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Liberals, Guns Gays and Green

Updated on February 7, 2016

A Hammer meets a Nail.

You have heard the old saw, that if your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail. I'd like to turn that about. If you see lots of nails sticking up, you start looking around for a hammer. If you see a problem, obviously, you want to fix it. Liberals see lots of problems that conservatives don't notice.

The question is why. Why are conservatives oblivious to the problems so obvious to liberals? Or, if they do see the problems, why don't conservatives seem to really care much about them? Liberals see a problem and want to fix it, but are constantly hamstrung by conservatives who block reform.

Liberals Care More Than Conservatives

What do honest, forthright Democrats yearn for? Security, fair-play, a green and healthy environment, honest politicians, clean streets, good housing for all, more income equality, reduced poverty, lower crime and a gentler, more humane justice system. Well, it's a long list, and I am just getting started, throwing out ideas. How about better treatment for gays and other minorities? Fewer guns, and more tightly regulated so bad people don't get them? Include respect and equality for women. Great schools.

Most of these sound like good things. Things even most conservatives would go along with. Conservatives, at least American-style conservatives, are uninterested in gun control, and not terribly interested in gay rights. Other than those two, conservatives can and do get behind all of the rest.

So why do liberals and conservatives part company, if our desires seem so similar?

What I am NOT talking about!

I'd like to make a distinction. When I am discussing conservatives and liberals here, I am talking the man-on-the-street versions of each. Politicians are a breed apart. Most so-called conservative politicians care little about anything but being reelected, lording it over citizens, and getting richer. Just exactly like their liberal colleagues. Both are a pestilence, boils on the ass of society. With very few exceptions.

The second group of ass-boils is the fringe elements of both movements. The wacky liberals who blow things up, parade with puppets, poop in public, hold 'rallies' at political opponent's homes and such-like socially retrograde activities. And their mirror-images on the conservative side. Every group has a 10% (my guess) fringe that is simply loony. These loons are also not the subject of this article.

Why? Why do 'They' do it?

So, back to our kind, enlightened home-boy citizen liberals and conservatives, our neighbors and friends. How do they differ? Why, conservatives wonder, do liberals vote for politicians who want nothing more than to stop business dead, impoverish everyone, and release violent criminals into society while denying us the ability to defend ourselves? Why do they pursue policies that cause income inequality? Why do they defend our abysmal schools and force us to pay for them, educate our kids in them, while elite liberals send their kids to private schools with armed guards? WHY? Why do liberal voters choose these doofs? (Separate question: why do Republicans vote for the doofs they do?!)

Gay Rights

Conservatives are a bit confused by the whole issue, really. There just are not that many gays, a few percent of the population, and most of them don't seem that badly treated. It just doesn't look like a big enough problem to spend a lot of time worrying about. What's the big fuss? Other problems seem a lot bigger. Can't we fix our energy troubles first? Or our tax policy, or bad roads and schools, or whatever else it is conservatives want to think about?

But gay rights looms large for liberals. Why? First, it's a simple matter of equal rights, justice. It's a continuation of the long fight for womens' rights, and racial justice. Gays are the next group up to bat, so to speak. No question that there are honest roots to liberal concern for gay rights.

Democrats see this problem, and conservatives don't. Now, here is the interesting question, and gets back to my hammer and nail analogy. What is the 'nail sticking up' that liberals see, and conservatives don't? Simple, really. It is because gays are in trouble where liberals live. In cities.

Liberalism is an urban religion, because cities are where the problems are. Cities are dangerous, dirty places, where racial, ethnic and all other hatreds and injustices breed. Take a look at that familiar red and blue map. Conservatives dominate in the nice places. Liberals live in cities. Conservatives are mainly small-town, suburban and rural people, who have clean air, green fields, low crime rates, and trustworthy neighbors.

2112 Election By County

Creative Commons License. The creator of this map did not approve this use.
Creative Commons License. The creator of this map did not approve this use. | Source

Life in the Big City

Liberals live in concrete canyons. 'Nature' is Central Park, a few acres of dusty, bedraggled green surrounded by streets filled with strangers. This ugly, unnatural environment breeds suspicion. Humans are designed (or evolved, if you prefer) to live in small groups of closely related people. Instinctively we see strangers as potential threats. We know consciously that the great majority of strangers are not threats. Most people are pretty decent, actually. But our primitive brain, our ancient instinct is to view strangers with a certain degree of caution.

