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SnakebyteXX
09-20-2005, 10:06 AM
Dennis Prager (archive)


Why do people hold liberal-left positions? (Liberal and left were once very different, but not anymore.)

This question has plagued me because I have long believed that most people, liberal or conservative, mean well. Very few people wake up in the morning planning to harm society. Yet, many liberal positions -- I emphasize liberal positions rather than liberals because most people who call themselves liberal do not hold most contemporary liberal positions -- have been wreaking havoc on America and the world.

How, then, can decent and often very smart people hold liberal positions?

There are many reasons, but the two greatest may be naivete and narcissism. Each alone causes problems, but when combined in the same person, they are particularly destructive.

At the heart of liberalism is the naive belief that people are basically good. As a result of this belief, liberals rarely blame people for the evil they do. Instead, they blame economics, parents, capitalism, racism, and anything else that can let the individual off the hook.

A second naive liberal belief is that because people are basically good, talking with people who do evil is always better than fighting, let alone killing, them. "Negotiate with Saddam," "Negotiate with the Soviets," "War never solves anything," "Think peace," "Visualize peace" -- the liberal mind is filled with naive cliches about how to deal with evil.

Indeed, the very use of the word "evil" greatly disturbs liberals. It shakes up their child-like views of the world, that everybody is at heart a decent person who is either misunderstood or led to do unfortunate things by outside forces.

"Child-like" is operative. The further left you go, the less you like growing up. That is one reason so many professors are on the left. Never leaving school from kindergarten through adulthood enables one to avoid becoming a mature adult. It is no wonder a liberal professor has recently argued that children should have the vote. He knows in his heart that he is not really an adult, so why should he and not a chronologic child be allowed to vote?

The second major source of modern liberalism is narcissism, the unhealthy preoccupation with oneself and one's feelings. We live in the Age of Narcissism. As a result of unprecedented affluence and luxury, preoccupation with one's psychological state, and a hedonistic culture, much of the West, America included, has become almost entirely feelings-directed.

That is one reason "feelings" and "compassion" are two of the most often used liberal terms. "Character" is no longer a liberal word because it implies self-restraint. "Good and evil" are not liberal words either as they imply a moral standard beyond one's feelings. In assessing what position to take on moral or social questions, the liberal asks him or herself, "How do I feel about it?" or "How do I show the most compassion?" not "What is right?" or "What is wrong?" For the liberal, right and wrong are dismissed as unknowable, and every person chooses his or her own morality.

A good example of liberal narcissism is the liberal position on abortion. For the liberal, the worth of a human fetus, whether it is allowed to live or to be extinguished, is entirely based on the feelings of the mother. If the mother wants to give birth, the fetus is of incomparable worth; if the mother doesn't, the fetus has the value of a decayed tooth.

There are not many antidotes to this lethal combination of naivete and narcissism. Both are very comfortable states compared to growing up and confronting evil, and compared to making one's feelings subservient to a higher standard. And comfortable people don't like to be made uncomfortable.

Hence the liberal attempt to either erase the Judeo-Christian code or at least remove its influence from public life. Nothing could provide a better example of contemporary liberalism than the liberal battle to remove the Ten Commandments from all public places. Liberals want suggestions, not commandments.

©2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

web page (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/dennisprager/dp20030812.shtml)

SPetty
09-20-2005, 10:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr> At the heart of liberalism is the naive belief that people are basically good. <hr /></blockquote>The entire discussion starts off with this. If I didn't believe people were basically good, I'd rather be dead.

Is your mother basically good? Your other family members? Your other relatives? Your good friends? Most of your coworkers? Aren't most people you know basically good?

I think it's stupid to say it's naive to believe that most people are basically good.

If the heart of liberalism is the naive belief that people are basically good, is the heart of conservatism the belief that people are basically evil?

pooltchr
09-20-2005, 05:05 PM
If you believe the bible, we are all sinners in the sight of God. That would make our nature basically evil. We choose to do what is right (not what we feel is right) we are being conservative. Why is the decision so often whether we do the easy (read natural) thing, or the right thing? Evil is a strong word, but I think human nature would have us pretty well out of control were it not for the morals we had instilled in us (most of us) throughout our lives.

When I was young, I was a liberal. As I grew more mature, I became a conservative. That certainly falls into the definitions outlined in the original post.

