We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, December 23. 2015
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Especially when you are young it is sooooo easy to blame others for your mistakes. You bump a car while parking and it was the other persons fault for parking too close to the line. It is sooooo soothing to our egos to place blame elsewhere. Part of growing up is to be more honest with yourself. I tell my kids and grandkids when they do this; even if you can't help yourself and you blurt out that 'it wasn't my fault it was his fault because...' at least be honest with yourself and examine and understand what went wrong so you don't make the same mistake again. It would be better of course to not ever play the 'not my fault' card but at least be honest with yourself. Problems can't get fixed, mistakes can't be corrected if we simply lie about the cause of the problem.
I remember my first grade teacher correcting me when I had told her, "My paper tore." She said that I should say, "I tore my paper." I see now that this may have been the root of my conservatism!
A major difference between the Right and the Left concerns the way each seeks to improve society. Conservatives believe that the way to a better society is almost always through the moral improvement of the individual -- by each person doing battle with his or her own weaknesses and flaws.
Except that's not true, of course. Many conservatives advocate government intrusion in the social sphere to enforce "moral improvement".
One important consequence of this Left-Right distinction is that those on the Left are far more preoccupied with politics than those on the Right... That’s why whenever the term “activist” is used, we almost always assume that the term refers to someone on the Left.
Again, that is incorrect. There are many on the political Right who are very involved in politics, such as anti-abortion activists.
Zach with all due deference to your opinion I think you are wrong and do not understand the problem. For a pro-abortionist abortion is simply birth control and a woman's right. I will accept that some do indeed think a little deeper than that but are still OK with it and believe the negatives of abortion are outweighed by the positive benefit to the woman and they typically cite the example of rape induced pregnancy.
But for those who are opposed to abortion they cannot separate themselves from the simple and unescapable fact that abortion is murder. That there might be some positive benefit to some women who seek abortion cannot change this. Abortion is murder and worse it is murder of a tiny defenseless baby. Calling it a fetus or a bunch of cells doesn't change this.
To you and many on the left this is "government intrusion" while ironically you are happy with and insist on taking the wealth from people who earned it to give it to people who not only didn't earn it but choose consciously to not earn anything exactly so they could indolently live of the fruits of someone else's labor.
But it gets worse. That is many on the right have silently conceded that a corrupt Supreme court unconstitutionally ended the abortion debate years ago and although they don't accept it they live their lives and carry on in spite of it. But the left in their orgy of forcing government intrusion on us insist that we pay for it and are taxed to support it and called names when we object.
Abortion is a choice. It most certainly is NOT a right. It is obviously murder and logically and arguably immoral. Abortion should not be forced on anyone and most especially not forced upon an unborn child.
GoneWithTheWind: But for those who are opposed to abortion they cannot separate themselves from the simple and unescapable fact that abortion is murder.
Sure. And because of that, they become politically involved.
I would say that the 'moral' definition of murder is the taking of an innocent life. The government (pushed by the left) redefined that to murder related to the private relationship between the woman and her doctor (I guess privacy is more important than a baby's life).
The left has a habit of pushing their redefined morals down the throat of everybody else. Who's intrusive?
mudbug: I would say that the 'moral' definition of murder is the taking of an innocent life.
Which is why some on the political right become activists and seek to use government to impose their views on others, contrary to the claim made in the video.
mudbug: Who's intrusive?
It took the courts to end conservative supported prohibitions on contraceptives and interracial marriage, to name just two.
Inter-racial marriage? I'm guessing the KKK was against it, and likely most southern Democrats.
Sam L: I'm guessing the KKK was against it, and likely most southern Democrats.
Apparently, a majority of Southern whites were against it, or their legislatures wouldn't have passed such laws. You are correct, though. They were generally conservative Democrats.
Define "conservative" as it applies to Democrats or Southern Democrats. I don't think you are right on this. It is common for the left to pass off all their skeletons in their closet as 'conservative' and than depend on their friends in the media to pick up the meme. I suspect one of the criteria you will try to use to support your 'conservative' claim is religion. A sad and ironic claim which implies something not very savory about liberals/left. But prove your claim if you can.
GoneWithTheWind: Define "conservative" as it applies to Democrats or Southern Democrats.
They certainly weren't liberals.
George Wallace on the Civil Rights Act, July 4, 1964:
Never before in the history of this nation have so many human and property rights been destroyed by a single enactment of the Congress. It is an act of tyranny. It is the assassin's knife stuck in the back of liberty.
