Saturday, September 24, 2005

What is a Conservative?

The “Political Spectrum” is very easy to discuss once we can agree on the most fundamental view of “mapping” where anything is.

When we are trying to find out how to get somewhere we look on a map. Almost all things with “Universal Opposites” can be mapped by using lines on a plane. For example “Hot and Cold” can be mapped by drawing a line with a left and right ending point.


Now, anywhere on that line we can define where a particular temperature is located. If we are looking for “Room Temperature” we might place a “dot” in the exact middle of the line because if we described it, it would neither be hot nor cold, but between the two.

Next, the amount of being pregnant. On the far left says “Not Pregnant” and to the far right is birth. Any point inbetween are how many days pregnant you are.

Same thing when the line is drawn with regards to Belief in God, either you believe he doesn’t exist, (Atheism), or you have a particular amount of belief, (Theism), in him all the way to the far right which is “Knowledge.”

Now, I said all of this to bring you to the line we draw when it comes to the amount of Freedom we believe in, or to use the negative, the amount of Force, which is the amount of government control that we believe in.

Below is the standard “Political Science” chart of this amount of “Government Control” with one exception: Many professors have changed this spectrum from what it was back a few decades ago to “muddy” the waters and confuse people. These people snuck in a fallacy in order to make the incredibly easy to understand political spectrum, seem incorrect. This fallacy was to move the “fascism” label to the right side of the spectrum. It is clear that all “Dictatorships” belong to the left, or “More Government” control, side of this spectrum, but many including “Libertarians” have fallen for this dupe.

(Click Drawing to Enlarge)

There is often the case where people can be Liberal in their economic views but Conservative in their personal liberty views, or other combinations

My economic views are more toward the far right end of the conservative spectrum, while my personal freedom views are more to the other end of the conservative spectrum...more towards the center-right, but still conservative.

The following public/private scenario is why my political philosophy falls in the “Conservative” range of the spectrum:

The place of where an act of freedom occurs matters, and those two places are private and public. Conservatives believe that the government should have the moral right to police public places where someone else’s act might harm them. Libertarians don’t believe this.

The classic definition of freedom is, "Your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins." So we say that people should be able to do anything as long as it doesn't harm or infringe upon the freedom of others.

Let me explain. Suppose you live in a neighborhood where you have a public park at the end of the street, that all of you in the neighborhood freely gave to finance. The park belongs to the public, (neighborhood), and one of the neighbors decides to set up a pornographic sales stand in the park. Now, if that neighbor looked at this filth in his own house, most “live and let live” conservatives would have no problem with it, but put it in the publics view and it should be policed. The Same thing applies to things like “public airwaves”, the “public internet” and other things not done in private. Libertarians don't want any government control of public places.

Conservatives believe that part of the responsibility of being a citizen of a free society is that you must give of your time to defend this country if it calls. Libertarians don’t believe this.

Take the following test at the Libertarian webpage and see where you fall on the political spectrum. I scored as a “Conservative.”

Test Here

Have fun and don’t let others tell you oxymoron things like: “Fascism” belongs to the right, or “Right-Wing-Dictatorship." A Right-Wing-Dictatorship is impossible because a Dictatorship belongs on the "Left", not on the Right. This type of crap is Orwellian “Double Speak” and is meant to confuse the truth, when otherwise it would be plain and easy to understand.


At 3:46 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

That Quiz needs to be longer...

You, who I have pegged as a Libertarian scored as a Conservative.

Myself who is as Conservative as anyone gets scored as a Libertarian.

Funny stuff, eh...

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Yep, there is a longer test. I will try to find it again.

Yes, it is funny how much Conservatives have in common with Libertarians.

I wish they would come back to the real party that can do things and not be as Michael Medved calls them the "Loser-tarians." :)


At 3:58 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

By your terms and by the chart, most Republicans are not Right or Center Right. They are far left on the spectrum.

The PATRIOT Act allows the government to inspect medical records, library records, detain people without charge (and other protections that the Founding Fathers specifically put into the Constitution). The Governor of CA just signed bills to regulate what kids at school eat. The No Child Left Behind Act requires high schools that receive federal funding to hand over the names and contact info of all their students to the Pentagon so the military can contact them. President Bush just promised to spend whatever it will take to rebuild New Orleans. A Republican recently co-sponsored a bill to regulate cough medicine (co-sponsored it with Freaky Feinstein herself) another Republican co-sponsored a bill that would require FEMA to make contingency plans for pets. How much bigger can the government possibly get before someone calls a spade a spade? No excuses, that's BIG - HUGE - government.

