Liberals always on offense, conservatives always on defense

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.

Again, “offense” in this context doesn’t necessarily mean an attack directly on a group of people, but rather, a big attempt to change the status quo.

If the status quo was “marriage = one man one woman,” then for liberals to push same-sex marriage was a big change to the status quo - it was a big step. For conservatives to oppose or stall SSM, was defense. But - conservatives didn’t have anything to gain - all they could do, at most, was keep things at status quo. Liberals, on the other hand, had a lot to gain, at worst, things stay status quo, but at best, SSM gets passed.

Sure - and these conservative pushbacks could be called “counterattacks” - but the overall dynamic is still by and large liberals on offense, conservatives on defense. In every invasion, there will be brief times when the defending side may counterattack and chip away at the aggressor’s gains, but that does not change the nature of the overall dynamic.

Right, like I said, if the status quo is that you get to punch Jeff in the face, then me getting you to stop punching Jeff in the face is what you call an attack.

In a twisted way of thinking, you are able to put out a justification that you are the one who is being wronged, that you are the victim here, that not being able to feel the Jeff’s face splitting under your onslaught is making you into the martyr, but that’s just because you have chosen to frame the discussion in that way, not because you are actually being harmed in any way.

Again, “offense” in this context doesn’t necessarily mean an attack directly on a group of people, but rather, a big attempt to change the status quo.

If the status quo was “marriage = one man one woman,” then for liberals to push same-sex marriage was a big change to the status quo - it was a big step.

Cool. Do abortion next.

Please explain how allowing, rather than outlawing abortion, is an expansion of state power. Also, please explain how allowing, rather than banning, gay marriage is an expansion of state power. Then, please explain how allowing gay sex, rather than banning it, is an expansion of state power. Thanks!

OP, conservatives have been on offense when it comes to gun rights and federal judge appointments, at least, right?

This is really nothing more then an extension of the conservative martyr complex. The need be “the real victim” is an overpowering force.

It’s conservatives who get upset when anyone criticizes the flag. It’s conservatives, not all that long ago, who didn’t want sex overtly referred to on broadcast media (though sniggering was fine.) It was until quite recently conservatives who went on about standards of “decency” in public speech. It was conservatives who threw a fit about “Piss Christ”. It’s conservatives who want English-only-this-is-the-USA! movements and regulations.

And this, of course:

And everything Pantastic said.

Liberals, and conservatives, and pretty much everybody else don’t like what they consider “unacceptable” speech. They just disagree about what’s “unacceptable”.

Speaking of a big attempt to change the status quo:

It’s nearly always liberals who are attempting to conserve environmentally sensitive lands. It’s nearly always conservatives who are attempting to drill into and/or build upon and/or pollute and/or drain and/or otherwise destroy essential water resources and habitat for species that, once gone, are utterly irreplacable. In many cases we didn’t even bother to name them before destroying them.

It doesn’t matter if conservatives fail to destroy a given habitat 99 times; if they succeed the 100th time, it’s gone for good. SSM (like abortion rights) could always be banned again.

And when you say “given habitat”, I hear “the Earth.”

Everything you mention IS about changing the status quo, which is currently wealthy, Christian, native-born, white male dominance.

In a way, it’s tactically offensive, but still on the strategic defensive. In military terms, the left/Democrats/progressives firmly hold the initiative, as without them initiating changes, nothing would actually happen, except for repeal of existing legislation.