meaningful information about that.) It has to encompass both Social Conservatives and Fiscal Conservatives, because both those groups self-identify as conservatives and are also generally percievd as conservatives.

I find it curious that you in this thread have labeled liberals, communists, anarchists, nazis and social conservatives as all being "left". There is more to the political spectrum than your narrow less/more government spending axis.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:10 am

@Torquemada I think the "quiz" you took was The Political Compass.
(I would be interested in seeing where everyone falls on it in here, I know I've moved left over the years)

Edit: in fact, I think it could be fun, within this thread to have a crowd chart - if you wanna be on it, just reply with your "score".
I'll go first; -7.6, -4.0

Edit 2; just so I can remember where I put it; link to the current crowdchart - I will update it and the link as more people post their scores;
Maintankadin Crowd Chart
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Paxen » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:31 am

Economic Left/Right: -7.38
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.97

It does miss the distinction between "social" authoriarians and "fiscal" authoritarians. edit: Or maybe that's the entire point, that economic left is the equivalent of fiscal autoritharians. But that misses some points too, I think economic left/right is more about enforcing economic equality vs accepting some economic inequality.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:37 am

Paxen wrote:Fridmarr, what is your defintion of Conservative? (The link you posted contains no meaningful information about that.) It has to encompass both Social Conservatives and Fiscal Conservatives, because both those groups self-identify as conservatives and are also generally percievd as conservatives.

I find it curious that you in this thread have labeled liberals, communists, anarchists, nazis and social conservatives as all being "left". There is more to the political spectrum than your narrow less/more government spending axis.

For the record, you labeled anarchists as left. I didn't, but I think classically they do go there. I think maybe that our disconnect is that I do not consider Conservative and The Right as synonyms. For instance, you responded to my point about nazism not being conservative by hilighting some nazi principles that are on the right. Which is true, but that doesn't mean they are conservative, and in fact you specifically said that they were not conservative, which is very confusing. It was like you were arguing with me while trying to prove my point at the same time.

The Right is far more broad a term, and while conservatism is a part of it, not everything on the right is part of conservatism. They can often be polar opposites. I think I've been pretty clear about the groups that are considered conservative in the US. All are pretty much free market capitalists, then that breaks down into the social traditionalists and the fiscal/limited govt folks. Though they aren't the same thing, but there's a lot of cross over there, where they come out on the same side of issues for different reasons.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:45 am

Economic Left/Right: -0.88
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.10
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Koatanga » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:24 pm

In the US Conservatism is primarily represented by the Republican party, which I oppose on the basis that they still cling to the idea of trickle-down economics, and they hitched their wagon to the bat-crap-crazy religious nuts in order to secure a voting block.

Trickle-down economics only works in a closed system. If you give tax breaks to the rich to encourage investment, the rich will invest where they can get a return - they didn't get rich by being stupid. If your country is not providing a return, they will invest overseas. That doesn't solve the economic problem; it makes it worse.

Fundamentally, the tenets of Christianity are liberal. Feeding the hungry, healing the sick, clothing the naked - the idea that society should take care of its less fortunate is wheelhouse stuff for liberals. Yet somehow, the religious folks attached to the Republicans who really couldn't give a rat's ass about the hungry or sick unless they can make a buck off of them.

That has created this absolutely psychotic party where businessmen rub shoulders with religious wackos and people like my loving mother vote against the very programs they need going into their twilight years.

It's just nuts.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:07 pm

Economic Left/Right: -6.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.03
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