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Sat Sep 8, 2012, 08:19 PM

Difference between Conservatives and Progressives?

This is just my take on this.

When presented with facts that conflict with ones ideology, progressives will look to their ideology as the place to make changes.

When presented with facts that conflict with their ideology, conservatives will look to the facts as the place to make changes.

Take any example you wish, we progressives are open minded,we are willing to change how we see things as fresh facts and data are presented to us.

Otoh we batter conservatives with fact after fact, chart and graph after chart and graph only to be frustrated as our efforts are dismissed out of hand.

My favorite example is to point out the massive election fraud that is going on. I couple my argument with the YouTube video of Paul Weyrich stating that Republican chances go up as voting goes down.
http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=VktGRDndLb4

There are tons of links proving that Republicans are preventing millions of legal voters, primarily Democrats from being able to vote. Imo, this proves that the Republican Party is destroying our very democracy!

Yet, when presented with all of this, instead of examining their ideology, my Republican friends choose to dismiss the data and in one case make the claim that Paul Weyrich is being taken out of context!

My point, at risk of broad brushing my fellow Americans, most conservatives are closed minded and will not willingly open up to change. We progressives share in this too because we can't seem to stop trying to make them change by using a tactic which simply has not worked!

A different tactic is therefore needed. I am open to suggestions.

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Difference between Conservatives and Progressives? (Original post)
chknltl Sep 2012 OP
Curmudgeoness Sep 2012 #1
chknltl Sep 2012 #5
Curmudgeoness Sep 2012 #12
chknltl Sep 2012 #13
Curmudgeoness Sep 2012 #14
ZX86 Sep 2012 #2
kurt_cagle Sep 2012 #4
meow2u3 Sep 2012 #3
chknltl Sep 2012 #8
JaneyVee Sep 2012 #6
chknltl Sep 2012 #7
Spider Jerusalem Sep 2012 #9
chknltl Sep 2012 #10
pampango Sep 2012 #11

Response to chknltl (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 08:30 PM

1. Since they have no ideology to speak of

and the facts are only things to be distorted, there is no purpose in trying to change them. Conservative, especially the extremists, get all their facts from Rush and Fox and have been trained to distrust any other facts. So I suppose that we have to define "facts" to them.

But I really do not even care about these extremists. The only thing that bothers me about them is when they start spouting their opinions to people who are torn between what to do and think. That is the only danger they pose. So we have to speak up to the undecided and the wavering. The facts will help there. Unless you are just playing a game to sharpen your debating skills, forget about the hardcores.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 11:46 PM

5. Perhaps they do have an ideology.

I do not mean this to be an offensive broad brush of all Republicans but I think that they may hold 'selfishness' as a commonality. Thom Hartmann calls it a 'me society' as opposed to our 'we society'. Regardless of socio/economic standing they have a 'I got mine, you need to go get yours but not at my expense' attitude.

One has to imagine that all but the most hardcore Republican is quick to switch sides when it is HIS job on the line or HER health care financing on the line or THEIR retirement on the line and etc. (That is IF they are able to recognize that the loss they face is coming from programs they as Republicans once championed).

This then is that 'selfishness' ideology I think they may share.

I like what you say about going out and getting the fence sitters by using FACTS. I do not know what percentage of the electorate is still undecided, but i'll follow your council should I meet up with any of them.

I further think you are right about the Republican extremists. Just like a religious extremist who would place prayer and faith healing over modern medicine, these guys place political ideology over science, these guys are also beyond our reach.

As to why I seek dialog with them, I wish to be able to paint a picture in their mind. That picture would be one they paint using a combination of facts they already agree upon and emotions they can not help but be aware of. I want them to see, not because of my logic but with their logic that they are indeed close minded as opposed to open minded, that they hate democracy as opposed to love democracy and that they believe in big foreign government controlling their lives.

I believe if I can get them to paint such pictures in their own minds, such pictures will only become reinforced when they hear right wing propaganda, giving them a window to see through it. I know it sounds a fools errand but it is how I would debate my points with right wingers. I do this because I do not see even the most extremist of right wingers as evil.

No, I can not reach them but over time, they may with my assistance reach themselves. I am in it for the long war, not the short pitched battle that neither side can win.

