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Mosca
08-15-2006, 03:31 PM
"The radical right and the radical left see liberalism's appeal to reason and tolerance as the denial of their uniform ideology. Every democracy needs a liberal fundament, a Bill of Rights enshrined in law and spirit, for this alone gives democracy the chance for self-correction and reform. Without it, the survival of democracy is at risk. Every genuine conservative knows this."

Livinginthe past
08-15-2006, 03:50 PM
Okay here is my take on that quote.

I took the liberty of googling it to see who it was attributed to - and it was Fritz Stern the guy you quoted in the other religious thread.

Anyways, I digress.

As much as liberalism has become a dirty word in the United States (I have had several people label me as liberal - thinking they were actually insulting me) you cannot form a cohesive, democratic government without it.

Everyone has their own values, their own belief system - some choose to base it around organised religion, others choose to base it more loosely around life experience and their 'inner person'.

Liberalism is fundamental in society because it ensures that everyone has a voice that can be heard and recognised.

Radical religion, or radical political beliefs are based upon the tolerrance of only your own idealogy with absolutely no room for debate or discussion.

Radicalism, if allowed to flourish, strangles the individuals ability to think and form opinion based upon personal experience and preference - instead it enforces a doctrine that cannot be deviated from.

Personally I see radicalism as a straight jacket for the brain - one which inhibits freedom of thought and expression.

NM

3 to be 4
08-15-2006, 04:07 PM
"The radical right and the radical left see liberalism's appeal to reason and tolerance as the denial of their uniform ideology. Every democracy needs a liberal fundament, a Bill of Rights enshrined in law and spirit, for this alone gives democracy the chance for self-correction and reform. Without it, the survival of democracy is at risk. Every genuine conservative knows this."

reason and tolerence is all relative.

When my kid gets to third grade, maybe earlier, they are going to teach her about sex, maybe earlier than that its fine for her be a homosexual, that evolution is fact, and thats shes an idiot for believing anything else, that "when" she starts having sex, she can talk to her doctor about anything at 14 and its none of our business, and that if ooops, she gets pregnant, its ok to just scrape it out, and that if anyone objects, THEY are intolerant.

Conservatives have sure done their fair share of lack of reason and tolerence. Most bigotry in this country has originated from conservative mentality. Sadly ,amongst many of my "claiming to be" Christian brothers and sisters too (see South). And you cant say a word against how the war in Iraq has been fought without being called un-patriotic. The first sentence of your quote had promise, as both extremes are pretty whacked in this country. But by the end of the quote it appeared to brand conservatives as the problem. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Mosca
08-15-2006, 04:11 PM
Yep, the quote came from the same speech. It didn't apply to that other post (I was looking for something that would give weight to my point that Nazis claimed to be Christians, and even today the Aryan Nations use the bible to reinforce their credo), but I liked it because it gives the reason for the existence of liberalism. Liberalism isn't "leftism", it's tolerance for differing views. It gets vilified by ideologues because they have no tolerance, and it gets twisted by right wing ideologues because it allows tolerance for views they do not hold and they can shout the loudest.

Now, here is Mosca's corollary: A genuine conservative understands the need for a liberal philosophy, but a genuine liberal understands the need for action, the falsehood of believing that all ideas are of equal value, and understands that there is a reason change happens slowly. A true liberal respects conventional wisdom. It is folly to pursue an idea merely because it upsets the status quo, and it is death to not choose action at all. Think, reason, decide, and lead.

Liberals have been paralyzed by a lack of leadership and a lack of decisiveness. It's not enough to listen to all ideas, you still have to judge them, sort them, and act on what you believe.

Tom

CAH
08-15-2006, 11:02 PM
The problem is the Liberal Democrat today is not the same as the Liberal Democrat of appox 50 years ago. Today's Liberal leans so far left, they are hard to separate from Socialists. The ACLU (founded by a Communist) created our political correctness which is adhered to by liberals. They need to get their act together. IMHO

BlackNGold203
08-15-2006, 11:17 PM
"The radical right and the radical left see liberalism's appeal to reason and tolerance as the denial of their uniform ideology. Every democracy needs a liberal fundament, a Bill of Rights enshrined in law and spirit, for this alone gives democracy the chance for self-correction and reform. Without it, the survival of democracy is at risk. Every genuine conservative knows this."


LMAO...must be late......

God Bless America???

