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Do liberal always win?

  1. Oct 11, 2006 #1
    If we look at the history, it seems like liberals always win over hardcore conservatives. When I say conservative, I mean people who think national anthem gotta be sung only in English, the ones who said slavery was just natural phenomenon etc ....

    Before the civil war, conservatives who said that slavery was just natural and inevitable lost when Union freed slaves. Then segregationist who were "preserving" American culture and values lost during civil rights movement.

    Now, it seems like every 50 years or so there is re-evaluation of our beliefs and usually conservative values are disregarded.

    The hot issue for our times is death penalty and right to own guns. These issues are highly valued by conservatives and the laws have become more strict. I woudn't be surprised if in next 50 years both of these are abolished or atleast severly restricted. Also, I wound't be surprised if gay marriage is one day legalized in US as it is already in some other countries.

    So this brings us to the question that are hardcore conservative values wrong or become outdated with time? Sorry for generalizing about conservatives (no offence). Hopefully, I made it clear.

    What's your views?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2006 #2


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    Hardcore conservatives are basically trying to preserve the status quo, or the past, the truths they learned growing up. And the world changes, whether they want it to or not. So the result is that the conservatives are defeated, even though the liberals didn't beat them.

    Look at the history of the US since Reagan; the Republicans and their religious allies have dominated the congress and had more years in the White House than the Democrats, but the world just went along legitimizing abortions, legitimizing gay behavior, getting raunchier and rauchier in the media, and the number of atheists keeps growing. Plenty of right wingers bewail the fact that they keep losing ground while they keep winning elections.
  4. Oct 11, 2006 #3
    Try a three or more party system.

    The United States prides itself on offering choice to its citizens. The whole idea of competition is (theoretically) to offer a better choice than the predominant one. That's why anyone can start up a business and do their best to out-do the established businesses in the US. Yet there are still only two political parties to choose from. What happened to the American Dream? Will it never apply to the political choices available to the citizen of one of the most progressive nations on earth?
  5. Oct 11, 2006 #4


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    Very astute. The 2-party system has boiled down to a situation in which the differences between Democrat and Republican are comparable to:

    Time or Newsweek?
    Coke or Pepsi?
    Skim or 1% milk?

    The major differences between these parties presently lie in which grounps they wish to skin in order to get the money to give to their friends, and which friends they wish to give it to. They are pretty much all self-serving slugs. The US could have a decent universal health-care system and secure (if not lavish) retirements for our old folks if our elected officials would start working for us all instead of lining their own pockets. I think that we may have to go to a multiparty parlimentary system of government (with no-confidence votes forcing elections) before any single bit of this gets accomplished.

    Edit: I should add that any decent law-abiding citizen that proposes such a thing publicly should expect to be labelled a "traitor", "socialist", "communist", "anarchist", etc, depending on the motivations of the labellers. It is extremely difficult to institute fundamental changes in the mode of governance in a country in which the press cowtows to the government and in which the populace is willfully ingorant of their slavery, as long as the system keeps their bellies full and they are happy with the pap available on their TVs and radios. Please pull up this link and try to listen to a show or two every week or so. It's worth the effort.

    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  6. Oct 11, 2006 #5


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    Your history needs a little work. Slavery and its racist aftermath were primarily supported by southern democrats (components of the fractionalized democratic party pre-civil war) and the amendments of the reconstruction that corrected most of the deficiencies were originated by Republicans:
    Many people get that backwards because of the fact that today the southern states are dominated by Republicans.

    Besides - few songs sound good in anything but the language they were written in. Have you heard the American version of "99 Luftbalons"? It's terrible. It has no flow.
    So.... libereal beliefs dominate for a few years out of every 50....? Or, to characature-ize your thread title - liberal beliefs always win.....every once in a long while...? :wink:

    No, clearly neither liberal nor conservative ideologies dominate over long timeframes. Both wax and wane periodically.
    Beliefs are constantly evolving and you may be right about those particular issues, but generalizing is a pretty tough thing to do.
    Well, "hardcore" is kinda a pidgeonhole - ie, though only the far-right support the policies of the NRA, few people really would support a full repeal of the 2nd amendment as you suggest.