With this assassin's knife and a blackjack in the hand of the Federal force-cult, the left-wing liberals will try to force us back into bondage. Bondage to a tyranny more brutal than that imposed by the British monarchy which claimed power to rule over the lives of our forefathers under sanction of the Divine Right of kings.
Today, this tyranny is imposed by the central government which claims the right to rule over our lives under sanction of the omnipotent black-robed despots who sit on the bench of the United States Supreme Court.
Echos of this speech can still be heard today.
The liberals decide at some point that those in the liberal party who got caught or exposed doing something bad must be washed out of the party like a bad stain. Their 'detergent' of choice is to declare that they were 'conservatives" DUN, DUN, DAH! I assume years from now when all of Obama's crimes and traitorous acts are exposed the liberal party will disavow him and claim he was a card carrying conservative. That there was a schism in the Democrat party in the 60's that caused the Norther/Eastern democrats to join with conservative Republicans and reject racial discrimination is an absolute fact. Today that conservative Republican component is ignored by those on the left but it was the majority of those opposed to and fighting racial discrimination. The Democrat party was pulled kicking and screaming into the 20th century and full integration. They searched for some way to survive this topsy turvy world and decided that they would co-opt the movement and trade free stuff to those newly liberated peoples in exchange for their vote. That is the neo-liberal of today; still a fraud and Marxist/socialist opportunist without conscience or a moral rudder. If you want to see the best examples of this in today's Democrat party it is Pelosi and Reid who will say anything and do anything no matter how dishonest, immoral and harmful to the Republic to simply further the Democrat party.
You ignored the point. George Wallace called the opponents of segregation "left-wing liberals". Wallace was a conservative. That's how the terms were used then. That's how the terms are used now.
GoneWithTheWind: That there was a schism in the Democrat party in the 60's that caused the Norther/Eastern democrats to join with conservative Republicans and reject racial discrimination is an absolute fact.
Liberal Democrats broke with Southern conservative Democrats. The schism had been growing since Truman integrated the military. However, many conservative Republicans, such as Barry Goldwater, did not support the Civil Rights Acts. In those days, there were liberal Republicans.
Seriously! Your proof, your defense is something George Wallace said?
I didn't ignore it. I agree that the North East democrat Liberals did indeed fight for integration and against racial discrimination. That was a good thing. BUT it does not mean Southern Democrats were conservatives. While only the North East liberals opposed racism all of the Republicans/conservatives opposed racism and fought against it. The Southern Democrats were liberals but certainly not latte drinking cocktail party liberals like those in the North East. It was a neo-liberal vs traditional liberal struggle that took place in the Democrat party in the 60's it was most definitely NOT a liberal vs conservative split.
GoneWithTheWind: Your proof, your defense is something George Wallace said?
There's no way to make sense of Wallace's speech if you say he was a liberal. His audience certainly didn't think he or they were liberals.
GoneWithTheWind: While only the North East liberals opposed racism all of the Republicans/conservatives opposed racism and fought against it.
Barry Goldwater, the conservative Republican standard-bearer in 1964, was against the Civil Rights Act.
GoneWithTheWind: it was most definitely NOT a liberal vs conservative split.
Everybody saw it as a liberal vs conservative split, everyone except the modern right wing echochamber.
Encyclopedia of Alabama: The Dixiecrats were a political party organized in the summer of 1948 by conservative white southern Democrats committed to states' rights and the maintenance of segregation and opposed to federal intervention into race, and to a lesser degree, labor relations.
Encyclopedia Britannica: Dixiecrat, also called States’ Rights Democrat, member of a right-wing Democratic splinter group in the 1948 U.S. presidential election organized by Southerners who objected to the civil rights program of the Democratic Party.
The Civil Rights Act was a well intended legislation which created the very problems it intended to fix. The correct answer was and still is the constitution. We should all have the same rights, period! There should not be quotas, affirmative action or protected classes. Most of the problems we face today in race and gender rights/relations are spawned by this mistake that we can fix past discrimination against a group by present and future discrimination against some other group. The Supreme courts and lower courts abdicated their responsibility by allowing past discrimination and our congress attempted to correct this with a very blunt instrument. Now our supreme court and lower courts are again ignoring discrimination under the guise of correcting past discrimination. This will not end well. Don't get me wrong I too thought it WOULD end well once discrimination was ended but we simply reversed the roles. I expect it to continue to get worse and worse until we once again have a civil war.
GoneWithTheWind: The Civil Rights Act was a well intended legislation which created the very problems it intended to fix.
