Why do conservatives post here?

I don’t intend this in a hostile way. I’m really curious.

I think of the board as a social place. A place where you can go and enjoy conversing with like-minded people. I think most people are like that - we prefer to associate with people we get along with.

Now, I feel this board is more liberal than conservative. And I think most of the conservatives who are here would agree. (And several threads have said this.) Some conservatives are posting that they have come to expect to be harassed here because of their political views. But there are still conservatives who have been posting here on a regular basis for years, despite the fact that they feel this board has a strong liberal bias.


Why not go to some other board which has a conservative majority and where you’d feel more comfortable? Why hang out with liberals? What motivates you to associate with people you dislike and feel dislike you?

I have some possible theories (from a conservative viewpoint):

  1. It’s not all about politics - Sure, I argue with the liberals over political issues. But the majority of posts are non-political and I enjoy those. The hostility over politics is just the price I have to pay for all the other stuff I enjoy.
  2. I enjoy a good fight - No point in hanging out with a bunch of people who agree about everything. I want a challenge. As a conservative, I find this board challenges me on my political views.
  3. I’m a rebel - I don’t run with the crowd. I like to stand out so as a conservative I like to hang out around liberals.
  4. I’m on a mission from God - I hate coming here and arguing all the time. But you people need to hear what I have to say. I’m hoping that eventually you’ll realize I’m right and we’ll all be conservatives.

Do any of these ring true or is it something else?

  1. *Have you ever seen a conservative board? * - They’re all mouth-breathing racists and morons over there. I’d rather be around smarter people of whatever political persuasion, thank you very much.

IANAC, but I come here to learn. I disagree with a lot of the lefties and the righties on this board, but I learn something from both sides. I come here because there are a lot of intelligent people who post here, not because of any particular political affiliation.

Seconded. I’m surrounded IRL by conservatives, and its nice to balance everything out. I also occasionally listen to hannity or beck to get the crazy right side point of view. If you surround yourself with only one point of view, it allows you to get lazy in your perspective.

Bear in mind that “conservative” isn’t a monolithic term. You’ve got to reckon with the “libertarian conservative” types, or the folks who often describe themselves as “socially liberal but economically conservative”: someone who might well be pro-choice and can see eye-to-eye with liberals on gay marriage or marijuana decriminalization or whatever – but that doesn’t mean he’s backing down on free-market capitalism as the solution to many problems, sure as you’ll need to pry the gun from his cold dead hands.

So it’d be like #1, except it’s not just that the non-political stuff outweighs the political; it’s that plenty of political stuff fits fine to boot.

For me, it’s closest to #2. I don’t enjoy fights, but I do enjoy having to defend my opinions, because I think it’s only through surviving rigorous challenge that an opinion can be said to have real strength. There are things I would have uncritically accepted if I hung out at, say Free Republic, that I know from my reading here are simply false.

But this comes with a price that I don’t much like, which is that it’s of often personal. I have ideas about things that differ from most people here; I want to discuss those ideas without being called morally bankrupt or an evil schemer. But since that doesn’t appear to be possible, I am willing to accept the personal animus as the price of playing in the crucible of ideas.

By now it is just force of habit.

Plus my family has come to depend on my SDSAB salary; it’d be tough to give that up.

I fit that bill, and I imagine quite a few of the “conservatives” on this board to as well. I do think this board tilts left a bit, and tend to agree on the social issues with the liberals around here. Economically, I tend to disagree with them, but I learn from both sides regardless. The vast majority of the posters on this board are intelligent, witty, and good-natured - people that I enjoy discussion with especially if they disagree with me.

It’s your conservative nature that keeps you from changing? :wink:

What’s the big attraction of conversing with like-minded people? Might as well talk in an ecco-chamber or to your self. I’m more puzzled that so many liberals post here, when much of it boils to what-he-said posts. I also sometimes post on right-wing boards, but mostly to point out the bits I disagree with there. The herd mentality never appealed to me.

This, to a large degree. See the thread about “Anti-Zionsm is not Anti-Semitism” or the “Would you shoot your child if he were trapped in a burning car?” thread. Or most threads outside GD and the Pit.

