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Liberalism Through The Eyes of a Proud Liberal

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posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 07:18 PM

Originally posted by Hefficide
reply to post by Bybyots

I'm not sure how this got ceded into a "retro Wednesday" tangent - as the divide between conservatives and liberals is the main factor effecting not only American politics, but the politics of nearly every nation on earth.

Basically speaking - even the problems in Egypt today play out along the same lines.

Actually conservative/liberal is mainly an American thing. Although if you meant right wing/ left wing then I would agree.

For example in my country, the liberals are the right wing conservatives which make up the Liberal party. We have a liberal / labor paradigm.

You may say its just a label, but the liberal party supports this...

1. principle of no regulation of industry: the principle that the economy works best if private industry is not regulated and markets are free
2. refusal to interfere: refusal to interfere in other people's affairs, or the practice of letting people do as they wish

For example they don't want pesky regulations telling them where they can dump their toxic waste, they want deregulation at the top (for private industry) so their large corporations are free to do whatever they want. The party is led by a sexist, homophobic, catholic, white male. Much of their ideology is conservative, I was shocked to see they even preferenced this guy !!

The labor party on the other hand is supposed to fight for the rights of workers as opposed to the rights of corporate elite. The freedoms and rights of workers (anyone employed for a wage) are always counterposed to the business owners, and the war between bosses and workers that has been occurring ever since capitalism began is meant to be politically represented in part by the two major parties. The labor party are generally more progressive than the liberals. The last leader of the labor party was an unmarried, childless, female, atheist, immigrant lesbian. (the lesbian part is disputed, although the current party leader is saying he will grant gay marriage).

Of course over time the center has shifted right and now both major parties represent the interests of the corporate elite. That is where their campaign funding comes from, that is where the lobbying comes from, that is the class which owns the media, runs the courts etc.

Now we have no truly left wing party remaining in the country, no party which actually fights for the rights of the oppressed and downtrodden. And it is not much different in America, the democrats are lobbied, funded and controlled by a minority of ruling elite - although they would never say this as it would ostracize their voting base, their policies and the direction of the party suggests otherwise.

edit on 21/8/13 by polarwarrior because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:22 PM
reply to post by Galvatron

Quite frankly I would be sorrowful for any loss of life, but oddly very pleased if a catastrophe hit Washington DC during the State of the Union speech with everyone from the Executive, Judicial, Federal Department heads, both houses of Congress in session and they were all wiped out.

I will call it God sorting it out for us because both sides keep electing jackwads who are playing a con game. The States DO NOT need the Federal Government. It could disappear tonight and we would all get along just fine in a couple of months. I believe in people and when you take away the power players, we would learn to work together, but as it is we are played against one another, our congressmen and women are bribed with special money to pass this bill or that bill. We lost our manufacturing due to big business lobbying for NAFTA and GATT. We are becoming a third world country where we will have the very poor and the very rich and NO middle class.

Yes, by all means let's keep fighting over the crap we are and continue to spiral out of control economically which will turn into chaos when the money stops. And IT WILL STOP!

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:34 PM
reply to post by UnifiedSerenity

Changing the players does not affect the nature or purpose of the game, i.e. "to win". The game itself must be changed. Otherwise, everyone would just elect different jackwads to replace the last ones and we already know how that has worked out.

Implement term limits for all elected offices. Let public office be what it was intended: service to your community and not a career to gain power, fame and money. Remove those benefits and we would stop drawing greedy sociopaths intent on making their own golden path while convincing you that it is the best thing for everyone.

We need to stop making stars of politicians and let them be true public servants that help guide the country before passing the baton onto the next.

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:40 PM
There is definitely a psychological issue that is widespread in America in which the individual raises their own worth by lowering another. This is obviously a fallacy and something we should try and overcome at some point in childhood. But for many it is not overcome and this is known to any who wish to market an ideology to the public.

By slandering the opposition your side is reaffirmed. Logically defunct, but incredibly persuasive for those that have not exercised their logic to the extent necessary to be politically responsible.

A political message that I think would be good for America right now would be to simply get more involved, active, educated- regardless of where you are on the spectrum. Any failure in government comes from a dysfunctional citizenry.

Since Obama's election it seems that negative marketing has risen to the point of being a major aspect of political rhetoric even among elected officials. The conversation has become incredibly juvenile, or maybe it's always been that way.

