What separates liberalism from conservatism in current political debates?
The dirtiest campaign in living memory is underway. The only thing separating the battling partisans now is the color of the mud.
Furthermore, the terms liberalism and conservatism (let's as well include liberalism's sanitized substitute word, progressivism) are virtually useless. Both have been so smeared by propagandists associating feelings and trained responses with them we cannot take either seriously when spoken in public discourse. A good argument can be made that Americans who today call themselves "liberal" are in fact the conservatives, i.e. those working to preserve the status quo, where those we call "conservative" are the liberals, i.e. those trying to achieve a new order. It is best to attempt to avoid using the terms.
There nonetheless are basic differences in the world views of the left and the right. That in itself is a lengthy topic. A few of the leading ones, however, are individualism vs. collectivism, an orientation toward due process vs. a focus on outcomes, a reliance on the concept of free markets vs. faith in statism. We ought to be talking more about this, but in the midst of a nasty campaign it is not going to happen.
I like the world view part. Dr. George Lakoff Berkeley Linguistics Prof.describes the two factions according to a familiar methaphor. Republicans ( or Conservatives) in general fit the "strict father" paradigm and Democrats, the "nurturing mother"
If I understand your question correctly, liberalism is radically different from conservatism especially in the current political debates. Conservatism, nowadays, is far more polarized than ever. Most conservatives believe deeply in preventing marriage equality, a woman's right to choose and even how to define rape (as seen in the recent news with Todd Akin.) In the past, conservatism meant limited government and a more religious response to social issues. It did not however translate to denying basic rights to women, the gay community or minorities. Clearly, conservatism in the current political debates is in favor of voter surpression and fear tactics such as claiming the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated our government (Michelle Bachman.)
Liberalism, on the other hand, stands in opposition to this radicalism defending the rights and equal treatment of women, minorities and the middle class. In this way, Liberalism really stands for leveling the playing field and allowing each individual the opportunity to achieve their individual goals and success in the US.
we got the same take on civil rights frankly who are they they want to control us to the bones ! Freedom for them and slavery for us disguised in democracy ... look how they try to stop some from voting it is even an open strategy!
altruiism steming from the ability to put oneself in another's shoes
Iit is morcivil rights for women and minorities and purpose of government because the size wont be that different the purpose will:taking care of people (sometimes too much)or enslaving lower classes shamelessly and exploiting them to the bones! I agree with getting back to work but firmly not in conditions that will pauperise people even more. That idea that people don't want to work or have better life through work doesn't apply to all minorities or single mothers! It get scarier when an old man plays crazy professor and redefines rape and how pregnancy happens...and how much control we ladies have over the reproductive system inside! I see married women get pregnant regularly and single ladies get legitimately raped ...and men get our jobs while we are kept and controlled. ok when does the burka come?
Liberalism is basically the desire to take care of everyone's daily needs so that they can eventually become so dependent that they can be controlled by government. This way, the needy become more needy and keep voting for those who give them what they need. Achievement means less dependence on governement and must therefore be punished with higher taxes and fees.
Conservatism is based upon the premise that everyone should provide for themselves and their own family, which means less government intrusion and control over a person's daily life. It also relies upon less spending and taxation, which leaves the money in the pockets of those who earned it to spend as they please. There is no punishment for success and achievement.
It basically comes down to your socioeconomic status. Liberalism seems to tend to favor policies for the middle and lower economic rungs. Conservatism tends to favor the top of the food chain.
Now, a lot will be said about how liberals want to control the population, when most of the legislation that will be more intrusive to individuals is being proposed by conservatives.
The answer to the question is based on your view of Big Business. I personally want my government to be big enough to stand between me and Big Business. Conservatives want government to be smaller in order for Big Business to be more profitable.
Ironically, as more of the country becomes more moderate, the far right has become increasingly zealous.
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