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How do conservatives see their role

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Cootie
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How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-22 23:06:26 Reply

Does it seem silly to be openly conservative on most of the main social topics? Progressives push for change, and conservatism is nothing more than opposing those changes. That is not to say that either that either are right, because that doesn't matter. Regardless of right and wrong the progressive movement wins out eventually 99% of the time.

Slavery was eventually abolished, women gained suffrage, segregation has been done away with, abortion was made legal, and now gay marriage is slowly but surely becoming more acceptable. It just seems that no matter how hard people campaign against change they never do anything more than slow it down. Once a movement picks up a decent amount of steam it seems like one day it will be the new normal. Conservatives even cause some back and forth movement sometimes, but eventually what they gained will be undone.

of course liberals of today could become conservatives of tomorrow that happens quite often.

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NightmareWitch
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Response to How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-22 23:24:29 Reply

Do you have any examples?


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Response to How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-23 00:06:00 Reply

I find it ironic in the role swap of today's democrats and liberals in the US. Democrats want to cut spending on national expenditures to give to state controlled institutions like education. Meanwhile, conservatives are found rallying support for wars in improperly developed nations, cementing America's role as the "super world police" we've been the last half century.

Calling our politicians conservative or liberal is no more definitive of their position on different issues than their first name. It's a weightless label.

Tell me more about president Reagan, daddy.

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Cootie
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Response to How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-23 00:17:43 Reply

At 10/22/12 11:24 PM, NightmareWitch wrote: Do you have any examples?

All change throughout history? I already named the abolishment of slavery, allowing women to vote, and abortion being legalized as examples.


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JMHX
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Response to How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-23 00:35:22 Reply

At 10/23/12 12:17 AM, Cootie wrote:
At 10/22/12 11:24 PM, NightmareWitch wrote: Do you have any examples?
All change throughout history? I already named the abolishment of slavery, allowing women to vote, and abortion being legalized as examples.

Abolition of slavery and woman suffrage were both pioneered by hard-right religious conservatives who also became notorious for founding the temperance movements that banned alcohol in Britain and the United States. The Women's Christian Temperance Union, one of the major woman suffrage groups in the United States, was avowedly conservative and worked with Republicans moreso than Democrats. They had to practically force Wilson to push suffrage into Congress in 1918.

The same for slavery, if you look at the abolition of the slave trade in Britain (religious organizations) and the major abolitionists in the north (conservative religious individuals led by William Lloyd Garrison). They were in no way what you'd consider liberal, and in many ways had social views on blacks that were more regressive than southerners, who at least had a plurality favoring manumission and a transition to a tenant-landlord sharecropping model. Abolitionists in the North saw it as their religious duty not only to free the black man from bondage, but to send him home, because he had no place in America.


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Cootie
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Response to How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-23 00:55:36 Reply

At 10/23/12 12:35 AM, JMHX wrote:
Abolition of slavery and woman suffrage were both pioneered by hard-right religious conservatives who also became notorious for founding the temperance movements that banned alcohol in Britain and the United States. The Women's Christian Temperance Union, one of the major woman suffrage groups in the United States, was avowedly conservative and worked with Republicans moreso than Democrats. They had to practically force Wilson to push suffrage into Congress in 1918.

It doesn't have anything to do with right or left, religion, or political party? At the root conservationism is retaining tradition while progressivism is all about reform. A person can be conservative on one issue while being progressive on another. The fact that those people pushed for the end of slavery and woman suffrage which was not part of tradition made them progressive on those issues. Also, it wasn't until the 1960's or so that the Republicans became moreso conservative and Democrats more liberal. Before then it was generally the opposite.


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JMHX
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Response to How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-23 00:56:47 Reply

At 10/23/12 12:55 AM, Cootie wrote:
At 10/23/12 12:35 AM, JMHX wrote:
It doesn't have anything to do with right or left, religion, or political party? At the root conservationism is retaining tradition

Actually, conservationism is about responsible use of natural resources.