Conservatives live in neighborhoods, small towns, rural areas, and suburbs filled with people not too different from themselves. It isn't hard to trust people, since we generally know them, or at least know of them. When a New Yorker walks down the street, he can walk all day and not see anyone he knows. Everyone is an unknown element. Probably not a problem, but potentially so. It isn't a conscious concern, except in the paranoid.

Since humans are tribal, they tend to defend turf. This is particularly true of young males. If a stranger, or, a strange-appearing person enters your turf, you attack them. Sound extreme? Think I am exaggerating? Let me ask you, are there any neighborhoods in your home town where you would hesitate to walk the streets at night? How about during the day? I can honestly answer no. I can walk anywhere, anytime in my home town. If you answer yes, you are probably living in a town or city that voted Democrat in the last election.

Gays can honestly fear being attacked in even the most liberal cities. Don't believe me? Read this:

And this:

And this:

And view this:

Now, I stated above that your average Democrat/liberal is a decent person. Decent people don't want gays to live in fear, to be attacked, to be beaten up just for being gay. Most conservatives feel the same. But for conservatives, living where day to day no one is in fear of being attacked, the problem just doesn't feel real. It doesn't hit emotionally, in the gut. For good liberals, it does. Many liberals have gay friends who have told them stories. I've had such gay friends, when I lived in a city.

Where I live now, small town Illinois, violence of any kind is so rare that every single incident makes the local papers. If a gay man were beaten up here because he was gay, it would be a huge local scandal. No doubt many look down on gays here, and I am not saying the lifestyle is much appreciated by your run-of-the-mill rural folk. Just that, in urban areas gays are much more likely to be denied that most basic human right, the freedom to walk down the street without fear of violence.

For the alternate view, read this LA Times article. It leads with several cases of rural anti-gay violence. But please read the WHOLE article, and see if it doesn't end up supporting my thesis.


Wild About the Environment

Liberals are wild about the environment. Whether it is global warming, extinction of species, loss of green space, liberals are very concerned. Conservatives are concerned too, but less obviously so. So why the difference in intensity? Simple. Liberals live in cities, where there is no nature! As I said above, 'nature' for a city-bred person is a park. A place where wild animals are limited to birds and a few vermin like raccoons and rats. Every single tree that is cut down is a tragedy, a loss. Liberals only see large animals in zoos; liberals only see sad animals.

By the way, this includes liberals who leave the city to visit wilder areas. They carry their opinions with them, and don't update them with new information. Concrete walls gird the limits of their minds. Urbanites view the world as a city with small green spaces between. Of course, consciously city people know this isn't true, but again, what counts is the gut. While conservatives lack the imagination to feel much concern for gays, liberals cannot see the real world outside their cities. The green world. Flyover country. That phrase just about sums up the liberal experience with nature. They fly over it going between one gray, concrete jungle and the next, and don't feel the vast open lands between. Occasionally they visit a national park.

Conservatives live where it is green. Animals abound, even large, wild animals. Around here we have large herds of deer, only an hour from the borders of Chicago. Sightings of predators, mountain lions and wolves, are becoming disturbingly common. Coyotes yip at night. We care about nature, but don't want our kids eaten by cougars (I am exaggerating a bit here, for effect, but a friend of mine saw a cougar near his home JUST LAST MONTH!!). We don't want our fields and gardens destroyed by an overpopulation of deer, or our lambs killed by coyotes. We hunt. We have our own blinders, obviously, just different ones than liberals.


Liberals hate and fear guns, many of them. Why? Pretty silly, isn't it, to fear a hunk of iron and wood? Shouldn't it be the person holding the gun who is feared? Why the maniacal fear of guns? Cities, where guns are typically banned or so tightly controlled that only the rich and politically connected can legally carry one, are dangerous places. Men and children are murdered every day of the year. In Chicago, where guns are very tightly regulated, over 500 people were murdered last year.

Conservatives mainly live in safe, peaceful places where guns are rarely used to harm another human being. They may be used for hunting, or target shooting, and they make a good topic of conversation. Shooting allows moments of bonding between fathers and their kids. The main negative connotations of guns in conservative areas are, one, that big city people use them to kill each other, and two, once in a while a neighbor will use a gun to commit suicide. It happens, and everyone grieves. But most of us figure that a sad person could have figured out another way to do it if they hadn't had a gun, so we don't blame the weapon, just as we don't blame the car if someone dies in an accident.

So, for liberals, guns are objects of loathing, because where liberals live, life is dangerous. Guns look like a problem. Take away the guns, and the problem goes away. Young men who wish to kill other young men would suddenly be powerless if guns were banned. Pretty damned simplistic thinking, but, there you are. It is easier than trying to understand the problem of violence, or to face the reality that one of your neighbors could be a dangerous nut. And nuts congregate in cities.

