Debate:Is American Conservatism Inherently Irrational?

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I could be argued (OK, it shall be argued) that American Conservatism has become so full of contradictions as to have become fatally irrational.

Among the factors dooming this philosophy are it's marriage of expediency with the Religious Right.

I'd say it's two separate problems. One is the near-deification of Blessed Saint Ronnie, with his breezy disregard for facts, and the other is the internal contradictions of an alliance between the Free Trade Uber Alles corporate whores, the neo-imperialist commie terrorist-bashers, the Hippie-Haters, and the religious nutcases. (This person states it eloquently.) --Gulik 02:17, 9 February 2008 (EST)
Oh yes, the entire conservative movement is totally irrational. I mean, they disagree with us, so how could they be anything else, right? I bet they drink motor oil for breakfast as well. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 05:51, 9 February 2008 (EST)
Hey, it wasn't the libruls who've been running this country (into the ground) for the last 7-odd years. Sure, there are sane Conservatives--they've just been systematically marginalized as the screeching geeks took over the circus. --Gulik 05:54, 9 February 2008 (EST)

Reality Has A Liberal Bias[edit]

This section's for talking about the Non-Reality Based behavior of the Crazyservatives. Here's an entertaining rant on the topic, which does a good job of corroborating my long-held theory that the ultra-right-wing loonies are trying to consturct an entire alternate universe out of PURE BULLSHIT. The Wonderful World of Cheney. Sadly, they can't move there and leave the REST of us alone. --Gulik 06:01, 9 February 2008 (EST)

Internal Contradictions in the GOP[edit]

For discussing the cognitive dissonance you need to be a Believer in the One True Patriotic Party.

  • Government needs to stay OUT of people's lives!
    • Except for making sure people aren't performing any illegal sexual acts with consenting partners.
  • Government spending is BAD!
    • When it's on poor people, infrastructure, or health care. Throwing billions away on military crapola is FINE.
  • We Support Our Troops!
    • By buying magnetic yellow ribbons. Actually giving the troops armor, health care, REST, an achievable mission, or a living wage is just too much trouble.

And so on, ad nauseam. --Gulik 06:01, 9 February 2008 (EST) --Gulik 06:01, 9 February 2008 (EST)

Quick Answer: No[edit]

A couple of points here:

1. It is important to define what type of conservatism we are talking about here: social conservatism, paleoconservatism, neoconservatism, economic conservatism etc.

2. Just because you do not agree with a position does not mean there is not a rational basis for that position. Some people may not agree with all the tenets of modern-day American economic conservatism (note how I distinguished American economic conservatism with free capitalism). However, there is a rational basis why people support American economic conservatism, including a perception that less government interference in select areas of the economy will increase economic output.

3. I would be more willing to say American conservatism (and American liberalism) is hypocritical rather than irrational.

TheRationalOne 00:40, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

Well said, oh Rational One! I would also add a couple points:
  1. Sometimes a rational decision may seem irrational, especially if the observer does not have the same information or value system as the decider.
  2. You touched on this, but the GOP is not conservative, and many who describe themselves as conservatives also are not "conservative". This doesn't cause a problem as long as one is very strict in their definition of who is acting irrationally.
  3. Often times two separate issues are brought together and an argument is made that, because the issues share some degree of similarity, the conservative is irrational because he did not make the same decision on each issue. However, this approach assumes that said conservative joined the two issues in the same way when making the decision. What one person may equate is not what another person may equate; and sometimes one might come to two different decisions for two different reasons on two similar issues.
Lurker 01:00, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

I'd like to bring up something more fundamental. This kind of debate topic generally sucks because it is essentially trying to be a red vs. blue argument that deals with Dems/Liberals and Conservatives/Repubs as Monolithic Entities (tm). A similarly sloppy question might be: do people like ice cream? I bet some people like some kinds, but does that lead to a conclusion about all people and all ice cream? Or some people and most ice cream?

Similarly with "American Conservatism." I happen to think that there is plenty of sanity in the point of view that the US government ought to try to spend as little as possible. I think it's reasonable to have socially conservative values. I don't think it's reasonable to live under the US system and insist that socially conservative values be enshrined in law. And I think characterizing "American Conservatism" as self contradictory is disingenuous. Groups of people are often contradictory, which is of course the premise of creating a group such as RationalWiki and creating a debate portal. It would be quite ironic if that were a sufficient condition for describing said group as "irrational," don't you think?

I think that certain elements of American Conservatism are incorrect, and should be argued against. I think certain aspects are correct, and I argue in favor of them. And I think above all that trying to class a group of people with diverse opinions and a rich background of debate as irrational is intellectually lazy.

Cheers, BlueSprite 02:24, 1 December 2008 (EST)

This is Your War On Drugs[edit]

(Moved from talk page, because I felt like it. -- Gulik) To be included (or not): Why do American Conservatives seem to like a lot of guns being held by private citizens but strongly frown on the usual recreational drugs: marijuana and opiates? /\CЯacke®

I think our drug laws got their start as racism ("Mexicans will give the devil weed marijuana to our young women to get them to sleep with them! Opium is the drug of the Yellow Peril! Scary Crack-smoking negroes! AHHHH!!!!!11!"), and since then it's a combination of an easy way to maintain social control over sub-cultures that use the WRONG drugs, residual puritanism, and bureaucratic inertia.
That's my guess, anyway. --Gulik 16:04, 30 March 2008 (EDT)

k just whatever[edit]

in my opinion religion is one of the main reasons why conservatism is dying nowadays. Religion is based on texts or stories thousands of years old, while the world is constantly changing. You shouldn't base your views on out-of-date texts just doesn't work