Are the Republicans really conservative anymore?

We all know that John McCain is a major supporter of commercial gaming and professional fighting (boxing).In today’s New York Times, Robert Cohen states about VP hopeful Sarah Palin,

nytimes.com/2008/10/16/opini … ?th&emc=th
She “is really an impostor. She’s the representative of a kind of last-gasp Republicanism, of an exhausted party, whose proud fiscal conservatism and patriotism have given away to scurrilous fear-mongering and ideological confusion.”

Are the Republicans really conservative anymore?

John W. Dean says no.

I, on the other hand, say that they (the GOP leadership, that is) personify conservatism, and what John W. Dean describes as “conservatism” in his book Conservatives Without Conscience is much more like liberalism.

How do you define conservatism?

Conservatism, to me, includes traits such as hawkishness, xenophobia, opposition to individual freedom, and the belief that the precepts of the culturally dominant religion should be imposed onto all citizens.

John Dean says that when considering a new law, the first thing a conservative will think is “Will this restrict freedom?” and reject it if it does. I would call this a defining trait of liberalism (the word “liberal” coming from Latin “liber”, meaning “free”).

“I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” – Ronald Reagan.

When John Dean talks about the nebulous concept of conservatism, I believe he’s talking about the libertarian side of it – the Ron Paul wing of the GOP.

Chris, your perception of conservatism is a mix of neoconservatism (hawkishness) and social conservatism (tradition and religion), which appears to be the current dominant philosophical and political stance of the Republican Party.

John Dean is a traitor anyway. If it wasn’t for him, Richard Nixon would still be president and we wouldn’t be in this mess.

[quote=“Chris”]Conservatism, to me, includes traits such as hawkishness, xenophobia, opposition to individual freedom, and the belief that the precepts of the culturally dominant religion should be imposed onto all citizens.

John Dean says that when considering a new law, the first thing a conservative will think is “Will this restrict freedom?” and reject it if it does. I would call this a defining trait of liberalism (the word “liberal” coming from Latin “liber”, meaning “free”).[/quote]

We’ve spent the last eight years trapped on the self righteous, myopic right wing fringes where conservatism degenerates into quasi-fascism and are so desperate to escape that we’re in danger of ending up on the left wing fringes where closet commissars hold sway over their own self righteous, moldy quasi-totalitarian alternate reality.

Uhhh…Scott…WTF are you actually asking?

Just trying to understand your question here.

Conservative

adj.

  1. Tending to oppose change.

Hope that helps.

[quote=“zender”]Conservative
adj.

  1. Tending to oppose change.[/quote]
    I this the Alinsky dictionary or the unabridged Chomsky version?

Engreesh teechur…eh?

Conservative
adj.

  1. xenophobic
  2. opposed to individual freedom
  3. believing that the culturally dominant religion should be imposed onto all citizens.

:beatnik:

Well, neo/theocon politics has dominated the conservative side of American politics for all of my politically aware life. Which is why I define conservatism as such.

[quote=“zender”]Conservative
adj.
2. xenophobic
3. opposed to individual freedom
4. believing that the culturally dominant religion should be imposed onto all citizens.
:beatnik:[/quote]
Gee…and if you repeat it enough…some will actually think its true… :unamused: … they’ll be mostly dumb*sses though…but nobody will notice.

[quote=“TainanCowboy”][quote=“zender”]Conservative
adj.
2. xenophobic
3. opposed to individual freedom
4. believing that the culturally dominant religion should be imposed onto all citizens.
:beatnik:[/quote]
Gee…and if you repeat it enough…some will actually think its true… :unamused: … they’ll be mostly dumb*sses though…but nobody will notice.[/quote]

Let’s examine this. Here are my criteria:

  1. Hawkishness
  2. Xenophobia
  3. Opposed to individual freedom
  4. Belief that the precepts of the culturally dominant religion should be imposed onto all citizens.

Hmmm…

  1. Iraq War
  2. Border Fence
  3. Anti-Abortion Sentiment
  4. Opposition to Gay Marriage

[quote=“Chris”][quote=“TainanCowboy”][quote=“zender”]Conservative
adj.
2. xenophobic
3. opposed to individual freedom
4. believing that the culturally dominant religion should be imposed onto all citizens.
:beatnik:[/quote]
Gee…and if you repeat it enough…some will actually think its true… :unamused: … they’ll be mostly dumb*sses though…but nobody will notice.[/quote]Let’s examine this. Here are my criteria:

  1. Hawkishness
  2. Xenophobia
  3. Opposed to individual freedom
  4. Belief that the precepts of the culturally dominant religion should be imposed onto all citizens.
    Hmmm…
  5. Iraq War
  6. Border Fence
  7. Anti-Abortion Sentiment
  8. Opposition to Gay Marriage[/quote]
    See…picking up steam already…keep the message going…there are minds of mush to program Comrades!

d___________
adj.

