Rush Limbaugh II: gay marriage, abortion, slavery, and more

This is a continuation of the Rush Limbaugh thread, whose last page is here, and first page [url=http://tw.forumosa.com/t/rush-limbaugh-the-man-whos-always-right/47723/1

I haven’t been following the whole ‘gay marriage’ aspect of this thread, but upon seeing this I have a few questions:

Where exactly do these “rules” about who can marry whom exist? Are they enumerated in the Constitution? Also, is the definition of marriage as being “for the purpose of creating or raising children” (I forget exactly how you put it) in the Constitution? Because my wife and I certainly have no intention of doing so. Should our marriage be nullified?[/quote]
These rules about marriage exist in the various state legislatures. Polygamy laws may be federal legislation. And the Constitution doesn’t even mention marriage, as far as I know.

I said that the main purpose of marriage is to afford the best and safest environment for raising children. That doesn’t mean anyone’s marriage should be nullified if they don’t choose to do so. The federal government can’t be getting their noses into every single marriage. But the man-woman marriage assures the best possibility for children living with a male and female parent who are both biological.

In reality, the state of marriage has gone downhill already (when half end up in divorce), which is why it’s possible for it to be deemed worthy of homosexual union now.

I have no problem with certain states allowing gay civil unions while others forbid it. I would favor a nationwide amendment banning gay marriage, since it’s the best way to keep the grubby hands of liberal judges off. Same reason we had amendments for blacks: so Democrat judges wouldn’t interfere in the future, like they did in the past.

Moreover, if it succeeds, you know that the intent of the people has been adequately measured, since those are pretty hard to pass. If it fails, then the decline of marriage should continue in our legislatures, which reflect the decline of morality in the general population. There isn’t much you can do about that. The Founding Fathers warned that democracy doesn’t work when the people are immoral. It wasn’t really working when the South were holding slaves either. It took a war and perhaps some trampling on the Constitution and state rights to get the country right again. It certainly didn’t happen by democratic processes.

I consider it the same. I think homosexual marriage isn’t at all about real rights for homosexuals (or it affects very few), but rather a personal battle that is largely symbolic. It’s all about them. I don’t feel that way about black rights at all, because I know how hard Southerners actively worked to strip all dignity from their personhood.

I’m not totally convinced that civil unions is the way to go either. After all, that’s what Denmark and other countries did before finally going full marriage. At any rate, I would sure feel a lot better about all this if it were the work of our legislatures and not judges. If it were legislatures, then I could accept it as reflecting the will of the people, and that would confirm my fears that our morality is declining as our hearts are growing colder. When judges are on the front battlelines, however, I don’t feel that at all.

Interesting. I’ve heard conservatives claim this repeatedly - yet Clinton left office with a lower unemployment rate than he inherited from Bush I. And vice versa with Bush II.[/quote]
I don’t consider Bush I as part of the Reagan Revolution. He raised taxes, which is why his economy can safely be coupled with that of Clinton’s. But the economy wasn’t bad during Clinton’s tenure, until the recession at the end. Likewise, Bush II had a good economy, until the recession, which is a bit more severe.

I wouldn’t put Kennedy in the middle of that. Conservatives respect Kennedy for cutting taxes and contributing to a prosperous 1960s. Johnson was the beginning of ballooning inflation that wouldn’t stop until Reagan (and Volcker). That was the Keynesian period, which both parties engaged in. (Actually Ford was geniunely worried about inflation, but he didn’t last long to do anything about that.) Truman came upon the heels of WWII, which got us out of the Depression that Roosevelt made us stagnant in. We also had the Korean War. It’s better to think of economic growth in times of peace as separate from that which occurs because of war.

Yeah, I think like most centrists, the conservatives who went for Obama were probably neo-cons terrified of the chance that such a clearly confused person as Palin with book-banning tendencies and ties to a gun-toting independence group could be so close to leadership of this country.[/quote]
I’ve not heard much criticism about Palin except from Leftists, which is normal. Personally, I really love Thatcher’s style and intellect. Palin isn’t quite like that, and I don’t like some of her populist demeanour, but I’m in full agreement with her philosophy. (And I doubt that a personality like Thatcher’s would catch on in the States anyhow.) If she were President, my mind would be more relieved than for anyone I ever saw in the primaries. In the primaries, I thought Fred Thompson was the closest to easing my mind, but I still had my doubts about him, and he doesn’t comport himself in a very charismatic way. I think both Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin have a bright future for them as possible President, and they govern very well and effectively, though neither of them possess oratory skills that inspire me.

Well, that’s hardly fair. Those Republicans weren’t even conservative. Keynesian economics was in mode until the Reagan years not only disproved Keynes but also proved Friedman.

Well, he probably pandered to the base somewhat. When I saw McCain, I didn’t see any aura of excitement or charisma informed by conservative philosophy behind those words. I saw someone who just wanted to get along, which bores me to tears. His historical record is the real McCain. He’s done nothing but buck the conservatives in his party.

The GOP didn’t choose McCain. Large numbers of Democrats and Independents voted in the Republican primary to jinx it. Democrats wanted McCain to win the primary. This is the reason a lot of Republicans began voting in the Democrat primary for Hillary; to prolong the battle between her and Obama.

Naw, there simply was no conservative voice in this election. When there isn’t an electric, excited conservative, then the next best thing is an electric, excited liberal. McCain was neither.

That’s because there is no analogy or bearing on the present day. There is no analogy between slavery and abortion. There is no analogy between modern day liberalism and 19th century American slavery. There is no analogy between the Democratic Platform of 1860 and the Democratic Platform of 2008*.[/quote]
Platforms just reflect the issues of the day. What your argument consists of is that I recognize that slavery doesn’t exist today or that abortion didn’t exist then. Of course. Nevertheless, the two parties have a philosophy that informs their position on any issue of any day or era, and even this was mentioned in your 1860 Democratic platform, which agrees with me:

Now let’s look at some of the items in their platform.

