A Comparison of Conservative and Liberal Thought

The Liberal

A month or so ago, I got involved in several discussions over on ScienceBlogs in which conservatives were maligned rather harshly by other commenters. So I asked one of them to define what he meant by “conservative” and he directed me to his blog’s Ideology archives.

Obviously some of the entries are simply political snark and Coturnix of A Blog Around The Clock is a prolific blogger. He refers to George Lakoff’s books, particularly Moral Politics, very often. I haven’t read that book. After having read so much of Coturnix’s writing about it, I’m tempted, but then wonder if I’d just be bored.

I’ve chosen what I hope are representative posts of this one liberal’s idea of conservatism. Note that neither the author nor I have made any attempt to organize these in a manner of one thought flowing to another. They are basically chronological, which is fitting. Some of the following links go to a previous blog written by Coturnix. 

Regressives: What Should We Call Them? – March 28, 2005
Moral Order – June 23, 2006
Nurturant is not Coddly! – July 21, 2006
Why Creationists Need To Be Creationists – July 26, 2006 (see last comment for links to updates)

The Conservative

Assistant Village Idiot has thoughtfully arranged links to his series of posts on the roots of liberalism here. I cannot thank him enough because that makes finishing this post so easy on me.

2 thoughts on “A Comparison of Conservative and Liberal Thought

  1. Thanks for the link. I followed the posts at the other sites and had to fight down the impulse to argue with them point by point. But there simply isn’t any reason to. Most of the writing isn’t thinking at all, just mind-reading and reassuring each other that THEY get it. No curiosity about what makes someone with a different POV tick, just assumptions and stereotypes.

    I retain a simple, perhaps foolish, faith that there are lots of liberals out there who aren’t like this; that the political side of the internet just brings out the worst people and the worst in people. Certainly, there are conservatives in comment sections as well who embarrass me with their vituperation and lack of grace. And professional writers do rather have to be pointed instead of measured in their statements, I suppose.

    But the reality is I come from liberals and work in a liberal field, and there are very few who do not let jaw-dropping prejudice drop from their lips on occasion. Even the best of them make unguarded comments that they can’t possibly have turned around in their head to see what it would sound like being received instead of delivered. It is hard not to treat them as bright adolescents, frankly.

    If someone knows of a series similar to mine from the other perspective, of a liberal trying to actually understand conservatives, I would very much like to read that and begin to interact with that person.

  2. AVI… your comment is an example of why I read your blog. I too would like to read a liberal actually trying to understand a conservative.

    My sister and brother are liberals, though they do not resemble each other in the stripes of their liberalism. In the past, my sister and I have both shed tears at the seeming lack of understanding between the two ideologies.

    That two people raised by the same parents can be so far apart is probably emblematic of how the nation can be so divided.

    However, I think Coturnix is shallow in his (mis)understanding of America’s political landscape. I have said this in comments directly to him, so I do not feel as if I’m saying it behind his back here.

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