Liberal Conservative Liberals
I’m bored and have no respect for human language so I’m going to talk about liberals and conservatives. Specifically, liberal conservatives and conservative liberals and liberal conservative liberals.
All decent conversations start with defining terms. Technically I’m talking about progressives but since our floppy, sloppy language (or more accurately, our floppy, sloppy brains) consider them the same thing, I’m going to pretend like they are. And since we’re designed to think there are only two types of people in the world, I’m going to call non-progressives conservatives, which is like saying anyone who isn’t beautiful is ugly, as if non-supermodel meant the same thing as elephant man.
As for progressive, I’m defining that to mean someone who wants to make the world better. That’s where the progress in progressive comes from.
Once we’re clear about our terms we can draw a few obvious conclusions. For example, liberals complain a lot because they’re optimists. They’re always saying “we have a poverty problem” and “we have a war problem” and “we have a Wall Street problem” which is the same thing as saying “i am optimistic that we can reduce poverty” and “we can make the world better by ending this war” and other optimistic things. In contrast, conservatives are always happy and chipper, talking about patriotism and the founding fathers and stuff because they’re pessimists. They say things like “this is the best country in the world” which is the same thing as saying “i’m too weak and scared and feeble to do better than this” and “we might as well settle for this world because i’m not strong enough, smart enough or good enough to do better”.
The problem with our world isn’t that we’re divided into conservatives and liberals, it’s that people don’t know which one they are.
Consider the conservative who says we don’t need more gun control laws. Are guns legal now? Sure. Do innocent people die because of guns? Absolutely. Are guns legal in other countries? No. Is our murder rate an order of magnitude higher than those countries? Of course they are. A liberal would say “this is a problem, we can fix this and make the world better”. A conservative would say, “9,000 dead Americans every year, meh, that’s fine”.
Now consider the liberal who says we need welfare. Are people poor now? Of course. Has welfare eliminated poverty? Nope. A conservative would say “this is a problem, we can fix this and make the world better, if you got rid of welfare people would get jobs and not be poor anymore”. The liberal would say “welfare this is the best we can do, if we change, people will die”. The conservative is optimistic, which as we’ve already said means they’re liberals. Liberals, in contrast, are conservatives.
Economy — Liberal tax the rich is liberal, conservative flat tax is liberal, leave taxes as they are is conservative, let the rich have a capital gains tax is conservative, let the middle class have a mortgage tax break is conservative.
Middle East — Say the Middle East can’t be solved is conservative, saying you can fix it with food is liberal, saying you can fix it with bombs is liberal, ignoring the region is conservative.
Where things get interesting is people who switch back and forth from liberal to conservative. The same person who tells their kid to study harder when they get a C is unphased when their dog eats food off the floor. They demand we tax the rich because rich adults can’t be trusted and we need to control them but decide to let their kids determine when or if they change their diapers or go to the bathroom. They say we need to change our cars and factories so that we can change the world to have cleaner air and cooler temperatures but refuse to eat food that scientists have touched, arguing that we can’t do better than the old foods. They say we need to change Wall Street but lets kids be kids, that the world would be better if we had tighter controls on stock traders but not if we had standardized tests for students.
Some old conservative once said that it is the goal of every right minded conservative to revert America to 1950. It’s change vs. tradition. But if that’s true, every liberal that says we should be accepting is actually a conservative and every conservative that says things need to change is a liberal.
And that’s why i think our language and the way we think is messed up.