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Response to How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-23 17:45:45 Reply

Cootie,

I think this is a good question, and if I may let me offer a different set of semantics from "conservative" and "progressive". Instead, I think the labels "traditionalists" and "reformers" may be more precise and avoid others from reading their own bias towards those terms into the debate.

Secondly, I would not put slavery as an issue that falls on this spectrum. The reason is from the founding, slavery was one of the most divisive issues the young nation faced. The 3/5ths compromise/clause is an example of this. This was not, as students are taught in High School and American/Black Studies, a scheme to say that blacks are 3/5ths of a man. It was a check on Southerners from using their slave population to gain seats in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College. Then you have the Missouri Compromise which basically meant that for every 'free' state admitted to the Union a 'slave' state would be too (and vice versa). So the point is, slavery was unpopular from the beginning with many not wanting it since it violates our fundamental belief in individual liberty.

But I digest...

As for my answer to the question: traditionalists act as a necessary foil to the zealousness of reformers. Look at the French Revolution...left to their own devices reformers will devolve into reigns of terror to protect their grand notions of freedom, liberty and equality. Even if it means to destroy those principles. Traditionalists who seek to keep instiutions strong as well as preserve the good of the past, allow civil society to move forward more slowly and rationally instead of quickly jumping in before testing the water for depth.

My example would be hate laws. I support gay marriage and gays in the military. I support equal pay for equal work and equal access to opportunity. I do not believe that sexuality, gender, religion, race, etc are legitimate forms of discrimination. (NOTE: there are legitimate forms of discrimination. Not being able to see well enough should keep you out of the cockpit of a F-16 or not having a MD and medical training should prohibit one from being a surgeon.) But I do not believe that there should be 'hate crimes' legislation. Snuffing out a life, regardless of motivation, should be punished equally or else the rule of law becomes cheap and unequal. Having Constitutional Traditionalists in a republic, keeps those whose politics are ruled by emotion in check.


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JMHX
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Response to How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-23 18:38:13 Reply

At 10/23/12 05:45 PM, TheMason wrote: Cootie,


Secondly, I would not put slavery as an issue that falls on this spectrum. The reason is from the founding, slavery was one of the most divisive issues the young nation faced. The 3/5ths compromise/clause is an example of this. This was not, as students are taught in High School and American/Black Studies, a scheme to say that blacks are 3/5ths of a man. It was a check on Southerners from using their slave population to gain seats in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College.

And if you don't find the division of a person into fractions as a means of political chess, I don't know what to say. That really ended up making them no-fifths of a man, if you think about it.

Then you have the Missouri Compromise which basically meant that for every 'free' state admitted to the Union a 'slave' state would be too (and vice versa). So the point is, slavery was unpopular from the beginning with many not wanting it since it violates our fundamental belief in individual liberty.

"Individual liberty." Yeah, maybe in Massachusetts. Seriously, though, there's a whole socioeconomic structure for why the North wanted slavery out of the way, and it had nothing to do with individual liberty. It isn't like freedman former slaves in the North were getting a sweet deal, either. The way they were treated by the North is one of the great untold historical scars in American history.


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Warforger
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Response to How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-23 20:27:36 Reply

At 10/23/12 12:35 AM, JMHX wrote: Abolition of slavery and woman suffrage were both pioneered by hard-right religious conservatives who also became notorious for founding the temperance movements that banned alcohol in Britain and the United States. The Women's Christian Temperance Union, one of the major woman suffrage groups in the United States, was avowedly conservative and worked with Republicans moreso than Democrats. They had to practically force Wilson to push suffrage into Congress in 1918.

You're sort of oversimplifying it. That was because Democrats tended to have a grip on Catholic voters, Catholic's generally drank alot more than other groups and many people took up the prohibition movement in their anti-Catholicism. The Republicans of course incorporated those people. Thus it's pretty easy to see why they would do that. Otherwise Republicans and Democrats were not necessarily liberal or Conservative at the time. Both parties fielded Liberal and Conservative candidates up until the 70's which by then the Republicans picked up the Conservative South and the Democrats picked up the Liberal NorthWest and recently picked up the West coast.