Steve

Fran Crimi
09-21-2005, 07:34 AM
The dictionary uses these words to describe a good person: Kind, benevolent, virtuous, commendable.

I think most people have moments of goodness...some, a whole lot more moments than others, but is it really smart to approach the world as if people are basically good?

Take someone like Bin Laden, or the Dictator of NK, for example: I'm sure they love their children, and probably act kindly towards them. Should we approach them, then, as basically good people who show affection and kindness towards their children? Just a guess here, but I think we might be signing our own death warrants if we did that.

What about the man who beats his wife and kids then feels remorse and apologizes? Is he basically a good person?

Fran

Chopstick
09-21-2005, 09:14 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr> At the heart of liberalism is the naive belief that people are basically good. <hr /></blockquote>The entire discussion starts off with this. If I didn't believe people were basically good, I'd rather be dead.

Is your mother basically good? Your other family members? Your other relatives? Your good friends? Most of your coworkers? Aren't most people you know basically good?

I think it's stupid to say it's naive to believe that most people are basically good.

If the heart of liberalism is the naive belief that people are basically good, is the heart of conservatism the belief that people are basically evil?
<hr /></blockquote>

People are a part of nature. I don't think anyone would disagree with this. Every living thing defines it's life as it goes along. Nature is not intrinsically good or evil. People aren't either. They are what they have defined themselves to be. This is an ongoing process.

Expect them to be good and you will be disappointed. Expect them to be evil and you will again be suprised. Better to be objective and expect nothing. Just see them as they are.

Personally, I prefer evil. I'd take one evil 9ballgirl over 72 virgins anyday. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif


ChopStick~~~&gt;Evil and loving it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

moblsv
09-21-2005, 07:42 PM
talk about naive. Is the horse-hucky that people who vote republican actually believe?

heater451
09-22-2005, 04:08 PM
I couldn't resist. . . .although, I had to leave out the paragraph about professors, as I don't have time to come up with opinionated fluff. . . .


Why do people hold conservative-right positions? (Conservative and right were once very different, but not anymore.)

This question has plagued me because I have long believed that most people, conservative or liberal, mean well. Very few people wake up in the morning planning to harm society. Yet, many conservative positions -- I emphasize conservative positions rather than conservatives because most people who call themselves conservative do not hold most contemporary conservative positions -- have been wreaking havoc on America and the world.

How, then, can decent and often very smart people hold conservative positions?

There are many reasons, but the two greatest may be naivete and narcissism. Each alone causes problems, but when combined in the same person, they are particularly destructive.

At the heart of conservatism is the naive belief that people are basically good. As a result of this belief, conservatives rarely blame people for the evil they do. Instead, they blame economics, parents, liberalism, affirmative action, and anything else that can let the individual off the hook.

A second naive conservative belief is that because people are basically good, killing people is always better than talking, let alone forgiving, them. "Kill with Saddam," "Nuke with the Soviets," "Talking never solves anything," "Think war," "Kill’em all. . .Let God sort them out" -- the conservative mind is filled with naive cliches about how to deal with people.

Indeed, the very use of the word "socialism" greatly disturbs conservatives. It shakes up their child-like views of the world, that everybody is at heart an evil person who is either a terrorist or led to do unfortunate things by outside forces.

The second major source of modern conservatism is narcissism, the unhealthy preoccupation with oneself and one's money. We live in the Age of Narcissism. As a result of unprecedented affluence and luxury, preoccupation with one's psychological state, and a hedonistic culture, much of the West, America included, has become almost entirely money-directed.

That is one reason "business" and "security" are two of the most often used conservative terms. "Character" is no longer a conservative word because it implies self-restraint. "Good and evil" are not conservative words either as they imply a moral standard beyond one's money. In assessing what position to take on moral or social questions, the conservative asks him or herself, "How do I capitalize on it?" or "What’s in it for me?" not "What is right?" or "What is wrong?" For the conservative, right and wrong are unquestioningly “known” by them, and every person who doesn’t agree is wrong, or evil..