I have been mulling over posting an OP about government re-education. The Vietnamese did it out of spite and anger I think, those interred suffered horribly. Otoh the American Army at the end of WWII in Europe forced the German citizens who lived nearby the NAZI work/death camps to witness and even clean up the nightmares contained within.

I wonder if some kind of forced re-education could work on our right wing extremists. I am confident that those outside our nation who have suffered due to right wing extremism would be united here. Although I share their sentiment, I know that I am in a very small minority and even so what kind of re-education could be most effective?

Sorry for the rant....it did not start out that way nor did I intend it to become such.

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Response to chknltl (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 03:14 PM

12. Good luck with that.

I love your enthusiasm, and I in no way want to squash it. It may work. I have just been fighting the ignorance and close-mindedness for too long to think it will be successful. But I like your spunk.

I do not know how many undecided voters there are either, but I also think that many who are decided in theory can be swayed by rational arguments. You have to understand that most people are not like you or I or the other people on DU who have strong convictions and opinions. We study and read politics. We know what we believe and why we believe it. You would not believe the number of people who are voting for one or the other because "their parents" or "their husband" are voting that way. I work in a place where I am the only liberal, there are many staunch Republicans, and many of the employees who just don't understand either side will quietly come to me to ask questions about things that they hear or get emails about. These people are being swayed by the propaganda on the right, but they are also easily moved toward the Democrats.....I know of two that have decided to vote for Obama, but they had just figured that they "should" vote for Romney because that is all they are hearing. These people are not convinced and can change their minds. Why waste time on the hard-cores? (Let me admit to wasting time too, since the only reason people know I am a liberal Democrat is because of some of the arguments we have a work.)

As to re-education, I have real issues with that on so many levels. The first, of course, is perception. I believe in educating kids to be free-thinkers and to analyze everything. And I believe that if they do, they will see through the smoke and mirrors and will not be taken in by silly emails about Obama's birth certificate. But to forcefully educate toward one side or the other is a recipe for disaster. But hypothetically, if you wanted effective re-education, it should probably start with exposing them to real experiences that are not something that they would normally encounter---like working in soup kitchens and actually meeting people who are having a hard time in life, or meeting women who have been in abusive relationships and hearing their stories. (LOL, this got me thinking of the TV shows "Secret Millionaire" or "Undercover Boss" where holier-than-thou rich people have to experience what the rest of the world goes through daily.)

So you keep up what you are doing, and I wish you well. Just don't do it so much that it takes all of your energy, because that is really better spent on things that you can change.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #12)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 07:43 PM

13. Thank you Curmudgeoness, this is very well thought out.

If I hadn't created such a lengthy rant last response I would surely want to post one here. I'll try to keep it short. When debating hard core Republicans, I try to appeal to their basic emotions. It is through these emotions that they are already controlled, both from within and without.

One emotional button I like to push is a parent's love for their children, for all children and their deep understanding that children rely on us to protect them and their future.

Just as no parent, (no adult for that matter) would drive by a child playing too close to a freeway unattended, we who understand the current workings of our politics seek to keep any and all of our children's future safe from the ravages we currently see being proposed by the Republican party and their corporate masters.

Another emotional button I like to push, especially with Republicans is greed. As I have pointed out throughout this thread, they share a strong emotional element of greed. They are reluctant to give up what they perceive of as theirs. The Republican strategists and propagandists have demonized the left quite successfully pushing this button, it is high time we reversed the tables.

For examples here I point out that the left is constantly being accused of wasting our tax dollars but who was it that got us into not one but two wars, neither of which went after the real terrorists who caused 9/11. That was trillions of wasted tax dollars, OUR money that could and should have been put to better use improving OUR lives. That is what our tax dollars are supposed to be used for aren't they?

Another example is high prices. Who wants to spend their hard earned money on stuff they don't even want? What part of YOUR dollar would you give to a politician who seeks to rob you of an even larger portion of that dollar? Well that is EXACTLY what you do when you buy medications, when you buy insurance and when you buy gasoline. Part of your spent dollar is being used against you buying OUR politicians who in turn work against us in order to take even more from our pockets for their corporate masters. 100% of the Republican party is bought and paid for, their voting records testify that I speak the truth.

