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What’s the Difference Between a Conservative and a Liberal?

Written By : Warner Todd Huston
September 27, 2009

People often wonder what is the difference between a conservative and a liberal. The simple fact of the matter is that the major difference is that conservatives wonder first what it is they are responsible for while liberals wonder first what everyone else should be doing for them.

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Here are some brief rules of thumb:

  • If a conservative sees a U.S. flag, his heart swells with pride.
  • If a liberal sees a U.S. flag, he feels shame.
     
  • If a conservative doesn’t like guns, they don’t buy them.
  • If a liberal doesn’t like guns, then no one else should have one either.
     
  • If a conservative is a vegetarian, he won’t eat meat.
  • If a liberal is, they want to ban all meat products for everyone.
     
  • If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat it.
  • If a liberal see an enemy he wonders what he can do to appease him.
     
  • If a conservative is homosexual, he’ll quietly enjoy his life.
  • If a liberal is homosexual, he’ll demand everyone get involved in his bedroom activities.
     
  • If a successful conservative is black or Hispanic, he’ll see himself as having succeeded on his own merits.
  • Successful liberal minorities still claim “racism” and want government to give them even more.
     
  • If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to work to better his situation.
  • A liberal wants someone else to take care of him.
     
  • If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
  • If a liberal doesn’t like a radio show, he demands that the station be shut down or censored.
     
  • If a conservative is a non-believer, he just doesn’t go to church.
  • Non-believing liberals demand that everyone cease believing and demands churches be censored.
     
  • If a conservative needs health care, he shops for it, or chooses a job that provides it.
  • Liberals demand that everyone else provide him with healthcare for free.
     
  • If a conservative sees a law, he thinks long and hard before suggesting a change.
  • If a liberal sees a law he assumes it is just a suggestion and does what he wants anyway.
     
  • Conservatives feel there is a right and wrong.
  • Liberals feel that nothing is really wrong… unless it is believed by a conservative.
     
  • Conservatives believe in freedom, responsibility, tradition, and self-reliance.
  • Liberals believe in license, government restrictions, upending tradition, and collectives.

(Cross posted at PubliusForum.com)

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