Being a "liberal" as originally conceptualized and defined is something anyone should be proud of and goes beyond voting to personal ethic. A true liberal would likely volunteer and actively pursue helping those in need in between elections. If all of the people who identified as liberal politically would act liberal all of the time, many of society's problems might be solved without so much government involvement.

It is interesting to me that anarchism is considered to be far left when it is the right of America arguing for smaller government. This illustrates the basic fallacy of the liberal-big government association. Liberalism doesn't imply big government at all, it simply is the mindset of dignifying all people and accepting responsibility in building a fair society for all. Hence, anarchism is of such a high level of liberalism among citizens that the state really isn't needed at all.

Of course, in America right now we don't have this common ethic. This is where republican ideology gets in trouble- because if we remove the government from social problems we fall very hard. No one wants that. If we do ever get to a point of virtuous communities that take care of one another without legislating it, that would be ideal. But that's a long road ahead. Until then, we probably need the crutch of government to keep us walking. This is why I've voted for Obama, the major budget slashing talk of those like Paul Ryan is a scary idea for millions. Even thought I am concerned about the size of the federal government and debt, I'd rather have that than millions starving.

The goal is to build a culture where government social programs can be minimized because we can function fine without them. Some might say that the only way to get there is to cut them and fall so we can learn to stand on our own and that may be true but I'd rather get there without that.
edit on 8/21/2013 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 10:02 PM
I identify as an AMERICAN. I am a proud American, I realize that this country is not perfect, far from it. I work hard, I support my family, I even do volunteer work when I can. I don't take handouts, and I know this country is being destroyed by people that want to identify with their selfish ideologies, and push their ways on everyone else.

Liberal vs. Conservative, Black vs. White, its all divide and conquer.

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 10:10 PM
reply to post by PatrickGarrow17

Your last two paragraphs make you sound classic conservative. I've met no republican who thinks social programs should all go away. Likewise I've met no Democrats who think Socialism is the way either. It doesn't mean there aren't,but I think your generalization about republicans wanting an end to all social programs is somewhat of a stretch.

Neither the republicans or democrats want to see this country ruined. If you meet any politician personally, sure they put up a front the likes of which no normal member of society puts up, but they're not evil people. The ones I've met honestly think what they're doing is the right way to go about things.

I think both dems and reps are wrong, if generally sincere.
edit on 21-8-2013 by Galvatron because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 10:17 PM
A proud liberal? no thanks. Division is what is killing this country. You don't need to have a label to make your self feel superior to others. That is the general problem we face. Our "liberals vs conservatives" crap.

Start here, no labels, and work up from there. But please, put this partisan political crap to bed.

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 10:21 PM

Don't get obsessed with superficial truths.

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 10:44 PM
I don't think division is what is killing America. America has been divided since at least 1778! What's killing America is a combination of globalization, media, apathy, and technology. Humans are basically being reduced to rats by constant instant-on pleasures, by propaganda. Disagreements are not the cause of your woes. Unthinking drones are. And it is not a fault of division its self, as disagreement can lead to something positive (conflict can be good!), but a fault of our choices. We elect #ty governments because money buys media, and media buys votes and money is the one thing keeping civilization from destroying its self; for the entirely wrong reasons.

If you can't see that both sides have their #tier supporters, and shills, and self-interested money grabbers, then you will forever be fighting the other side, the red menace, global warming, asylum seekers. There is no left vs right, there is only perception.

The liberal wants to help, the conservative thinks everyone should be responsible for themselves.

It doesn't matter what you believe, if you want to help someone, then that someone has the ability to say yes or no. If you believe everyone should help themselves, you must accept that some peoples idea of helping themselves isn't slaving away for pittance. If someone isn't focused on monetary pursuit, then they will never be rich. If you're focused on finding a negative to exploit your 'opponent' you will find plenty. Just like you will find oppression everywhere if you look with the right lens.
edit on 21-8-2013 by thoughtfuldeliquent because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 11:57 PM

Originally posted by Hefficide

The sad truth is that there are people out there who do live up to these stereotypes. But these people are not the majority. They are the exceptions. So why is it that they seem to get all of the "press"?

Because these are exactly the people who pick on each other. Far Right fears Far Left and vice-versa. And most who are “Far” don’t know that they are. To an extreme-leaning individual, their position is sane and rational and anyone who questions it is “off” in their thinking, especially if the other side is strongly opposed to it.