Your argument about the social contract is correct, but it is a slippery slope that can justify nationalized healthcare, welfare, etc.

If a government imposes a draft and forces you to leave your home and family and friends to fight a war, the government has deprived you of freedom, regardless of the justification. In a "free" society, you wouldn't have to draft anyone into the military - any member of that society who values freedom would stand up and fight if they thought their freedom was in jeopardy from an opposing force.

Paul Revere, the minutemen and the other American revolutionaries didn't have to be drafted - they fought because they didn't want to be under the yoke of the British crown.

Actions speak louder than words and, notwithstanding all the rhetoric, many Republicans have not enlisted to fight in Iraq. Which can only lead to the conclusion that they do not believe that the war in Iraq has anything to do with our freedom.

In a previous post, you talked about charity and relying on charities, instead of government, for assistance. This belief presumably is based upon the underlying assumption that people are fundamentally good and will help one another in times of need. A sentiment that I do not dispute.

If you are optimistic about American willingness to be charitable to one another, then you should be equally optimistic that Americans would volunteer for the army if they thought the nation was legitimately at risk.

Since you were scolded by your gang for being too agreeable with me, I am looking forward to your response. :-)

At 4:13 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I am against about 5-10% of the Patriot Act, and if most Conservatives would read Judge Napalotono's book on it, they would be also.

Most Conservatives don't agree with some of the Republicans views on Big Government. Just because a Republican voted to control cough medicine, doesn't mean he is a true Conservative.

The social contract I described is about defining what can be harmful in public places, which has nothing to do with the "taking from the rich to give to the poor" problem of liberalism.

I feel strongly that if someone believes in freedom and wants to live in a free society, they should have to agree to fight when called upon because just as "a fair share of paying for the proper role of government" is part of our limited government, so should the serving in the Military be required to support our form of government. Freedom is not free. It requires sacrifice and responsibility.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


What if Taxes were voluntary?

Would Freedom loving people still pay?

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

"Freedom is not free. It requires sacrifice and responsibility."

Platitudes such as these feel really good, but they don't resolve the underlying issues. Responsibility and sacrifice by whom? If freedom is not free, from whose checking account should the cost be deducted? According to Republicans, it shouldn't be from theirs.

Whether you believe in a draft or not, you should be asking yourself why many members of your party are busy blogging about war, than putting their money where their mouths are and fighting it.

Vietnam was a stark lesson to the government about an involuntary military. People who don't want to be somewhere don't make good killers. There is a reason that the government has resorted to hiring private mercenary companies (Triple Canopy and Blackwater) and recruiting high school dropouts and illegal immigrants with the promise of citizenship for the family, rather than impose a draft. Which again goes back to my point that the military wouldn't be suffering such shortages in enlistment if Republicans, the so-called moral "majority" actually beieved American freedom is at stake in Iraq. Actions speak louder than words.

By the way, if everyone should serve in the military, does that mean you support gays in the military?

There are many Republicans who are closet Democrats. What is disturbing is the mental gymnastics other members of the party do to try to make the contradiction logical. It's like a cult. If GW says something, all the R's stand at attention and repeat along. If a R is a member of a union, somehow that person is still on the right side of the political spectrum. If a R votes to repeal the Constitution in favor or more intrusive government, the party offers absurdities to resolve the contradiction. Big government is big government, no matter who does it.

Why would a "Losertarian" become a Republican? So he or she can sacrifice integrity to "win"? For some, integrity is more important than winning. It's called morals. It's called not being a hypocrite. There is no thrill in joining a big gang if you are against the mob mentality to begin with. I used to be a Republican. The hypocrisy became too much. I simply stopped voting, because choosing between the lesser of two evils is choosing evil nonetheless.

I don't disagree with the concept of taxes. That is most definitely part of the social contract. But there are many elements of the tax code that are welfare programs in disguise, that are inequitable and that exempt many people and corporations from making the "sacrifice" required to live in a free society. If "sacrifice" is required to live in a free society, then the sacrifice should be equally distributed among all taxpayers.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Bstermyster said...

I turned out to be a centrist. Am I still welcome here?