[quote]2. Inasmuch as difference of opinion exists in the Democratic party as to the nature and extent of the powers of a Territorial Legislature, and as to the powers and duties of Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, over the institution of slavery within the Territories,

Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon these questions of Constitutional Law.[/quote]
In other words, they didn’t want to even agitate the slavery question. The Supreme Court was full of Democrat judges supporting slavery, so they could conveniently say, let’s follow the Court and their Dred Scott Decision, allowing slavery in every state. Likewise, Democrats are drawing up abortion legislation in order to codify Roe v Wade. So they can say they will “abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon these questions of Constitutional Law.” How neatly Democrat.

How is this any different from Democrats today when South Dakota or other states are bucking abortion in spite of Roe v Wade?

There are different issues from platform to platform in just four years. If you look at the Democrat Platform for 1864, it wanted to end the war to free slaves prematurely. They wanted to bring the troops back home. How familiar:

How does this sound any different from today’s whining Democrats? They say Bush has trampled the Constitution because of wire-tapping, which is really, really mild compared to what Lincoln and Democrat FDR did.

 During this time, many people thought we were going to lose the Civil War.  Democrat newspapers were calling for an end to the war.  It wasn't until Lincoln appointed General Grant and stopped pussy-footing around that the war took a turn in our favor.  Just like the appointment of General Petraeus turned the war in Iraq.

No, platforms reflect a party’s stance on the issues of the day. The only standard by which to judge a party’s philosophy is its platform. Even then, the platform is usually a compromise of multiple factions’ views, particularly in a non-parlimentary nation such as the US. You can try to judge a party by the voting patterns of elected representatives, but then you’ll have an even more fragmented picture. None of the general concepts you’ve listed are unique to the Democratic party or distinguish it from the Republicans.

[quote][quote]2. Inasmuch as difference of opinion exists in the Democratic party as to the nature and extent of the powers of a Territorial Legislature, and as to the powers and duties of Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, over the institution of slavery within the Territories,

Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon these questions of Constitutional Law.[/quote]

In other words, they didn’t want to even agitate the slavery question. The Supreme Court was full of Democrat judges supporting slavery, so they could conveniently say, let’s follow the Court and their Dred Scott Decision, allowing slavery in every state. Likewise, Democrats are drawing up abortion legislation in order to codify Roe v Wade. So they can say they will “abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon these questions of Constitutional Law.” How neatly Democrat.[/quote]

I have no idea if its “neatly” Democratic, but it sure isn’t uniquely Democratic. The last time I checked, Republicans abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court as well. And I’m sure they’re all the more willing to do so if the Supreme Court decides in their favor, such as the recent decision to lift the concealed weapon ban in DC. Additionally, if Democrats are trying to codify a judicial decision, then they are trying to agitate the abortion question. This example fails on both accounts.

How is this any different from Democrats today when South Dakota or other states are bucking abortion in spite of Roe v Wade?[/quote]

Once again, you have failed to identify a uniquely Democratic position. Republicans perceived the DC handgun ban as hostile to the Constitution and opposed it as illegal (which is what the 1860 Democrats meant by “revolutionary”).

Yes, and many Republicans, including Senators, Congressmen, former Cabinet members of the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II White House, generals, and admirals have called for the Iraq War to end and the troops to come home. Once again you have failed to draw any sort of insightful or remotely unique analog between historical and modern Democrats. Incidentally, do you refer to the myriad of top Republicans who have come out publicly against the war as “whining Republicans” or are you just a partisan hack bent on demonizing Democrats? :laughing:

Do you realize you’re weakening your own argument by including a Democrat? And interesting you should pick wire-tapping, since once again many conservatives have criticized the Bush Administration on the issue, including former Republican Congressman Bob Barr. He even ran an organization for several years called Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances, which criticized parts of the PATRIOT Act as the Bush wire-tapping scheme as unconstitutional. The group is now defunct, but among its alliance organizations were conservative groups such as:

American Conservative Union
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Gun Owners of America
Second Amendment Foundation

It had liberal allies like the ACLU as well, which must just completely blow your mind, given that you view reality through a myopic lense. But yes, thinking conservatives and liberals alike questioned the constitutionality of Bush’s wiretapping scheme.

Right, just like modern day Republicans are calling for an end to the war. Wow, I found a superficial similarity! The 1860 Democrats are just like 2008 Republicans! :laughing:

Picking out generalities that apply to both parties in some respect or another isn’t particularly insightful, and doesn’t make your case any stronger. One could say that modern day Republicanism is closer to 1860 Democratism because both advocate(d) state rights. But the similarity is general and again, not insightful or useful, so there wouldn’t be any point.

But of course, you don’t really have a point, do you? You have no interest in any sort of honest, intelligent discussion, you simply want to demonize liberals any way you can. Slavery is antithetical to liberalism, but since the conservatives of the day (those who supported the status quo) were Democrats, and the liberals of this day are Democrats, you dishonestly try to conflate the terms and portray modern Democrats as evil. It’s transparent and pointless.

I am assuming you meant “the Union”? The way you phrased it sounds like more of the “us” versus “them” line of thinking. Civil wars may resolve conflicts but nobody is a winner.

civil war
Function:
noun
Date:
15th century

: a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country

I have no idea if its “neatly” Democratic, but it sure isn’t uniquely Democratic. The last time I checked, Republicans abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court as well. And I’m sure they’re all the more willing to do so if the Supreme Court decides in their favor, such as the recent decision to lift the concealed weapon ban in DC. Additionally, if Democrats are trying to codify a judicial decision, then they are trying to agitate the abortion question. This example fails on both accounts.[/quote]
Well, of course both parties abide by especially explicitly worded decisions of the Court. The weapon ban is a relatively minor moral issue affecting one city compared to the national biggies: abortion and slavery. Republicans don’t seek office to push an unconstitutional agenda; rather they seek office to protect their interests, which is to keep Democrats from pushing their unconstitutional pet causes legislatively or judicially. What I’m saying is that Democrat judges were able to legislate from the bench on both slavery and abortion, when they had no constitutional pretext for doing so. This is their nature. So, on the Democrat platform, they didn’t come out and say slavery is absolutely correct, because they wanted to appear like they were taking the middle ground between extremes. Instead, they sneakily implied their support of slavery when they said they would abide by the Democrat decision of the Supreme Court.
In 1860, war was imminent (and started in 1861 after the election of Lincoln), so at that time, they backed away from agitating the slavery question. The Dred Scott decision making slavery possible even in the free states was only 1857, so that is the decision they’re referring to. The Democrats agitated the slavery question earlier when they drafted the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. That act along with the Dred Scott decision went over the line, and Democrats realized by 1860 that they had done enough and would be best to tiptoe the issue. The Republican platform, on the other hand, didn’t pussyfoot around. They said slavery was absolutely wrong.

