A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

April 26, 2007

What is a Liberal; What is a Conservative.

This brilliant post came as a result of a discussion on Woman Honor Thyself about gay rights. I love discussions which make me think, and something that had been ticking away just came out. It was one of my replies to many of the comments of “the left says this”.

There are so many mentions of the “left” and the “right” on blogs. Since I think many would consider this a “Conservative” blog, though I’m sure many “Conservatives” would call this place a den of Marxism or radical leftism, I asked think, What exactly is the Right would be a most approproriate question.

Are you of the “right” if you are a traditional conservative in the mold of Barry Goldwater that wanted small government, few intrusions by the Federal into the state and high amounts of libertarianism thrown in?

Are you of the right when you want BIG government with HUGE intrusions of the Federal into daily life with low regard for libertarianism thrown in as shown by NCLB, The Patriot Act and “The War on Drugs”.

Are you of the left when you support such “big government” positions as shown by the three I mentioned and add The New Deal and some of The Great Society programs thrown in.


Are you of the right when you side with those who would say yes to expressions of religion in the public domain such as The Ten Commandments being on public displays, religious markers – including Wiccan due to a recent court ruling – being allowed to be put in government owned cemeteries for veterans at tax payer expenses (38 religions – now 39 are officially allowed)

Are you of the left when you feel that Wicca markers should be paid for by your tax dollars.
Are you of the Left or the Right when you contemplate the full circle that “Conservativism” has undergone when you look at the start of the GOP as a “more conservative” political organization dedicated to stopping the expansion of slavery, but shifted pretty radically left when Emancipation – was imposed on rebellious states, and then the Radical COngress of the 1860’s and 70’s were they left or right?

The terms themself are hard to monitor as being of the left/liberal or being of the right/conservative has little meaning anymore.

When I define myself as a Conservative by saying I like BIG Government with regard to The Patriot Act, NCLB, The “War on Drugs” and even other “liberal??” aspects of it such as The New Deal, Social Security, and The Great Society, I also realize that I am in favor of unions and worry about the ecology of the planet, and kind of like that the Feds stepped in and mandated civil rights in 1964 as well as intergration of public schools in 1952. Time to stop kidding myself, I don’t dislike “Big Government” so maybe I’m a lefty after all.

Maybe, what makes me self defined as a Conservative, is that I’m as HAWKISH as they come, well, except for the loonies who are to the right of me!

Such labels are impossible to uphold anymore in today’s hegemony of political stances. The question is which party puts up with diverging views better. And also, which one lines up with who you are at your core.



  1. Interesting. No one believes exactly the same as everyone else, so that makes such things difficult to pin down.

    I am a conservative in that I want the people to show responsibility for themselves and believe in the sanctity of life and most other social conservative issues. For these reasons, I want the government to step in only to do what it was intended to do originally, and that is to stop people who have the potential to cause harm to others. I am far from a libertarian, and I support the Patriot Act and other such measures, but I recognize the fact that government can run these things out of control. Part of my wanting people to take responsibility includes the lack of welfare. Welfare states have been shown to be failures, and there is something wrong with the system when people can make more money being employed than working.

    So yes, I’m pretty much your typical far-right conservative, though I think that most liberals do want what’s good for the country, but just don’t understand how to get it.

    I know you didn’t ask for a position statement, but oh well. 🙂

    Comment by thelonedrifter — April 26, 2007 @ 3:08 pm | Reply

  2. i can’t really put how i feel better than the lone drifter just did in the above comment.

    Comment by mommyzabs — April 26, 2007 @ 3:27 pm | Reply

  3. That’s why I abandoned the conservative moniker and describe myself as a libertarian with a little L. I’m far closer to Barry than Bush. I’m not a Libertarian (with a capital L) for two reasons: 1) I think isolationism stopped being a viable foreign policy on December 7, 1941, and 2) for reasons of expediency it makes no sense to align oneself with a tiny third party in today’s political climate.

    I am uncomfortable with the patriot act. On the other hand, I COMPLETELY oppose the war on drugs. As far as war, I am hawkish with regards to legitimate American interests (preemption of clear threats are such an interest), but would oppose a war for purely altruistic/feel good/humanitarian reasons (think Sudan). Hmm, hard to spin that nicely 🙂

    Comment by Pink Elephant — April 26, 2007 @ 11:05 pm | Reply

  4. The thing is that “Conservativism” has lost all sense of what it meant in Goldwater’s time, and has become a hegemony rather than an ideology.

    Comment by avoiceofreason — April 27, 2007 @ 12:26 am | Reply

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