This one too. I certainly find the weak places in my positions, and get a lot of practice in phrasing them as carefully as possible.

Meh. I don’t like being the odd one out as much as I don’t care.

To the extent that this is true, is it much more for the benefit of the peanut gallery than the ones I am debating. There are a number of folks hereabouts who won’t change their mind no matter what. But most threads have more views than posts. It is hard to tell how much I am influencing them, but I think it might happen.

I would add one -

  1. I think it is rather more common that a poster believes he won a debate than that the other side admits it.
    [ul][li]Tu quoques[/li][li]Fallacies of equivocation[/li][li]Strawmen[/li][li]Ad hominems[/li][/ul]All these are logical fallacies. If I put forth an argument, and all I get back is some or all of the above, it usually means one of two things -[ul][li]Some posters have no other way to debate, or [*]They cannot find any holes.[/ul]The thing is, winning a debate is fun. Catching the other side in a contradiction is fun. Posting an authoritative cite that directly contradicts whatever the other side proposed is fun. The devastating comeback is fun. [/li]
    Even if the other side pretends it didn’t happen. Now this is not to say that the conservative side always wins the debate. But it happens a hell of a lot more often than you would think from reading the responses of some Dopers.

I hope this thread doesn’t become personal.


I would see that as falling under #2. It’s acknowledging that there will be a debate and it appears that the debate itself was enjoyed even if there was no agreement on the outcome.

Same here. Nobody’s going to call me a conservative, but this is the same reason I hope we can gain some more conservative and non-U.S. liberal posters.

I visit Great Debates once or twice a year, and I go years without visiting the Pit. I’m used to being the most conservative guy in the room. This board is no more judgemental than the real world.

Reason #2 is part of it. I like the constant practice in refining my thoughts.

The other reason is to keep diving into the inner workings of the liberal mindset. Why do liberals think the way they do? That has always been a constant fascination for me.

I actually agree with many liberal concepts (equality, fairness, etc) but my practical side thinks it only works at the small scale: the family unit, the extended family unit, or a small community (Dunbar number). Anything beyond that is ripe for abuse and corruption which negates the sweeping fairness we were trying to engineer in the first place. In other words, we must have a natural inherent affinity for our fellow man (our neighbors) which makes it easy to overlay a formalized set of laws for fairness. Trying to do it in the opposite direction – retrofitting egalitarian policies on top of disparate tribal groups in America just promotes bickering and the only winners are the politicians and the people who bribe them.

Uhhg. This attitude is exactly why I don’t hang out here much anymore, even though I am very liberal. So insular and masturbatory. So pseudo-open minded.

Why would anyone only converse with like minded people. How in the world can you stretch and grow and learn, if you don’t allow anyone to challenge you and your ideas. Come on.

A certain amount of differences of opinions is fine. I can see people going to a football forum and arguing about whether the Colts or the Sanits are going to win the Superbowl. But why go there is all you’re going to do is post that soccer is a better sport than football and everyone in the forum is picking on you because you’re not a football fan. Even if what you say is true and people in the football forum are harassing you, why don’t you just go to a soccer forum instead and talk to other soccer fans?

There have, after all, been a recent string of threads by posters who are saying that they are being targeted because they are conservatives:
Is there a left/right bias in dealing with hyperbolic posters?
“Proper” use of mod powers to steer a thread in GD?
A Pre-Emptive Goodbye
Ask the incarcerated former lawyer
Are we just ignoring Der Trihs (This isn’t a Pitting, but I don’t know where else to put it.)

True or not, some people think they are being treated unfairly. Personally, if I was on a board where I felt most of the people were biased against me, I probably wouldn’t spent a lot of time there. But some posters here apparently feel otherwise and I was wondering why.

I used to train in jujitsu and judo. I fought a lot of matches. I lost some, I won some. But some of the wins I remember a lot more fondly than others.

I fought one match against a guy who outweighed me by a little more than a a hundred pounds. I threw him with ko-uchi-gari so hard that I knocked him out.

Winning a fair fight is one thing. Going into a fight at a significant disadvantage - and still winning? Hooo boy.