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


ii said: "By the way, if everyone should serve in the military, does that mean you support gays in the military?"

Yes, they should be in support roles where they don't have to be in close quarters with "straights."

If we allow some to "skate" from military service, then they are not pulling their weight for the cost of freedom.

I am a Conservative first, and a Republican Second, becasue I will work to fix the inconsistancies that the Liberal Republicans bring into the party.

It is a two party system and I am not sure it will ever be anything different. It brings me great pleasure to see the super-left joining the "Green Party" because that helps Republicans and it saddens me just as much to see the Ultra Conservatives joining the Libertarian party because it helps the Democrat Party.

Do I like Bush's big spending...No!

Do I like Bush's soft stance on the borders....No!

But rather him than Socialist Kerry as the President, which is just what would happen if all Conservatives joined the Libertarian Party.

It is much better to work in the party to move some of the more liberal Republicans to the Conservative point of view, and to recruit some Center-Right Dems into the Party. At least that way we can do some good, and save what little liberty we have left.


At 7:09 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


You are always welcome. I like your demeanor a lot.

After reading "The Law" you may move more towards Conservative. In fact, I can almost guarantee that you will. There are some powerful, truthful and undeniable political facts in his writings.

It makes everbody that reads it appreaciate what the true meaning of Freedom really is.


At 7:26 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...


I respect your passion and optimism and I hope you are not disappointed in your quest to purge the R party of the many leftists who dominate its ranks.

Funny that you distinguish Bush from Kerry, because I think there is very little difference between the two except, maybe, on abortion and gay marriage. Otherwise, two sides of the same coin.

Having once been a Republican, it became so apparent that the party is making huge strides to the left, although using Orwellian double-speak to convince people they are still on the right, especially under the current administration. Each disaster pushes the party farther left. 9/11 and Katrina brought the Republican leftists into the forefront, including the president. One more tragedy and the Republicans will be at fascism.

Good luck. You are pushing a giant boulder up hill. Don't let them take away your critical thinking skills.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I can only do my part, which is to impart my knowledge of what is true and right and let the chips fall where they may.

I find it encouraging to find so many in the Western Alliance who share most of my Conservative principals.

They don't like big government and the poor job Bush is doing on the border either, but they/we are trying to keep the left from taking over the party.

If we select someone like Romney, Frist, or Allen, then there is hope yet. But if we select McCain or Giuliani, then I will be devastated and disapointed.

McCain and Kerry are the two peas in a pod.

We hopefully will not anger the base, which are the Conservatives.


At 9:14 PM, Blogger Ralph said...

I'm a Centrist - just like Kerry.
I don't think it is a very good test.

At 10:09 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Kerry would be a Liberal, not a Centrist.

Read "The Law" and you will move to the right.

This guy Bastiat thought exactly like the founding fathers, but the difference is he wrote a book about how socialism was destroying France and how we in This country were doing most things correctly.

He loved what we had here in 1850. it agreed with his views to a tee.


At 10:50 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


One more point. I believe that the Libertarians have very good arguments on most of their views.

I have mixed feelings on many and the only one that I "strongly" disagree with is the need to serve in the military.

The other issues have good points that I often struggle with.

For example, the issue of Legalizing Drugs. I am forced to remember that when Alcohol was illegal, it caused more crime than when it became legal and must admit that it appears hippocritical to say Alcohol is O.K. but not other "get high" drugs.

I know I don't have the moral authority to go to my neighbors house and tell him he can not "shoot heroin" in his bedroom, but on the other hand I can't tell him to not run around naked in his bedroom either, but I do have the right to tell him not to run around in public naked. See my delima?


At 10:30 AM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Reading the Western Alliance blogs, it is really hard to know what many of their views actually are. Cutting and pasting an article about something a liberal said or did and then ending the post with an insult is easy. Seriously, that requires no brain effort.

Stating your views in the affirmative and supporting them with a logical, coherent argument is more difficult and that is what differentiates your analysis from many of the others. I read your posts and completely understand where you are coming from and, even if I don't agree, the analysis is always thought provoking. Many of the others, I walk away thinking same sh%&, different liberal to bash. How do you know their views? They aren't saying anything most of the time (Conseervative Schooler is pretty good about stating things in the affirmative).