You might argue some unintended consequences, but it's hard to argue that it had no good effect. History shows that the Civil Rights Acts were hugely important for extending civil rights to minorities.
GoneWithTheWind: The correct answer was and still is the constitution. We should all have the same rights, period!
The adopters of the Fourteenth Amendment clearly intended that minorities could seek redress for past discrimination.
So you're comparing contraception to killing an innocent life!
As far as interracial marriage goes, that has been opposed by everybody up till recently and I would not say that acceptance of it is strictly on the left. There have been a lot of blacks who have been against it even recently. The same goes for whites adopting black kids.
On the international front, the left has been lecturing other countries on abortion and gay rights in contradiction to their own long held values.
I'll concede that both left and right (depending on how you define 'right') are guilty of this but I can't think of anything conservatives have done to completely upend thousands of years of social history and tradition - often traditions in every major society.
mudbug: So you're comparing contraception to killing an innocent life!
Huh? There's long been a strain of conservatism that has attempted to enforce morality through the law, including adultery, sodomy, contraception, as well as opposing changes in the franchise and racial segregation.
mudbug: As far as interracial marriage goes, that has been opposed by everybody up till recently and I would not say that acceptance of it is strictly on the left.
No, but the primary impetus for change came from the political left — of course.
mudbug: I can't think of anything conservatives have done to completely upend thousands of years of social history and tradition - often traditions in every major society.
Again, of course.
I guess you're right. There are times when Republicans (conservatives of the day) redefined morality such as when they were opposed to to slavery and their support for Civil Rights. Admittedly, the shape of left and right were different then, but Republicans supported those positions - and still do - and Democrats opposed them. Those positions were actually spelled out in the Declaration of Independence so in a real sense, they are conservative positions.
You still haven't stated a position by conservatives that upended prevailing morals. They may have supported intrusive laws that supported the prevailing morals but the left support intrusive laws that create new morals.
mudbug: There are times when Republicans (conservatives of the day) redefined morality such as when they were opposed to to slavery and their support for Civil Rights.
Many conservative Republicans opposed the Civil Rights Acts, such as Barry Goldwater, the Republican standard-bearer in 1964. More liberal Republicans supported the Acts.
mudbug: Democrats opposed them.
Liberal Democrats supported the Civil Rights Acts. Conservative Democrats opposed the Acts.
mudbug: You still haven't stated a position by conservatives that upended prevailing morals.
Of course not.
Many conservatives advocate government intrusion in the social sphere to enforce "moral improvement".
Except that's not true, either. Just because a relative handful of non-liberals are comfortable using the government's jackboots to enforce their moral preferences doesn't mean that "many conservatives" advocate that position.
In fact, many conservatives consider those moral crusaders to be not conservative, even if there are some policy positions that they happen to agree on.
Kjeldermand: In fact, many conservatives consider those moral crusaders to be not conservative, even if there are some policy positions that they happen to agree on.
Conservatism promotes traditional institutions and mores. That can take many forms, but social conservatism is certainly a form of conservatism. The exception might be reactionaries, but using government to enforce moral orthodoxy doesn't contradict conservatism, and is historically common.
Conservatism promotes traditional institutions and mores.
Correct, but there's nothing in the "promoting" that requires conservatives to demand that government take a hand in that promotion. In fact, the video's main point is to define conservatives as those who seek social improvement through individual moral growth and not through government diktat.
Enter yourself (and your usual vacuous linguistic slight of hand), with an argument that typically takes this form: "you say conservatives are X, but they are really Y; and some of those Ys are doing not-X." By which, it appears that you mean to imply that the original position is wrong.
using government to enforce moral orthodoxy doesn't contradict conservatism
The gentleman in the video offered a definition of conservatism for the purposes of his discussion. To which, you have responded by substituting your own definition; one which saddles conservatism with positions that are a) not in keeping with the position that was actually advanced, and b) easier for you to critique with your usual glib cheap shots. You've set up a strawman to argue against - congratulations. The sad thing is, you haven't even done a very good job of it. It's as lazily constructed as everything else we see from you.
social conservatism is certainly a form of conservatism.
There's nothing certain about this at all. If by "social conservatism" you mean advocating that individuals should hold to traditional mores, then, yes, that is conservative.
On the other hand, if you mean the promotion of government mandates for those values, then it is decidedly not conservative; moreover, this re-categorization that you are trying to sneak into the discussion runs directly counter to the position that you are pretending to refute.