So if Democrats arrogantly and ignorantly push the abortion issue today, they are doing exactly as they did with the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which is why I said they are bringing a resolution to the abortion question much sooner than I earlier anticipated. When the winds suddenly prevail against them, they’ll learn to step back.

How is this any different from Democrats today when South Dakota or other states are bucking abortion in spite of Roe v Wade?[/quote]
Once again, you have failed to identify a uniquely Democratic position. Republicans perceived the DC handgun ban as hostile to the Constitution and opposed it as illegal (which is what the 1860 Democrats meant by “revolutionary”).[/quote]
The DC ban laws directly violates the Constitution (i.e., not the opposite party’s laws or decisions), as did the Democrat Fugitive Slave Law. The Democrats think that state legislatures that try to defeat Democrat unconstitutional laws or decisions (because such are unconstitutional) are “revolutionary.” Again, this isn’t a problem in reverse because Republicans generally don’t push their own agenda by creating unconstitutional laws to begin with.

Yes, and many Republicans, including Senators, Congressmen, former Cabinet members of the Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II White House, generals, and admirals have called for the Iraq War to end and the troops to come home. Once again you have failed to draw any sort of insightful or remotely unique analog between historical and modern Democrats. Incidentally, do you refer to the myriad of top Republicans who have come out publicly against the war as “whining Republicans” or are you just a partisan hack bent on demonizing Democrats? :laughing:[/quote]
Oh, come on; there were antislavery “Copperhead” Republicans against the Civil War as well. It’s silly to suggest all Republicans were gungho for war. No one likes war; and some will even subject important interests, such as antislavery, to the interests of peace.

I wasn’t comparing the war powers of presidents during wartime, which is quite normal for any party. I’m comparing the whining Democrat leader’s resistance to Republican war. Republicans generally supported a Democrat during war, even when they didn’t agree with such war. They generally supported Clinton, Johnson, and others, because it’s necessary to stick together during such times.

Planatation owners were not conservative in any sense of the word. They were scoundrels, violent in nature, and sexual perverts. They were having sex with their slaves, they were given to violence in Congress, cocking their pistols at dissenting Republicans and sometimes beating the tar out of them. They were amoralistic. Republicans, like conservatives, had an important moralistic view of the universe. Democrats scowled at Republicans for pushing that moralistic vision on them. And not to mention the antislavery position was informed first by the churches, whose cause the Republicans took on.

In 1850s, the Democrat South had the prevalence of violent crimes than the North. Today, Democrat cities in the North and Northeast are most violent. To find violence, just follow the Democrats.

Abortion has been legal for more than thirty years. Does that make Democrats who want to maintain the status quo conservative? I think not. And neither for slavery. Status quo has nothing to do with it. Liberal ideas can be enshrined for hundreds of years and still be…liberal.

What makes liberal ideas revolutionary is not that their ideas are new; they’ve all been tried throughout history. It’s revolutionary because they usually don’t last long – and when they do, there’s a concerted effort to end the misery – so such ideas seem like new. Conservative ideas, on the other hand, are according to the way the world works, and thus enjoy more implementation in general; so it is much more common throughout the world, and thus seems like “status quo.”

When liberal ideas enjoy hundreds of years and become the “status quo,” then conservative ideas will seem “revolutionary” in such times. Conservative and liberal are better defined by their stances and not by status quo.

Hey, slave guy. I have a question for you, but it’s not really on thread with the above.

What made blokes join the southern army in the civil war? It’s a serious question, I got no idea why they did that. Conscription? Money? Food? Because that’s your local lot? - By which I mean good harvests happen, wars happen, that’s just life around here. Why would the lower ranks, who one would think were in competition with slaves, fight for slavery?

Excuse my ignorance here, but I’ve only recently started looking at the American civil war and it’s hard to find a decent source for these more abstract queries.

HG

[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]Hey, slave guy. I have a question for you, but it’s not really on thread with the above.

What made blokes join the southern army in the civil war? It’s a serious question, I got no idea why they did that. Conscription? Money? Food? Because that’s your local lot? - By which I mean good harvests happen, wars happen, that’s just life around here. Why would the lower ranks, who one would think were in competition with slaves, fight for slavery?

Excuse my ignorance here, but I’ve only recently started looking at the American civil war and it’s hard to find a decent source for these more abstract queries.

HG[/quote]
If you ever get a chance to see the Ken Burns documentary, do it. It’s fantastic.

And Rush Limbaugh is always right. If he wants to get married to a gay slaver and have abortions, it must be okay.

[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]Hey, slave guy. I have a question for you, but it’s not really on thread with the above.

What made blokes join the southern army in the civil war? It’s a serious question, I got no idea why they did that. Conscription? Money? Food? Because that’s your local lot? - By which I mean good harvests happen, wars happen, that’s just life around here. Why would the lower ranks, who one would think were in competition with slaves, fight for slavery?

Excuse my ignorance here, but I’ve only recently started looking at the American civil war and it’s hard to find a decent source for these more abstract queries.

HG[/quote]
The South and North had equal population around the Revolutionary War around 1780s. By the Civil War, the North had about 2 to 3 times the population of the South (because of slavery). As the war progressed, it became incumbent on the South to use black slaves, since they were about a third of the total population. Many slaves were loyal to their masters and fought alongside them. Others were forced to fight with the Confederacy near the end. It is said that slaves had their heart with the Confederacy if only it weren’t for slavery. It’s natural that you have patriotic feelings for the area you grew up in. I’m sure they were probably brainwashed as well about the North and their intentions.
Here’s some interesting information:

civilwarhistory.com/slavetra … ersCSA.htm

Who do you think does the best job on the civil war? I’d say the Marxists would be a good read, no? I have seen the Burns doco, but I think a more class focused view would be interesting.

HG

Unlike many civil wars, it wasn’t really a class thing. Think sectional psychosis in the South and Nat Turners vs a “positive good” and curse Eli Whitney for inventing the cotton gin and reviving an almost dead economic system back to life.