:cool: :cool:

3 to be 4
08-15-2006, 11:21 PM
The problem is the Liberal Democrat today is not the same as the Liberal Democrat of appox 50 years ago. Today's Liberal leans so far left, they are hard to separate from Socialists. The ACLU (founded by a Communist) created our political correctness which is adhered to by liberals. They need to get their act together. IMHO

excellent. my theory as well. The FDR,Truman,John & Robert Kennedy liberal has been replaced by the McGovern,Ted Kennedy, Clinton liberal that came of age in the 60's social revolution. old school liberals were progressive on civil rights but strong on defense and kind of normal on family issues. ( except in the Kennedy's cases, their personal lives)

Hammer67
08-20-2006, 05:29 PM
excellent. my theory as well. The FDR,Truman,John & Robert Kennedy liberal has been replaced by the McGovern,Ted Kennedy, Clinton liberal that came of age in the 60's social revolution. old school liberals were progressive on civil rights but strong on defense and kind of normal on family issues. ( except in the Kennedy's cases, their personal lives)

True...today's liberal (and far left Democrats) are handcuffed by blind idealism. They are overtly reactionary and short on concrete solutions. This is why the majority of thinking America is turned off by recent Democratic candidates.

Hey, a utopian society where everyone holds hands and sing peace songs is fine and dandy after a couple of joints, but the reality of creating such a society needs to be better thought out...:smile:

tsunami
08-21-2006, 08:15 PM
One particular example comes to mind. Welfare. Welfare was intended to be a stop-gap, a temporary solution that would enable a class of people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and begin again to contribute to society. Instead, it's become a legacy, a generational form of leeching away at the resources the productive members of society labor so hard for. Just the mention of reform draws giant red flags from the bleeding hearted and naive, but what has welfare accomplished? More importantly, where has it failed, and whom has it failed the most? Welfare has spawned exponentially increased numbers of victims from the originally relative small number of victims it intended to rescue.

Liberalism is fine, and it's important to have balance, but liberals are supposed to be the intellectual element of society. Show me the logic and greater good of creating multi-generational entitlement and I'll lend an ear...

Livinginthe past
08-21-2006, 08:43 PM
One particular example comes to mind. Welfare. Welfare was intended to be a stop-gap, a temporary solution that would enable a class of people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and begin again to contribute to society. Instead, it's become a legacy, a generational form of leeching away at the resources the productive members of society labor so hard for. Just the mention of reform draws giant red flags from the bleeding hearted and naive, but what has welfare accomplished? More importantly, where has it failed, and whom has it failed the most? Welfare has spawned exponentially increased numbers of victims from the originally relative small number of victims it intended to rescue.

Liberalism is fine, and it's important to have balance, but liberals are supposed to be the intellectual element of society. Show me the logic and greater good of creating multi-generational entitlement and I'll lend an ear...

Maybe the accompanying press release said that welfare was a merely a stop gap - the way I see it, its more of a tool to keep people further down the food chain exactly where they are.

Im all for reform of the welfare state, both in the UK and the US, but reform is a very vague notion - what exactly are you suggesting?

Personally, i'd like to see an end to immigration to fill the jobs that natives of the country do not want to fill - instead people who are unable to find gainful employment should be forced to work these jobs or receive absolutely no state financial aid.

Everyone who attacks liberals sounds awfully defensive - seriously its like 'conservatives' have to get their comeback in first.

Less name calling and labelling and more constructive input is the order of the day.

NM

tsunami
08-21-2006, 10:11 PM
Everyone who attacks liberals sounds awfully defensive - seriously its like 'conservatives' have to get their comeback in first.

Less name calling and labelling and more constructive input is the order of the day.

NM

Show me the logic and greater good of creating multi-generational entitlement and I'll lend an ear...

Hammer67
08-22-2006, 06:52 AM
Maybe the accompanying press release said that welfare was a merely a stop gap - the way I see it, its more of a tool to keep people further down the food chain exactly where they are.

Im all for reform of the welfare state, both in the UK and the US, but reform is a very vague notion - what exactly are you suggesting?

Personally, i'd like to see an end to immigration to fill the jobs that natives of the country do not want to fill - instead people who are unable to find gainful employment should be forced to work these jobs or receive absolutely no state financial aid.

Everyone who attacks liberals sounds awfully defensive - seriously its like 'conservatives' have to get their comeback in first.

Less name calling and labelling and more constructive input is the order of the day.

NM

I agree that we should strengthen our work incentives for welfare. That is a sad part of the system. The problem is that the welfare state is now a vicious circle where people are used to a certain level of entitlement and have become complacent. At least that is how it is in the US. I hear it all the time, living in Detroit. I had an acquaintance who happened to come from a family that lived off of welfare for three generations. He left home and works three jobs because he was disgusted that his mother and siblings had learned to beat the system and stay on welfare. There just are not enough people that think like this guy.

Regarding attacks on liberals...I am not sure how it goes in the UK but in the US, most attacks come from the Far Left or Far Right. Both sides are blinded by their own ideologies and rarely offer constructive solutions.

