Monday, July 14, 2014

Definitions

In my last post, I mentioned how frustrating it is to try and debate in a world where important words are ill defined.



Let us look at some easily available definitions of conservative(ism) and liberal(ism) in their political context.

I was going to define more terms such as neo liberal, neo conservative, realist and neo realist...but we have had quite a challenge recently with just these two terms:

conservatism (Nelson)-  A political ideology generally characterized by a belief in individualism and minimal government intervention in the economy and society; also a belief in the virtue of the status quo and general acceptance of traditional morality.
conservative (Merriam-Webster)- a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change; specifically :  such a philosophy calling for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs (as retirement income or health-care coverage) 
conservative (Oxford)- A person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics. 
conservative (Conservapedia)-A conservative is someone who rises above his personal self-interest and promotes moral and economic values beneficial to all. A conservative is willing to learn and advocate the insights of economics and the logic of the Bible for the benefit of all.
 

liberalism (Nelson)- A theory of international relations stressing the rule of law
liberalism (Merriam-Webster)-  a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically :  such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class) 
liberal (Oxford)- (In a political context) favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform: a liberal democratic state
liberal  (Conservapedia)- A liberal is someone who supports liberalism, which is a political philosophy on the left of the political spectrum. Liberals favor an increase in government spending, power, and control, as in Obamacare. Most liberals also support the censorship and denial of Christianity because of its strong moral values. 


Nation (Nelson)- Individuals whose common identity creates a psychological bond and a political community.

Under the definition of Nation...does the USA fit the description today?  

Note: I looked for a liberalpedia and there isn't one, at least not one that is not upfront about their cathartic humorist purpose.  

 Conservapedia takes itself seriously, and by the look of the New Republicans (my own term), so do many victims who use the site.

New Republican-  US citizens who call themselves Republican or Conservative, but who are really the victims of propaganda pushed by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh etc.; Christian theocrats;  Generally deny science in favor of the Bible and the status quo;  Intolerant to diversity and individual civil rights.

Unfortunately in our times, the two definitions being used in national debate are the CRAZY ones...that is the one I made up: New Republicans; and the one Conservapedia made up.  

Pitting these two nouns against each other, there is no room for compromise...and this is why the US is where it is in politics today.  CRAZY, INCOHERENT, STUCK, STUPID, IN DANGER.

Can we please just agree on common sense, REAL definitions of conservatism and liberalism and go from there again, otherwise we may find ourselves back at the beginning...without any freedoms, under the rule of some iron fist because we CANNOT GOVERN OURSELVES.

Using the traditional definitions, there is hope for compromise and a return to a nation that is able to move forward- whether incrementally or radically based on agreed needs and purposes.

Where left and right have traditionally agreed is 1. the rule of law and 2. individual freedom.

One last point:  The fact that 'republicans' have taken on this new definition of 'liberal' is a testament against their loyalty to conservative values.  They have radically changed the widely accepted and historically used definiton of 'liberal'.

As a nation we need to ask....

"WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF THIS NEW TERM?"
"WHY?"
"FOR WHAT PURPOSE?"


Make a great day

-Kathryn