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Why are conservatives and liberals so different?

November 16, 2010

Why are conservatives and liberals so different?  That is a question I think we all need to understand before we can tackle the issues that address this country.  To know one’s enemy is the only way to defeat them (using Obama’s term there) and lets face it guys, we have no idea what truly makes a progressive click.  So I am going to look at it from a philosophical standpoint; we focus way too much on specific issues, which in a lot of cases truly boil down to which side chose an issue first and politically the other side just chooses the other.  We need to look past the heaped-on make-up and patchouli oil and find out what is in the deep black pit of a heart that ticks in a liberal.

I believe, for the most part, humans are egoists.  Liberal, conservative, democrat, republican, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is how we allow our egoism to shape our lives.

Now, egoism is the belief that self-interest is the only motive of conscious thought, and while we can get into semantic arguments about sacrifice (like taking a bullet) for one’s loved ones, for the most part this is an accurate definition.  Why do we give to charity?  Because is makes us feel good.  Why do we work at a soup kitchen, because it makes us feel good and we can brag about how we are helping people which makes us feel morally superior.  These are legitimate emotional and logical reasons for doing something.  No one said charity had to be miserable, well, no one but the IRS.

But it goes further than that.  Why would I spank my child when I know it will make me feel miserable?  Because egoism isn’t confined to the here and now, it is not restricted to instant gratification.  I know by punishing my child, even when it kills me, it will make her a better person sometime in the future.  And that leads us to the first distinction between conservatives and liberals – the concept of the future.

Conservatives are fully aware that their actions today influence events in the future, and sometimes we have to suffer a little to gain farther down the line.  To the progressive, the here and now is of the ultimate importance.  Liberals are still egoists to be sure, but they don’t look farther than the present for the satisfaction of their ego’s needs.  Spank your child?  Hell no, they can’t fathom that something that has worked for millennium could continue to work, they don’t even want to think about that, all they know is it is cruel and when you come down to the true nitty-gritty, it makes the liberal feel horrible.  Give kids grades in schools?  Hell no!  Making kids feel bad is the worst thing you could do, because, again, it’s about the teacher wanting to be portrayed as the nice person.  They can’t stand it if they might be giving “their kids” inadequate self-images, despite the complete disservice they are doing to my kids.

But liberals portray themselves as huge altruists don’t they?  How does that work?  They are always protesting and yelling and screaming about the latest affront to whatever is wrong with the world.  That is an immediate satisfaction of their ego.  It goes even farther than that, because by a public display of protest, they are not only making themselves feel good for a cause, they are joining in on group activity, which is an even more powerful ego boost.  “Look at all the people who agree with me.”

Liberals care about the little man.  They are all about racism, sexism, Islamophobia, etc.  Whereas conservatives really don’t care about those things.  How come conservatives don’t and liberals do?  Mainly because conservatives are truly non-racists, we really don’t care what color your skin is.  That is the least influential factor in what kind of person you are, so much so that we don’t even bother to use it in our decision process.  Conversely, it is the first thing a liberal looks at.  What color are you, what is your sexual preference, what is your religion?  These are the most important things in the world to a liberal.  They define you by these categories.  It allows them to rate you in their hierarchy of victims, and guides them to the appropriate level of sympathy and empathy they need to squirt out like rainbow-colored crocodile tears.  Why do you think they so viciously attack minorities who stray from the left?  To them it is not only a betrayal of the minority’s appointed place in the liberal universe, but it flips the victim hierarchy on its head.  If you aren’t a victim, then their ego gets no boost by them feeling empathy for you, so they need to feed their ego in another manner, by attacking you.

Why do liberals need to feel this empathy?  It primarily stems from a very low self-image.  They need the victim hierarchy to allow them to elevate themselves to the level of “concerned friend”.  Remember, empathy isn’t only feeling emotions for someones situation, it is sharing those emotions, and that is an important distinction.  How can a rich white man properly represent the victims of America if he isn’t capable of sharing the pain, fear, sorrow, anguish and humiliation of being a minority victim in the USA?  He can’t, so he has to step into the emotional shoes of the people beneath him, he needs “to feel your pain brother.”  In all truth, they are a bunch of condescending racist hacks.