The simple fact is that liberals cannot allow themselves to consider the man behind the gun. They live in densely populated cities. Unknown men are quite literally everywhere, every time the liberal steps outdoors. Since no one can remain constantly alert without becoming a paranoid, it is simply emotionally easier to blame the gun than to see the man. Mental and emotional blinders allow one to go about ones life in relative emotional peace, displacing fear and anger onto safely distant (and non-violent) conservatives.

Income Inequality

This is a huge one for liberals, because in the cities dominated by liberals, the poor have been driven down so far that they own virtually nothing, earn nothing, have no private resources to build better lives upon. All the while the liberal super rich, in their mansions and top-floor apartments in the good parts of town, lord over them. Inequality is severe, and getting worse. It is a huge problem, and good liberals want to fix it.

Conservatives don't much notice this problem, because in the suburbs and rural areas where conservatives live, there just is not as wide a gap, and the 'super rich' guy, is probably your neighbor who is the local doctor or lawyer. He has a nice boat, and vacations in nicer destinations than I get to go to. Our kids go to the same school and we meet at football games and shoot the shit. He just isn't that different from me, even though I, by income, am lower middle class. My kids get to beat his kids on the SAT.

Flip the Coin, or, Where I Exaggerated

I have deliberately exaggerated, painting an excessively rosy picture of the places conservatives live, and a dark one of liberal cities. I haven't yet mentioned the poor rural areas, the trailer-park rednecks and other less-than-ideal items. There are plenty of very poor rural areas. I didn't go into the fact that some Southern states which have in recent years been voting Republican, have very high murder rates.

How do conservatives view these exceptions? Well, we consider these as examples of either the liberal disease spilling over into our areas, or evidence of the results of many prior generations of rule by the Democratic Party. We consider that Democrats create poverty, and the more suspicious of us believe that this is exactly what their politicians want. Please note that while Mitt Romney won Georgia and Louisiana, two rather violent Southern states, President Obama won New Orleans and Atlanta, the large and very violent central cities of those states.

Liberals Honestly Care

Liberals honestly care so intensely about the problems in the cities, because the problems are so severe. If you live in a dark, gray place where you risk a beating or death if you simply walk down the wrong street, you will demand solutions to these problems. If your schools are decaying and the poor walk around shoeless, good, kind, thoughtful liberals demand solutions. So sad that the problems themselves were caused by the good, kind and thoughtful liberal grandfathers of current liberals.

Why, you might ask, are European and Japanese cities so much safer than US cities? Simple, really. Those cities are far more ethnically and culturally homogenous. They are, emotionally, more like US small towns. People's behavior and attitudes are more predictable. A Japanese, walking down the streets of Tokyo will see plenty of foreigners, of course, but they will be far outnumbered by fellow Japanese.

Americans are more diverse, and more mobile than Europeans and Japanese. To find a good example of a non-US city with troubles similar to ours, look to South Africa, with its ethnic and racial dysfunction.


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    • bn9900 profile image

      Clayton Hartford 

      5 years ago from Alger WA

      Why is it that liberals think that slamming their agenda down everyone's throat, Did we really need to shake up the country for DOMA and less than one percent of the population who are misguided, if it is a choice, which I believe they are wrong. I am as straight as an arrow, and keep my business in the bedroom, why cant they? Instead they have to redefine marriage, prance around in Lord knows what at the local "Gay Pride Parade"., and at the Gay bars and such. Do we have "Straight" Bars or Straight pride Parades? No because we know where to keep it. Liberals really are the crutch of this country and it will break us.

    • tmbridgeland profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      My point on income inequality, is that it just doesn't matter as much in conservative areas. One, it isn't as extreme, and, two, rich and poor have access to the same public resources. My kids and the doctors kids get essentially the same education. Not true in liberal areas, where the rich very carefully segregate their kids from poor kids. My rich friends don't worry that their kids will get beat up or robbed or worse in school. Plus, we go to the same churches and participate in the same civic events. His wealth benefits me, and not grudgingly, not forced through high taxation. He 'taxes' himself.

      I am more conservative than liberal, but not really in either camp politically. Liberals can not 'win' because their political philosophy is the result of a mental disease, brought on by overcrowding in big cities. It is the result of their fear and distrust of their fellow citizens. Ultimately they end up consuming their own societies. Detroit is the natural end point of liberal policies.