Unconstitutional, such as claiming thirty years of legislation (FISA), which was observed by every preceding president including Reagan and Bush I, can be ignored on grounds of executive privilege? Was that a “pet cause?” :laughing:

Slavery certainly had a constitutional pretext (Article 1, Section 2), as well as numerous legislative acts which sanctioned and regulated the practice, most of which were supported by Northern politicians up until the 1840s. Slavery only became a major legislative issue in the context of its expansion into the Western territories,

As far as whether abortion should have been decided by the courts or the legislature, it depends on how you answer the following questions:

  1. Does the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment and the penumbra of the Bill of Rights guarantee the right to privacy?
  2. Is abortion included in the right to privacy?

I believe the answer to the first question is yes and the answer to the second is no. While I agree with MT that Roe v Wade is a good compromise, I believe it’s one that should have been made by the legislature. But it’s hardly cut and dry. As already mentioned by others, “legislating from the bench” is what someone says when he disagrees with the court’s interpretation.

This does not support you position. Republican and Democratic politicians constantly compromise on issues; otherwise we’d have gridlock. Once again you have failed to identify any sort of uniquely Democratic position.

So what? You haven’t made the case that the Democratic philosophy of that period is remotely similar to today’s. All you’ve done is identify general points that could easily apply to everyone.

Neither do Democrats. There’s a mountain of legislation regulating the right to bear arms, all of which received at least some Republican support in the Congress and some of which was signed by Republican presidents. The DC handgun ban overstepped the bounds, but that isn’t some general characteristic of the Democratic Party.

Exactly. Once again you haven’t identifed any kind of unique Democratic position.

It is, and I haven’t done so. You did, when you tried to make opposition to war a Democratic issue.

Right. Many Northerners had no interest in dying to free the slaves, which is why the Union Army had to aggressively conscript unwilling recruits and pressgang them into the army. Local police stations complained to their governors about the army co-opting their resources, including prison carts and jails, which the army used to hold conscripts prior to shipping them off to training. Union boot camps often resembled prisons, as desertion was common. So much for the grand moral vision of the Union soldier. :laughing:

LBJ endured constant criticism from his Republican opponents. The isolationist wing of the Republican party opposed involvement in Vietnam altogether, while others wanted LBJ to take a more aggressive approach. Clinton was criticized by Republicans for involving us in the Balkan wars. In any case, if any elected leader believes a war to be against American interests, then it’s his duty to oppose it.

Yes they were. This is the definition of conservatism.

Slavery was certainly the status quo, and was part of the aristocratic Southern culture. Plantation owners weren’t just conservative in “any” sense of the word, they were conservative in the sense of the word. But nice try. :laughing:

[quote]They were scoundrels, violent in nature, and sexual perverts. They were having sex with their slaves, they were given to violence in Congress, cocking their pistols at dissenting Republicans and sometimes beating the tar out of them. They were amoralistic.

…Republicans, like conservatives, had an important moralistic view of the universe.

[/quote]

I’m guessing you’re from the North. :laughing: I know this is a bit off topic, but I think it’s worth noting that the descendants of the slave holders are now Republicans, and many of them certainly don’t agree with your twisted, naive view of history. What you call the Civil War is commonly referred to here in the South as the War of Northern Aggression, and was not solely or even mainly fought on the issue of slavery. The Union’s primary objective was to maintain the territorial integrity of the Union, not free the slaves. Thus did Lincoln write on August 11, 1862, in a letter to the newspaper editor Horace Greeley:

And more about your “moralistic” leader.

[quote]So far as Lincoln’s overt racism, let us go right to the horse’s mouth as it were, and find out what the great emancipator said himself. In the Lincoln-Douglas debates, which took place in 1858, while debating in Ottowa, Illinois on August 21st of that year, Mr. Lincoln stated, quite plainly, that: “I have no disposition to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which in my judgment will probably forever forbid their living together on terms of respect, social and political equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there should be a superiority somewhere, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position;”

Lest one be tempted to think that this Lincolnian sentiment was a mere abberation, a slip of the tongue on his part, let’s note Lincoln’s comments in his speech at Charleston, Illinois on September 18, 1858. Here, dealing again with the same question, Lincoln said: “I will say then, that I am not nor have ever been in favor of bringing about in any way, the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor have I ever been in favor of making voters of the negroes, or jurors, or qualifying them to hold office, or having them to marry with white people…there must be the position of superior and inferior, that I as much as any other man am in favor of the superior position being assigned to the white man.” And he repeated, again, this exact same sentiment in the debate in Quincy, Illinois on October 13th. You do have to admit that Mr. Lincoln’s racism did remain constant.[/quote]

Ah yes, the “important moralistic viewpoint” :roflmao: of the then-leader of the Republican party, an avowed racist who openly admitted that his primary purpose in invading the South was to force it to stay within his country, and that he would do so even if it meant not freeing the slaves.

It depends on whether you consider 30 years of a controversial law founded on tenuous legal grounds to be the “status quo.” I don’t, but then again, many Republicans who have taken some variant of the following position. “While I am opposed to abortion, I respect the Court’s authority and recognize Roe v. Wade as the established law of the land.”

Perhaps you’re right. Let’s take a look at the definition of liberalism:

Since slavery is the oppose of liberty, then wouldn’t you agree that opposition to slavery is an inherently liberal cause?

I mean the people doing most of the fighting. How did they hoodwink people into that?

HG

I mean the people doing most of the fighting. How did they hoodwink people into that?[/quote]
Wars are glorious and exciting, and if you don’t serve, you’re a coward.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, and all that.

:roflmao:

Republicans? Not push their agendas through unconstitutional laws? :astonished:

They do this all the time. Indeed, that is what it is to be a Republican. Prime example: “Terri’s Law”…a blatant violation of the separation of powers.

Great posts above, GBH! :notworthy:

Jotham, I appreciate your measured tone and patience in discussing these issues with me; however, I don’t usually spend so much time on the debating side of things (usually I just “hit and run” by posting an article or news item) because, while I occasionally receive a new and useful insight or two in these discussions - and even more occasionally have a major perception-shift on an issue - mostly it just keeps me sitting in front of a computer when I could be spending time with my wife/dogs, exercising, reading or doing something more valuable with my time.

