I suggest we stop using "Liberal" and "Conservative" as nouns

Politics are divisive enough as it is. By labeling somebody as “a liberal” or “a conservative,” you assign a set of beliefs and opinions on practically every issue imaginable. We all know people are more complex than that. One can hold mostly liberal views, sure. Or hold conservative views on some things and liberal views on others.

But using these adjectives as nouns only serves to lump everybody into one of two opposing absolutes, which shuts down any thoughtful debate and widens the “us vs. them” divide.

We’ve (mostly) moved beyond using other adjectives as nouns; we rarely hear anybody referred to as “a black” or “a gay” anymore. Why not do the same for liberal and conservative?

Is it any better if they’re just used as adjectives? “You’re a liberal Clinton-supporter” or “a conservative voter” doesn’t really dig into the nuances of someone’s viewpoints either. In other words, my question is: Why nouns specifically?

I consider it a compliment when someone calls me a liberal.

I think the terms have lost much of their meaning.

I took a political survey the other day and I had to choose whether I identify as “Very liberal, somewhat liberal, in the middle, somewhat conservative, very conservative”. There was no option for None of the above.

I feel like I’m completely off the spectrum of contemporary American politics.

As I understand it, on various issues I’m a reactionary.

For me it’s clarifying to refer to the partisan divide as “liberal capitalists” and “conservative capitalists”. Then we’d understand that Republicans and Democrats have far more in common than their differences. The perception that “Democrats are trying to do teh socialism” is just a Republican strategic lie to spook the ownership class for partisan gain.

Most political people I know self describe as these terms, as a point of pride - not derivision. We are stuck with them.

I’m feel like I’m a conservative but I don’t identify with most current politicians, especially Democrats but most Republicans too. I don’t really fit into either party.

Gay rights, fine what you do in the bedroom is your business.
Abortion, not in favor personally but support it.
Marijuana, not in favor personally but support it.
Fiscally conservative.
Strong supporter of all constitutional rights including 2nd.
Health care, ACA isn’t working, private insurance isn’t working, so let’s just go with some national healthcare system.
Feel we need secure borders for national security.

That salad says you’re a liberal (let’s take care of each other and respect each other’s rights, you live your life and I’ll live mine), and has nothing to do with Dem/Rep. The test for that is: “Are lies an acceptable means of communicating?”

I agree. We should use Good and Evil instead.

Remind us again when someone said: That guy is a gay.

Sound a lot like socialist libertarian.

Socialist libertarian?

Is that kind of like a Capitalist Communist?

This is interesting. I agree with your premise, but why that conclusion? It seems like an odd one to me, especially for a self-identified “fiscal conservative”.

Labels may or may not be useful. Feel free to use them and don’t be surprised when they’re rejected.

“Liberal” has become such a subject of scorn in some quarters (going as far back as Phil Ochs’ “Love Me, I’m A Liberal”) that it’s understandable for liberals to cringe when so described, hence the popularity of “progressive”. “Conservative” lacks such opprobrium, for whatever reason. On the other hand, “right wing” seems to carry more negative baggage than “left wing”.

I have no problem being recognized as an extreme centrist. :slight_smile:

I am a fiscal conservative but certain things like infrastructure and defense needs to be national. I think the healthcare industry has gotten out of control with skyrocketing costs and a hodgepodge laws/insurance for every state. And really the insurance right now is different down to the county/city level in my state.

For the health of the citizens I think we need to let everyone on Medicare that wants it since it’s already in place and works, mostly.

Personally, I’d like to see an end to the use of “illegal” as a noun.

Also, an end to the use of “conservative” in describing reactionaries.

Homer Simpson said it in the episode with John Waters:

Obviously, that’s not a real person, but that usage doesn’t strike me as implausible. More old-fashioned.

I’ve been watching “The Americans” lately and it’s been interesting to hear the FBI refer to the Russian spies as “the illegals”.

I’ve heard females complain about a similar misuse of a part of speech.