It's as if someone said, "the sky is blue," and you responded with, "Blue is the way people feel when they are sad, but many people feel happy when they look at the sky on a sunny day, so the sky is not blue." It is such bald-faced intellectual dishonesty that I often find myself slack-jawed at the audacity and shamelessness of it.
. . . . .
As I mentioned earlier, this sort of thing is typical of your commentary. It's always nice to have multiple points of view. One of the things I like about this blog is that is less of an echo chamber than other sites on the web.
However, your view has never been very compelling because it never has any real weight behind it. It is sophistry. Lazy sophistry.
Kjeldermand: Correct, but there's nothing in the "promoting" that requires conservatives to demand that government take a hand in that promotion.
Some do, some don't. The left-right dichotomy is largely orthogonal to the libertarian-statist dichotomy.
Kjeldermand: In fact, the video's main point is to define conservatives as those who seek social improvement through individual moral growth and not through government diktat.
Definitions are not arguments. Rather, he paints a circle around the arrow and calls it a bulls-eye.
Kjeldermand: On the other hand, if you mean the promotion of government mandates for those values, then it is decidedly not conservative
Words are defined by usage. People who advocate for laws to enforce social mores are almost universally called conservative. If you redefine the word to suit your argument, then you aren't making an argument, but setting up a vacuous tautology. It also leads to inanities, such as claiming that activists trying to regulate traditional morality through law, such as prohibitions of sodomy, are not conservatives.
What Prager doesn't get to is that this is why lefties are totalitarians and fascists. That is the only way you can force the society to look the way they want.
We make society better by implementing laws that all agree upon such as: murder is wrong, child abuse is wrong, rape is wrong, stealing is wrong. There are fundamental crimes we can ALL agree on.
We make society better by applying those laws fairly, no matter your position in society, who you know, how much money you have. Applying the laws fairly and impartially MUST be done or society loses faith in those laws and those in charge of the law.
We make society better by giving people more freedom and the right to make bad choices. More bad laws and bad regulations have been enacted because someone decided it would 'help' someone avoid making a bad choice. It is not our place to enact laws or regulations to do this. In fact, it is interfering in people's freedoms to live as they please (within the above laws that all have agreed on).
Anyway, those are just a few.
Now we can try to understand why people loathe capitalism.
In a society based on caste and status, the individual can ascribe adverse fate to conditions beyond his own control. He is a slave because the superhuman powers that determine all becoming had assigned him this rank. It is not his doing, and there is no reason for him to be ashamed of his humbleness. His wife cannot find fault with his station. If she were to tell him: “Why are you not a duke? If you were a duke, I would be a duchess,” he would reply: “If I had been born the son of a duke, I would not have married you, a slave girl, but the daughter of another duke; that you are not a duchess is exclusively your own fault; why were you not more clever in the choice of your parents?”
It is quite another thing under capitalism. Here everybody’s station in life depends on his own doing. Everybody whose ambitions have not been fully gratified knows very well that he has missed chances, that he has been tried and found wanting by his fellow man. If his wife upbraids him: “Why do you make only eighty dollars a week? If you were as smart as your former pal, Paul, you would be a foreman and I would enjoy a better life,” he becomes conscious of his own inferiority and feels humiliated.
The much talked about sternness of capitalism consists in the fact that it handles everybody according to his contribution to the well-being of his fellow men.
Mises, Ludwig von (2010-12-23). The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality (LvMI) (pp. 8-9). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition.
People hate capitalism because it requires self reflection and self control.
And here we see the problem with socialism as compared to Christianity's social teachings.
Christianity, as a late writer has pointed out in words well chosen, is the only system of socialism which commends it self as having a rational basis, and its founder the most practical teacher of it that the world has ever seen. " The aim of all socialism is the securing of equality in the social condition of mankind, and if equality is to be secured at all it will be secured only by changing the hearts of men, and never by setting to work, in the first instance, upon the conditions." But the present impulse of socialism is not Christian, but rather one willing to put an end to Christianity. And it is a system of machinery, like the kingdom of a tyrant, not of souls, like that of Christ. Now the Christian system did not rest on force at all. It was communistic, but not socialistic, as the word is properly used; for its very essence was the freedom of the individual will.
Socialism and Legislation, Westminster Review, January, 1886.
The Ethics of Democracy by F.J. Stimson. Scribner's Magazine (1887)
Christianity works to change the hearts of people, i.e. their own moral failings, and bring about caring for their fellow man in that manner rather than force.