The final defining characteristic of a liberal?  Their complete distaste for responsibility.  This is manifest in so many incarnations it is impossible to list, so I will use one main example.  Why do liberals love bureaucracy?  Because there is no one person responsible in a bureaucracy.  It is a nameless, faceless, bodiless entity.  It is the power of the government incarnate in an omnipresent force.  There is always someone to blame in a bureaucracy, but you will never get to the end of the line to find him – the only surety is that it is not the person in front of you’s fault.  The bureaucracy is power without responsibility.  Perfect example, if the IRS gives you bad information, you, not the IRS, are still responsible for any fines or fees that result from that bad information.

A lot of people would ask about why liberals feel they need to control everything, and to a degree this is true, but that is only an extension of their fear of responsibility.  “If my kid eats Happy Meals, it’s not my fault they get fat, its McDonald’s’ for enticing my children.  Government, do something about this, I don’t want to be responsible.”  Salt is bad for you (it’s also good for you, something about all things in moderation), so New York goes all Nurse Ratched on the restaurants and restricts it.  Why?  Not because they care about you.  Not even because they want to control the restaurants.  It’s because they want the nameless, faceless god of government to not allow them to eat something that is bad for them because they can’t control themselves.  Remember them being here-and-now egoists?  See, I told you.

Liberals are an interesting creature to analyze.  They are full of so many emotions that often their behavior seems hypocritical, but only because we conservatives view them through our lens of the world.  They are actually quite predictable.  We need to understand their philosophy to better understand them.  Hopefully this post is a good start.

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2010 8:20 pm

    Fleece Me you’ve broached a very important subject with today’s essay. I hope you won’t think me presumptuous; but I’d like to expand on your theme in my post for tomorrow. I agree that understanding what makes liberals tic is of critical importance. Thanks for bring this issue to the table.

    Cheers!

    • November 16, 2010 9:11 pm

      I would never think you presumptuous for expanding on my thoughts. I look forward to reading your post. =)

  2. November 16, 2010 9:27 pm

    good post.

    have you seen the research that says libs are moral adolescents?

    http://www.agoyandhisblog.com/2009/09/01/compromising-with-moral-adolescence-a-losing-strategy/

    be sure and watch the Haidt video linked there

    cheers
    Linda

    • November 16, 2010 10:34 pm

      What an interesting and informative video.

      The blog post requires a dictionary to read it all the way though, but that was very interesting as well.

      I like to think my writing is a little more accessible…or maybe I just don’t know so many big words. lol

  3. November 16, 2010 9:34 pm

    Great post! I think you summed up some of the differences perfectly! Liberals use identity politics, they first look at what a person looks like rather than who the person is, while conservatives do not look at race, they look at the person. Because we don’t see the race, we see the person, we are branded racists, this is 180 degrees backwards. But then again liberals ARE backwards.

    • November 16, 2010 10:36 pm

      Thanks. =)

      Yeah, identity of the individual is much more important to us than some stereotype from a group. Of course the liberal will say we stereotype liberals, and he would be correct, so maybe we are all guilty a little.

      • November 17, 2010 6:45 am

        Good point!

  4. Peter Fegan permalink
    November 16, 2010 9:46 pm

    You wrote: “We need to look past the heaped-on make-up and patchouli oil and find out what is in the deep black pit of a heart that ticks in a liberal.”

    Then you wrote in my blog, “I’m pretty sure on MY BLOG, I was quite respectful towards you. Not sure why you can’t be the same way.”

    Yep, you sure are quite respectful.

    • November 16, 2010 10:04 pm

      You don’t understand the difference between a generalized statement and a personal one? Don’t try to weasel out of the insulting nature of your personal comments to me by referencing a general comment not directed at you.

      I have only been respectful to you, on both my blog and your blog.

      To quote you from your first comment here – “And now I will sit back and watch as you and your friends roast me alive as a socialist / fascist / whatever.”

