What makes you a Conservative or a Liberal?

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  1. mintinfo profile image63
    mintinfoposted 10 years ago

    What makes you a Conservative or a Liberal?

    Did you make a choice based on your personal world views and ideals or did you follow the opinions of others based on race, culture, family or friends?


  2. Steel Engineer profile image80
    Steel Engineerposted 10 years ago

    I look at the real world and ignore the media and the subliminal messages in film and television.

  3. lone77star profile image73
    lone77starposted 10 years ago

    I'm neither.

    Such labels are divisive and corrupt.

    I look at each issue and make a judgment based on my own current worldview.

    Labels are for the lazy. Labels are for the egotist. And labels are used by those in power to control. Like hiding their crimes with the label, "conspiracy theorist." And, because people are so full of ego, it works.

  4. Kathleen Cochran profile image75
    Kathleen Cochranposted 10 years ago

    A lot depends on where you are standing on the planet, what part of the country you are from.  I break the pattern because I'm from the South, in an evangelistic religion, have a military background, and have a college education.  But I am not a conservative.  I'm more of a moderate liberal.  Generally, I think, conservatives want as little government involvement as possible in everything.  Liberals want government to keep the playing field as level as possible for everyone.

    1. gmwilliams profile image84
      gmwilliamsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Great answer, I would classify myself as a Liberal Democrat; however,I am against big government.I believe in individual self-determination, responsibioity, and accountability.I 'm for reasonable social and health programs,not socialized health care.

  5. My Esoteric profile image86
    My Esotericposted 10 years ago

    It depends on if you are using the academic meanings or the misused meanings of today.  I am an "active state liberal" which would make me a Lincoln Republican (see Kathleen's comment); having said that, if, somehow, moderate Republicans could regain control of their Party, I would rejoin the liberal wing of it, mainly on fiscal grounds.

    But to answer your question, I believe society has a duty to protect those from individual members who wish to hurt them.

    Most people who call themselves Conservatives aren't, because I don't think they would want to be compared to George Wallace, Jesse Helms, and that guy who wouldn't let Blacks attend a White high school in Arkansas; that latter group of people are Conservatives.  Instead, most people who think of themselves as conservatives are probably thinking more down the lines of George Mason, Richard Henry Lee and other notable "minimal state liberals" who believed in individual liberty and not class structure, as true Conservatives do.  It isn't that MSLs don't want big government, instead, they want miniscule gov't, and from whatever gov't there is, they don't want gov't leveling the playing field in the same way that AMLs do; each philosophy sees "equality" starting from two different points in ones life.  For that matter true, academically defined Conservatives don't believe in equality at all except within classes of people, just not among them.

  6. ChristinS profile image38
    ChristinSposted 10 years ago

    I am completely opposite in ideology politically as my family was for the most part. I choose to base my beliefs in what I experience - not what the media spoon feeds.  The media and our entire system is corrupt. When we stop "taking sides" and start working together we might change it.  Then again, a very large number of people are politically and intellectually lazy and simply repeat what they hear on their favorite networks and never get actually involved in the system at any level.  These people make up the bulk of the voting population and prefer to choose a "team" or a "side" and nothing will make them veer from that.  This is where we have dug ourselves deep into a hole and the powers that be know it.  If you keep the population just lazy and distracted enough and fighting enough amongst themselves, the people will never band together and truly push to change the corrupt system. (Liberals and Conservatives are nearly all corrupt at the national level)

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image84
      Billie Kelpinposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Christin, I personally think it's our inability to detect huge logic flaws in thinking. If you notice a lot of talk radio uses name-calling, circular reasoning, over-generalization, argument from fallacy to deflect real dialog b/c that entertains

    2. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      absolutely, Billie - I agree.

  7. thomasczech profile image42
    thomasczechposted 10 years ago

    I do not consider myself to be a conservative or a liberal, those labels no longer stand for the meaning. Liberal are no longer liberal and conservatives are not conservative to the original meaning. I listen to what all parties are saying and what they are doing, then I filter it all through my mind and vote accordingly. All parties have good and bad, things I believe in and things I do not believe in. Voting is continually becoming more difficult.

