Debate: Why have conservatives let themselves get a bad name?
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I'm young (22) and exposed to a large group of liberals (in college) but it seems to me that the conservative movement has had a real problem with dirty tricks. Nixon was famous for it, outside of watergate his staffers ordered large numbers of pizzas for his opponents to pay for and invited foreign dignitaries and the like to the campaign events of his opponents so they would show up and be turned away at the door. The Neocon movement has embraced torture despite the fact that the US pretty flatly declared that no circumstances of threat could justify torture back in the 80's when we were the great nation leading the world away from torture. Conservatives are supposed to embrace personal liberty and small government, but many want draconian laws limiting free speech and think its alright to give govt. the power to enforce them. Unwarranted surveillance and sending troops to war with out a declaration from congress. This isn't conservative, we are not holding on to our constitution or our values, we are giving them up one by one to do something that looks clever. I see it in religion too, a great many people seem to have a religious outlook on existence that is based on tricking God into giving them eternal life, and attitude where they can go through life being awful in Gods name and then repent and be fine and that Jesus will forgive them because they are sinners. Personally I am a very forgiving individual, but if I learn that someone is going to do something to hurt me and assumes that I will forgive them because they ask me too I am likely to tell them just where they can stick there apology; If you premeditate remorse in to your plan to do something wrong as far as I am concerned no one with even a fraction of all knowing could possibly see that remorse as true rather than an insult on top of the prior wrong doing. --Brendanw 16:13, 9 October 2008 (EDT)
- It is because a lot of conservative principles are abhorrent things like opposition to equal rights for everyone, railing against food stamps, and killing middle eastern people. Also if you are not a WASP, you are an America-hating commie, according to the conservative talking heads on tv. Nrupert 13:58, 11 December 2008 (EST)
- Nixon was a liberal Republican just as Bush and the neo-conservatives are. Brendanw is right about neoconservatism, I frequently tell people that Bush is an "FDR pro-business liberal" and they laugh at me, when in reality neoconservatism was a word invented by & for the anti-Johnson, anti-hippie, pro-business left-wingers of the 1940s (i.e. FDR's Bretton Woods and wanting to end Social Security after the Depression). In addition, most people don't understand how monetary policy and inflation work. (In elementary school until late high school, I could not understand why someone would be "pro-business" instead of pro-poor, and called myself a "Democratic Communist" lol)
- As for the religion issue, I think people hate Christianity anyway. As a matter of fact, I have yet to meet an atheist who is not motivated by specific hate for specifically Christianity. My father suggests their respect for freedom coupled with hate for Christianity might be Satan-influenced. Who knows.
- Racism is an issue with many conservatives, I hate to say it but it is a problem we have to face in order to remove a stereotype. While most people want to deal with illegal immigration, reverse discrimination, and preservation of language and culture for non-racist reasons, some seem to be motivated by a subtle racism. For example, I don't know if you've ever heard the Richard Bergis staged prank calls (available on YouTube), but one describes the problem of this subtle racism perfectly. The pranksters tell Bergis that there will be a black NASCAR driver, and at first he starts out making racist jokes, then it's "Can't white people have one thing for themselves?" and finally a slew of insults, racial slurs, and swearing. Now this is exaggerated and (judging by the other ones) fake, but you get my idea. If we are to defeat this stereotype, people who support paleoist ideas have to make it clear that they are not motivated by racism or anti-Semitism and why.
- And most importantly, biases of left-wing media outlets such as CNN and the once-libertarian-leaning MSNBC must be effectively challenged and exposed by Fox News and talk radio. The left criticizes us for "entertainment news" and reliance on personalities with opinions, but unlike the left' supposed lack of bias we admit it's "opinion". Blogs can help as well in getting the public to realize that there is no "objective news" and each side has an agenda. -danq 19:10, 19 September 2009 (EDT)
- Hippocracy. Plain and simple. Conservatives preach and preach but do not hold themselves to the same standards as they try to hold others to. Also, (as on this site) conservatives will use blatantly illogical arguments to attempt to 'prove' their points. Once an intelligent person realizes that these methods are completely ridiculous, conservatives lose credibility. i.e. the one point that I have seen come up time and time again on this site is claiming that somehow a series of arguments have a statistical chance of being 'true' just due to their number. When you try to convince someone that evolution is false by stating that "If any of the counterexamples listed below is correct, then the theory of evolution fails. Moreover, if there is merely a 5% chance that each of these counterexamples is correct (and the odds are far higher than that), then the odds that these counterexamples are all incorrect and that evolution is true becomes very small (only a 4.6% chance that evolution is true with 60 possible counterexamples)." Now, the fact of the matter is that this "5%" chance of being correct is just not true. Merely listing possibilities does not grant any of them a chance of being true. Conversely, that statement of evolution only having a 4.6% chance of being correct is totally made up. You cannot expect people to take conservatives seriously if you are going to use that kind of nonsense logic. I can list 1,000 counterexamples and still have ZERO chance that any of them are true. This illogical argument is used many times, and its still as false in its reasoning as the first time used.
