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Somebody said that "rightists" favor individual liberties, but I don't think liberties are a right/left issue. For example, "the right to bear arms" is usually upheld by people on the right of the US political spectrum, while the "right to sleep with whoever you want" is generally upheld by people on the left.

So I'm going to revert to a previous definition of mine. Also, "fundamentalist" is definitely a synonym (in some contexts) for "conservative" and "rightist", because all three refer to closely following traditional values. So I will put that back in. --Redblue 16:26, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Most right-wingers also favor a right to sleep with whomever you want. Fundamentalist usually refers to religious views, not political views, and is not rightist. RSchlafly 22:56, 4 April 2007 (EDT)
As for "sleeping with", see below. But you are right that "fundamentalist" is usually a religious term, and to avoid confusing things we should stick to politics on this page. --Redblue 06:00, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

What defines the political spectrum?

Rschlafly-- I've been trying really hard to clarify the left/right distinction here. It really seems to me that if we claim "favoring individual liberties" is a rightist (or leftist!) position, we are just confusing things. Favoring liberties is NOT a position that lies anywhere on the left/right scale. Here are the points I would propose to help keep things clear.

(1) We should emphasize again and again that not all issues lie on a one-dimensional political spectrum. (And in particular "favoring liberties" is one of those things that just isn't part of the political spectrum.)
(2) When we talk about the political spectrum, we should try to define what it is. As far as I can tell, "right" usually means defending tradition; "left" usually means challenging tradition. Obviously that's a really general definition, but that's the point: if you don't make a general definition you can't clearly argue which things are left and which things are right (and which things are off that particular spectrum). This seems to be a good definition, because some of the main "rightist" causes in history have been: defending a country's traditional values and religion; defending the current system of government; joining the military to defend the country; protecting property by arguing against redistributive taxes. Some of the main "leftist" causes in history have been: defending people who want to do things that go against traditional values and religion; defending minority groups that do poorly under the current system of government; joining a revolution to challenge the current system; advocating taxes or other mechanisms to redistribute from those who are privileged under the current system to those who are not. I hope those descriptions don't sound insulting either from a "rightist" or "leftist" perspective, because I'm not trying to insult anybody or advocate one side. I'm just trying ot clarify where the big difference lies.
(3) By the way, when I said 'freedom to sleep with whoever you want' I was using euphemisms appropriate to a family-friendly wiki. I will be more explicit so that I can be more clear. Very recently there were anti-sodomy laws on the books in a lot of US states; rightists/conservatives were mostly appalled when those laws were struck down by the Supreme Court. That was a ruling in favor of 'individual liberty' that pleased a lot of leftists (and liberals, in the classical liberal / libertarian sense of the word). You can like that ruling / you can hate that ruling... but we can all agree that it was an example of a form of freedom supported more by the left than by the right, cant we? Or for another example, The Economist has often advocated legalizing drugs. Most people on the "right" think that's a terrible idea; as far as I can tell most people on the "left" think it's a terrible idea too. So that's another example of a form of freedom that lies nowhere on the "political spectrum" (again, it's "liberal", but only in the classical liberal / libertarian sense).
(4) So I also think we should use the word "liberal" less often, because it's an extremely confusing word. The original meaning was favoring freedoms; political theorists still use the word that way. But it's often used in the US to mean "left", and it's often used in Europe and much of the rest of the world to mean "right". Of course, if we only want Americans to understand what we say here, then it doesn't matter. But since this site is published on the web where a lot of people in other countries are going to read it, we should use the word "leftist" when we mean people who challenge traditional institutions and values. If we (rarely) use the word "liberal", we should be clear about whether we really mean "leftist", or whether we really mean "classical liberal / libertarian".
(5) The word "conservative" is less of a problem, because if we use the word "rightist" to mean "defending traditional institutions and values", then that seems pretty close to what people mean by "conservative". I hope most people who love Conservapedia would agree with that definition... and I hope most people who hate Conservapedia would agree with that definition.

So if you are going to change the definitions I've put on the "leftist" page and the "rightist" page, please take into consideration the points I just made. If you disagree with my definition of what's the defining characteristic of the political spectrum, please provide a better definition and explain why. And in particular, if you think "freedom" lies on one side of the political spectrum, try to explain what you think the political spectrum is, and why this implies that "freedom" is on one side of that spectrum. --Redblue 05:27, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

This comment is better than the explanation that was in the Political spectrum article. I appreciate Redblue's efforts to educate the reader; he doesn't appear to be trying to score any partisan points. We should listen to him.
My only 'quibble' is that terms like rightist and leftist might better be understood in the context of a single article like Political spectrum, so I propose we merge and redirect there. (But bring this discussion thread along!) --Ed Poor 06:51, 9 April 2007 (EDT)
advocating taxes or other mechanisms to redistribute from those who are privileged under the current system to those who are not
this is purely a subjective interpretation and is unacceptable. RobS 15:50, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

Any interpretation that can be read to say "Leftists oppose oppression and Rightists are pro-oppression" will be rejected out of hand. So please, don't waste everybody's time with that nonsense. RobS 15:52, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

Merge with "political spectrum" page?

Not such a bad idea, but there are lots of links to "leftist" and "rightist" on other pages of Conservapedia, and it seems sending these directly to "political spectrum" would be more confusing than helpful.

Maintaining multiple pages will also give more room for related information, such as historical information on political groups on the left or on the right. Also, my edits of the "leftist" and "rightist" pages give some comments on terminology (liberal is not the same as leftist; but conservative is a rough synonym for rightist) which fit better on those pages than on the political spectrum page. --Redblue 06:49, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

By the way, I removed the historical comment about the French Assembly from the left/right pages and put it on the political spectrum page only. --Redblue 07:17, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

While "right wing" continues to suggest opposition to Communism, it no longer means support for the totalitarianism of Hitler

So the entire right wing supported Hitler, according to Conservapedia, an educational resource? Rob Smith 15:31, 28 January 2012 (EST)

Removed, as requested.--James Wilson 16:45, 28 January 2012 (EST)
No it's not, it's still there:
  • before World War II ..."right" meant Nazis and Fascists
That's the Intro. Winston Churchill was a Nazi Fascist? so was Alf Landon, Charles Lindbergh and Herbert Hoover? CP is an educational resource written from a conservative point of view? Rob Smith 16:55, 28 January 2012 (EST)
Absolutely not. I removed the intro in question and gave a more general definition of the term.--James Wilson 17:04, 28 January 2012 (EST)


Text read,

  • a "Right-Winger" could be referred to as anyone who favors having marginally more economic than social rights.

revised to

  • anyone who favors having marginally more economic than personal liberties.

This is virtually meaningless leftist agitprop in either form; economic rights are personal liberties and social rights. They are indistinguishable. Rob Smith 14:26, 19 February 2012 (EST)

These quotes that you have issue with are simple interpretations of the Nolan chart (and some other two-dimensional representations of the political spectrum). The term "right-wing" has a number of widely used definitions, and obviously not everyone agrees with them all. I think it's a good idea to include as many of the alternative definitions as possible in this article, provided they are sufficiently explained or put in context. --AaronT 15:24, 19 February 2012 (EST)