      It seems like you are constantly projecting how you like to treat other people. No one has roasted you here, yet you were expecting it. So you come up with an imagined affront to justify your behavior.

      Oh well, to quote you again, “If the shoe fits, wear it.”

  5. November 16, 2010 9:56 pm

    Funny you should post this after I had just read this article:

    The Liberal Mind Rejects Sad Facts

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/11/16/the_liberal_mind_rejects_sad_facts_107966.html

    The author discusses many of the same things you do. Both of you are right to a degree, I think.

    • November 16, 2010 10:38 pm

      Well, I didn’t say I was right, just my thoughts on the idea. =)

      Of course we have to generalize to some degree, we are talking about a large group, but I think for the most part there is some truth to what I assert.

  6. November 16, 2010 10:29 pm

    Great post. The thought process can best be described in a liberals defensive arguments.

    How often do you hear ” They don’t care about the less fortunate” or “They don’t care about the environment” Liberalism is based on feelings, Conservatism is based on fact. The liberal mind appears to be centered around the cause of the day. What ever gets your heart strings going and can be made into a rallying cry for funding…While a conservative generally looks into “Why” the cause exists.

    We look at man on the corner begging for money and ask WHY is this person on the streets? Did he make poor choices? did he do drugs, was he an Ex-Con, did he cause his own issues or is it because of society in general. A conservative may even ask the man some questions before deciding to give money to him or not. A liberal will fork out cash or call attention to the mans plight and make plans to have a fundraiser for him regardless of his beginnings…

    While both ways are not BAD per-se, the Conservative will simply go on about his business whether they gave or not, while the liberal will try and lay a guilt trip on you for not caring as much as they do.. A conservative may offer to pay to get the guy cleaned up and point him in the direction of a potential job, the liberal would spend more time and money trying to set the guy up on a food credit card or something so all he had to do was go shopping.

    There are many studies about the liberal/conservative mind differences and basically it boils down to responsibility, accountability and consequences. You can figure which ideology believes in those things and which plays word games and deflects when those issues come up

    • November 16, 2010 10:44 pm

      Thanks. =)

      Yes, for conservatives our biggest cause is ourselves and by extension our families. Liberals actually feel the same way, but they would never admit it. A liberal tries to help the little guy because it elevates him, it makes him a “good person”. Conservatives don’t need outside affirmations that we are good persons. If we help people, its because we want to do so for our own gratification, not so we can advertise to the world that we did so. This is why liberals so fervently join the cause du jour. They need people to see that they care.

      That doesn’t suggest that conservatives are immune to social pressures when it comes to charity, all people are.

  7. November 16, 2010 11:58 pm

    Colin you touched on the “why” of liberalism in a very clear manner. I agree with you when you say we must understand them. This is why I have as of late been venturing a bit on the other side. You are also correct they are very predictable and this becomes very stale in the eyes of the public. It was a excellent post.

    • November 17, 2010 12:02 am

      Thanks for the kind words. =)

      I do venture to the other side, but I go waayyyy over. My favorite sources for material are Common Dreams, the World Socialist Web Site, and Socialistworker.org. I find it easier to read them because they are devout socialists who truly hate the American system, so you kind of know what you are getting into. Huffpo and her ilk are still trying to pretend like they care and are just trying to fix our problems, of course they have the same goal, they just aren’t as overt about it.

  8. November 17, 2010 1:09 am

    Great one! As I’ve looked at liberals over the years, I’ve reached many of the same conclusions. They do certainly have that adolescent “here and now” thinking. I would also add that they have the same tendency for mock outrage, as well as the well placed tantrum.

    I have added your outstanding blog at the Conservative Hideout.

    • November 17, 2010 11:33 am

      Yeah, their righteous indignation is second only to Islam.

      Thanks for the the blogroll love, I will do the same. =)

Trackbacks

  1. Know Thy Enemy « Conservatives on Fire
  2. The Hierarchy of Victims, further explained « Fleece Me
  3. Adiosi Pelosi? | Capitol Commentary

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