So to sum up, until conservatives begin a)using SOUND LOGIC and FACTS for their arguments rather than this circular "my proof is a link to my own website where i made up all the facts and figures im quoting" b)entertaining the possibility that, yes...everybody is wrong sometimes. Some dearly held conservative beliefs are going to be wrong. Sorry. The sooner that you realize that the "real truth" is probably a blend of your beliefs and the beliefs of your opponents, the better we'll all be. The world is not black and white... and c)The Bible cannot be used as factual evidence. Sorry guys, you cannot admit faith is a major component of the Bible/Christianity and then try to use the Bible as a source of fact. Factual proof does not go hand in hand with Faith. Cant have it both ways. --Lono
Now, I'm a realist. I'm conservative on certain issues and liberal on others. Let me define the two terms the way I view them. Conservative: keeping things the same, tradition, embracing what works realistically at a given time. Liberal: Thinking outside of convention, newness, rebelliousness to norm. I have both qualities, its part of being human. I believe in gun ownership and also the right to burn the flag. I do not lean to one side or another like the media. The media and politics have forced people to pick sides. But the biggest thing, in my view, that gives conservatives a bad name is that most individuals that declare they are conservative do not think outside the box and impede good progress. Don't forget, the american revolution was a liberal move. Also, many conservatives I know let nationalism and religion cloud true reason. Most liberally minded people think outside the box and rebel and cause much pain for themselves, BUT in doing that searching they find truths and ideas that challenge those who do not challenge convention but merely accept it for what it is. Conservatives have a bad name because they refuse to see things from a liberal viewpoint. Instead they blame it on the devil or something like that. This is the 21st century, its high time our minds start questioning. --Nonobu
- Thanks for your candid analysis, but it sounds like you're on a path to atheism, and 99% of atheists end up being liberal. This may be the 21st century, but evil hasn't magically disappeared. Censoring the Bible, the most logical book ever written, doesn't make it any less true.--Andy Schlafly 14:57, 6 January 2010 (EST)
Mr. Shlafly, it's an honor to meet you. I am not against the bible but you cannot rule out other religions that add to the vast scope of the human experience. I was raised lutheran and went to a lutheran school for most of my life. The Bible does have logical teachings. There is "evil" in the world but saying that it stems from the devil is a belief, not a fact. It can be a fact to many conservative people who will fight for it, and that's the problem. There is no evidence and that is frowned upon by many people. What I meant by it's the 21st century is that we have reached a growth in civilization where it is time to look for new answers to old problems. I believe that people's actions and thoughts can hurt the world around us, be it aggression or mere ignorance, but being atheist does not con-notate a bad thing but merely a lack of belief in what there is not enough evidence for. They rebel to tradition. Philosophically, what evidence do you have outside the bible that evil appeared in the 1st place? -That being something a liberal would ask. I would also like to hear your concise opinion on what a liberal is. Also, here's a link to an interesting video: http://www.ted.com/talks/devdutt_pattanaik.html -- Nonobu
- Lack of faith is the single greatest cause of depression and despair. There have been famous atheists, some of whom went crazy. The output of that belief system is mostly harmful. Contrast that with the output of Christianity. How many atheistic hospitals have been built compared with Christian hospitals, for example? That is virtually zero compared with thousands.--Andy Schlafly 23:51, 7 January 2010 (EST)
There have also been famous christians, some of whom went crazy. I can argue against the output of religion as much as I can against atheism. Atheism and liberalism by nature are to offset convention and cause a tempest, call it growing pains. The night is always darkest just before the dawn, you cannot have newness without destroying what was there before. Therefore, Rome changing from pagan to christian also had a harmful output. It is all about perspective. I agree with your hospital bit, but there are almost no atheist hospitals because there is no atheist church that gives contributions. Christianity is also more organized. Atheists are normally against any spiritual organization. As for lack of faith causing depression, I would have to agree and disagree. It has been proven that people with faith live longer and happier lives. Religion is the opiate of the masses. It can be mind control and it can be wrong but it can make us feel confident and gives us drive. Atheists usually have no religious motivation, atheists are wandering and exploring. As somewhat of an atheist, I do not mind that searching because every stone I turn over has another truth. I do not mind sacrificing a