Take the current Canadian government. It is controlled by a Far Right Reformist crowd running a party called The Conservatives, which of course implies it is a conservative party (but it is not led that way.) Stephen Harper rules the party with an iron fist; everyone in his party must vote in favor of whatever extreme bills he pushes and stay on-script with their public speeches (presented as honest opinions) to the point where they cannot answer a “yes” or “no” question during an interview. They suppress information from us while they keep asserting they’re “transparent” and “clear” over and over again so our brains will just switch off and trust them blindly (I guess they think we’re dumb as bricks.)

Anyway, Harper and his Far Right Reformist crowd are all about big corporate interests, perverting Canada’s Democracy and Capitalism into Corporate Communism. In the process he is upsetting everyone from Liberals to actual Conservatives. Scientists are branded “radicals” and even fired for talking about global warming. He didn’t just go after his political opponent, the Liberal Party, he sought to “destroy” them (yes, he actually said this!) Most party leaders would stop at just beating an opponent in an election, but Harper wants to “destroy” his opponents. He started with the Liberals and now he’s attacking our union/labor party (the NDP) by disempowering unions.

If this Us VS. Them mentality sounds familiar...

"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

- George Bush

Not that Far Left is any better. Communism centralizes power too, and so either way you end up with a police state. Each calls the other “evil,” but they are far more alike than they are different, so much so that Harper has actually spoken positively about China and has praised their economical structure. The only real difference is that Communism sounds good at first: imagine a society of true equality for all! Oh, but it takes a tyrannical government to enforce it.

I have nothing against Liberals or Conservatives and have had friends on either side. I consider myself a Centralist, personally. To me, the truth is usually somewhere in the middle and I think that all sides should come together and see what we can agree with. My stance is in Democratic balance. Sides tend to have their biases and short-sightedness which, if not countered, can lead to real problems.

Positive side of Liberalism: Thinking about the future, thinking about our neighbors, fighting moral injustices, consideration for people of various cultural backgrounds, beliefs and sexual orientations, etc.

Downside of Liberalism: Political correctness (restricting freedom of speech and forcing questionable things to intentionally sound less dirty (such as “undocumented immigrants,”) forcing moral opinions on others (such as unarming all but law enforcement and military which are government-controlled) and going too far with using the race card to defend Obama and so on.

Positive side of Conservatism: Respect for the land and natural resources, old-fashioned values and old-fashioned spiritual beliefs (healthy!)

Downside of Conservatism: The outdated “I did it my way” and so “do it yourself” hardass attitude (apathy,) a fear/reluctance of change, overreaction to gun registries and sometimes outright paranoia.

Again, Far Left or Far Right drifts away from the above and ends up the same thing: a police state forcing someone’s vision of idealism on everyone else, like it or not.

I just want to add that your posts were well-done and I appreciate your honesty. There are Liberals that I like and Liberals that I dislike, as with Conservatives. Honesty is the only way forward.

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 12:41 AM
reply to post by Galvatron

I've had many people tell me I sound conservative, and I think I am. But I identify more with the term liberal because I think our society needs major reform and I think progress/liberation as goal is a better mindset than conserve/preserve. Of course, I don't agree generally with typical progressives on the means to this end. And while I like conservatives talking about government reduction, I don't hear them talk often enough about what must be done along with policy redaction. The status quo has some serious flaws. Core conservative values are timeless and true, but I don't think our society ever lived up to them in the first place so in the real sense there is nothing to conserve.

If you think about it, trying to build a society that reflects conservative values is liberal if it doesn't exist. How's that for a paradox?

With all that said, I identify with neither the Republican or Democratic party although I have voted for candidates on both sides because I believe in casting a vote for a preferred candidate when there is none that perfectly represents me.
edit on 8/22/2013 by PatrickGarrow17 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 01:28 AM
Interesting thread as I just recently myself read the definition of liberal and conservative. The two definitions I read, had the phrase 'traditional values' in both; Conservatives support holding to 'traditional values' and liberals are willing to let go of 'traditional values', and I thought what a brilliant way to vaguely divide (and conquer) a population. What is a traditional value? Don't we all have different ideas about what a traditional value is? What better way to keep people bickering endlessly?

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 01:44 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

Isn't this view just another form of authoritarianism? You are using the government to force others to do your bidding, such as social programs. The problem with both "liberals, and conservatives" is that they are neither, they are all authoritarians.

For these people it is about who can run "their" government better. This is the problem the majority of the country has with "liberals"( I use quotes because there is nothing liberal or open minded about today's liberal), they want to force their views on the majority of the population via the government. "Liberals" cannot stand for people to choose what they want in life, or how they want to live it.

