Difference between revisions of "Talk:Conservative"

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(Addition to definition: paradox? nope)
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::: That's a "paradox" only for people who can't see the difference between punishing someone who's guilty compared to punishing someone who is innocent.  [[Materialist]]s and [[utilitarians]] often have trouble recognizing the difference.--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] 19:41, 23 May 2009 (EDT)
::: That's a "paradox" only for people who can't see the difference between punishing someone who's guilty compared to punishing someone who is innocent.  [[Materialist]]s and [[utilitarians]] often have trouble recognizing the difference.--[[User:Aschlafly|Andy Schlafly]] 19:41, 23 May 2009 (EDT)
::::I see an inconsistency in both the "liberal" and "conservative" views on this issue. Not only does it not make sense to support abortion and oppose the death penalty (especially in light of what you've mentioned about innocence and guilt), but it also makes little sense to spend such a great deal of effort supporting the idea of a "right to life" and a "culture of life" if you also advocate establishing a precedent wherein execution is superior to forgiveness and rehabilitation.
::::In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "cases of absolute necessity for suppression [execution] of the offender 'today ... are very rare, if not practically non-existent."<ref>http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/fifth.html</ref> --[[User:Economist|Economist]] 21:08, 23 May 2009 (EDT)
==Lincoln a Conservative?==
==Lincoln a Conservative?==

Revision as of 20:08, 23 May 2009

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George W. Bush a conservative?

Really, why is George W. Bush listed as a conservative? He's gladly helped to spend far more than the government is bringing in in taxes, and ballooned the budget to ridiculous, formerly inconceivable heights, he's promoted programs like No Child Left Behind, which gives the federal government more money and control of education, rather than eliminating the Department of Education, as a true conservative would, and he's gone along with all this horrible prescription drug benefit garbage, all the while never making a serious effort to fix our broken tax system or taking steps to free us from the onus of a completely worthless and hopeless social security program with no future. Hardly conservative. Flinker du 04:30, 15 March 2007 (EDT)

I just have to add this gem contributed elsewhere by BDobbs [1]:
"one who adheres to principles of limited government, personal responsibility and moral virtue."
When did George W. Bush become a Liberal? He's zero-for-three on that list...
WhatIsG0ing0n 06:59, 16 April 2007 (EDT)
While we're at it, how can George Washington be a conservative if conservativism did not arise until the 19th century as stated in the article. I am taking him off the list. --Wikidan81 14:37, 15 March 2007 (EDT)
The article includes "Return of prayer in school," I'm going to guess this would mean like The Lord's Prayer and not the Salaah.
And return of prayer to school isn't really conservative either - heck, most of American "conservatism" falls under propaganda to in fact increase the power and the size of the government. And I'd like to see what religion does with those values listed for conservatism... doesn't it, in fact, promote the opposite? Ninj4 20:08, 15 March 2007 (EDT)
Probably no invocations to Nylarthotep, either. The usual explanation for that is that Christians are the majority, so other, lesser religions just have to suck it up and endure. I wonder how well that'd go over in, say, Clearwater, Florida? (Scientology world headquarters.)
The First Amendment: proving once again that the Founding Fathers make our current politicians look like the retarded chimps they are. --BDobbs 17:06, 1 April 2007 (EDT)
George H. W. Bush isn't a conservative? Weird. --BDobbs 17:06, 1 April 2007 (EDT)

Why is George Washington a conservative? That's what I want to know.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by PandaBear (talk), June/July 2007

George W. Bush is not conservative. A conservative is one who wishes to preserve traditional laws, values, ideals, etc as opposed to "doing away with" the afformentioned items. Globalism1 is not a tenet which is compatable with conservatism. It might even be considered one of the core principles of liberalism, because it seeks to do away with the traditional sovereignty of nations/states. George W. Bush is a globalist who seeks to undermine the basic sovereignty of the United States of America2. George W. Bush does not respect or desire to preserve the constitution for the United States of America3. That document which might have been considered "liberal" at its conception, is sufficiently established so that it can now be considered a "traditional law." A conservative stance on one issue (e.g. abortion) coupled with one or more liberal positions makes one a liberal. A conservative stance on every single issue immaginable coupled with one liberal position makes one a liberal. Someone can't be both. A "neocon" is a liberal who calls himself a conservative.

So could someone please explain again why he is on the list? with rational?

sources 1: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/globalism 2: http://www.spp.gov/ 3: http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/powersurge_healy_lynch.pdf

Historiocality 14:44, 4 July 2007 (EDT)

George Dubya is SO a conservative. He's a religious, traditional, war-mongering, anti-progressive, greedy, and freedom-restricting conservative who taps phone lines and is out to protect the interests of the rich. And why the hell would anyone want to eliminate the Department of Education? And what is wrong with taking the money of the filthy rich and giving it back to the community? --Ardwingore 22:45, 31 August 2007 (EDT)

  • Perhaps because "taking" money that you haven't earned is theft? Or the government doing it is Communism? And, please get a clue before trolling here! All of your complaints were instituted by the Congress of the United States, not George Bush. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 23:03, 31 August 2007 (EDT)
That post was funny. I think the user was a conservative parodist. Bohdan


Could someone explain what is meant by "Economic allocative efficiency"? Sounds a bit like gobbledeygood to me. Boethius 18:08, 15 March 2007 (EDT)

The List

The list that is in the article refers to an article written by Jonah Goldberg, who was quoting John Derbyshire, who, in turn was quoting, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, in The Right Nation , tick off the six fundamentals of classical, Burkean, Anglo-Saxon conservatism. It was a fun romp tracking it down. --Crackertalk 00:51, 16 March 2007 (EDT)

If The List includes the list of conservative presidents, it would behoove you to remove Lincoln from the list. Conservatives of Lincoln's time supported the status quo, including the existence of slavery.