That said, this will probably be my last at-length response to you on these particular topics. (That means you’ve got a “free shot” at me if you want it!

  1. Okay, first, on gay marriage: personally I see this as something of a side issue, because marriage is essentially a public, ceremonial commitment to be another person’s exclusive partner for the term of a life. This is something homosexuals can have regardless of what the state says on the issue.

However, as Bodo pointed out, there are certain legal privileges enjoyed by legally married couples, and homosexuals should be allowed equal access to those rights on a state-by-state basis, in so far as they are fulfilling the state’s desire that people establish stable family units which are the foundation of a society.

Furthermore, I think you seriously understate the persecution that homosexuals have endured:

If you were to listen to Dan Savage’s sex advice podcast (for gays, straights, and everyone in-between) or read his column, you’d hear story after story of repressive and bigotted parents, of violent attacks by homo-phobic pyschopaths - but these cases are merely anecdotal. It is far more indicative of the situation homosexuals face vis-a-vis their heterosexual neighbors that A) homosexuality is illegal in China, B) is illegal in most if not all Islamic nations, and C) was as fatal a “defect” as being Jewish or gypsy in Nazi Germany.

Now you may suggest that that the Communist Chinese, Islamic fundamentalists and Nazis are/were all “Liberals” (your definition of “liberal” being rather broad and, shall we say, non-standard), and no state persecution of homosexuals has happened in the U.S. Still, these situations are evidence of the hatred which certain people - many Americans included - are able to muster against homosexuals simply for the particular way in which they are different.

The difference between the gay experience in America and in the places I mentioned previously is that in America there’s never been a government-sanctioned persecution (to my knowledge). That’s a big difference; yet it doesn’t mean there hasn’t been wide-spread persecution.

I would see embracing homosexuals as a normal and accepted part of society as a sign of tolerance and benevolence. This doesn’t necessarily mean we have to use exactly the same terminology for homosexuals’ life-long commitments to each other as we use for heterosexuals. However, I hope that by saying “the decline of morality in the general population”, you don’t mean that homosexuality is by definition “immoral”. You’ll be in a very tricky position if you’re trying to assert that!

  1. On the abortion issue: this is a very difficult topic for me because I have a deep-seated bias. I myself owe my existence to the “choice” of a woman who had no intention of getting pregnant or raising a child, yet nevertheless endured my company for nine months - not to mention the pain of giving birth - to insure my having the opportunity to live and be raised by strangers. I cannot speak to the reasons for her choice, as I have never in my life met this woman since we parted during my infancy. I myself would be opposed to an abortion if my wife got (or if one of my girlfriends had gotten) pregnant - although ultimately I would relinquish the right to decide to the woman who actually had to bear the child.

Still, looking at the issue, it’s hard to see how it could possibly be as clear-cut as your slavery analogy makes it. For one thing, slavery is legally prohibited world-wide (as far as I know), although I’m sure it secretly goes on certain situations such as slave factories and slave prostitution.

Conversely, abortion is legal to varying degrees in a large number of countries around the world, demonstrating that there is no global concensus on the issue. Perhaps you will argue that it is merely a matter of time and people will come around. However, I think there’s little evidence to support this belief.

Here’s what I come up with using simple deductive logic regarding the argument against legal abortions:

A) Moral absolutes exist
B) It is a moral absolute that one must not intentionally kill another person
C) Abortion is the intentional killing of another person
D) Therefore, society must uphold the moral absolute and forbid abortion

This simple break-down quickly runs into problems, because of 1) capital punishment and 2) warfare. So let’s re-state:

A) Moral absolutes exist
B) It is a moral absolute that one must not intentionally kill another person IF and ONLY IF that person is innocent
C) Unborn children are innocent
D) Abortion is the killing of the innocent
E) Therefore, society must uphold the moral absolute and forbid abortion

However, it is inductively logical that the execution of criminals who are in fact innocent can and does occur. It is also inductively logical that the killing of individuals who are in fact innocent can and does occur in war - although one hopes not intentionally. You can of course argue that society does its absolute utmost to insure these cases do not occur. But now things are getting murky. So the morally-transparent argument above begins to look opaque:

A) Moral absolutes exist
B) It is a moral absolute that one not intentionally kill another person IF and ONLY IF that person has been established as innocent to the best of society’s ability
C) Unborn children are inherently innocent
D) Abortion is the killing of the innocent
E) Therefore, society must uphold the moral absolute and forbid abortion

Unfortunately it gets murkier:

A) Moral absolutes exist
B) It is a moral absolute that adult persons have autonomous rights within the limits of nature over the condition and function of their bodies.
C) A woman is an adult person, and is therefore entitled to these rights
D) If a woman has sexual relations with a man - for any reason and under any conditions (IE she was young and ignorant; he emotionally-blackmailed her; he raped her; he lied to her; she was simply indifferent to the potential consequences; etc.), she forfeits this autonomy - just as a criminal forfeits his or her “personal autonomy” when he or she commits a crime.
E) It is ALSO a moral absolute that one must not intentionally kill another person
IF and ONLY IF that person has been established as innocent to the best of society’s ability
F) Unborn children are inherently innocent
G) Abortion is the killing of the innocent
H) Therefore, society must uphold the moral absolute and forbid abortion

Simple enough… to you perhaps. As for myself, I think there are some very gray areas in D and E there. While you might insist, “NO, it’s still crystal clear!” I highly doubt that everyone would agree (even barring the statistical evidence in Freaconomics suggesting that legalizing abortion may have resulted in a marked decrease in violent crime in the United States in the early nineties). In any case, while I personally oppose abortion and agree that it is immoral, I also believe the subject is still very open to debate when we’re talking about imposing that opinion on the women with whom these “inherently innocent unborn children” are symbiotically merged. All society can and should do in this complicated case is come to the best compromise possible, as GBH argues above.

Again, where are you getting your definitions? Conservipedia? Would you say that the “War on Drugs” is a policy that is “in accord with the way that the world works”? Rather the opposite, I’d say.

[quote=“Reuters columnist Bernd Debusmann”]Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. His definition fits America’s war on drugs, a multi-billion dollar, four-decade exercise in futility.

