Conservatives


Conservatives are traditionally defined as those who want to keep things the same - "laissez faire." They are referred to as "right wing" and are usually interested in business success and self-reliance.


"Historically, conservatism in the United States has meant support for small government, balanced budgets, fiscal prudence, and great skepticism about overseas adventures..." (Eyal Press. "Even Conservatives Are Wondering: Is Bush One of Us?" The Nation, May 31, 2004: 11).


A definition of Conservative

The Conservative Action Score for a member of Congress is calculated as percentage of a slate of possible conservative actions that were actually taken by that member. The conservative standard for judging bills is defined according to these conditions:

> Disregard for constitutional protections of American civil liberty

> Secrecy and exclusion of citizens from government

> Support for discriminatory policy

> The symbolic denigration and practical undermining of science and education in America

> Active harm to the environment or passive allowance for environmental destruction

> Pursuit of further advantage for those in America who are already its richest

> Dismissal of peaceful alternatives and submission to the interests of the military-industrial complex

(Taken from the website That's My Congress, 8/6/14)


"...the Bush administration... has forsaken the guiding principles of conservatism --prudence, caution, restraint -- to pursue an agenda that is messianic and radical" (Eyal Press. "Even Conservatives Are Wondering: Is Bush One of Us?" The Nation, May 31, 2004: 11).


The divided United States (Ad for The Great Divide, a book by John Sperling):

- Conservative: The South, the Great Plains, the Mountain West and Appalachia
- Liberal: The Northeast coast, the West coast and the Great Lake States.

- Conservative: 35% of the population and 50 senators.
- Liberal: 65% of the population and 50 senators

- Conservative: Subsidized extraction industries, agriculture, oil, gas, coal and forestry and majority of military installations
- Liberal: Non-subsidized manufacturing, financial services and information industries.

- Conservative: pays 29% of federal taxes
- Liberal: pays 71% of federal taxes

- Conservative: From 1991 to 2001, received $800 billion more in goods, services and cash from Washington than it paid in taxes.
- Liberal: From 1991 to 2001, paid $1.4 trillion more in taxes than it got back in goods, services and cash.

- Conservatives: Nobel Laureates in science and economics: 23
- Liberals: Nobel Laureates in science and economics: 235


The divided United States (Ad for The Great Divide, a book by John Sperling):

- Conservative: The South, the Great Plains, the Mountain West and Appalachia
- Liberal: The Northeast coast, the West coast and the Great Lake States.

- Conservative: 35% of the population and 50 senators.
- Liberal: 65% of the population and 50 senators

- Conservative: Subsidized extraction industries, agriculture, oil, gas, coal and forestry and majority of military installations
- Liberal: Non-subsidized manufacturing, financial services and information industries.

- Conservative: pays 29% of federal taxes
- Liberal: pays 71% of federal taxes

- Conservative: From 1991 to 2001, received $800 billion more in goods, services and cash from Washington than it paid in taxes.
- Liberal: From 1991 to 2001, paid $1.4 trillion more in taxes than it got back in goods, services and cash.

- Conservatives: Nobel Laureates in science and economics: 23
- Liberals: Nobel Laureates in science and economics: 235


"...the great truths of conservatism, I.E., "government [is] the problem not the solution; the social contract [is] a dead letter; the free market [is] the answer to every maiden's prayer"" (In Fact. The Nation, Oct. 11, 2004: 6).


A Summary of Philosophies and Terminology

The author sums up the opposite philosophies by contrasting their terminology in the following way (George Lakoff. Don't Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate: 94):
PROGRESSIVES CONSERVATIVES
Stronger America STrong Defense
Broad Prosperity Free Markets
Better Future Lower Taxes
Effective Government Smaller Government
Mutual Responsibility Family Values


"As economist John Kenneth Galbraith put it, "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness"" (Molly Ivins. "Subsidizing Selfishness." Texas Observer, April 29, 2005: 14).


"In the conservative blog world, the very act of weighing evidence, or even presenting any, is suspect. The modus operandi is accuse, accuse, accuse and see what sticks. BuzzMachine's Jeff Jarvis, who has become a self-style evangelist for right-wing bloggers... declares, "We're all journalists... The only thing that made journalists journalists before was access to the guy who owned the press." That, of course, is nonsense. Journalists aspire to standards of fairness(Eric Alterman. "The Pajama Game." The Nation, Mar. 14, 2005: 10).


"In the conservative blog world, the very act of weighing evidence, or even presenting any, is suspect. The modus operandi is accue, accuse, accuse and see what sticks. BuzzMachine's Jeff Jarvis, who has become a self-styled evangelist for right-wing bloggers... declares, "We're all journalists... The only thing that made journalists journalists before was access to the guy who owned the press." That, of course, is nonsense. Journalists aspire to standards of fairness, accuracy and research that are not generally observed by Jarvis's pajama-clad army. What's more, good journalism takes time and often money. At a recent meeting of bloggers and journalists at Harvard, Jarvis reportedly became so incensed when New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson asked him if he knew how much it cost to operate a bureau in Iraq, the moderator had to ask everybody to behave" (Eric Alterman. "The Pajama Game." The Nation, Mar. 14, 2005: 10).


Colby Glass, MLIS