We’ve been having a discussion about the difference between so-called “Liberal” and so-called “Conservative” values.
It was inspired by my article:
GP and Bob both pointed out that “the whole thing is ass backwards.”
“Most conservatives want liberty and most liberals want every one to conform to their rules, which is the total opposite.
“I want everyone to have the freedom to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I even wish that for democrats. Democrats want everyone to live by their rules.”
“Democrats these days are the real “conservatives,” as they are trying to preserve the status quo — huge government, high taxes, maximum government control over people’s lives, minimum personal responsibility, nanny statism, etc., etc. And we are the ones who believe in liberty and all that good stuff, which makes us liberal in the truest sense of the term. In fact, a hundred years ago the word “liberal” meant the exact opposite of what it means today. That’s just the way the language gets perverted over time, I guess.”
“JFK would be a republican by today’s standards. Liberal today is such an oxymoron, since they are always the ones who want to stifle free speech, unless it is their own, they believe that no one should be able to mention God because they do not believe in Him, and they practically beg Big Brother to regulate every move we make. We the people want to CONSERVE LIBERTY. So does that make us conservative liberals?”
I’d say so. It’s difficult not to agree once you give the issue some real thought. Dennis Prager wrote a really good article about this issue during the 2008 campaign.
Why I Am Not a Liberal by Dennis Prager – Aug 12, 2008
The following is a list of beliefs that I hold. Nearly every one of them was a liberal position until the late 1960s. Not one of them is now.
Such a list is vitally important in order to clarify exactly what positions divide left from right, blue from red, liberal from conservative.
I believe in American exceptionalism, meaning that (a) America has done more than any international organization or institution, and more than any other country, to improve this world; and (b) that American values (specifically, the unique American blending of Enlightenment and Judeo-Christian values) form the finest value system any society has ever devised and lived by.
I believe that the bigger government gets and the more powerful the state becomes, the greater the threat to individual liberty and the greater the likelihood that evil will ensue. In the 20th century, the powerful state, not religion, was the greatest purveyor of evil in the world.
I believe that the levels of taxation advocated by liberals render those taxes a veiled form of theft. “Give me more than half of your honestly earned money or you will be arrested” is legalized thievery.
I believe that government funding of those who can help themselves (e.g., the able-bodied who collect welfare) or who can be helped by non-governmental institutions (such as private charities, family, and friends) hurts them and hurts society.