The war on drugs has helped turn the United States into the country with the world’s largest prison population. (Noteworthy statistic: The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population and around 25 percent of the world’s prisoners). Keen demand for illicit drugs in America, the world’s biggest market, helped spawn global criminal enterprises that use extreme violence in the pursuit of equally extreme profits.

Over the years, the war on drugs has spurred repeated calls from social scientists and economists (including three Nobel prize winners) to seriously rethink a strategy that ignores the laws of supply and demand.[/quote]

There is literally heaps of evidence saying the same thing. Even White House Drug Czar Backs Decriminalization, yet Conservatives stubbornly cling to this clearly NOT-working policy.

  1. We were discussing Clinton’s and/or the Republican Congresses economic boom. While, as I’ve stated previously, I’m not a huge fan of Clinton’s in certain respects (his market deregulation, his inaction on environmental issues), I think this article I found the other day is worth pointing out:

Were Clinton’s policies responsible for the 1990s’ economic growth?

[quote]Clinton’s major contribution was pushing through the 1993 budget bill, which began to reduce what had become a chronic string of federal deficits. Republicans denounced it as the “largest tax increase in history,” though in fact it was not a record and also contained some cuts in projected spending. Republican Rep. Newt Gingrich predicted: “The tax increase will kill jobs and lead to a recession, and the recession will force people off of work and onto unemployment and will actually increase the deficit.” But just the opposite happened. Fears of inflation waned and interest rates fell, making money cheaper to borrow for homes, cars and investment. What had been a slow economic recovery turned into a roaring boom, bringing in so much unanticipated tax revenue from rising incomes and stock-market gains that the government actually was running record surpluses by the time Clinton left office.

Clinton can also be given credit for reappointing Alan Greenspan as head of the Federal Reserve, where the economist was widely credited with a masterly performance in handling interest rates. This was an unusual move for a Democratic president, as Greenspan is a libertarian Republican who had been a close economic adviser to Republican Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. Greenspan and Clinton worked closely, and in 2007 Greenspan praised Clinton’s handling of the federal deficit and his support for liberalized trade, calling him “the best Republican president we’ve had in a while.” [/quote]

Factcheck.org doesn’t seem to back up your side of the story.

Whether Reagan “proved” supply-side economics is VERY open to debate. As I pointed out earlier, economics Nobel recipient Paul Krugman certainly doesn’t think so. Neither does the following statistical analysis:

[quote]One of the central tenets of supply-side theory is that tax cuts actually increase overall tax collections. There is something faintly foolish about this assertion – it’s like claiming that you can make trees grow taller by cutting them down. But the supply-siders have their own statistics to quote. “During the Reagan tax-cut era,” Rush Limbaugh writes, "IRS collections actually nearly doubled… from $550 billion [sic] to about $991 billion."2 This supply-side deception is as common as it is deplorable; it uses nominal dollars instead of constant dollars, which account for inflation. Here are the total tax collections expressed in both:

Tax Collections (billions)3

Year Nominal Constant (87 dollars)
1980 $517.1 728.1
1981 599.3 766.6
1982 617.8 738.2
1983 600.6 684.3
1984 666.6 730.4
1985 734.1 776.6
1986 769.1 790.0
1987 854.1 854.1
1988 909.0 877.3
1989 990.7 916.2
1990 1031.3 914.1
1991 1054.3 894.7
1992 1090.5 895.1

This chart raises two points. First, it allows you to see that real tax collections actually declined in the two years following Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts. (In fact, it took until 1985 to recover the 1981 level.) This is exactly the opposite of what supply-siders had predicted. They excuse it by noting that the 1981 cuts were phased in over three years, delaying entrepreneurial investment. But, according to their theory, accumulating tax cuts should have resulted in accumulating – not declining – tax collections. (More)

Second, contrary to what Rush implies, real tax collections did not “double” between 1981 and 1989; they grew only 20 percent. This reflects the normal growth that our economy has experienced for centuries, as both our population and productivity have grown. The real question is not whether the tax collections grew, but whether they grew faster than normal under Reaganomics. They did not. The following chart shows the average annual growth of real tax collections under the last 10 presidents. As you can see, Reagan ties for 6th and 7th place:

Average Real Annual Growth of Tax Collections by President4

           Average

President Annual Growth
Roosevelt 121.3%
Truman 3.7%
Eisenhower 2.4%
Kennedy 4.8%
Johnson 6.9%
Nixon 0.3%
Ford 6.4%
Carter 3.0%
Reagan 2.4%
Bush -0.0%

For a fuller derivation of this chart, see More.

Of course, the above figures are for total tax collections; many people would prefer to see the figures on income tax collections, since that is where most of the tax cuts occurred. Unfortunately, these figures show an even lengthier drop in tax collections. The following charts are for both types of income tax collections: individual and corporate. They show a loss of at least $88 billion dollars (in constant 1987 dollars). How do we arrive at that figure? Remember that our tax collections have grown virtually every year since World War II, due to the almost constant growth of our economy (and with it, the tax base). However, after Reagan’s income tax cuts took effect in 1982, real income tax collections took a long fall, despite the fact our economy continued to grow. For the moment, let’s ignore the fact that tax collections could have been expected to grow after 1981. Let’s simply use 1981 as a baseline, multiplying it 8 times, and compare that to what was really collected over the next 8 years.

Individual Income Taxes (millions)5

Year Current Constant (87 dollars)
1981 $285,917 $367,692

1982 297,744 356,366
1983 288,938 332,033
1984 298,415 328,470
1985 334,531 354,677
1986 348,959 359,307
1987 392,557 392,557
1988 401,181 387,128
1989 445,690 411,533

82-89 total: 2,922,691
1981 (times 8) -2,941,536

Net 8-year loss -18,845

Corporate Income Taxes (millions)

Year Current Constant (87 dollars)
1981 $61,137 $78,623

1982 49,207 58,991
1983 37,022 42,544
1984 56,893 62,623
1985 61,331 65,024
1986 63,143 65,015
1987 83,926 83,926
1988 94,508 91,224
1989 103,291 98,092

82-89 total: 567,439
1981 (times 8) -628,984

Net 8-year loss -69,545

Combined individual and corporate income tax loss: $88 billion.