In a "liberals" mind, freedom is only ok has long as it is agreed upon by said "liberals", if the freedom is opposed by the liberal, then they use the mighty power of government to force their opponents to do as they see fit. Both parties do this, unfortunately there are very few liberty minded people these days.

At the end of the day, when a "liberal" does not get what they want, they use force. A liberal cannot stand personal freedom, and will use authoritarianism in the guise of "social justice" or "safety net" ect...
Today's liberal = Force
There is nothing compassionate about liberalism, the true liberals Jefferson, Madison, ect.... would be cast out in the current political system as "extremists". But these men were free thinkers, and not the mindless sheeple who hail lord government above all else, even freewill.

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 07:05 AM

Originally posted by MystikMushroom But, doesn't being a non-conformist mean your conforming to non-conformity? Doesn't that put you also in a group?


Yes, exactly. I would say non-conformity doesn't even exist. Paradoxical. Contradictorily.

You have subcultures that rebel against the popular or parent culture, but instead of rebelling they just find conformity inside the subculture.

I find conformity in my "supposed non-conformity". My political spectrum is this:

I'm pretty sure such a system is not possible.

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 07:18 AM
reply to post by ForbiddenDesire

I'm at coordinates 0,0

Funny, because I took that test in government class in high-school in the late 90s. It was the same then.
edit on 22-8-2013 by Galvatron because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 08:21 AM
reply to post by Beaux

What makes you think anything would be the same if we had a real reset on the federal government? I think the enforcement aspects of government, the power positions the leaders have is a huge part of our problem. They leave big business and enter government positions, they pass laws to benefit the elite, then they return to those same jobs in the private sector. Let em all disappear an overnight their power base is gone.

I don't think any of that will happen. We will pretend we have fair elections and we will continue to watch America die.

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 09:00 AM
I don't think there is a conscious effort to "divide and conquer"

People group THEMSELVES into different political and cultural tribes all on their own.

You see it on ATS and in every societal construct. People just naturally gravitate to those that think, look and act like they do.

Humans are hard wired to have different cognative models.
Environment is an influence but it's not that important imo.

In reality it's a very freeing experience being marginalized and labeled a "people like you"
at first I was insulted; now I see it as being an individual that does not subscribe to the status quo.
Being an outsider gives a perspective that the narrow minded just cant see.
edit on 22-8-2013 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 10:53 AM

Originally posted by caterpillage
A proud liberal? no thanks. Division is what is killing this country. You don't need to have a label to make your self feel superior to others. That is the general problem we face. Our "liberals vs conservatives" crap.

Start here, no labels, and work up from there. But please, put this partisan political crap to bed.

"Liberal" isn't a political party.

In all reality, the labels don't matter at all. They're simply descriptives - albeit ones that happen to come with a lot of baggage... but descriptives nonetheless. Strip away the labels, ban them from conversation and put me in a room with a person who is my political opposite and the friction and dissent will still be present. It will eventually rise to the surface the second any number of subjects are tabled.

Sadly I think that we've been somewhat conditioned by Congress to behave as they do. How many times has Congress frustrated the people by holding entire issues - even pressing and important ones - hostage because some yahoo decided to tie a hot button topic onto a Bill, as a rider - and done so in an all or nothing sort of way?

That is the type of absolutism we are seeing more and more and, by definition, it is terrorism. Since 9/11 we've lost sight of the true definition of that word... We've put an Arabic face on an abstract. Terrorism means to force compliance to a demand through intimidation, threat, and fear.

The point is the party names matter not. It's not really a partisan issue - though the two party con job does exploit these things. The problem is that almost every issue we face has become so polarized that it's all "all or nothing". Common sense and compromise are dead. All that matters now is shock and awe type total victory.

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 11:27 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

Why the sudden need to confess? Your opus reads like a lengthy apology. Are you ashamed of your believes, or trying to convince yourself through writing?
I blame schizophrenic terminology for confusion in many minds. There is nothing liberal in wanting less individual liberty and more government dependence. There is nothing conservative in supporting the youngest form of society based on individual freedom.
Reverse the labels - and confusion stops instantly: Liberals are for Liberty and Conservatives are for various forms of slavery.

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 11:45 AM
reply to post by ActuallyActuary

This was in no way a confession. I've been openly arguing these points for roughly a decade. If anything this OP serves as a flat clarification of beliefs that I can later use to quantify my views in future debates by linking to this thread.

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