Inaccurate information

"Some Conservatives hold a strong libertarian conviction in the belief that the state should not interfere with the economy, gun control, and the redistribution of wealth."

This statement could not be further from the truth. Conservatives are the exact opposite of libertarians. To say someone is conservative and libertarian would be contradictory in terms. This statement should be some REPUBLICANS hold a strong libertarian conviction in the belief that the state should not interfere with the economy, gun control, and the redistribution of wealth. This statement would be true because Republicans are LIBERALS economically and would in fact not want government interference with the economy. Therefore I am deleting this statement from the article due to the inaccuracy of the statement. --Liberalmedia 00:40, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

  • Around here, LiberalMedia, we communicate. Try it the next time. I have removed all of your changes. And I will continue to do so until you lower yourself to using this discussion as it was intended to be. FYI, libertarians do not believe in the government using forced income redistribution! --TK 02:32, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
  • I never said that libertarians believe in using forced income redistribution by the government. Where did I say that in my paragraph above. If you could read, I was saying that conservatives do not hold the same view as libertarians on the redistribution of wealth. People that are economically conservative want forced income redistribution by increasing taxes, etc. People that are libertarians don't want the government to increase taxes and definitely do not want the government using forced income redistribution. How are users intended to use this discussion? Is it to give false information and make this site look like a joke? Or is it to give factual information. Hopefully, it is the latter. --Liberalmedia 03:08, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
  • Hey, LiberalMedia, you are the one who wanted the text that made the blanket statement that Libertarians side with the Democrats on economic policy, it wasn't me. One of they keystones of Democratic Party policy has been income resdistribution, not the Republicans, lol. You vandalizing the page as you did, adding the "Some Conservatives hold a strong libertarian conviction in the belief that the state should not interfere with the economy, gun control, and the redistribution of wealth. (This statement makes no sense)" will earn you a time-out. Perhaps Wikipedia will better tolerate your point of view? --TK 03:31, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
  • Where did I say that the Libertarians side with the Democrats? I never said that, in fact, I was stating the opposite. You probably just realized your error and are now trying to cover your behind. Did you even read my first paragraph? I never mention the word Democrat once in the paragraph. So where did you get this statement that "Libertarians side with the Democrats on economic policy." You must have made that up because I never said that. Libertarians side with Democrats on political issues and with Republicans on economic policy. Conservatives which this article is about side with Republicans on political issues and Democrats on economic policy.
  • Your paragraph read: "In America, conservatives tend to align with the Republican Party on social issues and tend to align with the Democratic Party on economic issues." Since the major tenet of Democratic Party economic policy is economic redistribution, that would indeed imply Libertarians buy into that. Sorry if you cannot see my point. I have been involved with public policy, at the federal level for over twenty years, working with both parties. I think I can judge fairly well, the difference between what Republican and Democratic policies are. That doesn't excuse you being a vandal, which is by its very nature, intellectual dishonesty.--TK 03:53, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
  • The error that you are making is thinking the Democratic Party is the same as the Libertarians. Why would it imply Libertarians to buy into economic redistribution if Democratic Party believes in it? The Democratic Party disagrees with the Libertarians on economic policy.
  • Are you in Grade School? If you state, as your paragraph did, that Conservatives align, generally, with the Democratic Party on economic issues, that is saying they must buy into income redistribution. Conservatives do not buy into that. Surely you know that. Just as those Conservatives with a strong libertarian bent also do not. You are a vandal, I will not continue to reply.--TK 04:04, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
  • No, I am in college. Conservatives do buy into income redistribution. That is exactly what I have been saying the entire time. Finally, you were able to figure it out. Conservatives can never have a "strong libertarian bent." They are complete opposite. Obviously realized that I am right and that is why you aren't going to reply anymore. How am I vandal? I am only a vandal if giving correct information on this site is considered vandalism.--Liberalmedia 04:11, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
  • Goodness! You, or your 'rents should demand your tuition back. Your professors are doing a crappy job, teaching you Conservatives believe in income redistribution. ROFLMAO!! --TK 11:01, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
  • TK, you are confusing conservatives with Republicans. Conservatives are not the same thing and have different views on economic policy. So if the statement "Conservatives believe in income redistribution" is not true then it means that Republicans believe in income redistribution. I am certain that you will agree that Republicans do not want income redistribution. Thus, conservatives want income redistribution.--Liberalmedia 14:13, 17 March 2007 (EDT)
  • That statement of yours, above, LiberalMedia, is utter nonsense. Please provide a citation, other than some moronic revisionist college professor. If you keep changing things to suit your fancy, I will either restrict you, or lock the article. --~ Terry Talk2Me! 18:26, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
A political philosophy or attitude emphasizing respect for traditional institutions, distrust of government activism, and opposition to sudden change in the established order.
Now look at the definition of liberalism:
A political or social philosophy advocating the freedom of the individual, parliamentary systems of government, nonviolent modification of political, social, or economic institutions to assure unrestricted development in all spheres of human endeavor, and governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties.
Which one does a free market fall under? Liberalism or Conservatism? The answer is liberalism. If you look at Wikipedia they agree saying that economic liberalism is a free market ideal.
The point that I am trying to make is that this article is talking about conservatism and its ideals. Not the Republican party agenda or anything of that matter. So when writing an article on it, it should be about conservative beliefs on social issues and economic issues. It doesn't make sense to start talking about economic liberalism because it is not the same as conservatism. Conservatism is about "big government" or to put it in terms you can understand, it is about government controls through established institutions(ex. taxes). Liberalism is about minimal government and freedom to do whatever you want, hence free market. In a truly liberal society there would be no government and it would be complete anarchy because everybody would have the freedom to do what they want.--Liberalmedia 20:00, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
  • I'm sorry, Liberalmedia, but most of us live in the here and now, the real world, where dogmatic thoughts, such as yours, mean very little. What things should mean, and what they actually are, usually are very different. I note you have nothing to back your nonsense about Conservatives supporting income redistribution, as opposed to favoring a generally flat tax, equal for all. This entry has nothing to do with either the Republican or Democrat political parties. --~ Terry Talk2Me! 20:06, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
  • I never put that conservatives want income redistribution in the article. Maybe on this discussion page, but never in the article. In the article I only said a fact that conservatives align with the Republicans on social issues and Democrats on economic issues. Shouldn't an encyclopedia talk about what things mean and not talk about how they are in the moment? Otherwise, you would have to change this article every time the majority changes its opinion. Actually, conservative and liberal still mean the same thing today in the real world. It is just the ignorant people that think conservative means Republican and liberal means Democrat. Also, if you are suggesting that conservative is a synonym for Republican (which is what your advocating) then wouldn't the people that are liberal Republicans be an oxymoron. Or how about conservative Democrats? Do you understand?--Liberalmedia 20:19, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
  • What I understand is, you quite possibly might get an "A" in debate tactics, however as an intellectual, an "F". I never introduced any text here, or in the article, equating Conservative or Liberal with either American political party. That was you, and others. I am willing to concede, generally, that there are more "Conservatives" aligned with the Republican Party, than with the Democrat Party. Take a look at the article below.....provided for your edification. --~ Terry Talk2Me! 21:20, 19 March 2007 (EDT)
  • Looking at the latin origin of conservative, i.e. conservare, indicates that it means high credt for the existing, since it has proven its usefulness until now. Therefore, the direct opposite of conservative is progressive, which gives high regards simply because something is new. Liberal in its general sense means maximum freedom of the individual. It depends on the further circumstances, whether this agrees with a conservative or progressive point of view. The direct opposite of liberal rather is a state or society which takes care of as much as possible, probably called socialistic. However, the meaning of these terms depart often from their original meaning, if they are used to "label" political groups or parties. --SchiFra 13 April 2007
  • "generally flat tax, equal for all." Surely such an idea is an oxymoron. A flat tax cannot be equal for all unless everyone was receiving the same wage, same benefits and existed in the same socio-economic group. How is it fair to tax someone living at or below the poverty line the same rate as someone earning 6 figures a year? It just doesn't make sense. And another point >> Terry; what's with the flaming. Very uncool.