comfortable, structured life to enable myself to see the complexities of this world. Jesus taught how to live your life. I agree with his teaching of love and we should strive to be as loving and tolerant as him. But God, a creator, that is a different story altogether... Let me bring up conservationism and liberalism again. Conservatives get a bad name because of their blatant bias. A liberal can form a bias over time but the natural liberal has NO bias. Liberals are searching for new answers and thinking outside of convention. Conservatives will do whatever they can to uphold convention no matter how unrealistic it may be. They will target opponents personally. Lets look at the root words of liberal and conservative. Conservative: CONSERVe, CONvention. Liberal: LIBERAte, deLIBERAte, LIBERty. Conservativism is to conserve tradition and liberalism is to free oneself, deliberate and discuss complexities. All in all, liberals use critical thinking to answer questions, conservatives seem to use the answers of tradition and their bias as what is normal based on how they have been conditioned over the years in their social surroundings. FOX news targeted the children who were singing about Obama and called it "indoctrination". The facts in that situation is that the children were given permission slips which all parents signed and they sung about every president. FOX merely looked at children singing a song about Obama and wanted to relate to nazi germany. I'm sorry but that is blatant BIAS! Look us the definition of bias and you will find that it is a belief in something based on unfairness and narrow-mindedness. Being open to ideas, being liberal is NOT having a bias. ---Nonobu
- Well here's a question, regarding the output of atheism and Christianity, and the dark before the dawn. How long a time of negative output do you allow atheism before you change your mind and say that atheism is likely not capable of great positive output? Christianity began to have positive output within the first few hundred years of its existence. Has atheism, in the form of Enlightenment thinking and modern secular humanism had the same positive output? If you think it has do you have any examples? AddisonDM 21:27, 8 January 2010 (EST)
- Nonobu, your argument leaves out libertarians, neoconservatives, some paleoconservatives (like Raimondo), Jews, atheists, agnostics, gays, probably even pagans and Muslims, and plenty of others who would call themselves conservatives and combining it all under the Christian Right. Plenty of conservatives favor change, even forward change. For example, neoconservatives are against laissez-faire capitalism and could support left-leaning pro-business economic policy. Plenty of conservative think tanks can make these arguments. There are varying reactions to technology in a world changing since 1776, namely with regard to stem-cell research and human cloning, and even with copyright policy, from the original time-limited government grant to recent views of a private property right. And with the conservatives supporting greater individual rights, your own life, and the life of the ones you love, can change in a non-Christian manner with or without government intervention. Also, you forget that "liberalism" was originally a term for the libertarianism of the Founding Fathers and not support for welfare programs - most countries still call the Right "liberal democrats" and the Left "social democrats". If you define "bias" as not being open to change, you are leaving out plenty on the Right who are. -danq 23:24, 14 January 2010 (EST)
My argument isn't necessarily to target any groups but individual's philosophies that are liberal and conservative. I'm simply saying that bias is antithetical to keeping an open mind. - I think that conservativism gets a bad name because of websites like this. There is a small group within the conservative demographic that agrees with everything on here. But to label this site as "conservative" gives all the rest of the people in America who consider themselves conservative a bad name. That conservapedia bible project... really?? rewriting the bible to fit an ideology is ridiculous at the least. I can go on and on. This site has its work cut out for it. And to reply to AddisonDM, the positive output christianity had equaled the negative input it added to other groups. Modern secularism is opening people's minds to more realistic and less superstitious ideas. We are making decisions based on rationality and not on religion. Christianity had bad affects just like atheism has bad affects. Christianity changed paganism forever and rationality will change christianity forever. Its the evolution of human society. ---Nonobu
- Nonobu, I urge you to get out more. There are twice as many "conservatives" as "liberals", and in the latter category are many people who are obvious hucksters, like Al Gore, or people who don't say anything meaningful, like Barack Obama, or people who refuse to open their mind. Realize that conservatives give to charity at a higher rate than liberals, and the next time you or a loved one benefits from that charity, thank a conservative and open your mind.--Andy Schlafly 14:27, 16 January 2010 (EST)