  8. carlajbehr profile image85
    carlajbehrposted 10 years ago

    I have been on two campaign committees - one Democratic and one Republician.   I can say for me, it was more about the person and what they stood for than the party.  I think there is too much division in today's politics and we need to look at where we can compromise for the good of society. I am not one for slamming our government whether I agree with the elected official or not.  I do not discuss politics generally, but I can say that I was very conservative for part of my life, but have edged closer to the middle of both as I have aged and realized that I can make my own decisions and don't have to lean toward the views I have always known.  I make my decisions now based on my own personal beliefs and knowledge, but I will not be ignorant should my party win or lose.  Call me a peacemaker, but all the arguing and the fighting in the world doesn't solve issues.  You aren't going to change people's views of things - mostly arguing just causes unnecessary friction.

  9. Life and Luxury profile image86
    Life and Luxuryposted 10 years ago

    I am a conservative, which is based on my deep value for tradition.

  10. NateB11 profile image87
    NateB11posted 10 years ago

    My views on the political, social and economic system are rooted in my view of humanity; which is, that all human beings have intrinsic value and not value based on their performance or non-performance in the economic system; that all human beings deserve care and attention, and without being secure in brain and body, everything falls apart. For there to be wholeness, sanity and health, there must be health all-around; and without this health, of brain, body and in life then the world will have no sanity or health at all.

  11. tsadjatko profile image65
    tsadjatkoposted 10 years ago


    What makes you a Conservative or a Liberal? Good question.
    The differences are not defined by who they are, where they are from or what their stance is on any one issue but how they approach issues. Conservatives and liberals approach almost every issue with completely different philosophies, underlying assumptions, and methods. That's why it's so hard to find genuine compromise between conservatism and liberalism -- because not only are liberals almost always wrong, their solutions almost always make things worse.
    However your question is not what are the differences between conservatives and liberals is it.
    What makes someone a true conservative is usually his/her honest analysis of the facts, history, observed results and understanding of consequences of any one issue to arrive at their conclusion. The facts lead them to their conclusions.
    Today's Liberals are predominantly made of ideologues who try to make the facts fit their preconceived conclusions, they lie or ignore the truth when their view doesn't agree with the facts. Those who are not ideologues but still say they are liberal are for the most part naive, intellectually lazy, or low information voters most of whom fall prey to the ideologues lies and distortions.

    1. AlexDrinkH2O profile image74
      AlexDrinkH2Oposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Outstanding answer in my opinion and so true, especially the last paragraph.

    2. Billie Kelpin profile image84
      Billie Kelpinposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Approach/outlook greatly determine our political leanings.  George Lakoff of Berkeley delineates the orientations as either from  "a strict father" or "nurturing mother" p.o.v. Notice how someone raises a teenager and you'll know his/her politics.

    3. NateB11 profile image87
      NateB11posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Justifying your ideology by calling it practical and objective is one of the oldest and smuggest tricks in the book. Often the underlying assumptions of this ideology are completely impractical, but status quo so acceptable.

    4. tsadjatko profile image65
      tsadjatkoposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Approach and outlook don't make conservatives, they make liberals. Conservatives go where the facts lead, liberals try to fit the facts into their ideology,or in other words their approach and outlook.

  12. profile image0
    Larry Wallposted 10 years ago

    I am neither a liberal or conservative. I am a person who has liberal views on some issues, conservative views on others and moderate views on many issues. Simply stated, I am a citizen of the U.S. (proud of it) who makes his decisions based on the best facts he can find and forming my own conclusion. I do not see how a person can be a conservative or liberal exclusively, because the everything is not so well defined.

    If I have to pick a label, then I am an individual.

  13. Neil Sperling profile image58
    Neil Sperlingposted 10 years ago

    What makes one Liberal or Conservative?