Goldwater Conservatives

"During the campaign of 1964, [he] was our incorruptible standard-bearer," recalled William F. Buckley, Jr., in his 1998 obituary of Barry Goldwater, the career senator from Arizona, 34 years after the watershed. Goldwater, of course, was defeated resoundingly on Election Day, winning only six states. "It was the judgment of the establishment that Goldwater's critique of American liberalism had been given its final exposure on the national political scene," Buckley continued. "But then of course 16 years later the world was made to stand on its head when Ronald Reagan was swept into office on a platform indistinguishable from what Barry had been preaching."

Strange, then, that these days many commentators believe that Goldwater's conservatism was a different species from Reagan's and, especially, from George W. Bush's. Though admittedly an economic conservative, Goldwater has become an icon of opposition to social conservatism. When the 2004 Republican national convention showcased social liberals like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rudy Giuliani, George F. Will proclaimed, "[Goldwater's] kind of conservatism made a comeback." By "Goldwater conservatism" Will meant "muscular foreign policy backing unapologetic nationalism; economic policies of low taxation and light regulation; a libertarian inclination regarding cultural questions."

Will was merely restating the consensus view. Darcy Olsen, president of the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, argued on the fifth anniversary of Goldwater's death that "Goldwater conservative" had "a different meaning than just saying, 'I am a Republican,' because when you say 'I am a Republican,' people assume that you're involved in the Moral Majority. It's its own brand...very libertarian." Senator John McCain said that Goldwater "disliked the religious right, because he felt they were intolerant, because Barry was not only conservative, but he was also to a degree libertarian."

What does the notion that Goldwater was a libertarian mean? First, it suggests that the cultural Right has abandoned true conservatism. It implies that presidents like Reagan and Bush, who have relied heavily on socially conservative voters, deviate from Goldwater's rugged and pure frontier conservatism. And then there is the implication, appearing frequently in the mainstream media, that Republicans must move back in Goldwater's direction if they are to reclaim their intellectual credibility.