Otherwise Wilson wasn't much of a Liberal especially in terms of Social Issues, but this becomes rather hard to judge because the issues they had were very different from ours.

The same for slavery, if you look at the abolition of the slave trade in Britain (religious organizations) and the major abolitionists in the north (conservative religious individuals led by William Lloyd Garrison). They were in no way what you'd consider liberal, and in many ways had social views on blacks that were more regressive than southerners, who at least had a plurality favoring manumission and a transition to a tenant-landlord sharecropping model. Abolitionists in the North saw it as their religious duty not only to free the black man from bondage, but to send him home, because he had no place in America.

Um that wasn't a common view. There was the American Colonization Society which sent African Americans to Liberia, but it failed. Now at the time wanting to ban slavery was a bit of a liberal idea in context and indeed many Republicans would even to the modern standard would be pretty Liberal. For example, Abraham Lincoln levied the first income taxes. Back then Conservatives would be people who thought the government had no authority to ban slavery.

But I think it's futile to try to put labels corresponding to the modern day, people are a product of their time not of the modern day.


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JMHX
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Response to How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-23 20:38:16 Reply

At 10/23/12 08:27 PM, Warforger wrote:
At 10/23/12 12:35 AM, JMHX wrote:
But I think it's futile to try to put labels corresponding to the modern day, people are a product of their time not of the modern day.

I'll yield the point that I'm trying to apply multiple dynamics to people, but if you look at the abolitionists, especially in the work of Garrison, you see that they don't consider the position of abolitionism to be "liberal." They see it as a defense of the original doctrines of Jesus, at least in their view.

And, to counter the whole "Colonization-was-a-minority-thing" view, there were DOZENS of colonization societies, national and state, and counted among their supporters Thomas Jefferson, the descendants of George Washington, Henry Clay (at the time Speaker of the House, leader of his party and one of the most powerful men in America) and some of the most powerful merchants in America at the time (Lee and Randolph, oddly both co-founders of the Colonization Society).


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Warforger
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Response to How do conservatives see their role 2012-10-24 01:29:27 Reply

At 10/23/12 08:38 PM, JMHX wrote:
At 10/23/12 08:27 PM, Warforger wrote:
At 10/23/12 12:35 AM, JMHX wrote:
But I think it's futile to try to put labels corresponding to the modern day, people are a product of their time not of the modern day.
I'll yield the point that I'm trying to apply multiple dynamics to people, but if you look at the abolitionists, especially in the work of Garrison, you see that they don't consider the position of abolitionism to be "liberal." They see it as a defense of the original doctrines of Jesus, at least in their view.

That's still Liberal, if it was Conservative you're REALLY stretching the meaning of Conservative. I mean Karl Marx argued that some ancient societies had achieved Communism, with this logic Communism is thus a Conservative movement. But this is more clearly Liberal because Conservatives at the time argued in terms of the Constitution and a more narrow view of it, Abolitionists tended to not care about it, hell Garrison even burned a copy. If burning the Constitution is something a Conservative would do then something is up.

And, to counter the whole "Colonization-was-a-minority-thing" view, there were DOZENS of colonization societies, national and state, and counted among their supporters Thomas Jefferson, the descendants of George Washington, Henry Clay (at the time Speaker of the House, leader of his party and one of the most powerful men in America) and some of the most powerful merchants in America at the time (Lee and Randolph, oddly both co-founders of the Colonization Society).

Hardly seems like a dozen, hardly seems like a majority view.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonization_Societies

Otherwise this didn't gain much traction, people may have supported it, but it didn't really catch on at all, African Americans didn't like it most people didn't think it was a good idea and it ultimately died away.


"If you don't mind smelling like peanut butter for two or three days, peanut butter is darn good shaving cream.
" - Barry Goldwater.

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