  1. an unshakable belief in something untrue.

any guesses?

OK. I’ll give you a hint . . .

John McCain says, “I’ve got him right where I want him.”

I think the definitions given earlier is probably closer to the mark:

tending to resist change.

Or, perhaps this:

Most of the criteria listed in the earlier post can probably be ascribed to this favoring of tradition.

[quote]1. Hawkishness
2. Xenophobia
3. Opposed to individual freedom
4. Belief that the precepts of the culturally dominant religion should be imposed onto all citizens.[/quote]

US conservatives oppose immigration (xenophobic) because they want America to keep the same demographics it had when they were young (i.e. dominantly white). Opposition to individual freedom (abortion) arise because conservatives correctly understand that the traditional family was based on women who needed to be committed to the family structure because they could not control their reproduction. While the economic advancement of women has also had a huge impact on the family, abortion and birth control make that social institution less mandatory and more optional That’s an anathema to a conservative. Belief that the the precepts of Christianity should be imposed on others, at least in the gay marriage case is also easy to understand. Gay marriage would change the nature of a traditional marriage. Beyond this, the US was a Christian, white country. If you are conservative, you believe that that society was a pretty good one and should not be messed with. So keep it Christian.

Hawkishness is the one that is hard to understand. I suppose that US conservatives see that maintaining US society requires a strong military and preemptive strikes against ‘threats’ to that way of life: communism and terrorism. The conservative cast of the military probably also contributes.

In my view, a conservative is someone who thinks that society is just and well-ordered the way it is now. He therefore opposes ideas and acts that would change it. Liberals (in the US sense) disagree. They see problems in our society and think it could be reformed or even transformed into more just society. In many ways, these are difference of temperament, although vested interest (on both sides) plays a role as well.

[quote=“TainanCowboy”][quote=“Chris”]Let’s examine this. Here are my criteria:

  1. Hawkishness
  2. Xenophobia
  3. Opposed to individual freedom
  4. Belief that the precepts of the culturally dominant religion should be imposed onto all citizens.
    Hmmm…
  5. Iraq War
  6. Border Fence
  7. Anti-Abortion Sentiment
  8. Opposition to Gay Marriage[/quote]
    See…picking up steam already…keep the message going…there are minds of mush to program Comrades![/quote]

So, now the Republicans oppose the war in Iraq, oppose the border fence, support abortion rights and support gay marriage?

Have you been living on a different planet these days? Your posts indicate so.

Traditional conservatives believe in limited government, low taxes, individual initiative, personal freedom, caution in foreign adventures, the power of free markets, and the stabilizing forces of tradition. Regarding the latter point it is interesting to read conservatives such as Andrew Sullivan who argue that, given no society is set in stone, tradition must be interpreted flexibly (meaning in today’s context accepting gay rights, for example).

It is this brand of conservativism that attracted me but it has been the takeover of the neo-theo cons, to put it in shorthand, and the tacit approval of this takeover by the rank and file (many of whom, like Tainan Cowboy and Tigerman, are actually conservatives in the above sense) that has made me repulsed by the moment and gone back to describing myself as a relectant liberal.

I don’t know if 19th century definitions of conservative and liberal are particularly useful here. After all, times change. If conservative is defined as resistant to change and defending the status quo, that makes the two most revered conservative leaders of our day - Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher - liberals not conservatives, since their free-market anti-socialist policies and ideologies were considered radical at the time. Since every politician that runs argues that he’s the candidate for “change” and is going to “shake things up!”, can anyone genuinely advocate conservatism in its original sense? We’re all liberals in that sense - conservative and liberal with the small ‘c’ and small ‘l’. I mean, how many politicans are running on the platform that everything’s hunky dory and we should stay the course?

Right and Left, Left and Right - these terms make much more sense. I know the difference between right-wing and left-wing - those terms are pretty easy to define. However, both “right-wing” and “left-wing” have negative connotations to many people, so most people don’t like to define their political positions as right or left wing. It’s weird how “liberal” has become such a pejorative in the U.S. - I mean, considering that many of our Founding Fathers were radicals of their time and many would be considered liberal even by today’s standards. I’m sure that the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson would be against school prayer and be for gay rights, judging by their weirdo libertine ideas (a lot of which are still radical even by modern standards).