I do get the dilemma about legalizing drugs. I have had the same argument about legalizing drugs with others and each person cites the extreme example of a heroin addict doing something crazy. The fact is, however, that alcohol is one of the leading causes of death (from drunk driving) in the country, so if it's really a concern about safety, then alcohol would be illegal. Everyone has the right to self-desctruct, whether it be by alcohol or drugs, and the government should step in where their fist meets my nose. It's not government's job to protect me from myself.

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

II - I would invite you to sift through the news I post and read some of my original content.

It lays out the case for why I am a true Conservative.

I would like your feedback on some of what I have written as well.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

RC - Will do.

At 4:59 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Here is the "Giant" delima.

People should be prosecuted for "doing" actual harm to others, and not for things they "might" do.

First example, the movie "The Minority Report." This is the extreme case of where the government "punishes" people for what they were "about to do" rather than what "they did."

Let's take this example to the idea of drugs, including alcohol.

Someone should be allowed to do Alochol, Heroin, mariuana, or any other drug in their bedroom, but once then venture out into the public, then this is where it gets sticky.

If we know that when someone is on heroin, there is a 90% chance they will harm someone else, do we then arrest them for "public saftey" issues?

Next, if all drugs were legal, how do we control the predators from selling it to innocent children?

Control all drugs?

Enforce different "Zones" of the public arena where it is illegal to sell them, but O.K. in other areas?

Let's suppose we legalized prostitution, drugs, etc, but made them only legal in certian "segragated areas" that are well known, so when me and my kids are walking down the street, we will not have to endure the "hookers" that have almost nothing on?

See the bigger delima?


The second big problem I have with the Libertarian "group" is it's abandoment of the "flat" left-right line of "Force and Freedom." They could still place the "personal liberty" on the line and then place "economic liberty" on the line and say with a surety that someone had "this" view of each. Instead they choose to abandon the most brilliant tool there is for having people undertand where they stand. They "fell" for the left-wing professors placing "fascism" on the right side of the line, when it is plainly a dictatorship that belongs on the left with the others that are more totalitarian in the use of force. They are wrong for futher confusing the "political landscape" by saying that libertarians don't belong on the line, and they deserve to be scolded for making something simple and wonderful into confusion.

The left just loves saying "everything is grey" and thus "we know not where we stand".


At 8:25 AM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...


Before I address your points, I must commend you for having the brainpower to write that comment at 4:59 a.m. :-)

Starting with the principle that people should be punished for what they do, as opposed to what they might do, there is no reason drugs should be illegal.

Tying into another discussion we had, if the purpose of laws is to maintain social order, then drugs can be legalized and regulated. Part of that regulation is to prevent its sale to minors, much in the same way tobacco and alcohol are regulated. Even cough medicine is regulated now. Why not heroin and marijuana too?

Making a drug legal or illegal does not prevent someone from selling it to a child so the "what about the kids" refrain doesn't really answer the question. I am all for protecting kids but "what about the kids" tends to be a demand to dumb down the entire society to the sensitivities of a 5-year-old and that is absurd. Interestingly, a study a few months ago showed that increasing numbers of kids are abusing their parents' prescription drugs, which are legal but regulated. (

Parents are feeding their kids into diabetes and high bllod pressure, but acting righteous about drugs. Spare me. My sis is a pediatrician who has had to scold people over what she calls the child abuse of bad nutrition. Parents are going to kill their kids with Fruit Loops long before a heroin dealer gets to them.

Prostitution is legal is several places and there are "zones". The two places I have seen it are Nevada and Holland and I didn't see hordes of women that stood out as hookers surrounding us. There is no reason prostitution shouldn't be legal (going back to the what you do in your bedroom is your business rationale). I am more worried about what my future kids would see women on tv wearing than running into a scantily clad prostitute on a given night. Have you seen what teenagers are wearing these days?

If you agree with the principle that people should be punished for what they do, not what they might do, Iraq is a joke.

At 10:31 AM, Blogger fetching jen said...

identifying what makes one a conservative is an interesting process; you did a very good job. Thought provoking. I had pegged you as more of a Libertarian given your conversations with ii.

thanks for your note on my blog. You never said anything improper to me and I am not mad.

Frankly, you post through provoking issues. On the other hand, I don't care at all for ii - probably more a style issue - because she babbles too much. Not direct enough, and if you have learned one thing about me is that I am direct.

Thanks - can't wait to meet you.