But this interpretation happens to be wrong: it overlooks the role of social issues in the origins of the conservative movement. William F. Buckley, Jr.'s, God and Man at Yale (1951) complained not only about economic collectivism but also about rampant agnosticism and atheism among Yale's faculty. Ever since, the conservative movement has been as concerned with religious and moral issues as with economic and libertarian ones. Goldwater's 1964 campaign actually shaped the social conservatism of the modern Republican Party in at least three crucial respects: his view of human nature and the American republic; his concern over the moral deterioration of American society; and his stand on several key policy questions.

Human Nature

Goldwater articulated a view of the American Founding and America's purpose, as well as the nature of man, that was fundamentally moral, even religious, in character. In the introduction to his bestselling The Conscience of a Conservative (1960), Goldwater argued, "The laws of God, and of nature, have no dateline." Conservative principles "are derived from the truths that God has revealed about his creation." In the first chapter, he (and his ghostwriter, L. Brent Bozell) wrote:

The root difference between the Conservatives and the Liberals of today is that Conservatives take account of the whole man, while the Liberals tend to look only at the material side of man's nature. The Conservative believes that man is, in part, an economic, an animal creature; but that he is also a spiritual creature with spiritual needs and spiritual desires. What is more, these needs and desires reflect the superior side of man's nature, and thus take precedence over his economic wants. Conservatism therefore looks upon the enhancement of man's spiritual nature as the primary concern of political philosophy.... Man's most sacred possession is his individual soul.

The 1964 Republican platform, the handiwork of committed Goldwaterites, declared:

Much of today's moral decline and drift—much of the prevailing preoccupation with physical and material comforts of life—much of today's crass political appeals to the appetites of the citizenry—can be traced to a leadership grown demagogic and materialistic through indifference to national ideals founded in devoutly held religious faith. The Republican Party seeks not to renounce this heritage of faith and high purpose; rather, we are determined to reaffirm and reapply it.

In his speech accepting the 1964 presidential nomination, Goldwater extolled "freedom under a government limited by the laws of nature and of nature's God." He warned that

those who elevate the state and downgrade the citizen must see ultimately a world in which earthly power can be substituted for Divine Will, and this Nation was founded upon the rejection of that notion and upon the acceptance of God as the author of freedom.

Reagan and Bush later echoed this language.

Goldwater decried the general moral decline of the time. On the campaign trail, he asked, "What's happening to us? What's happening to our America?" His campaign ran several television spots on this theme, which he called simply the "moral issue." In one commercial an announcer shouts, "Graft! Swindle! Juvenile delinquency! Crime! Riots!" before Goldwater proclaims: "Let this generation of Americans set a standard of responsibility that will inspire the world."

Another spot linked the corruption of government officials to moral deterioration. Goldwater exclaims, "Americans everywhere are indignant about the moral decay in Washington," while the narrator calls on voters to "put conscience back in government." A third advertisement asked "What has happened to our America? We build libraries and galleries to hold the world's greatest treasury of art—and we permit the world's greatest collection of smut to be freely available anywhere." A fourth featured Goldwater speaking directly into the camera:

Is moral responsibility out of style? Our papers and our newsreels and yes, our own observations, tell us that immorality surrounds us as never before. We as a nation are not far from the kind of moral decay that has brought on the fall of other nations and people.... [The] philosophy of something for nothing, [the] cult of individual and governmental irresponsibility, is an insidious cancer that will destroy us unless we recognize it and root it out now.

Goldwater made morality the centerpiece of a 30-minute televised address that aired on CBS on October 20, 1964. After citing George Washington's dictum, "'Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports,'" Goldwater said, "The moral fiber of the American people is beset by rot and decay," and pledged "every effort to a reconstruction of reverence and moral strength."

The campaign also produced, but did not air, a television program called "Choice." It focused on the "moral issue," and featured disturbing footage of topless bars, wild beatnik parties, drunken college students, and riots by both whites and blacks. Goldwater declined to use the film in the end, but only, it seems, because he feared that scenes of blacks rioting would introduce unseemly racial overtones into the campaign. But he had no inherent objection to addressing the other issues raised in the show.

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.'s History of American Presidential Elections included a scathing contemporaneous account from John Bartlow Martin: "Goldwater's moral strictures soon began to sound preachy; he almost castigated Americans for their wickedness.... Goldwater looked not only like the mad bomber, but the half-crazed moral zealot." Sympathetic observers would characterize his message differently, but what is clear is that Goldwater hardly eschewed moral, social, and cultural themes.

The Rise of the Moral Issue

Nor did he discuss these themes in outline only. He and his party took a socially conservative stand on a number of policy issues. The 1964 GOP platform endorsed a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's school-prayer decisions and to permit voluntary school prayer. In his CBS televised address, Goldwater asked, "Is this the time in our nation's history for our Federal Government to ban Almighty God from our classrooms?" He answered: "Ours is both a religious and a free people. Over years past we have encountered no difficulty in absorbing that religious character into our state institutions, while at the same time preserving religious liberty and separation of church and state." Goldwater pointed out that his Democratic opponents ignored far more than just school prayer: "you will search in vain for any reference to God or religion in the Democratic platform." The Republican platform called for enactment of legislation "to curb the flow through the mails of obscene materials"; it criticized the Democratic administration and Congress for resisting tuition tax credits; and, not least, it emphasized the rise in crime as a moral issue, not merely a sociological one.