Keep in mind that this does not even count the growth that was expected to occur since 1981. And, because the economy grows in the long run, income tax collections were bound to eclipse 1981 eventually; this is why the chart shows an ultimate rise in collections. But the fact that collections took a six-year dive refutes the supply-side claim that tax cuts increase tax collections.[/quote]

“THE REAGAN YEARS: A Statistical Overview of the 1980s”

You’ve kind of danced around my points that A) Carter recognized the danger of America’s oil addiction and wanted to turn the country in a different direction, whereas Reagan was all for putting the peddle to the metal; B) the GOP has tended to heap love on corporations, which are not exactly paragons of freedom and individualism; and that C) Conservative rhetoric often appeals to group resentments. I’ve given evidence and examples for all of these positions earlier. That’s fine, though. I haven’t addressed every single one of the points you made previously either.

As for Democrats being responsible for Reagan’s spending, though, have to disagree. This was the Cato Institute had to say back in '83:

[quote]While the average American’s standard of living has been dropping for the past five years, government spending in real terms is still growing. Budget plans proposed by the House and Senate Budget Committees call for even more revenue and expenditures than President Reagan’s proposal.

Soaring military spending for overseas commitments and the refusal to make significant cuts in most major domestic programs have created the worst deficits in American history. The administration optimistically projects deficits of $104 billion in 1983 and $84 billion in 1984, allowing itself to at least claim to be “on the right track.” The Congressional Budget Office offers a somewhat bleaker picture: deficits of $116 billion in 1983 and $105 billion in 1984. One of the most disturbing aspects of the situation, of course, is that the estimates are getting worse. Last September, for instance, the Office of Management and Budget predicted a 1983 deficit of $72 billion. Its April prediction was $102 billion. At the end of July Treasury Secretary Donald Regan offered a projection of $110-$114 billion.

The political reaction to all this would be amusing if it weren’t so serious. Liberal Democrats who scoffed at deficits for decades, blandly reassuring us that “we owe it to ourselves,” have suddenly discovered the virtues of a balanced budget. Every night they appear on the network news to denounce the Reagan deficits. However much we may speculate on the political motivation behind their newfound concerns, there is at least the possibility that they have gotten older and wiser. Unfortunately, we can’t say that for the conservatives who have suddenly lost their concern over deficit spending. Some of the most respected conservative economists in America, who happily went to work for the most conservative president in many years, have found themselves repudiating their lifelong positions. William Niskanen, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers, told a December 1981 conference sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute that “in general, concern about the deficit has been misplaced…There is no direct or indirect connection between deficits and inflation.” The Council’s chairman, Murray Weidenbaum, said that the real concern was not the size of the deficit but its gradual reduction.

Unfortunately for the White House, the public seems not to be buying its new arguments. Interest rates, which reflect the expectations of millions of borrowers and lenders, remain at historically high levels. The president misunderstands the nature of the economy when he appeals to a small number of “Wall Street leaders” to bring interest rates down. As long as those millions of borrowers and lenders anticipate that excessive deficits will lead either to the crowding out of private borrowers or to monetization and inflation, even dedicated Reagan supporters on Wall Street would not be able to force interest rates down. The stock market, which similarly reflects the expectations of millions of traders, has also been in the doldrums throughout the budget stalemate. [/quote]

The Reagan Budget: The Deficit that Didn’t Have to Be

That’s very Limbaugh-ish-ly conspiratorial of you. However, it was Limbaugh himself who was encouraging Republicans to do this very thing during the Democratic primaries! Remember “Operation Chaos”?

This doesn’t go contrary to the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment inveighs against unlawful search and seize of US citizens. It doesn’t protect foreigners, who are outside the protections of the Constitution. There hasn’t been a single incident of anyone complaining of being searched and seized, (except terrorists). Don’t flatter yourself; the “Sex and the City” lives of Democrats isn’t that interesting. The focus is on Al-Qaeda-type groups.

Slavery certainly had a constitutional pretext (Article 1, Section 2), as well as numerous legislative acts which sanctioned and regulated the practice,[/quote]
The Founding Fathers hoped for the demise of slavery, which existed before the Constitution. They had no choice but allude to the reality of slavery; but they certainly didn’t sanction it. Only Democrat judges would turn rhetoric on their head to come out with such a silly interpretation.
Here’s the text:

[ul][list]"Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and including Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons…[/ul][/list:u]
The Founders were very careful not to employ the term slaves, slavery, or unfree – almost as though such notions didn’t even exist. In fact, they employed the term persons – which the South certainly wouldn’t have done. This gives a pretext for the future liberty of slaves, since in another place in the Constitution “all men are created equal.” The Founders were smart cookies. They used rhetoric as skillfully as they knew how so that future generations could easily abolish slavery. Unfortunately, Democrats are the utlitmate rhetoric masters of deceit, and they codified slavery despite the careful wording. You mentioned Lincoln later, and you’ll see that he also was as clever in his rhetoric as the Founders.

[quote]As far as whether abortion should have been decided by the courts or the legislature, it depends on how you answer the following questions:

  1. Does the Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment and the penumbra of the Bill of Rights guarantee the right to privacy?
  2. Is abortion included in the right to privacy?

I believe the answer to the first question is yes and the answer to the second is no.[/quote]
The right to privacy isn’t in the Constitution. It is enshrined in some liberal judge’s decision, which is recognized by courts today. The Due Process says “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” What does this have to do with abortion laws? This sounds like enslaving, imprisoning, or killing people, like black people, for no reason…or taking away their house, horses, or land. When this amendment was written, there were some 36 states that had abortion laws. It never occured to anyone at the time, that this amendment for the rights of black people was also relevant to abortion. It simply wasn’t…and it still isn’t. You’re missing the whole spirit of this amendment, not to mention the straightforward wording. You have to twist yourself into a pretzel and define liberty as the freedom to have an abortion. Well,liberty can mean a whole lot of things. Why can’t it mean the freedom to own slaves, like the Democrats of yore championed? In fact, abortion is wrong on the basis of this amendment because you’re really depriving the baby of life wihout due process of law. But you can never win when Democrat rhetoricians are around.