At 11:00 AM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Hitler was direct too. You are in good company FJ.

At 11:39 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I lived in Nevada for about 8 years. In fact I met and married my wife there.

Prostitution was legal and it didn't cause any problems that I can recall and it was segragated to a "specific" area of town.

My wife's Mother is from Mina, Nevada and still lives there.

You are right about what teens are wearing these days. Most of them look like they want to be as "sexy" as possible with their "bare midrift(sp?)" and low cut tops with no bra's.

Even though parents are not insuring good nutrition, I don't want the "Big Brother" to step in.


At 2:04 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

I took the test to which you linked and, alas, it is confirmed. I am a Libertarian. :-)

Why don't you like the baseball diamond alternative to the flat line? To the extent that ten questions can do so, it seems to take into account people who are socially v. economically conservative or liberal and creates lines between all the categories (albeit any line between the categories is inherently arbitrary).

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

It's not that I don't like the baseball diamond per se, but I prefer the straight line much better for the following reasons.

1. I think it is important for people to know that they are "x" when it comes to economic freedom, and that they are "x" when it comes to social freedoms. That makes it much clearer in my humble opinion.

2. I don't like the fact that they have abandoned the "classic" model which is very easy to understand for a more complex one and at the same time they do a poor job of not pointing out how the old model was perfect except for those sneaky lib professors that moved "fascism" into the Conservative or Libertarian side of the line. I think they should have corrected the fallacy instead of just saying, "see it falls apart because of this fallacy."

The political spectrum is a flat line is about the amount of "force" because that is the definition of government.."Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." - George Washington

Any position can easily be plotted on that line. Maximum Force is Totalitarianism on the left and Minimum Force is Anarchy on the Right. Easy/Simple. Goes along with the old axiom...K.I.S.S. "Keep It Simple Stupid." - Sears, Roebuck Inc.

And anyone who does not see the fallacy of putting a Dictatorship,(lots of force), like Fascism on the right towards minimum force, is not doing a very good job of thinking clearly.


At 3:39 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Fair enough. I didn't get the sense from the test that fascism was being put on the right.

It turns out my husband is a Left Liberal. Uh oh. :-)

At 4:41 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

It's not on the test, but it is on the Libertarian web page, I will try to find the link.


At 5:51 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Here is the link where they "fall" for the trap of the Left-right test.

It is under the heading of "Why did the Advocates create the World's Smallest Political Quiz?"

And then more specific title of "What is the "left-right" or "liberal-conservative" line, and what's wrong with it?"

They say that the line "expanded" should have "fascism" on the right, and that is why they came up with the new quiz. The line is only illogical if you fall for the "trap" of saying that "fascism" really belongs on the right. It is just not possible to have fascism on the right, it says that fascism is for less government than the center is. This is just plain stupid! The political idea is "How much Force/government are you in favor of?" Totalitarinism is on the far left and Anarchy is on the far right. Yet they say some how you can come up with both. They are either lying or being ignorant and shallow thinkers. If you take Conservativeism futher to the right you wind up with Libertarianism and if you continue to even less government you wind up with Anarchy, i.e., no government. Simple, easy to understand and no ambiguties.

Look at this misleading quote: "Furthermore, the left-right model is inherently illogical. The model implies that if you "go too far" (i.e., are consistent) with any political idea, you end up, in some weird and unexplained way, at totalitarianism or anarchism (or maybe both!). Pursue conservative thought to its logical extreme, according to this model, and you somehow end up at fascism (which is national socialism), or white supremacy or some other authoritarian position. If you pursue liberal thought too far, you supposedly end up at socialism or communism. This is inconsistent, and ignores gigantic philosophical differences between, say, liberalism and communism, or conservatism and fascism."


At 6:04 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

The problem with their diamond chart is the fact that they try to combine "social" freedoms and "economic" freedoms into one nice tidy package. It doesn't work.

You have one line that you first plot your social freedom score, (mine is center-right), and then you plot your economic freedom score, (mine is Libertarian).

This is why the Govenator calls himself a Fiscal Conservative and a social Liberal. That is the best way to describe your political stances.


At 6:07 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Many Liberals are Libertarian on their social ideas, but socialists on their economic ideas.

Many Libs are Socialists on both.

You have to split your stances into both rehlms. Social freedoms and economic freedoms.



Post a Comment

<< Home