    So I would say that extremist views on both sides tend to wax and wane periodically.

    And to apply that to the current situation, be careful in your evaluation/predictions: if people dislike Bush because he is radically conservative, does rejection of him really imply that modern liberalism is going to "win"?

    My prediction is that once Bush is out of office and takes his extreme views with him, the Republican party will re-assert its decades-old dominance of the American political landscape.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  7. Oct 11, 2006 #6


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    It is a vast oversimplification to characterize "conservative" as simply opposing change while "liberal" promotes change. After all, aren't the things about Bush that most disturb people the changes people think he is making to this country?
  8. Oct 11, 2006 #7


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    I posted the Republican Party's history according to Republicans. Here's the Dem's. It is interesting to note the conspicuous fifty year gap in the Democratic Party's history during what is typically regarded as the most pivotal time in the existence of the US - certainly the time of greatest change. It would seem that they are not real proud of what their party stood for from 1848 to 1900.... http://www.democrats.org/a/party/history.html
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  9. Oct 12, 2006 #8
    I never made this about republicans or democrats. I was talking about conservatives and liberals. Lincoln was republican who abolished slavery after the civil war and democrats made full use south's mistrust of liberal republicans for another 100 years or so. But anyways ....

    Liberal ideas are always there but it takes some time for them to be accepted by the mainstream. It does take society some time to change, but once liberal beliefs (liberal atleast by that time) are accepted, they stay. It took some time for the people to realize that slavery and segregation (liberal idea at that time) was wrong and we are better off now.
    I would like to know about some of those 'extreme liberal' views.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2006
  10. Oct 12, 2006 #9


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    little high, little low,
    any way the wind blows,
    doesn't really maaaatttter tooo meee....

    from http://kucinich.com/KUCINICH/Liberal Extremist.htm :

  11. Oct 13, 2006 #10
    Thank you. If history does prove that a more liberal attitude does win more often over what could be perceived as rigid conservative attitudes then the possible conclusion may be that liberalism is the more sustainable mode of conduct to use in maintaining a society.

    It seems fitting that one would predominantly find liberal attitudes in a society that headlines itself as a "melting pot of all cultures"(unless by "melting pot" they mean "extermination"). Such a society, and the livelyhood of any society, depends upon the flexablity and progressive solution building of its leaders and citizens alike.

    "In the middle of difficulty lays opportunity" (Albert Einstein)
  12. Oct 13, 2006 #11


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    Do you consider the Bush administration conservative? I would say he is about the most radical president we've had; a relentless innovator in, well, in evil (torture, abrogation of court oversight of prosecution, unwarranted attack on a foreign country, etc. etc.).

    "Neoconservative" is to conservative as neoplasm is to plasma.

    But to your larger point, the fact that yesterday's liberalism is today's conservatism is precisely the OP's point.
  13. Oct 18, 2006 #12
    most of the ideas supported by the dixiecrats [radical racist demos]
    are now pushed by the neo-conned GOP with a slight drop in the overt race BS as that is no longer PC thank dick nixon for that
    in fact alot of the people just switched partys without a big change in outlook

    perhaps the words progressive and regressive fit better
    and you never can go back, only ahead into the future
    so the progressives allways win long term
    as you can slow but never stop progress
    barring a DARK AGE , or third reich type take over
    that some fear in the modern neo-conned movement
  14. Oct 18, 2006 #13
    Perhaps the words liberal and conservative are being used to polarize citizens into camps that oppose one another. This leads to what I call a social civil war. Present day America is a good example of this. Its democrat vs. republican and citizens like to pick a side regardless of the actual issues at hand that require bipartisan debate.

    England used divide and conquer strategies in its colonial empires and this technique is also used by the leaders of America. America is an oligarch and if you think its a democracy, I suggest you wait until '08 when Diebold machines will further prove my point.