A good example of conservative narcissism is the conservative position on abortion and capital punishment. For the conservative, the worth of a human fetus, whether it is allowed to live or to be extinguished, is entirely more important than that of the mother. Even if the mother’s life would be endangered, due to the pregnancy, an abortion would be illegal. In the case of a pregnancy caused by rape, that the fetus lives is more important than the life it would be doomed to live. In fact, to them a fetus is more important than an adult criminal, who should be put to death for his crimes, even though the goal of prisons is supposed to be rehabilitation, and not punishment

There are not many antidotes to this lethal combination of naivete and narcissism. Both are very comfortable states compared to growing up and confronting humanity, and compared to making one's money subservient to a higher standard. And comfortable people don't like to be made uncomfortable.

Hence the conservative attempt to foment the Judeo-Christian code or at force its influence on public life. Nothing could provide a better example of contemporary conservatism than the conservative battle to place Christianity over all other religions. Conservatives want commandments, but not to follow them.


NOTE: I don't beleive this to the extreme. I'm just playing with the words.

=======================

pooltchr
09-23-2005, 05:25 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote heater451:</font><hr>At the heart of conservatism is the naive belief that people are basically good. As a result of this belief, conservatives rarely blame people for the evil they do. Instead, they blame economics, parents, liberalism, affirmative action, and anything else that can let the individual off the hook. <font color="red"> I think most conservatives believe there is not enough personal responsibility being accepted. Spill hot coffee on yourself and it's not your fault. Sue McDonalds because the coffee was too hot! </font color>

A second naive conservative belief is that because people are basically good, killing people is always better than talking, let alone forgiving, them. "Kill with Saddam," "Nuke with the Soviets," "Talking never solves anything," "Think war," "Kill’em all. . .Let God sort them out" -- the conservative mind is filled with naive cliches about how to deal with people. <font color="red"> Absoultely! We should have talked with Hitler and tried to understand his "feelings"! </font color>

Indeed, the very use of the word "socialism" greatly disturbs conservatives. <font color="red"> Damn Right! This country is great as a REPUBLIC! Socialism doesn't work! </font color> It shakes up their child-like views of the world, that everybody is at heart an evil person who is either a terrorist or led to do unfortunate things by outside forces.

The second major source of modern conservatism is narcissism, the unhealthy preoccupation with oneself and one's money. We live in the Age of Narcissism. As a result of unprecedented affluence and luxury, preoccupation with one's psychological state, and a hedonistic culture, much of the West, America included, has become almost entirely money-directed. <font color="red"> True to a degree, but for both conservatives and liberals. </font color>

That is one reason "business" and "security" are two of the most often used conservative terms. "Character" is no longer a conservative word because it implies self-restraint. <font color="red"> I don't buy that at all </font color> "Good and evil" are not conservative words either as they imply a moral standard beyond one's money. In assessing what position to take on moral or social questions, the conservative asks him or herself, "How do I capitalize on it?" or "What’s in it for me?" <font color="red">Liberals do this as well. A disaster like Katrina becomes a political football, and a reason to bash the white house to solidify the liberal political position </font color> not "What is right?" or "What is wrong?" For the conservative, right and wrong are unquestioningly “known” by them, and every person who doesn’t agree is wrong, or evil..

A good example of conservative narcissism is the conservative position on abortion and capital punishment. For the conservative, the worth of a human fetus, whether it is allowed to live or to be extinguished, is entirely more important than that of the mother. <font color="red">Both lives are equally important...that's why it's wrong to take either one for the sake of convenience </font color> Even if the mother’s life would be endangered, due to the pregnancy, an abortion would be illegal. <font color="red">wrong </font color> In the case of a pregnancy caused by rape, that the fetus lives is more important than the life it would be doomed to live. In fact, to them a fetus is more important than an adult criminal, who should be put to death for his crimes, even though the goal of prisons is supposed to be rehabilitation, <font color="red"> The rehabilitation works so well...that's why so few criminals who get out of prison ever return! </font color> and not punishment

There are not many antidotes to this lethal combination of naivete and narcissism. Both are very comfortable states compared to growing up and confronting humanity, and compared to making one's money subservient to a higher standard. And comfortable people don't like to be made uncomfortable.

Hence the conservative attempt to foment the Judeo-Christian code or at force its influence on public life. Nothing could provide a better example of contemporary conservatism than the conservative battle to place Christianity over all other religions. <font color="red"> Not to place it above other religeons, just to protect it as we do all other religeons </font color> Conservatives want commandments, but not to follow them.


NOTE: I don't beleive this to the extreme. I'm just playing with the words.