    • bzirkone profile image


      6 years ago from Kansas

      I kept thinking I was mistaking this as serious when it is satire.. then realizing you actually are serious and then back again. Some of your comments explained a little of that and ultimately, I think the question you are asking is, how we did get so divided in our political ideology.

      Obviously, the broad brush descriptions of liberals and conservatives favors liberals in your estimation (of right and wrong ideology) and comes close to outright bigotry in the descriptions of conservatives.

      You did not actually finish your thought on income inequality and why it is bad.. and why it is a reality. If my neighbor is a doctor, but my kid beats his kid on SAT scores.. is it all equal then? Have I upped him in some satisfying way that levels the playing field?

    • tmbridgeland profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Denmarkguy, thanks for the kind words! I am looking forward to your article. Hope you post something here as well as on your blog. I followed you, so I will see if something pops up.

    • tmbridgeland profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      ehealer, I don't think we can apply rational, dictionary definitions to the words 'liberal' and 'conservative'. Liberals for example, are extremely security-conscious. Anything that would change their traditional perks or benefits, paid for by the government, scares them silly. So they are, literally, violently change-averse. They like to throw around concepts like 'the precautionary principle', which basically means no change, anywhere, any time. That is why we so often see 'liberal' political rallies turn to violence.

    • Denmarkguy profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 

      6 years ago from Port Townsend

      This is a very interesting and thoughtful article-- good read! I think you succeeded well, and the length of the piece is totally warranted given the complexity of the issue... and frankly, a breath of fresh air here on HP where there are so many "fluffy 500-word soundbytes!"

      I'm certain there are a myriad reasons for "what ails us" as a society, and they extend far beyond liberal vs. conservative.

      I started to write a much longer comment... but then realized I was writing an article (which has been on my mind for a few months) in response to YOUR article, so I'm going blog about this, instead.

      Thank you for making me think, this morning.

    • eHealer profile image


      6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Traditionally, as a philosophy, conservatives are traditionalists and don't like change. Liberals are progressive and deal with change better. Although we shouldn't completely define ourselves and values by our political affiliations, we should all be concerned for the civil rights of others and not what our taste dictates. Great hub!

    • tmbridgeland profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Hi Becky. You might find my Hub 'Fear of Death' relevant.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I have noticed that they are so open minded that they cannot accept that there might be another outlook. They are totally blinded by their rose colored glasses. By the way, I am neither liberal or conservative. I just have an open mind and make it up for myself after I have done the research. The one who went ballistic and called me names for wanting to allow people to hunt their meat, is not a vegetarian either. I guess it is alright to kill a cow or a pig but not Bambi. Silliness if you ask me. The deer is better for you, they are not loaded with antibiotics, hormones and fat.

    • tmbridgeland profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Hi Becky Katz, I tend to agree with you, current 'liberals' aren't very liberal. It always seems to come down to them banning or controlling something. Conservatives have a case of the same disease, for example, silly drug laws, but the real controllers are the liberals.

    • lilyfly profile image

      Lillian K. Staats 

      6 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

      Interesting, and why I'm neither Republican or Democrat. I feel parties have cult status, and it impairs individual thinking processes, which is about as unAmerican as it can get.... lily

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      That is contradictory. You can not allow all the same choices and then FORCE them to do anything. That is just contradictory. And I believe that conservatives are more about freedom of choice.Liberals just want to ban everything. Guns because they don't like them, eating meat because they won't, smoking because they don't like it and it is bad for you, God because they do not believe. Conservatives want to do it all, they just don't want to hear about what you do in your bedroom.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think anyone who is Liberal or coined more left wing is concerned more about free will. We tend to think that limiting people is a threat to anyone’s free will, while the other believes that changes that effect their free will is a threat to there existence, real or not real. In any argument the factual argument is usually destroyed by the emotional argument. Protecting the emotional argument seldom makes sense if the problem is a real one we are avoiding. Sometimes free will is decided by the argument that choice does not regard what is right or wrong. We live in purgatory and we have not found a way to allow those seeking Heaven or Hell a side of the street. To say that any common sense on debates of equality, greed and many issues where choice is not an issue simply becomes ignored by ignorance. Excellent HUB, it shows how equal we are but divided by our approach in recognizing and resolving problems. Currently the solution is to avoid arguments based on factual information, even if its scientific. Ideas that do not allow all the same choices that protect individual choices and rights. Then most of all forcing those to accept the choices they made.

    • WillStarr profile image


      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I don't think conservatives are concerned about any of the three in themselves. I don't care what liberals think of my owning a gun, I don't care what people do behind closed doors, and I don't care if someone wants to drive an electric car.

