What is the difference between a Liberal and a Conservative?

What is the difference between a Liberal and a Conservative?

I offer two short examples:
A Liberal believes in equality.

A Conservative believes in freedom.
A Liberal supports the rights of the individual and holds that society has certain obligations.

A Conservative supports the rights of society and holds that the individual has certain obligations.
Let us make an effort to keep this discussion above the level of “Conservatives are big meanies and poopie-heads” and “Liberals are pulp-hearted, pablum-puking clabberheads.”

Well, this Liberal thinks that every time he comes across this whole bullshit generalization of a Liberal and a Conservative, the the entire political spectrum is done a disservice. I’ve seen it repeatedly, here and right in my face, so often in the last month that I could honestly un-fucking-screw soemone’s head from their neck.

So, really, the difference between Liberals and Conservatives is immaterial, because pinning down exactly what every Liberal and ever Conservative is is impossible at best, insulting at worst.


I disagree with the OPs characterizations. To me, it’s really quite simple:

A conservative is opposed to change.

A liberal is an advocate of change, specifically the use of government as a tool to effect change.

A man is drowning 100’ from shore. A liberal would throw him 100’ feet of rope, then drop his end and go off to do another good deed. A conservative would throw the drowning man 50’ of rope and tell him to swim for it. :smiley:

Poppycock. I’m conservative and if I had my way there would be a whole heck of a lot of change.

A Liberal sucks and a Conservative blows.

“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.” - quote commonly misattributed to Winston Churchill

Well, I support the right of posters to post meaningless, simplistic drivel.

Then again, there are certain obligations to come up with posts that are likely to generate serious discussion, or even just entertainment.

I believe that’s all for now.

Are we only allowed to be one or the other?

Then maybe you’re not conservative with regard to those things. Give us an example of something you would change, and I’ll tell you if I think it’s a conservative view or not.

Sometimes, a person might hold the seemingly contradictory position that in order for things to remain the same, something must change. For example, a person who is socially conservative may believe that marriage must remain between a man and a woman only, BUT might believe that a constitutional amendment is necessary to preserve that definition. So while he believes in changing something, the underlying motivation is still that of keeping things the way they have been in the past.

Heh. Despite the pummeling I was offering you earlier, I think this is a legit topic of discussion, and one for which I don’t really have a clear answer. I sometimes think of it in Hegel/Marx terms:

Conservatives often overestimate the extent to which an individual creates her situation, while
Liberals often overestimate the extent to which a society creates an individual’s situation.

Similarly, conservatives often think the best solution to a problem is for an individual to solve it himself, while liberals often think the best solution to a problem is for a community to solve it together.

However, this isn’t always the case. It’s a difficult question, and one that might be better asked in Great Debates, where people won’t be allowed to be so insulting about your asking it :).


I thought a liberal was just a conservative who’s been arrested. The flip side is that a conservative is just a liberal who’s been mugged.


On that we can all agree.

According to the Dictionary, blowero seems to be correct.

There was no d. Sorry, parsing issues. :smack:

[li]Liberals are pansy-ass Robin-hood idealists who want to provide tax the hard-earned dollars of the wealthy and hand it out to deadbeats who are incapable of doing honest work.[/li][li]Conservatives are heartless, greedy bastards who think the government should be a Fundamentalist Christian Theocracy, don’t believe in civil rights, and think the proper place for the working class is yoked to sociopathic international megacorporations.[/li][/ul]
Simple, really. :wink:

Hmm…looks to me like this dictionary was written by liberals. Reminds of the news media prior to the advent of cable: a thirty second clip of the Democrat candidate spouting outrage at the Republican White House, followed by a three second announcement by the anchor that the White House denies the charge.


Maybe so.

What is your definition of Conservative?

They both want big government, but liberals want it in the boardroom and conservatives want it in the bedroom.

Then why the holy heck did you post this in the pit?

But since you did,