I think the problem lays in the politicalization of the terms conservative and liberal . The (so called conservatives) think being conservative means being mean to people that are not like they are , cutting spending on social programs, deregulating controls on any one that could do serious harm but regulating who regular people to death.Like who they can sleep with or regulating the forms of birth control women can use. And last but not least Jesus is lord and Jesus will have the last word on all political matters .
I agree progressives do get a little wacky . They are just as guilty of going to the Democrats as the so called conservatives are going to the Republicans .
In my opinion the terms Liberal and Conservative are not opposing . Conservative is a term about spending money.
Liberal is a term about freedoms .Progressive is a term about progress. [/quote]
I am sorry, but I think you are wrong!
I think it is important to separate the terms conservative from conservativist and liberal
Liberal and conservative are rather words that describe attidudes either in single cases or as an character trait. For instance I am conservative when it comes to the welfare state in Norway, wich means I want to preserve it, but it doesnt make me a follower of conservatism( a ideology that in many ways is a sub-ideology of the larger liberalist family of ideologies ). On the other hand my position regarding Gay marriage is liberal since I dont want the government to denie or restrict Homosexuals to marry, But I am not a liberalist because of this.
Further liberal and conservative are not opposed terms, it is more correct IMO to say that restrictive is the opposit of liberal and progressiv is the opposit of conservative, but conservativist can be progressiv in attitude and a liberalist can be restrictive in attitude.
When it comes to Liberalism and conservativism we are talking about ideological traditions that not always have any thing to do with the terms liberal and conservative.
Liberalism is basickly the mother head of all ideologies that promote rule of law, democracy and civil/human rights and it can be argued that both social-liberalism, conservativism, libertarianism and democratic socialism belongs to this tradition one way or the other. To make it simplistic you can put them on a left-right axis to show their differences:
Left: democratic-socialism ( in favor of rule of law, democracy and human rights, but prefer collective measures when it comes to the economy )
Center-left: Social-liberalists. ( in favor of rule of law, democracy and human rights, but wants the state to regulate the market and provide a safty net for the populace )
Center-right: Conservativists. ( in favor of rule of law, democracy and human rights, but
prefer that the state interfere as little as possible in the market, though conservativists often are okay with a safty net and some regulations of the market )
Right: Libertarians. ( in favor of rule of law, democracy and human rights, but prefer that the state dont interfere with the market. They often oppose a safty ned provided by the government )
Thats how I see it anyway.
Edit: Thunderbolt is the poster on this forum that is closest to the conservativist ideology IMO. Most are somewhere between libertarianism and social-liberalism.[/quote]
I think we agree more than disagree. I would label the Dems as more left than the Republicans . I would say labeling the Rep as right would be correct
I think I may have not been as clear as I should with the definition of Liberal and Conservative .I am going back to the origin of the word not what they have become . Take the word conservative some how it acquired a Religious connotation . How did that happen . The new term Social Conservative came about in the last few years and if you are a fiscally conservative and progressive, than you are a liberal because you may believe you should be able to marry any that wants to marry you
I think one of the reasons we disagree is that we have the atlantic ocean between us.
In Norway( and I assume in the non-english parts of the north of europa ) what you call social-conservative we call culturally conservative or just a religous-moralist. What you call a social-liberalist we call a culturally liberal or culturally radical. Social consertvativism and social-liberalism in my countries terminology describes the liberalists and conservativists who are more pragmatic when it comes to the issue of the market and the welfare state, meaning they are not dogmatic free-market proponents as a purist liberalist( what you call a libertarian ) would be.
In essence a conservative is a person who are sceptic to change and especially drastic change even though that person might support the reasons for measures of change. A true conservative would argue that the demolition of the welfare stae would be wrong because it would be a drastic change with consequences we cannot phantom. He would likewise argue against the implementation of a welfare state for the same reason. A conservatives main concern is to preserve the institutions and traditions that we allready have on the basis that they have served us well for so-long and while not perfect we atleast know them. Drastic change on the other hand might have dire consequences therefor we shoudl not seek that unless absolutley necessary. Thats how I understand Conservativism and what today is called conservativism is in my eyes often either regressivism( as in people who want to go back to institutions or traditions that are lost along time ago ), free-market-liberalists, religous-moralists or fiscally-moderates. That said you can also say there excist a specific anglo-american conservatist tradition who wants to preserve the ideal of the constitutional republic or monarchy( depends if they are english or american ).
Hope that made sense.