    "simply choose an outside master to follow and ignore listening to your own ethereal awareness. Avoid marching to your own drum beat."

    Do that and you can be either Liberal or Conservative with ease. Just join the divide and conquer flock of sheep..... either way you'll be able to Ba  Ba Ba all you want.


  14. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 10 years ago

    I would not label myself as a Liberal or a Conservative. I go by my convictions and the way that I believe. I certainly would not vote on this premise. I would never vote "down the line" for Conservatives or Liberals. It depends on each individual's beliefs and convictions as to how I vote.

  15. ThompsonPen profile image65
    ThompsonPenposted 10 years ago

    That's an interesting question.
    I think the definitions of the two are dependent on the person, however, both are trying to conserve money, however I think that it's the ideas and principles as to how it's spent/distributed that makes the difference.
    With my dreads and quite liberal ideals (the more I ponder this, I am finding that defining either of these is like defining the word "Ironic"), I am often called a hippie. However, I found myself in an interesting situation where I was at a biker festival, and walking into a conversation where one gentleman was talking politics. We began spouting both sides of the spectrum - one really liberal and the other extremely conservative. However, with both extremes, the arguments came full circle to agree.
    I think that essentially they are the same thing, both wanting to the same thing, just taking different routs to get there.

  16. cebutouristspot profile image75
    cebutouristspotposted 10 years ago

    Personal views and ideas are molded by people around you and your own exposure to society. 

    I believe that each play a role on your outlook

  17. LandmarkWealth profile image66
    LandmarkWealthposted 10 years ago

    If you mean how do you get to the beliefs that you have, I think it is a combination of personal experience, upbringing and education.  For me, my parents were certainly not liberal by the current definition.  But from my personal experiences in life as well as my education/work experience, I became far more conservative than they are in many ways.  Particularly in relation to my views on many issues related to the fiscal aspects of politics, and my views on more practical economic policies.   Yet, when it comes to my personal social values, I am still more conservative than my parents in many ways related to how I live my life and raise my kids.  But more classically liberal/libertarian than they are in terms of not caring what others do on their own time when compared to my upbringing.  Frankly, I don't think many people understand the definition of what we refer to today as a Conservative or Liberal.  At the core, most Conservative citizens are simply interested in limiting the role of gov't in our lives.  Most liberals are interested in seeing gov't take a more active role in many places.  And most politicians are simply interested in empowering themselves at the expense of their constituents.   

    However, anyone who is "following" the opinions of others is a fool.  You should form your own opinions based on what you see and how you interpret that information.  It is fine to listen and study the ideas of others in order to gain some perspective of differing ideas and views.  But you should ultimately be forming your own opinions.  Sadly, our academic institutions today all too often produce "educated" graduates who can regurgitate what they have been taught.  Yet, they very often have difficulty interpreting the information they have been taught.  Problem solving and critical thinking skills seem very weak to me among many people.  Perhaps that's why we don't graduate very many engineers and mathematicians these days.

  18. profile image0
    rmcmillenposted 10 years ago

    In reference to this question, I’ve seen some say it was neither religion, race, culture, friends, family, media, social standing or any one of a handful of things that caused them to sway to the left or to the right. I’ve seen some say they simply follow their convictions and some say it’s a matter of personal philosophy in which case they some time swing one way and some time swing another. I’ve seen a whole host of rhyme and reason to these answers, and while that’s all well and good…. I personally I think you need all these aspects when deciding which end of the political spectrum you land on.

    Race? Religion? Culture? Family? Friends? Philosophy? Social Standing? We all need these things in life and whether we like it or not, all these things come together to have a fairly big say in the person you become over the years and that person you become has control over who it is you vote for as time goes by. However, there is one more piece of the puzzle if you want my opinion.

    While some claim to stay away from the media, I think that in order to know where you stand on this issue and in order to make an informed decision on who to vote for one must first be open to bettering themselves through the process of learning.