A last emotional button I push is the one called democracy. Most everyone would agree that democracy means that we all have an equal right to vote for the policies and politicians we would like to represent us. No not a definition but more a basic sense shared as to what democracy means on the individual level. Equally shared is the notion that millions have died defending our democracy. I like to use female terms when talking about democracy, it is a 'she's not an 'it'.

Everyone, regardless of politics and level of understanding agrees that we currently have the best government money can buy. When I push this button I point again to how the Republicans side with foreign transnational against We The People. They do so every time and their voting records testify to this. It is the Republicans, THEY are THAT bought and paid for government. It is the Democrats who still try to stand for We The People.

Furthermore it is not the Democrats who seek to prevent millions of legal, legitimate American voters from voting. It is the Republicans who do this with their tactics of election fraud and it is the Republicans who control the easily hacked into electronic voting machines. It is the Republicans who destroy our Democracy and do so at the bidding of their corporate masters, and foreign nations.

These then are my three emotion buttons. Protecting our children, protecting our money, protecting our democracy. One can frame arguments around any of them using hard facts and data easy enough, the truth is on our side. Perhaps through you, I can reach out to those undecided you spoke of. If you find a way to push the right emotion in even one if these fence sitting voters then I will feel that I have done just that!

Lastly, I just erased a lengthy additional rant regarding government re-education. I fully agree with your examples. I come at this from a whole different angle unrelated to your examples or my OP. Perhaps it is better that I leave it at that because this is a 'can of worms' (read nightmare) most Americans do not want to face.

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Response to chknltl (Reply #13)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 08:46 PM

14. I agree with everything you have stated.

It makes perfect sense to me that these arguments should work. But do they? Have you had any success (that you know of)? I also have argued some of your points, and others I will keep because I had not thought of them. These have never worked for me, unless seeing someone get red in the face and bunch up their fists is success. I only get them madder. Go figure.

Thanks for the additional arguments that I can work with. But I don't expect it to help with the hard-core.

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Response to chknltl (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 08:43 PM

2. True.

There is a winger talk show in my town where the host is always citing what some liberal said (usually out of context but that's a another story) and chastising liberal callers for not accepting whatever was said as gospel. He he fails to understand is liberals are not brainless automotons who take their marching orders without question from some group of liberal elites. I really enjoy Michael Moore but the reason I do is because I agree with a lot of his opinions. Not because he is simply Michael Mooreand liberal. If he says something stupid I am not bound to agree with him because he is progressive.

His favorites seem to be Spike Lee, Nancy Pelosi, and Al Sharpton. He loves to quote them endlessly then portray them liberal opinion makers who have legions of followers who hang on their every word and do not have opinions until one of these liberal elites gives it to them. This might be the way conservatives and Republicans operate but I have never witnessed anybody ever sitting around waiting for Pelosi to form an opinion before expressing their own.

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Response to ZX86 (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 10:25 PM

4. Authoritarians vs. Skeptics

This is a fairly typical mindset of authoritarians. They are tribal people that set their values in accordance with the leaders of their tribes until those leaders fall, and as such they expect other tribes, even "evil" tribes" to do the same. Most hierarchical organizations tend to be like this, especially those that have a political or religious bias. I think this is what confuses them so much about Democrats.

Most Dems, especially progressives, are skeptics who tend to question their leaders. They want facts, truthfulness, transparency, and clear articulation of intent by their chosen leaders. They also seek empathy of their leaders, not just for their particular causes, but in general. I think that's especially true of the younger generation. They are distrustful of ulterior motives and kingmakers. It makes it harder to mobilize Democrats because of these characteristics, and it can be frustrating to fundraisers, because you need many smaller donations to counter the few large ones that the Republicans get as a matter of course for not letting things like integrity, empathy, independent thinking and the truth stand in their way.

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Response to chknltl (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 08:52 PM

3. We have to use emotional appeal

Hammering conservatives with facts and graphs will not penetrate their thick skulls and empty heads. What we have to do is take a page out of their playbook: appeal to the fear of losing our democracy to a corporate totalitarian state that will make the regimes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao look like child's play by comparison.