- I agree with Andy here, the only people who view conservatives in a bad light are liberals. I am not concerned that a (small and getting smaller) group who have rejected all logic would wish to give my conservatism a bad name. DwayneD 14:32, 16 January 2010 (EST)
- Nonobu, there are a variety of people on Conservapedia, but I do agree that it is much more populated by the Religious Right. (I always recommend people looking for information favorable to creationism here.) Most liberals I know are permanently stuck with the false stereotype you are trying to hide, and no matter what you tell them, there is no way in their minds for conservatives to be charitable, color-blind, intelligent, educated, not from the South or not a Bible Christian. For example, according to a liberal, if you are Republican, you don't care about the poor, and you cannot possibly care about helping the poor if you are a Republican. As for the Conservative Bible Project, I too am not a fan - I have seen stuff I don't like, and personally I feel that having fiery King James alongside a "nicer" TEV or NIV solves the archaic language issue perfectly. But I keep quiet, and there's so much else here which I as a Catholic conservative am perfectly comfortable with, and I'm sure atheist/agnostic conservatives such as yourself can find something you'll enjoy here too. -danq 23:16, 18 January 2010 (EST)
I enjoy coming here for a good laugh and to point out ridiculousness and contradiction. I watch FOX news for the same thing. I am not alligning with any party and I see the good and the bad of being conservative or liberal. Classical liberalism is about personal freedom and promotes that government protect an individual's pursuit of happiness under the law. classical conservatism is about using government control to promote virtue or a certain morality, and that government comes from God. Liberalism spawned the scientific method that works according to our sense of logic and is always improving. Conservatism in America is too focused on moral purity based on a God that they can't even prove exists. Their attempts at proof are subjective in nature and anything they find that is objective does not match up with the scientific method. Then because It doesn't work with the method, they blame it humanities lack to perceive God because of our shortcomings, or blames it on a Liberal conspiracy. However, they forget that human perception has formed their definition of God anyways. Contradiction and denial of logic- mostly endorsed by the conservative media. That is why conservatives have gained a bad name. And Shlafly, you should open your mind and "get out more"- like out of your basement in New Jersey before you insult my intelligence like that again. Also, you haven't shown that you have an open mind. I am trying to have an honest debate.-Nonobu
- Actually, the laughter is against you, Nonobu. You're wrong on several key points. The first point is that their is a big difference between classical liberalism and modern liberalism; the classical version espoused liberty and liberality, and made it a point of giving rather than taking. Modern liberalism - and anyone can see it for themselves in the media - has turned taking into a necessity and, through use of the government, merged taking with stealing. You may be correct in asserting that liberals have come up with the Scientific method, but it's use today has been thrown out the window by liberals themselves, as the Climategate emails have proven to the world.
- The second point is the fact that you are wrong on conservatives. "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day" is liberalism; "teach a man to fish and you feed him for life" is conservatism. Which is more in the essence of giving? Liberals feel good about giving a homeless man a shopping cart; conservatives feel good about getting the homeless man away from the cart, into a job, and into a home with the personal responsibility attached. And you say we deny logic?
- The third point is look at liberal attacks on God and the Bible. It isn't conservatives doing it. The moral standard that we follow is rooted in the Bible; the moral standard of this country's founding is in the Bible; the majority of the Founding Fathers believed in the God of the Bible, and today's liberals - by tossing out the Bible - pretend that they are better than Washington or Jefferson or Hamilton? By removing Ten Commandments markers from public squares, are liberals saying that their view is better? If so, then go out and kill someone. Rob a bank. Spit on your mother. Rape someone's wife. Break all of the commandments in addition to the lying that you displayed here. Let's see how far you get, because if liberalism is better, then you should be able to get away with murder and stealing and adultery and all the rest.
- Face it, Nonobu, the country has shown through the TEA Parties and the Massachusetts election that they are fed up with the deceit that is liberalism. It is high time that you wake your sorry butt up and see what it really is, because in the end there will be accountability. The God that you deny exists will make you stand before Him and He will judge you accordingly. You know full well how to change that. The choice is your's. Karajou 14:13, 21 January 2010 (EST)