The Conscience of a Conservative devoted an entire chapter to education, anticipating its importance in the eyes of social conservatives. Goldwater paraphrased Dorothy Sayers when he wrote that Americans must "recapture the lost art of learning." He argued that

in our attempt to make education 'fun,' we have neglected the academic disciplines that develop sound minds and are conducive to sound characters.... We have forgotten that the proper function of the school is to transmit the cultural heritage of one generation to the next generation.

As a solution, he advocated a renewed emphasis on basic subjects, within the context of local control of schools. In The Making of the President 1964, political journalist and election chronicler Theodore White wrote:

Goldwater could offer—and this was his greatest contribution to American politics—only a contagious concern which made people realize that indeed they must begin to think about such things. And this will be his great credit in historical terms: that finally he introduced the condition and quality of American morality and life as a subject of political debate…. Yet he had no handle to the problem, no program, no solution—except backward to the Bible and the God of the desert.

It's worth reflecting on this paragraph. Writing in 1965, White of course could not have predicted Goldwater's contribution to the long-term rise of conservatism. Nonetheless, this respected center-left analyst held that the Republican nominee's "greatest contribution to American politics" and his "great credit in historical terms" lay not in any impact he might have had on foreign or economic policy, but in the way he forced the "moral issue" onto the national agenda. White also had no difficulty identifying Goldwater's prescription: "the Bible and the God of the desert."

It should come as no surprise, then, that a number of veterans of the Goldwater effort later made names for themselves as leaders of the burgeoning grassroots movement of social conservatives. As Goldwater biographer Lee Edwards has pointed out, "almost all the leaders of the New Right...were drawn into politics because of [Goldwater]," figures like Phyllis Schlafly, Richard Viguerie, Paul Weyrich, and Morton Blackwell. For them, the transition was seamless.

Goldwater's move away from social conservatism came only in the twilight of his Senate career—and more starkly after he had left the Senate in 1987. Throughout the 1970s, he opposed abortion on demand and taxpayer funding of abortions. (He wavered on a constitutional amendment restricting abortion.) In 1980, in the midst of his last and most difficult Senate race, he endorsed the Human Life Amendment. Only in his final term did he adopt a pro-choice position, voting in 1983 against a constitutional amendment that would have reversed Roe v. Wade and returned legislative authority over abortion to the states. In 1984, he reversed his 1964 position by voting against a constitutional amendment to restore voluntary prayer to public schools. As late as 1985 he opposed "gay rights" legislation. Only in 1993, six years after leaving the Senate, did he change his view.

Goldwater's shift was largely a reaction against the leaders of the New Right, for whom his dislike grew stronger as their influence increased. In 1981, Goldwater said of the leader of the Moral Majority, "Every good Christian should kick [Jerry] Falwell in the ass." He also had personal reasons: one daughter and three granddaughters of his had had abortions; and a grandson and a grandniece were homosexual. In 1937, his wife, Peggy, had become a founding member of Planned Parenthood of Arizona, and the couple remained active in the organization throughout Goldwater's Senate career. Though he initially rejected Planned Parenthood's position on abortion, his long association with the group would ultimately make a convert of him. For Goldwater, private considerations like these sometimes trumped abstract philosophy.

Liberty and Morality

So how has the myth developed of the great gulf between "Goldwater conservatism" and Reagan's and Bush's? To begin with, several of the hot-button issues that later mobilized social conservatives en masse were non-issues in 1964, or had barely begun to stir. The '60s counterculture was inchoate, as was radical feminism. The downward spiral of social trends had just begun, as had the Left's crusade to obliterate religion from public life. Key court decisions on abortion, criminal rights, and gay rights lay in the future. Consequently, a distinct mass movement of religious traditionalists—a "Religious Right" with tens of thousands of foot soldiers—did not exist for the Goldwater campaign to incorporate. (To be sure, an intellectual movement of social traditionalists, including Russell Kirk, existed already and backed Goldwater.)

When Goldwater underwent his transformation as the years wore on, liberals rushed to embrace him. This Goldwater became every liberal's favorite conservative—not the historic figure who had condemned moral decay, extolled the religious underpinnings of American society, championed school prayer, inveighed against big government, and helped launch the modern conservative movement. Yet it was the latter Goldwater who ran for president, who galvanized Reagan and pointed the way to a long-term Republican electoral realignment.

Conservatives today need to revive Goldwater's argument in the '60s, and Reagan's in the '80s, that liberty is not only compatible with morality, it depends on it. Limited government cannot long coexist with a collapse of moral order; and an unlimited government is usually the consequence of an amoral society. Sweden, for instance, has both one of the most hedonistic societies in Europe and one of its most smothering welfare states. When in 1964 Goldwater told the graduating class of the Pennsylvania Military College that "it is impossible to maintain freedom and order and justice without religious and moral sanctions," he at once echoed George Washington and Alexis de Tocqueville, presaged Reagan, and issued a clarion call for future generations.