      I am, however, greatly concerned with the agenda of banning guns, redefining marriage, and forcing a 'green' agenda on an unwilling nation.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Interesting Hub and viewpoint -- as an independent conservative I would beg to differ that conservatives are "uninterested in gun control" as most of us are very interested. As to being uninterested in gay rights -- well, there's a lot of hugely important problems in our country today and who's sleeping with whom just isn't way up on my list of Big Deals. This Hub leaves a lot of food for thought -- and thank you for sharing it with us! Best/Sis

    • tmbridgeland profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Hi Barefootfae. I think you are on to something. Who should we choose as our model or ideal type? I suggest Kim Kardashian.

    • Barefootfae profile image


      6 years ago from Skye

      Oh this is very simple....

      We should all think and act alike.

      Individualism is the problem I get from reading this.

      That's why we need some really radical change and those who are throwbacks and don't want to "homogenize" are at the center of all the troubles.

      Maybe re-education??

    • tmbridgeland profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Hello ib, thanks for taking the time to comment at length. I agree about the length of this Hub, and the scattered approach. It was a hard one to write and to figure out what to put in and leave out. Maybe I didn't hit the sweet spot.

      The issues you mention, tax policy etc, are important, but not the point of this Hub. I am mainly here just trying to thrash out for myself some of the roots of the differences between conservatives and liberals. I meet plenty of both, and plenty of fine people who disagree on some very basic points of social policy. I am interested in why good people disagree so starkly.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      I am sorry but this hub was difficult to follow and impossible to find a conclusion worthy of all the words in it.

      Dividing the country by liberal and conservative, and by city and not city is the problem.

      The issues that you brought up are social issues and government is ill equipped to solve them.

      The difference between liberal and conservative politics disappears when it comes to taking advantage of the people.

      The Federal Income Tax System was instigated by Democrats, but in its almost one hundred years, both parties have taken advantage of it. This tax system is the cause of the major division in the country today. But it is looked at indirectly through the marginal tax brackets and the rich versus the poor.

      The solution for equality in paying taxes is not to bracket it by wealth. Everyone should pay the same percentage on their taxes, like you do when you pay sales tax. Or even when you pay capital gains taxes.

      So lets abolish the Federal Income Tax System and replace it with a one size fits all National Sales Tax. A percentage X of a $100,000 item is more tax than of a $1,000 item. It is in fact, one hundred times more.

      As far as the equality rights, why didn't we have a female vice president in 2008 or 2012 when the liberals won? The percentage of women outnumber the men, and the gays are probably outnumbered by the illegal aliens.

      As for the gays, they are different than heterosexuals, and trying to make the two equal is impossible. Yes they are both human beings, but they have different goals that should be pursued for them, and not merged with heterosexuals.

      If gender doesn't matter, then why do we still separate public restrooms by gender?

      As for the green, there is no real movement by the liberals, or the conservatives.

      What the liberal/conservative division has caused in politics is a gridlocked congress that can only more left or right, but rarely forward, and many times backwards.

      We The People, no longer exists in the US.

    • tmbridgeland profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Hi WillStarr. Sure, but why?

    • WillStarr profile image


      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Our differences are based on our moral standards and beliefs.

      Liberal standards accept and embrace what conservatives view as sexual perversions, while conservatives accept and embrace a right to keep and bear arms that liberals view as obscene.

      I see no mystery. We just have vastly different moral standards.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      This is interesting. I recently had someone call me a neanderthal and uncivilized because I dared to stand up for not banning all guns. I pointed out that people who are not rich hunt to help subsidize their food. She was highly upset that I would even think about shooting the Little Animals. I guess she would rather see people starve. I also pointed out to her that if people did not hunt and keep the wild animal population down, it could cause them to starve to death in the winter when the forage was not good. I am still a neanderthal, nobody civilized would shoot the LITTLE ANIMALS. She has never seen them starving to death or she would be out there shooting them herself. I have seen it and it is not pretty. I have been out there dumping hay so they didn't starve, where was she? Safe in her nice house, locked in with the heater running. I have noticed that a lot of liberals do not think the subject through and they will never listen to you tell them what the situation really is like. Their rose colored glasses will not go to clear.

    • tmbridgeland profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Why, thanks gmwilliams! This was hard to write, as it is so easy to exaggerate and make an argument ridiculous. I am not really sure if I succeeded.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      I am a New York Liberal and voted this UP. You have presented a very intelligent and eloquent hub. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Will share this hub with my followers.


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