Liberals always on offense, conservatives always on defense

Reminds me of the conservative lady I saw at a protest against wearing masks, who was holding a sign that read “my body - my choice” :man_facepalming:

Or like trans rights: For the entire history of bathrooms, people chose for themselves which one to use, until liberals went on the offensive and passed laws regulating who could use which one.

Oh, wait, that wasn’t liberals. Never mind, then.

Chumba_Wumba, remind me again which party thinks that the leader of the government should be allowed to do whatever he wants, and that it’s unAmerican to restrict or limit him in any way?

OK, thanks.

This isn’t an accurate portrayal of the situation. For the entire history of bathrooms, there were few if any laws about who could use whom because just about nobody was suggesting that a man should use a woman’s or vice versa. The absence of laws was due to lack of it being an issue.

It wasn’t until the trans movement got to a point where there was serious talk of an MtF or FtM using a restroom perceived by anti-trans people as “not the restroom they’re supposed to use” that anyone passed laws.

Yes, exactly. Nobody suggested that a man should use the women’s room until conservatives passed laws mandating it.

It’s pretty clear that trying to define the conservative position in the American political sense in terms of the plain meaning of the word ‘conservative’ (as in preferring things to remain the same). The conservative bloc advocates for certain institutions (large businesses, police, military, churches) and opposes others (public education, unions, social programs) and would hold the same positions regardless of how traditional or nontraditional those institutions are.

Another realm where liberals are generally on the offensive and conservatives on the defensive is in the realm of speech or what is acceptable/unacceptable. This isn’t to say that conservatives don’t get outraged over certain speech (flag burning, for instance,) but generally when a celebrity, politician or someone is being forced to apologize for having said something “wrong”, it is for something liberals consider wrong, not something conservatives consider wrong.

But that’s about culture and society, not policy. Of course conservatives are, culturally speaking, on the defensive, and progressives on the offensive, wrt culture. That’s practically tautological.

This is bullshit. A)No one is trying to get laws passed to make any sort of speech illegal.

2)All you’re talking about is people calling out assholes for being assholes. Which clearly a defense to assholes having been offensive for so long.

I didn’t say illegal. I just said that liberals are generally expanding the realm of unacceptable speech (unacceptable in their view, that is) while conservatives are generally not the ones going around demanding apologies for this or that. This doesn’t need legislation; the cultural, employment, societal penalties are significant enough that people can feel compelled to say or not say certain things.

Yeah, but my point is that this movement is clearly a defense to assholes being offensive.

In any war, there will be counter-attacks that muddle things up and make it hard to perceive who is on offense or defense. But if we look at Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren/Andrew Yang, for instance, their proposals are a clear case of offense: Big proposed changes to the status quo. Universal basic income, single-payer healthcare, student loan debt forgiveness, probably a huge overhaul of the tax system, much greater focus on tackling climate change, etc.

“Offense” doesn’t necessarily mean “bad” (I think that’s what some people in this thread are confusing/conflating; they think offense means one side is doing wrong.) Indeed, I’d argue that many of the Bernie/Warren proposals are just what is needed. But they are indeed a big, aggressive step forward for the liberal-progressive cause, most definitely not status quo.

If that’s what you think I’m doing, let me rephrase it this way…

The status quo is that nobody is hurt.
The offense is some asshole saying or doing something assholish and hurtful.
The defense is pressuring the asshole into admitting their wrongdoings and attempt to undo the hurt they caused to get back to the status quo.

You’re not wrong in a general sense. Conservatives tend to want to keep things as they currently are, have an innate distrust of large societal or political changes, and have an extremely high respect for entrenched institutions. Liberals, generally speaking, are on the opposite end of those three items.

I think where you lose the plot a bit (and where some posters are calling you out) is that often what happens is that society progresses in a certain way (gay rights, for example) and then you have a period in which so-called conservatives are actually reactionary, fighting to put the genie back in the bottle. Often this reactionary activity is extremely aggressive, and liberals are left fighting a defensive struggle to “conserve” their gains.

Who is fighting the offensive on, for example, affirmative action? It’s not liberals.

I think it’s not a useful distinction, ultimately, because you can’t take a particular topic, determine who is on offense, and therefore know which position is the conservative or liberal one.

Remember Freedom Fries, and the Cancel culture against the Dixie Chicks?

I think this is the key difference. What Conservatives most want to conserve is the traditional power structure. They are generally anti government because, without outside collective coercion the powerful will naturally dominate the weak. However in areas where the government acts to enforce the dominant power structure (say policing) they are supportive.


That single topic renders the subject of this OP demonstratively wrong.

I don’t think that’s true. Sometimes they switch sides. Prior to WW II the conservatives were largely against a large military and global involvement. After WW II they switched and have been pro-military since.

Conservatives have largely won on free trade and globalism.

Until Trump. He has really turned a lot of things on their ear. The Republican base has started supporting tariffs and trade restrictions (and Democrats opposing them!) He’s pulling the military out of our world obligations, something Reagan would never have dreamed of. We’ll see if this continues when he’s gone.

I don’t see how the OP follows at all.

Liberals are the ones on defense in nearly all the situations.

Same sex marriage wasn’t an attack on conservatives, denial of SSM was an attack on homosexuals. That they see the defense of a group to be an attack on their own is simply their need for martyrdom and victimhood. It has no actual basis in reality.

No one cared what bathroom anyone used, until conservatives made a point of it, passing legislation that would force men to use the women’s bathroom and vice versa. The defense against this drastic invasion of rights and privacy is not an attack against conservatives, the perspective that it is is only in that they have fewer rights to discriminate and abuse others.

Basically, it’s like one person punching another in the face. When a third intervenes and tries to get the punching to stop, the puncher gets offended and claims that they are the aggrieved party here. “But I’ve always been allowed to punch him in the face!” is the entirety of their reasoning and defense of their practice, and unreasonable aggression and projection is the favored tactic.

Are you asserting that the following are done by liberals rather than conservatives? Because they’re all examples of opposing “free speech” in some form:

Objecting to the “war on Christmas”, including the yearly complaints about Starbucks chip design.
Objecting to posting or saying slogans like “black lives matter” or “fuck the police”?
Objecting to mention of any non-Christian religious tenants, and erecting monuments to non Christian deities?
Forbidding the teaching of actual science in schools, like evolution and climate change?
Protesting the inclusion of mixed race and or same gender families in ads?
Complaining to the FCC about offensive content on tv?

These are just a few of of the top of my head, but it’s really not hard to find examples of conservatives enthusiastically opposing free speech by the terms you laid out.

I think we’re in a 7th party system now.

The sixth party system seems to be changing along age, gender and education lines. Women lean more left, and high school educated whites keep moving right while college educated ones keep moving left. Also some southern and southwest states are moving to the left while several midwest and northeast states are moving to the right.

I’m wondering as the GOP becomes more and more the party of rural whites who score high in social dominance orientation and authoritarianism, if the GOP will start to abandon its free market economic agenda or not. The business class enjoys it, but their base do not.

No idea how foreign policy will change, if we go from a neocon foreign policy to more of an isolationist foreign policy. But domestically, the GOP will keep pushing more and more for authoritarianism on a national level.