  • Are you going to make a point or just post an article you found on the internet? You might not have put in any text equating Conservative or Liberal with either American political party, but you did reverse my edits and by doing so it makes it seem like you are equating conservatives with the Republican party. --Liberalmedia 21:30, 19 March 2007 (ED


The British National Party is not similar to the Republican Party.The BNP are in fact quite racist in their policies,something which the mainstream Republican party are not.--RCSENG 16:42, 20 March 2007 (EDT)

Liberal List.

Shouldn't the list of things on this page be the reverse of the list on the liberal page? At least as far as US definitions are concerned.--British_cons (talk) 06:03, 24 March 2007 (EDT)

I've always been partial to Steve Jackson's definitions:

Liberal: Politically 'Left', whatever that means.
Conservative: Usually mad at the Liberals.

Concise AND accurate! --BDobbs 17:09, 1 April 2007 (EDT)

Why was my addition deleted?

I'm just curious why my addition concerning the conservative's faith in God was deleted? Seems like that's the biggest defference between Librals and Conservatives, at least with respect to today's culture wars.

  • I didn't do it, but I suspect it's because on the face of it, to suggest all Liberals don't believe in God and accept Jesus Christ, is not factual? This isn't a blog space for posting one's own beliefs, even if I personally might agree with your premise. ;-) --~ TerryK MyTalk 18:36, 25 March 2007 (EDT)
There ARE Liberal Christians. They're the ones who take that communist propaganda in the Book of Matthew (Chapter 25:27-46) as something other than allegory. --BDobbs 17:13, 1 April 2007 (EDT)


The article on evolution is locked. Please explain why this is as it violates the idea of a freely editable encyclopedia. The article is also extremely biased and contains very little information on evolution; is mainly the conservative Christan opinion on evolution and irrelevant information. --TomT 15:10, 25 March 2007 (EDT)

  • I don't know why you posted about Evolution here. However, you are trying to apply standards set by other Wiki's here, and as you can tell from the rules and commandments here, this is indeed the CONSERVApedia. --~ TerryK MyTalk 18:38, 25 March 2007 (EDT)
    • I think he meant User:Conservative (Conservative's extremely creative nickname really makes things confusing sometimes). Well, actually, none of the rules says anything about the need to be Christian-conservative or YECist, unless I really missed a memo. That's what many people complain about: The obvious bias is not acknowledged in the rules. The only possible "reasoning" seems to be the "We do not attempt to be neutral to all points of view. We are neutral to the facts" from the Differences page, with "facts" having a VERY interesting definition ("A fact is what either disses Wikipedia or supports America, the Bible and the YEC position. Anything else is just atheist liberals trying to deny the truth"). --Sid 3050 18:47, 25 March 2007 (EDT)
      • Neutral? Why? Wikipedia started out with the same noble aims - neutrality, fairness, demands for attribution, a fair hearing for all views. Look where dedication to finding 'the facts' got them. The fact is that the internet is disproprortionately liberal, and wikipedia came to reflect that. And if conservapedia impliments exactly the same goals, exactly the same will happen. To be a conservative encyclopedia, it must be willing to recognise that only by giving conservatives an 'unfair' advantage can real fairness be achieved - otherwise the numerical advantage of liberals will just allow them to turn it into a second wikipedia. - BornAgainBrit
        • Interesting, it seems you therefore support affirmative action towards those who hold conservative views. The article on this very site about the subject is extremely critical of affirmative action, and yet here it is being basically said that the conservative view is unable to compete in a marketplace of free ideas. Very disapointing! - Colduck77
    • And no, please don't move this to Conservative's Talk page. He locked it again. --Sid 3050 18:48, 25 March 2007 (EDT)

Origins and conservative presidents

If conservatism didn't arise until the 19th century, how was George Washington a conservative President? Myk 03:00, 28 March 2007 (EDT) Sorry, someone already asked this. Myk 03:00, 28 March 2007 (EDT)

Addition to definition

Conservatism/Conservatives tend to believe in the rights of individuals over 'group' rights Conservatives tend to believe that individuals should, to the greatest extent possible, be responsible for themselves & for their own success Conservatives tend to believe that the best way to help people is through private means, rather than through government programs. right wing2

  • "Conservatives tend to believe in the rights of individuals over 'group' rights..." Which is why conservatives in America are fighting so strongly for the rights of individuals to engage in any private, consensual sexual act they choose, right?
Ironic, isn't it? I like the death penalty/abortion paradox, too (for the record, I oppose both). --Economist 18:19, 23 May 2009 (EDT)
That's a "paradox" only for people who can't see the difference between punishing someone who's guilty compared to punishing someone who is innocent. Materialists and utilitarians often have trouble recognizing the difference.--Andy Schlafly 19:41, 23 May 2009 (EDT)
I see an inconsistency in both the "liberal" and "conservative" views on this issue. Not only does it not make sense to support abortion and oppose the death penalty (especially in light of what you've mentioned about innocence and guilt), but it also makes little sense to spend such a great deal of effort supporting the idea of a "right to life" and a "culture of life" if you also advocate establishing a precedent wherein execution is superior to forgiveness and rehabilitation.
In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, "cases of absolute necessity for suppression [execution] of the offender 'today ... are very rare, if not practically non-existent."[1] --Economist 21:08, 23 May 2009 (EDT)

Lincoln a Conservative?