    And how do we learn? Well……… many ways, but one of which is reading. It is all well and good to stay away from the talking heads of Fox News and MSNBC, but if you read up on the internet about a candidate, their history or their stance on anything under the sun…. you’ve used media to become better informed. If you so much as read an article in the newspaper about the government shutdown or “Obamacare”….. guess what? You used the media to better yourself………

    So you see? I say again…….. we need ALL these things to ever truly know if those around us or even ourselves are Liberal or Conservative.

  19. AlexDrinkH2O profile image74
    AlexDrinkH2Oposted 10 years ago

    I became a conservative in my late teens, and I arrived at that point due to a variety of factors: intelligence, observation of the world around us, education, a strong appreciation of the lessons of history, and plain old common sense.  I do not even understand the "liberal" mindset and, frankly, I don't care to.

    1. Life and Luxury profile image86
      Life and Luxuryposted 10 years agoin reply to this


    2. profile image0
      rmcmillenposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      All that and much more had to do with my becoming a liberal in my mid teens.

    3. ThompsonPen profile image65
      ThompsonPenposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I could say I became liberal for the same reasons

  20. Ericdierker profile image46
    Ericdierkerposted 10 years ago

    What a great question. It requires some good self thought. And what great answers by good thinking people. Me I am both. What causes it is usually an either or concept. If someone suggests a crazy knee jerk change in the status quo I go all conservative. If there is a grave injustice that needs to be fixed I go all liberal on you.
    So perhaps I am neither?? It first boils down to my visceral reaction to something and then I try to evaluate to determine which route to follow. I am all that liberal when it comes to homeless and children -- we need to change things and make them better. I go all conservative when it comes to nature -- we need to do our best to leave it alone and conserve what we have. (some say that is liberal, but that just shows the confusion and labeling)
    I suppose I live at the address shown in the signs. Some kind of crossroads.
    I think I follow race, culture and friends when it seems like if that is a view or ideal that fits a situation. But I admit I have followed bosses just to keep my job. I kind of go the opposite of family. Perhaps just rebellion against upbringing forced acceptance of notions.
    So I hope what makes me conservative or liberal is the idea being put forth.
    When I am all sedate and content and lazy i like keeping things the way they are, conservative. When I am antsy and anxious and full of energy I want to change the world, liberal.
    It would seem then to me that both internal and external forces create in me what I am on a piece by piece basis. Oops, maybe that makes me wishy washy. Is there a party for that?

    1. ChristinS profile image38
      ChristinSposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Yes the party of critical thinking wink of which you'll find precious few in DC these days I might add.  Like everything else nothing is black/white there is a lot of grey area and that's where progress happens.

  21. Billie Kelpin profile image84
    Billie Kelpinposted 10 years ago

    My mother made me a liberal (as in social justice oriented). My mother would recite poetry and sing songs, over and over to me in bed at night that had the message of social justice.  The one line that plays through my psyche is from her singing "An Evening Prayer"  ("If I have turned aside from want or pain...Dear Lord, forgive.")     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA42JRaGNJM 
    My mother never questioned anyone's need, she just met it.  She had very little, but she would tip waitresses well no matter what the service because she understood their need. She created my anti-war orientation by singing sad songs with lyrics like: "My sister and I remember still the tulip garden by an old Dutch Mill and the home that was all our own until...but we don't talk about that..." 
    My mother was about 12 during the Great Depression. Her family who once owned all kinds of musical instruments (apparently an indication they had done well) then needed to go on welfare.  She and my Aunt Marion were embarrassed to have to bring home the groceries "from the county" in a wagon, but she understood the need for government and was grateful that her family didn't slip through the cracks.  She was embarrassed to go to gym class because her mother and father couldn't afford a gym suit, so she quit school at 16, a great waste because she had skipped a grade or two and would have graduated with honors, I believe. 
    Never once in her whole life did my mother express the hackneyed statement that people should "pull themselves up by the bootstraps" or that they were cheating the system.  She was fully aware that there are those who take advantage in life, but never presumed she could know who those people were, nor did she care.  She believed in the goodness of the many. 
    My mother didn't have a "bleeding heart;"  she simply had a great heart.