Perfect examples are the far right and their issues with gay marriage and the far left's attacks on Bush. Neither one is offering constructive criticism.

Unfortunately, as a moderate, the issues I am mostly concerned with are national security and the economy which the liberal left have yet to offer solid answers for. I am no fan of Bush, but at least he is trying something different. It may not be politically popular but, like him or not, it is refreshing that he has an agenda and is not buckling to political bickering.

I think the US needs to see more solutions from the political left for it to truly be taken seriously.

Mosca
08-22-2006, 12:54 PM
If you step back from the rhetoric and the pundits and examine Clinton's record, you will find that we was actually quite conservative in his policies and the results.

Clinton implemented welfare reform; the days of perpetual welfare have been over for 10 years now. And the results show that more and more Americans who were once "welfare for life" are better off than they were under welfare.

Clinton was extremely responsible fiscally; he cut many boondoggle programs and has been the only president in the last 50 years to actually show a surplus rather than run a deficit. And he responded by cutting taxes.

Say what you will about the man's personal pecadilloes and you'll get no sound out of me, but he was a pretty good president.

And liberals haven't changed, but the definition of liberal has changed, from that of a centrist with inclusive ideas to that of an ivory tower idealist. They've allowed themselves to be defined by those who shout the loudest (on both sides). Most Americans, when asked, have personal ideals that are best described as somewhat liberal. (Not LEFT, but liberal; most Americans are tolerant and inclusive on a personal level. They might say they are against gay marriage, but they have gay friends and relatives and co-workers whom they wouldn't deny rights to.)

The real problem (and there IS a real problem with liberals) is that they have become paralyzed by treating all ideas as equal, and not standing up for what they believe. Conservationism and ecological responsibility are ideas that all Americans can get behind; tree-hugging and ecological terrorism are not. But by not drawing a line, liberals have allowed themselves to be identified with the extreme. In a world dominated by shouters, listeners tend to get overwhelmed, and tolerance and equanimity gets portrayed as a weakness rather than a strength.

And now conservatives are actually at the same crossroad; by allowing themselves to be aligned with the extreme right, they are in danger of being identified with ideas that most Americans are uncomfortable with; intolerance and over-governance don't sit well with a lot of people.

Again, among people that I meet in my daily life, there is very little difference in how nice they are. Liberals and conservatives alike are good folks. But it's not hard to tell those at the extremes, the far left and the far right. Because the truth is, the extremes are the province of ideologues, and what ideologues really want is to impose their views on you; ideology is really about power, not ideas.


Tom

Jeremy
08-22-2006, 02:04 PM
The problem with both conservatives and liberals is their blind loyalty to their parties. The vast majority of conservatives/Republicans in American will blindly defend Tom DeLay. Most of his defenders won't actually produce evidence that he didn't do anything wrong, but rather they'll cite his character and say it's a shame that such a good man is being brought down. In the same spirit, liberals/Democrats will blindly defend Ted Kennedy even though he is little more than an alcoholic. Most of his defenders cite his character and say that his strengths outweigh his flaws.

This is the reason America doesn't vote anymore. The vast majority of moderates are simply sick and tired of the partisan sniping that goes on back and forth. there is no such thing as real compromise. The situation is exacerbated by the radio shock troops like Franken, Beck, and Limbaugh who spew empty rhetoric which drowns out any chance at civil debate in America.

Hammer67
08-22-2006, 03:45 PM
If you step back from the rhetoric and the pundits and examine Clinton's record, you will find that we was actually quite conservative in his policies and the results.

Clinton implemented welfare reform; the days of perpetual welfare have been over for 10 years now. And the results show that more and more Americans who were once "welfare for life" are better off than they were under welfare.

Clinton was extremely responsible fiscally; he cut many boondoggle programs and has been the only president in the last 50 years to actually show a surplus rather than run a deficit. And he responded by cutting taxes.

Say what you will about the man's personal pecadilloes and you'll get no sound out of me, but he was a pretty good president.

And liberals haven't changed, but the definition of liberal has changed, from that of a centrist with inclusive ideas to that of an ivory tower idealist. They've allowed themselves to be defined by those who shout the loudest (on both sides). Most Americans, when asked, have personal ideals that are best described as somewhat liberal. (Not LEFT, but liberal; most Americans are tolerant and inclusive on a personal level. They might say they are against gay marriage, but they have gay friends and relatives and co-workers whom they wouldn't deny rights to.)

The real problem (and there IS a real problem with liberals) is that they have become paralyzed by treating all ideas as equal, and not standing up for what they believe. Conservationism and ecological responsibility are ideas that all Americans can get behind; tree-hugging and ecological terrorism are not. But by not drawing a line, liberals have allowed themselves to be identified with the extreme. In a world dominated by shouters, listeners tend to get overwhelmed, and tolerance and equanimity gets portrayed as a weakness rather than a strength.