How was Lincoln a conservative? He brought about radical economic and social change in the name of human rights. He was against the institution of slavery that was a tradition in the South. He was also a Republican. At that time the Republican party was liberal.--ResistanceFighter 14:11, 19 May 2007 (EDT)

I agree with RestanceFighter. Lincoln was definitely not conservative. He was more of progressive because he brought change into America. It seems like the people who wrote this article think Republicans were the same as conservatives in the 19th century. --Penguin 22:34, 18 June 2007 (EDT)
  • You cannot in any intellectual way, or any logical way, apply our modern ideas of what Liberal, Progressive or Conservative is, and compare them retroactively to the past. --Sysop-TK /MyTalk 22:58, 18 June 2007 (EDT)
We are not applying our modern ideas of conservative and applying them to Lincoln. You make it sound like definitions change over a hundred years. Which if that were it would make it impossible to read old texts and understand what the author was talking about.--Penguin 23:06, 18 June 2007 (EDT)

I strongly disagree that Lincoln was a conservative. Restistance Fighter is right, he did break with the long held tradition of slavery. Also, he suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War, taking a position of power not given to the president by the Constitution. This, in my opinion, is a very liberal act. Most historians have agreed that Lincoln was a conservative in the beginning, with the hope that he could keep the United States together under one federal government. However, his actions during the presdideny certainly do not match conservative policy. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Getbackloretta66 (talk)

These people are absolutely right, Abraham Lincoln was not a conservative. In the 1860's and up until the 20th Century and about the New Deal era, the Republicans were America's liberal party.

Come on guys, Lincoln is well known as a Liberal; By his deeds and his words... We all know the greatest speeches were written by Liberals! *Cough* Seriously though, I know you guys want to claim all of histories great characters to your side of the fence (Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln (You'd probably make a stab for Roosevelt and Truman if you had the chance) but give credit where credit is due - Lincoln was a Liberal. Graham 17:58, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Andrew Jackson

If you are going to put Polk on the list of conservative presidents, then why don't you put Andrew Jackson on there too? Polk was a Jacksonian Democrat and had the same views as Andrew Jackson.--Penguin 22:41, 18 June 2007 (EDT)

Conservative communists??

It would be good to add in further discussion of the term "conservative" in the article. When discussing the politics of countries ruled by a Communist Party, such as China, the word "conservative" is used to refer to Communist Party members, especially officials who hold to traditional communist values such as central planning, state ownership of the economy, stronger censorship of the media and stronger repression of dissidents and practitioners of religion, especially Christians. The term "liberal" used when discussing these matters refers to those Communist Party members who favour economic reform, with more private involvement in the economy, more freedom of expression and movement towards a more liberal political regime, perhaps even towards a democratic system. I believe the word also has further definitions which are worth discussing, and then some further paragraphs could be added to the article to make it more complete. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Luojie (talk)

ROFLMAO !!! Rob Smith 16:16, 1 August 2007 (EDT)

It's true!! Check out the China pages of the South China Morning Post. BTW, there are also conservative and liberal Muslims. The former will adhere more closely to traditional Islam and are more likely to support terrorism than the liberal Muslims who want to live a more Western lifestyle, and so interpret Islam to fit their material and other desires.

Yes, I recall the "Kremlin conservatives" at the end of the Soviet era, the reactionaries that wanted to preserve Communism. Very reminiscent of the reactionaries in the U.S. Democratic party who refuse to reform Social Security. Rob Smith 12:12, 2 August 2007 (EDT)

As Ma Lik, the chairman of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong has just passed away, so the media (e.g. the South China Morning Post) brought up the word conservative as it is used in the Hong Kong political context. Here in HK, conservative means pro-Beijing, not wanting to introduce universal suffrage at an early date and in favour of keeping functional constituencies (legislative seats reserved for special interest groups such as tycoons). Pro-democracy groups which want universal suffrage as soon as possible and which place importance on human rights are considered "liberal", even though they may fit the definition of conservative when it comes to social matters such as gambling and small governmentLuojie 09:30, 12 August 2007 (EDT)

  • It never ceases to amaze me the different colloquialisms we run into throughout the world. I am now on a personal campaign to fight the entire establishment to stop applying the term "Communist" to China, since there is not much left that could be properly labeled communistic in their economic system. They are really just a despotic regime, a rump tyrannical establishment group of old men, who replaced the Cult of Personality that was Mao. The Tyrants now running China will go to any lengths to avoid admitting Communism was an abject failure there, as it was every other place it was imposed. In point of fact, Communism was always imposed, never voted for and never really welcomed by the masses it pretended to serve. Nowadays wherever we find it, it is usually an Oligarchy in disguise. --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 14:58, 12 August 2007 (EDT)

Bulleted list?