    1. Kathleen Cochran profile image75
      Kathleen Cochranposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      She sounds a lot like mine.  In my book, you were raised right.

    2. Billie Kelpin profile image84
      Billie Kelpinposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Kathleen, thank you so much for that.  I needed that today smile  (PS, coincidentally, my mother wanted to name me "Kathleen".)

  22. profile image0
    golpoposted 10 years ago

    1.i use to take input from suggestion of my friends, family, culture etc.
    2 give all of them a good thinking, judgement and
    3 Act on the basis of the outcome of step two.
    It can not be said specifically which is liberal and which is conservative.

  23. mintinfo profile image63
    mintinfoposted 10 years ago

    Great variety of answers. Its funny to see how Liberals would admit to having some conservative views but conservatives would never do the opposite even though we all function by both depending on the circumstance. The three main circumstances that determines ones overall views; financial, Social, and religious can be broken down into many sub categories,

    Financial circumstances involve how we get and manage money since the society in which we exist functions on Capitalism. It involves ones willingness to make the sacrifices in terms of education to prepare ourselves to become self reliant. So naturally When we see others not managing our money properly we get upset. Anyone can be motivated to succeed. It doesn't take a particular political view. It is the obstacles to achieving that frustrate many people and turn them in other directions.

    Social or Civic since many people do not like the word social involves things such as; Gay Rights, Gay marriage, Gun control, Environmentalism, Abortion, and Family values and many more. It doesn't matter how conservative we are we all know someone in one of the critical wedge issues categories such as Gay Rights. Conservatives tend to want to sweep them under the rug while Liberals acknowledge and work on ways to accommodate minority groups in society.

    Religion is thought by many to be the basis of morality and no society can function without it but reality is revealing otherwise. There are many non religious people who function by strict morals. They value family and community and they don't believe that homosexuality is a choice or that women that got pregnant after being raped could of prevented it in any way.     

    By now I guess you can tell that I am more Liberal minded than conservative. I do have conservative views on many things but since I am non religious I am forced by choice to seek answers in reality and the consensus of ideas that knowledge provides. I believe that humanity did not begin in perfection, nor is it seeking perfection. It is simply expanding and seeking ease of existence. Since no one can stop that expansion we all have to deal with the growing pains.

  24. Suhail and my dog profile image80
    Suhail and my dogposted 10 years ago

    I was a conservative in the 80s and as a student worked in electoral campaigns for Ronald Reagan and G. Bush Sr. in their campaign against Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro in NYC. I remained a conservative till George Bush Jr. came to power.

    I am a Liberal now for a very simple reason. Conservatives of any country and religion have given us wars and hatred against each other. Islamists gave us Talibans and Al Kaidah who have mercilessly killed thousands of innocents. Jewish people gave us Zionists, who consider themselves to be God's Chosen People and have inflicted terrible amount of atrocities on Palestinians. Hindus in India have given us Saffron Clad hate mongers killing Muslims and Christians in that country and war mongering against neighbouring Pakistan. In the USA we were handed Neo-Cons, who lied to us on Weapons of Mass Destruction and led us into a war that revaged many countries resulting in the death of thousands of innocents. The Neo-Cons / conservatives of neighbouring Canada, of UK, and of Australia fully supported the heinous crimes of our own Neo-Cons.

    These conservatives have turned this world into hell for all the rest of us. If you still support conservatives, only your God may help you, because I believe you are beyond redemption.

    1. My Esoteric profile image86
      My Esotericposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Spoken like a true convert, lol.  Glen Beck went the other way.  But you can wrap up what you said in one word that describes the kind of fundamentalism you are talking about ... intolerance.  If you want a second word ... righteousness.

    2. NateB11 profile image87
      NateB11posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Well said, Suhail. Doctrinal, backward, fundamentalists are what creates violence and oppression. And they want things fair for those who have power and advantage which leaves everyone out of the equation.


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