======================= <hr /></blockquote>

Sid_Vicious
09-23-2005, 05:44 AM
"Liberals do this as well. A disaster like Katrina becomes a political football, and a reason to bash the white house to solidify the liberal political position"

Bull malarkey! Many, many concerned Americans like Gayle and myself are simply stupefied that such horrendous incompetence which allowed far too many unnecessary deaths to pile up in the aftermath of that storm's results, that putrid readiness and reaction FROM ANY POLITICAL SIDE, is simply a compassionate, human emotion. It is getting to be a knee jerk reaction from repubs to claim everyone who criticizes the administration(Bush in this case) as being a basher. The guy is absolutely an incompetence idiot, no ifs and or buts. sid

heater451
09-23-2005, 05:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote pooltchr:</font><hr><font color="red"> True to a degree, but for both conservatives and liberals. </font color><hr /></blockquote>PT,
This is really the whole point of me swapping the words for opposites (where I could).

However, some of the other substitutions were just thrown in as they came to mind. For example, the mentioning of the word "socialism" got just the reaction from you that I described. Socialism works, when people **work** at it. (Hell, you could say that Communism "works", but because the wrong kind of people wind up in charge, it only works to the advantage of a few.) My point about the word, is that there is a knee-jerk to it. "Socialized medicine", for instance, causes some people to run in fear, just because they connotate the word with "bad" (compared to Capitalism).---A side point here, Capitalism is in no way equal to Democracy (whether democracy is considered a "tyranny of the majority or not"). To tell the truth, I'm not even convinced that we're not currently living under an Oligarchy, or maybe an Aristocracy.

Farther to the side, I've never seen that it's that easy to separate "liberals" and "conservatives", especially since those are marks on a sliding scale. (NOTE: I am NOT equating these terms with Republicans or Democrats.)

BTW, I left the word "good" in some places that I meant to replace it with "evil". Upon re-reading it, however, it still didn't affect my (intended) point much.



===================================

Gayle in MD
09-23-2005, 10:29 PM
LNAO Heater, ...When I was reading this Post, I was also noticing how the word "conservative" was right on, in place of the word "Liberal" I even wondered if the original poster had switched the two words intentionally! Then I read your post, and had to laugh!

It's interesting how the right struggles to use myth to suppress scrutiny of the Chimp in the White House. We're not supposed to scrutinize the lies and the inept failures of George Bush, we're just supposed to blindly support his destructive policies, and if we notice they aren't successful, we're communists! The pompus bible thumpers are the worst. How could we expect people who believe that a man can live inside a whale, could be intelligent?

Whatever they think, there is no doubt that when a president can watch what happened on 9/11 and then neglect the importance of having the very best people in charge of our National Security, and Federal REsponse, no one could deny that his priorties are screwed up.

Here is the best definition of evil that I have ever found.

"The exercise of political power, in other words, the exercise of ones will, by overt, or covert coersion, in order to avoid spiritual growth."

"People Of The Lie" M. Scott Peck

George Bush is the biggest liar to ever become President. His lies have been documented over and over again. Lies are the Hallmark of evil. The right spent a fortune investigating Bill Clinton's personal sex life, which had absolutely no effect on National Security, caused the death of no one, squandered none of the money of the tax payers, and put no one at risk for war, yet the right blew billions investigation him.

People who voted for Bush were duped. Soon, this country will go down the tubes. Our debt is horrendous, Iraq is a mess we can't get out of, National Security and emergency response is a joke, poverty levels are soaring, we have lost the respect of the rest of the world, the deficit is the worst ever, but fear not, the right is happy,.... gay people can't marry, and abortion is on the way out.

What a bunch of idiots!

Gayle in Md.

Vagabond
09-24-2005, 03:51 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> The right spent a fortune investigating Bill Clinton's personal sex life, which had absolutely no effect on National Security, caused the death of no one, squandered none of the money of the tax payers, and put no one at risk for war, yet the right blew billions investigation him.

<font color="red"> </font color>THE GUYS WHO CAN`T GET DATES GOT JEALOUS.

People who voted for Bush were duped. Soon, this country will go down the tubes.

<font color="red"> </font color> WE ARE ALREADY IN IT.

What a bunch of idiots! <font color="red"> </font color>
Vagabond /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif



Gayle in Md. <hr /></blockquote>