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Response to meow2u3 (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 12:27 AM

8. FWIW: I agree.

Right wing media proves your point. That media is often short on fact, substituting instead emotionally charged lies to motivate their fan base with. How they do what they do is plain for all to see....well one would think plain for ALL to see.

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Response to chknltl (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 11:49 PM

6. Because conservatism isn't fact based, it's based on blind faith, ignorance, hate, & fear.

Its a reactionary to social progress & equality.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 12:23 AM

7. I would argue selfishness needsbe added.

I see them as selfish children. They have what they have in THEIR sandbox, but you are not allowed into that sandbox. You are supposed to go build your own sandbox. If by some chance your sandbox needs fixing, it will never be at THEIR expense....oh and btw they covet all you have in your sandbox too! Should somehow they wind up with all you own, then so much the better! That's the way it works in their capitalistic society. It always boils down to selfishness imo.

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Response to chknltl (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 12:40 AM

9. I have an intense loathing of the term "progressive"

Absolutely fucking hate the word. You know what "progressive" says to me? It says "hi, we're spineless and let the right wing demonise the word 'liberal' and make it a slur so we're calling ourselves 'progressives' now!" which...fuck that.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #9)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 03:48 AM

10. Ok, i see and use both terms differently.

I see the term liberal as an archaic version of the term progressive. John F. Kennedy was a liberal, he was proud of saying so I think. Dennis Kucinich is a Progressive. Perhaps he may call himself one or the other or maybe even both terms as needs dictate but for me he is a Progressive.

History is on your side Spider Jerusalem, the 'Neocons' demonized the hell out of the term 'liberal', they all but turned it into a pejorative to many if not most within our citizenry.

Furthermore Ed Shultz and Stephanie Miller both still use the term affectionately and in Big Eddie's case he does so to combat the righties bastardization of the word.

That said, Norman Goldman totally bushwhacks the terms 'liberal', 'progressive' and 'conservative'. He calls conservatives 'Big gub'mint liberals' (sic), and labels himself far more 'small government conservative' than any who would call and debate the point. In actuality Mr. Goldman does this to show how these labels are sorta meaningless.

I do not mind being called a liberal but I prefer to call myself a progressive. Is there any real difference in my mind? No, not really but one feels newer more forward looking, the other just an older version of that same term.

I can understand your outrage, I am not so fond of the Republicans dictating what terms we can or can not use, I am still on the fence with 'Obamacare' even though most, our President included are starting to use it fondly.

Sorry, I guess I am less impacted by the term 'progressive' than you, I hope you won't mind too awful much.

Btw, if by giving up the word.'liberal' I supposedly let the Republicans take my spine with it, and rumor has it that at some point before my birth I gave women one of my ribs, is it ok if I stand my ground on not giving up any more of my skeletal system? Tell ya what, if you want to take away my usage of the word 'progressive' can I just offer up with it the hair growing out of my ears? I lately have an over abundance of this and if you really must...., well I AM running short on spines and ribs.

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Response to chknltl (Original post)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 06:26 AM

11. While "facts have a liberal bias", people of all stripes get wedded to ideological policies that

are then difficult to change when 'facts' change. Liberals are much better at accepting facts as facts rather than twisting or rejecting them to fit an ideology as conservative will do, but it is difficult for all of us.

This is very well stated:

"When presented with facts that conflict with ones ideology, progressives (I would use "liberals") will look to their ideology as the place to make changes.

When presented with facts that conflict with their ideology, conservatives will look to the facts as the place to make changes."


While it is logical that over time all people (liberal and conservative) tend to stick with their ideology and the policies associated with it, conservatives are particularly likely to stick with their partisan policies precisely because they process incoming "facts" to fit their ideology. Of course this means that the policies they profess tend to never change.

Liberals, OTOH, while certainly tending to stick with their ideology and the policies associated with it, do have a much greater ability to "look at their ideology" as new facts are presented. Fortunately since facts have a liberal bias, when liberals incorporate these new facts they rarely have to change their ideology or policy preferences.

The important point is that as new facts are processed by political partisans, conservatives will almost never allow those facts to challenge their ideology and policies, while liberals will accept facts as facts and process them accordingly. I suppose if conservatives did allow facts to change their ideology and policies there would be no conservatives and no conservative policies left after a brief time.

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