And now conservatives are actually at the same crossroad; by allowing themselves to be aligned with the extreme right, they are in danger of being identified with ideas that most Americans are uncomfortable with; intolerance and over-governance don't sit well with a lot of people.

Again, among people that I meet in my daily life, there is very little difference in how nice they are. Liberals and conservatives alike are good folks. But it's not hard to tell those at the extremes, the far left and the far right. Because the truth is, the extremes are the province of ideologues, and what ideologues really want is to impose their views on you; ideology is really about power, not ideas.


Tom

Great post, Tom....:thmbup:

I think you hit the nail on the head. I also thought Clinton was a decent president. The funny thing is, to take it a step deeper, that Clinton even engaged in conflicts without UN consent in Iraq and Bosnia. The very same things his contemporaries are blasting Bush over. Interesting.

I also agree that most people are moderate. You hear the loud ideologues more often because they offer the best soundbites and ratings for the talk shows. It would be nice to see a candiate unaffected by either extreme.

CAH
08-22-2006, 09:20 PM
If you step back from the rhetoric and the pundits and examine Clinton's record, you will find that we was actually quite conservative in his policies and the results.

Clinton implemented welfare reform; the days of perpetual welfare have been over for 10 years now. And the results show that more and more Americans who were once "welfare for life" are better off than they were under welfare.
That isn't true. Clinton vetoed Welfare Reform twice. He was pressured by the Republicans and he had no choice b/c of the arguments that made him feel foolish that he finally signed it. He is now trying to take credit for it.

Stlrs4Life
08-22-2006, 10:26 PM
That isn't true. Clinton vetoed Welfare Reform twice. He was pressured by the Republicans and he had no choice b/c of the arguments that made him feel foolish that he finally signed it. He is now trying to take credit for it.


He vetoed it because he didn't have certain things added in there that he wanted in there. Not BECAUSE he didn't want welfare reform.

Stlrs4Life
08-22-2006, 10:27 PM
If you step back from the rhetoric and the pundits and examine Clinton's record, you will find that we was actually quite conservative in his policies and the results.

Clinton implemented welfare reform; the days of perpetual welfare have been over for 10 years now. And the results show that more and more Americans who were once "welfare for life" are better off than they were under welfare.

Clinton was extremely responsible fiscally; he cut many boondoggle programs and has been the only president in the last 50 years to actually show a surplus rather than run a deficit. And he responded by cutting taxes.

Say what you will about the man's personal pecadilloes and you'll get no sound out of me, but he was a pretty good president.

And liberals haven't changed, but the definition of liberal has changed, from that of a centrist with inclusive ideas to that of an ivory tower idealist. They've allowed themselves to be defined by those who shout the loudest (on both sides). Most Americans, when asked, have personal ideals that are best described as somewhat liberal. (Not LEFT, but liberal; most Americans are tolerant and inclusive on a personal level. They might say they are against gay marriage, but they have gay friends and relatives and co-workers whom they wouldn't deny rights to.)

The real problem (and there IS a real problem with liberals) is that they have become paralyzed by treating all ideas as equal, and not standing up for what they believe. Conservationism and ecological responsibility are ideas that all Americans can get behind; tree-hugging and ecological terrorism are not. But by not drawing a line, liberals have allowed themselves to be identified with the extreme. In a world dominated by shouters, listeners tend to get overwhelmed, and tolerance and equanimity gets portrayed as a weakness rather than a strength.

And now conservatives are actually at the same crossroad; by allowing themselves to be aligned with the extreme right, they are in danger of being identified with ideas that most Americans are uncomfortable with; intolerance and over-governance don't sit well with a lot of people.

Again, among people that I meet in my daily life, there is very little difference in how nice they are. Liberals and conservatives alike are good folks. But it's not hard to tell those at the extremes, the far left and the far right. Because the truth is, the extremes are the province of ideologues, and what ideologues really want is to impose their views on you; ideology is really about power, not ideas.


Tom


Excellent post!

Mosca
08-23-2006, 09:09 AM
One of Clinton's platforms for reelection in '96 was welfare reform, and he promised to "end welfare as we know it" in his State of the Union Address in '96. Although the final bill was a compromise and very similar to one that he had rejected twice, the difference wasn't that he was against welfare reform, but that he had differences on the essence of the final form of the bill.

In the end it can be seen as a man willing to compromise for the greater good; the Republicans didn't have the votes to override the veto twice before, but killing it a third time might very well have killed it for good. Clinton took a lot of heat from his own party for signing the bill. My point is that the man was actually quite pragmatic and conservative in his politics.

Tom