Gridlock is good; the Founders encouraged gridlock by designing the government the way they did. Gridlock ensures government becomes inefficient and crippled. Only a big-efficient-government Democrat would deem that a vice. But you are right that some stupid Republicans are compromising. McCain, hello? Both Bushes and Nixon…

My original point being that Democrats were middle-roaders, trying to find compromise between extremes (since the people didn’t believe in their extreme) when the Republicans didn’t compromise and the people followed such resolute leadership.

I’m talking of general trends, not the few exceptions. The Democrat leadership, not just a few exceptions of solitary Democrats or Republicans, take aim at war efforts when it’s led by a Republican.

All right, let me change my wording then. “And some will even subject important interests, like the Union, to the interests of peace.”

Regarding LBJ, the Republican stance was “if you’re going to fight it, then fight it, damn it. If not, then get out.” Nevertheless, officially, Republicans give moral support. Yes, the Republicans always have a stance on war, which may be contrary…and they didn’t like Clinton’s either. They may have debate about such before declaring a war, but after the fighting starts, Republicans lend their moral support and keep criticism in proper check.

Aw, this is a liberal definition of conservative. Look it, conservatives mainly believe in absolutes; that there is such a thing as right or wrong. If society has been perpetrating “wrong” for hundreds of years, it’s important to change. If there is no “wrong” going on, it’s important not to change.

 Liberals believe that truth isn't black and white, but rather evolves.  You can understand why they define the conservative they way they do.  They think what the conservative believes isn't necessarily black and white, but is merely along the evolution continuum.  They think change comes to society, and the "conservatives" want to keep it that way.  Then when changes happens again, the "conservatives" want to keep it that way.  There was nothing conservative about slavery.  It was enshrined in society for years and years.  New York City has been a liberal city for about 80 years.  Does that make those Democrats who want to keep it that way conservative?  It's just gets all the more ludicrous the more examples we think of.

[quote][quote=“I”]They were scoundrels, violent in nature, and sexual perverts. They were having sex with their slaves, they were given to violence in Congress, cocking their pistols at dissenting Republicans and sometimes beating the tar out of them. They were amoralistic.
…Republicans, like conservatives, had an important moralistic view of the universe.[/quote]I’m guessing you’re from the North. :laughing: I know this is a bit off topic, but I think it’s worth noting that the descendants of the slave holders are now Republicans, and many of them certainly don’t agree with your twisted, naive view of history. What you call the Civil War is commonly referred to here in the South as the War of Northern Aggression, and was not solely or even mainly fought on the issue of slavery. The Union’s primary objective was to maintain the territorial integrity of the Union, not free the slaves.[/quote]
I’m not from the North; I’m an American. And I suppose you are too. The Confederacy doesn’t exist anymore. We’re all Unionists.

Don’t be fooled. the Union’s primary objective, indeed, was to save the Union, but that doesn’t make the objective to free slaves unimportant, or even less important. Lincoln’s heart was to free slaves, and he thought the best way to do that was to appoint Republican judges to the bench. It wasn’t in his plans to go to war. Being President, it’s natural that his primary objective was to save the Union, and then worry about freeing slaves later. Since the South seceded, he was able to free slaves much, much sooner than he could have ever imagined. He probably thought he wouldn’t have been able to do that at all before he became President, but only help the process along.

This is a debate, which doesn’t reflect his true feelings. Douglass was trying to brand him as wanting to introduce equality, and he was right on. Lincoln had to appear to distance himself from that. Even so, if you look at the rhetoric, it was carefully worded not to be necessarily racist. Compare with what Douglass said, and it’s clear where his position is. Lincoln, however, says he has no “disposition” to “introduce” equality. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t believe it to be so personally. It’s just that he doesn’t think he should do that as President, or really have the support of the people. He says there’s a physical difference between the two, which is correct – skin color is a physical difference – and he opines that “probably” because of such, with the bigotry of people being what it is, they won’t be able to live together. He doesn’t say he shares such bigotry. He also says that if it becomes “necessary” that there should be superiority – again, he doesn’t admit that there is any – then he favors the race he belongs to. Now doesn’t that make sense? Wouldn’t even a black man say that? Or anyone? He isn’t admitting any racism or that he believes there is any superiority at all. It just appears that way to those listenng to the debate. Lincoln was skilled at his rhetoric.

This is the same thing, but the missed some important words in the middle.

Again, Lincoln had a secret desire to free slaves, but he has to work with the people, most of whom were racist. He can’t just go around reforming everything from day one, or he would experience resistance everywhere and become an ineffective president. Change comes slowly, and he wanted it to progress slowly to his side. He had to employ rhetoric to hide his personal biases versus his official duties.

Actually, the same thing happens during abortion hearings in Congress. Democrats will test Republican nominees to see if they are prolife. Republican judges do the smart thing and don’t reply with their moralistic views, since that isn’t what matters for being a judge. It is only to interpret the Constitution and laws. Only Democrat judges intercalcalate their personal biases, so they only assume that Republicans do likewise.

This is a lot better position than the Democrats. They said “War – Yeek! To hell with the Union.”

To accurately gauge Lincoln’s sentiments, you shouldn’t look to public debates or speeches; you should read the words he writes to friends, like this one

[ul][list]“I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel. And yet I have never understood that the Presidency conferred upon me an unrestricted right to act officially upon this judgment and feeling.”[/ul][/list:u]

Vay, that was a great post. Thanks to you for taking the time to post your views in such a logical, measured way. Appreciated!

[quote=“Gao Bohan”]Perhaps you’re right. Let’s take a look at the definition of liberalism:

Since slavery is the oppose of liberty, then wouldn’t you agree that opposition to slavery is an inherently liberal cause?[/quote]
No, this definition of liberalism is the original European one, which actually means conservative. European liberalism means laissez-faire. American liberalism means leftism, Democrats, and their socialism. Look at this dictionary of definitions. The definition we’re talking about is number one. Conservatism is definition number two politically and number three economically:

encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/ … 1861696491

[ul]1. progressive views: a belief in tolerance and gradual reform in moral, religious, or political matters

  1. POLITICS political theory stressing individualism: a political ideology with its beginnings in western Europe that rejects authoritarian government and defends freedom of speech, association, and religion, and the right to own property

  2. ECONOMICS free-market economics: an economic theory in favor of free competition and minimal government regulation.[/ul]