Should the list of conservative people be a bulleted list? It looks a bit weird with just a name on each line and nothing else. SigmaEpsilon 23:42, 17 August 2007 (EDT)


How is George Washington a conservative when he mounted a revolution to establish a new nation, based on democracy and not monarchy. Conservatives dont mount revolutions against the establishment, the want to "conserve" it. Washington and Co. were actually from the school of liberalism. If the addition of his name is because of the quote on religion, then i suggest adding every American president ever, as they all have aknowledged their belief in a higher power. I think the inclusion of Washington's name is a political ploy-something this website accuses wikipedia of doing. Thanks --Billwsu 16:48, 28 August 2007 (EDT)

Why not just note Ronald Reagan as a conservative and leave it at that? Rickyrab 00:09, 12 September 2007 (EDT)

The article is basically faulty since it's simply a laundry list of (supposedly)conservative policy positions with no attempt at discussing or analyzing the philosophy behind all of them.Alloco1 21:24, 23 September 2007 (EDT)

The nature of the page

It would seem to me that the nature of the page seems to be more in relation to the actual ideology of conservatism than of conservatives in general. Wouldn't it be more pertinent to have the introduction rewritten appropriately, and then move this page to an article entitled "Conservatism" (with the appropriate redirection, of course)? Karalius Nyder 21:57, 29 September 2007 (EDT)


This description sounds more like what a neolibertarian would be. Neoconservatives would support increased government spending (especially on the military) and an interventionist foreign policy based on spreading democracy throughout the world (especially the Middle East). Neolibertarians also support an interventionist foreign policy, though as libertarians, they would support limited government and would be "amoral."

I think there should be "paleoconservative" (Pat Buchanan, etc.), "neoconservative" (Bush, etc.), and "mainstream conservative" (a mix of both ideologies, e.g. Reagan). The same should apply to the article on libertarianism - "paleolibertarian," "neolibertarian," "anarcho-capitalist," (party) "Libertarian," etc.

What do you think? --danq 22:21, 3 December 2007 (EST)

Where did this word, "paleoconservative," originate? I am beginning to feel uneasy about it without a source. Rob Smith 14:10, 6 December 2007 (EST)

The Nation, 20 October, 1984, according to Lexis-Nexis.Claude 14:14, 6 December 2007 (EST)

Ahh, The Nation. Thank you. Now I have a starting point. If this checks out, we may have sufficient cause to nip this in the bud. Pat Buchanan, as far as I'm aware, does not refer to himself as a "paleoconservative," although I could be wrong. This type of liberal labeling and use of pejoritives may have gone too far already in Conservapedia. Rob Smith 14:32, 6 December 2007 (EST)

"Moral Virtue"

I believe that the phrase "moral virtue" is too vague for this article. I am a liberal democrat, and also believe I am morally virtuous, although not in the view of the US Republican party. Is there a perhaps more fair way of saying this? Adg2011 15:00, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

Category Addition

Can a sysop add "Category: Political ideologies" to this article? Thanks!

Fox News

Fox News is listed on this page as conservative, but I'm not sure if that's correct. I think such an assertion just feeds into the liberal accusations that Fox is biased (in contrast to the supposedly fair but obviously left-leaning major networks). I would prefer to refer to Fox news as "balanced" or "moderate" rather than "conservative." What do others think? --DRamon 15:03, 17 September 2008 (EDT)

Well, technically, moderate still implies a bias. Just one that's generally more agreeable. Balanced might work, though. --KevinS 15:44, 5 January 2009 (EST)

UK newspapers

Although I agree about the broadcast media (mainly the bbc) I do not believe what you have added about the print media is correct, or supported by the source given. The most popular broadsheet, the telegraph, is a supporter of the conservative party, as is the Times and the Daily Express. From the source provided

The Times, the UK’s oldest national newspaper, is not the most popular - that accolade falls to the Daily Telegraph, known affectionately as the Daily Torygraph because of the staunch support to the Conservative Party.

--JohnD 13:25, 4 January 2009 (EST)

GWB conservative?

"George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, is an example of American conservatism, except on immigration, public schools, government spending, and financial bailouts."

This can be rewritten as

"George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, is an example of American conservatism, except on EVERYTHING THAT CAN MAKE SOMEONE CONSERVATIVE."

I'm removing the bit about him. Why not cite Reagan as an example? Or Washington?

Conservamike 17:03, 5 January 2009 (EST)

Washington favored a strong national government, raised taxes and suppressed theWhiskey Rebellion. RJJensen 19:02, 5 January 2009 (EST)
Fine. But I think we can agree that Bush isn't the best example of a conservative leader Conservamike 19:17, 5 January 2009 (EST)

Fiscal v. Social

The difference is pretty significant. Thete are pro-life socialists and libertarians who support homo "marriage." Should we create sub-sections to differentiate the two?--DReynolds 19:47, 28 January 2009 (EST)


This was a good clarification, but what happened to the guy who made the Laffer curve? --Ed Poor Talk 13:28, 30 March 2009 (EDT)

I agree with Ed, and wonder why that was deleted. I also object to the addition of George W. Bush as a "conservative". Bush was for big government and regulations, not small government and deregulation.--Andy Schlafly 14:03, 30 March 2009 (EDT)
Bush and Reagan were Republicans, no doubt about that. But Reagan was the quintessential conservative, while Bush seems to have signed a lot of bills that a genuine conservative would have vetoed. I'd like to know what Dubya's role in the housing bubble was, because I don't think Democrats deserve all the blame. --Ed Poor Talk 14:13, 30 March 2009 (EDT)


Federalism doesn't necessarily refer to the idea that the states should retain more power than the federal government, only to the notion that the states and national government can coexist as sovereign entities with supremacy over their respective domains. "Federalism" ought to be changed to "states' rights" or "limited government." --Economist 18:16, 23 May 2009 (EDT)
  1. http://www.christusrex.org/www1/CDHN/fifth.html