Blogs » Politcs Plus » Conservatives v Liberals


I was intrigued by Nicholas Kristof ‘s column in the New York Times this morning. The title was “would slap your father? If so, you’re liberal. The question in full context was “would you be willing to slap your father in the face, with his permission, as part of a comedy skit. Conservatives have a lot more respect for authority whereas the liberals don’t worry as long as they have permission from dad. I don’t know how true that is, but I believe liberals and conservatives not only think differently but they also feel differently.

Not too many posters identify with the liberal label, so my example will not have much merit. I see where conservative posters will always use the “rule of law” when it comes to illegal immigration but will waive that, when it comes to torture as a means of interrogating. On the other hand liberals will wail against government funding for defense contractors; yet will argue for more welfare programs. The conservatives are more literal, while the liberals are more nuance.

A study by Diane Mutz of the University of Pennsylvania found that simply exposing people to counter arguments do not accomplish much. I agree, I can watch Hannity and O’Reilly and I come away feeling that my side is even more legitimate but I bet it is the same for the conservative when he/ she watches Keith Olbermann. That “Fair and Balance” you just a slogan. Diane said that “one of the main divide between left and right is the dependence on different moral values.” For Liberals morality derives mostly from fairness and prevention of harm. For conservatives morality involves upholding authority and loyalty.

I believe we are a product of our environment, I would be considered a moderate in Chicago. I believe in conservative fiscal policies but I disagree with social conservative policies. I was part of the group that was put to a test several years ago by management. They’re realigned all the schedules, so that we all had new work mates. My enemies became my friends and vice versa. This article stated that in ancient times we divided into tribes; today we divide in the political parties. Professor Haidt said “Our minds were not designed by evolution to discover the truth; they were designed a play social games.” So having a bias is normal.
The article stated that gay rights were probably advanced largely by the public’s growing awareness of friends and family members and I would add that the reason 51% of Americans consider themselves pro-life is that sonogram and not the in- your- face demonstrations.

And I always look forward to a reasonable and civil debate but it always seems to be a fantasy. I enjoy the three or four conservative posters that might respectfully disagree with my position but and never engage in ad Hominem attacks.