    The middle class will be eroded in the next 20 years and we will all be peasants again.
  15. Oct 18, 2006 #14
    I'm not quite sure why you decided to drag the political parties into this. The OP only talked about liberals and conservatives. In the time period discussed, the southern Democrats were conservative and the Republicans liberal.
  16. Oct 18, 2006 #15
    Exactly and the southern democrats were previously evangelical bible belt Christains. Now they are the force that wins elections for the conservatives. And they no longer are jsut in the southern states.
  17. Oct 19, 2006 #16
    liberalism is all about letting everyone do anything they want so long as it doesn't harm anyone else. conservatism is all about maintaining the present state of society because it got them thus far so there must be something good about it. liberals are all about the bettering of society and conservatives are about maintaining whats good about society

    both liberals and conservatives want whats best for society but the pursuit of that goal is taken in vary different direction. legalizing gay marriage might be the beginning of the end of society so conservatives will say 'its not broke so don't mess with it' and liberals will say 'it will give gays less to complain about and it doesn't make any difference otherwise, so lets change things"

    to claim that liberalism is gradually loosening the grip of conservatism on society is ignoring the many things maintained by conservatism such as the right to vote, innocent until proven guilty, and the right to own property. total liberalism is either a utopia or a state of anarchy and total conservatism is stagnation so to have a good government, you really need a combination of both. the fundamentals of democracy at one point in time were vary liberal ideas, and now these are values held strongly by conservatives.

    liberals and conservatives are often in disagreement, but its not like conservatives lose the ground liberals take since later on, that ground gained by liberals is the same ground held by conservatives. to me its much more like a yin&yang of society then one side winning or losing
  18. Oct 19, 2006 #17
    The social forces that we divide into a few categories and label liberal/conservative, have existed from the beginning of society. It is the dynamic tension created by these forces that drives social evolution.

    Progressive better describes the social forces that eventually win out. It is through the struggle, the issues and conflicts that energize people, that societies develop and grow. Conservative forces keep a check on liberal/progressive forces, until such a time as the society's values reach a sustainable plateau.

    To a society that practices genocide against the people it conquers, slavery is a very liberal idea.
  19. Nov 5, 2006 #18
    in australia liberals always win federal elections.....always!!!!!
  20. Nov 9, 2006 #19
    Who was this Liberal?

    Who was this liberal?

  21. Nov 10, 2006 #20
    My two cents:

    Firstly, the terms "liberal" and "conservative" will be used here in the context of people who promote big government and small government, respectively.

    It is interesting to peruse this list of federal agencies, and this list of defunct agencies. With the exception of FNMA, SLMA and the Board of Tea Appeals, government agencies have been rendered defunct for only two reasons:

    -they were no longer needed when the Great Depression ended
    -the end of a war made them unnecessary

    All the other agencies on the "defunct" list were simply renamed or incorporated into another agency.

    So with respect to "liberal" or "conservative," the US government has been steadily moving toward a liberal model. This can be realized by reflecting on America's early years, when an opponent of a national treasury was "conservative." Now we have Social Security, Health and Human Services (each of which constitute more spending than defense), the Treasury and the myriad of other bureaucratic additions over the years. Today, forget about opposing the Treasury or the FDA, one is "conservative" if he just wants to privatize social security.

    I like to think of it as a kind of ratcheting, whereby movement in one direction precludes movement in the reverse. As noted above, no major agency has ever been dissolved through the work of conservatives; there have been only additions. The effects of this can be seen in this document (section 6.1). In spite of a great spike in defense spending during WW2 (89.5% of budget), a peak in the mid 50's (69.5%), a hillock during the Reagan years (28.1%), and a lowly mound during Bush's tenure (20%), defense spending as a percentage of the budget has steadily decreased over the last 60 years. In fact, the progressively smaller "local maximums" of budget authority alone are sufficient to demonstrate this. I believe this illustrates that, high as the defense spending of Reagan and Bush may seem, this spending has been overwhelmingly "crowded out" by increases in other outlays.

    I hope you have a new perception of exactly what kind of "discipline" the government needs.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
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