What is a “Conservative” exactly?

Or a “liberal” for that matter?

Do nearly all conservatives believe in God? Are nearly all conservatives pro-life? pro-war? pro-family values (whatever that means)? pro-guns? anti gay marriage?

We know they are no longer pro-Bush as a rule. Why is that? Is it just because he keeps pressing to beat Iraq into submission even though a huge majority of people in the U.S. are against that?

A quick visit to Wikipedia reveals:

Conservatism is a relativistic term used to describe political philosophies that favor traditional values, where “tradition” refers to religious, cultural, or nationally defined beliefs and customs. The term derives from the Latin, conservāre, to conserve; “to keep, guard, observe”. Since different cultures have different established values, conservatives in different cultures have different goals. Some conservatives seek to preserve the status quo, while others seek to return to the values of an earlier time, the status quo ante.

Samuel Francis defined authentic conservatism as “the survival and enhancement of a particular people and its institutionalized cultural expressions.” Roger Scruton calls it “maintenance of the social ecology” and “the politics of delay, the purpose of which is to maintain in being, for as long as possible, the life and health of a social organism.”Scholar R.J. White once put it this way: “To put conservatism in a bottle with a label is like trying to liquefy the atmosphere … The difficulty arises from the nature of the thing. For conservatism is less a political doctrine than a habit of mind, a mode of feeling, a way of living.”
– Wikipedia “Conservatism”

There are many aspects of Conservatism including Fiscal, Religious,  Cultural to name a few.

Can a Conservative be both pro-life and pro-war? That one always gets my attention. Can he/she like Ted Kennedy or Bill Clinton? Can a Conservative dislike Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter?

I remember the day Bill Clinton was inaugurated. I happened to be listening to the radio that afternoon and I heard my first of Rush Limbaugh as well. I stopped to listen because I was surprised that an announcer would sound so excited about anything and talk so swiftly. Rush was ranting about Clinton that day. No kidding. I don’t think Clinton’s had was off the Bible yet when Rush was assaulting his character.

I suspect that Liberals and Conservatives speak different dialects. Perhaps the schools need to start teaching the dialects to youngsters, like teaching Creationism.

People will call me liberal. But I am fiscally conservative. I will not come out against guns (but I will hate them as long as I live). If I am pro-choice must I also be pro-abortion? I have yet to meet a conservative who understands that possibility.

I will tell you that I am proud to be a tree hugger! Why do right wingers use that term in a derogatory manner? Do they despise trees?

I am ambivalent about gay people in general but I champion their rights. Why do conservatives have a major problem with gay people wanting to be legally married?

Something like this makes liberals realize that Conservatives are worse than mean spirited. At a conference Ann Coulter said: “I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word ‘faggot,’ so I — so kind of an impasse, can’t really talk about Edwards.” Audience members said “ohhh” and then cheered.

Don’t believe it? Check it out for yourself on video!
http://thinkprogress.org/2007/03/02/coulter-edwards/ Stuff like this just widens the chasm. What good could that be for the country? I’ve heard radio show hosts call Hillary Clinton “her thighness.” Is that what they are looking at when they see Hillary? Perverts

Conservatives often get my dander up, sometimes a whole lot especially when I talk about the “invasion” of Iraq, but I now think we just don’t use the same dialect. We are strangers in a strange land.

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One response to “What is a “Conservative” exactly?

  1. This is a question for the ages!! I really don’t consider any of those things you listed to be conservative. I define it like this:

    Conservatives like more order, more predictability, and more military personnel to defend the country.

    Liberals like robin hood health care, civil liberties, and public education.

    So, as you can see, none of the hot-button issues such as war, abortion, guns, or gays fit into my definitions. Rather, I see those as political creations intended to win votes.

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