Manual Liberal vs. Conservative: A Novella

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To avoid creeping government expansion, conservatives tend to minimize evidence of problems that might be solved by government and may distrust the motives of those who seek to emphasize problems in order to provoke government activity. Framing public debates in terms of problems and solutions tends to advantage Democratic interests, and thus Republicans try hard to keep the conversation focused on ideology.

Liberal vs. Conservative: A Neuroscientific Analysis with Gail Saltz

Critics often view conservative ideology as merely a rationalization for advancing the material interests of a few privileged social groups whom it is impolitic to champion explicitly. However sincere or not, Republicans have had a great deal of success with their ideological approach.

An interesting section of the book traces the crafting of the ideology from the s onward. When laid out in this fashion, the foundations of Republican ideology do not necessarily look ironclad. They do not ask whether our traditional values truly are under threat, or whether various disadvantaged groups really are getting a raw deal, or whether the administrative state promoted by liberals is getting out of control.

Each is susceptible to rebuttals—to illustrate not to dispute , here are some examples:.

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The Democratic Party, however, does not dare to publicly put Republican ideology on trial. Doing so would radicalize many Republicans, and in the process would likely alienate not only independent voters but also religiously-conservative minority groups. So, independent voters are unlikely to encounter debates about the assumptions of ideological conservatism. Still, there is no guarantee that the Republican formula will work forever.

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And so it would foolhardy to bet that Republican ideological fervor is going to run out of steam. Perhaps the greatest risk to Republican electoral success is a stronger enthusiasm for center-left solutions by independent voters. As discussed previously, the American public is operationally liberal about almost all individual issues. When independent voters are not sufficiently focused on individual issues, their symbolic conservativism typically holds sway. Conversely, if they do focus on individual issues, and obtain some degree of understanding about their realness, urgency, and solvability, then the fears originating in their symbolic conservatism may have insufficient power over them.

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The Cultures of Liberals and Conservatives | Cornell Research

It remains to be seen whether Democrats will recognize this opportunity, and whether a way will be found to entice independent voters into focusing on issues. Most voters do not have the energy for finding and reviewing facts and data, let alone reading policy documents. For example, in their book Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats, the political scientists Grossmann and Hopkins have explained […]. Your email address will not be published. Leave this field empty. And neither side can understand the other: Republicans claim that they are the party of principles, whereas Democrats are the party of giveaways.

Many Democrats are suspicious about the sincerity of Republican ideology.


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If unchecked, it would become a totalitarian state, destroying individual liberty and private property—the wellsprings of a prosperous society. To the traditionalists , liberalism was a disintegrative philosophy which, like an acid, was eating away at the ethical and institutional foundations of Western civilization, creating a vast spiritual void into which totalitarian false gods would enter.

Ostrich Politics: Can We Break the Denial-Denunciation Cycle?

To the Cold War anti-Communists , modern liberalism—rationalistic, relativistic, secular, anti-traditional, quasi-socialist—was by its very nature incapable of vigorously resisting an enemy on its left. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Donate Today.

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