Conservatives vs Liberals vs Libertarians

What I’m going to say here is far from original, but I believe it is worth reminding from time to time. Yes, there is a lot of over-simplification here, but bear with me! This is the difference between conservatives, liberals, and libertarians (or at least this libertarian who writes):

Gun control:

  • Liberal: Guns are dangerous! People should not have guns!
  • Conservative: From my cold dead hands!
  • Libertarians: I personally don’t like guns and I wouldn’t like to have one. But I believe that people who so desire should have the right to own guns.

Drugs:

  • Liberal: Marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol and should be legalized!
  • Conservative: Marijuana is a gateway into heavier drugs and should be prohibited!
  • Libertarian: Although I personally never did drugs and have no desire to do so, nor have deep knowledge of how particular drugs are heavier than legalized substances or not, I believe that people who want to do drugs should not be prohibited from doing so.

Foreign Policy:

  • Liberal: We have to send more foreign aid. It is our moral responsibility! And who are we to judge which nations are democratic or not?
  • Conservative: The world is a dangerous place and it is our responsibility to police it!
  • Libertarian: Although I can see that the World is a dangerous place and I feel personally obligated to do something to help those in need, I don’t believe it is the role of the government to interfere in other nations.

Labor laws:

  • Liberal: We have to protect the poor!
  • Conservative: Capitalism is God’s way of deciding who is poor and who is smart!
  • Libertarian: I feel for the poor, and I believe we should do something to help. I believe that some governmental policies predictably hurt the poor and therefore should be changed. However, I believe that helping the poor should be mainly done by individuals and independent organizations, not by the government.

Crime in general:

  • Liberal: He is a victim of society!
  • Conservative: The chair!!!
  • Libertarian: External circumstances can explain and even attenuate certain crimes, but never justify it. On the other hand, if we are cruel towards criminals, we are becoming just like them. Also, throwing people in jail is very clearly an awful and simplistic way of dealing with crime and should think of other ways of punishment, always having reconciliation as an ideal.

Economics:

  • Liberal: We need more government oversight!
  • Conservative: The market will solve everything!
  • Libertarian:

Immigration:

  • Liberal: Open the border!
  • Conservative: Build a wall!
  • Libertarian: Completely opening the borders is abandoning any notion of nation-state. Nevertheless, we should be welcoming, though thoughtful, about immigration.

Education:

  • Liberal: Your kids are mine!
  • Conservative: We need to bring prayer back to public schools!
  • Libertarian: Education is fundamentally religious and reflects the values we aim to have. Maybe the state can have a very limited role in it, but the main responsibility belongs to the parents, who likely will instill their values on the children.

Politics in general:

  • Liberal: My party will solve everything!
  • Conservative: My party will solve everything!
  • Libertarian: There are no perfect solutions, especially not through politics. Do you want to change the World? Start by cleaning your room.

18 thoughts on “Conservatives vs Liberals vs Libertarians

  1. Hmm the libertarian answers seem to be longer, perhaps reflecting the nuances of libertarianism. 🤔
    Love the economics answer by the way!

  2. “Yes, there is a lot of over-simplification here”
    Yes, I am straw-manning the other sides to show that we are the only thoughtful, nuanced option. But, really, if I’m going to address more than half a dozen topics in under a page, not every can have more than a 3-word opinion.

    • I think you didn’t read the “please, bear with me” part. Thoughtful comments are welcome.

  3. all libertarian respond should be,

    Libertarian: There are no perfect solutions, but be moral to the affected people.

    So limp and unsure, although other social philosophies sound demonic, I’d rather choose a concrete road to hell then uncertain ending.

  4. I find your writing on this inaccurate and overly generalized. If you’d like to generalize and be accurate, it can be done much more concisely with fewer words while preserving the essence of each mindset.

    Liberals: desire to control all aspects of society and people’s lives
    Conservatives: desire to be left alone to live their lives as they wish
    Libertarians: believe in liberty to do anything they wish

  5. Mostly wrong about liberals. A truly biased description, making libertarians appear to be the most sensible. I see them as the most selfish.

  6. Man you are biased and it shows. This is what it’s actually like: Gun Control Libs: Guns should be available, but stricter background checks, ban on certain police/military style firearms, gun free zones. Cons: Regulation of guns and gun free zones do not prevent shootings and go against 2nd Amendment. Liberts: See cons.

    Drug Libs: Drug possession should be decriminalized and marijuana should be legalized, rehab instead of jail for drug users. Cons: Drugs should stay illegal, rehab instead of jail for users. Liberts: See libs.

    Foreign Policy Libs: Refugees from Latin America should be treated better. We should not start wars, we should sanction regimes and individuals that violate human rights in their countries. Cons: Refugees need to be sent back ASAP, don’t waste tax dollars. We should not start wars unless we are fully committed and have a plan. We should sanction some regimes, but not to the detriment of our economy. Liberts: See both libs (migration + war policy), and cons (sanctioning).

    Labour Libs: Higher corporate tax, paid vacations and maternity leave, higher minimum wage, more fight against discrimination. Cons: Lower taxes, people should be able to choose whether they want to work more and earn more, or take more vacations/maternity leave and earn less. Liberts: see cons.

    Crime Libs: Petty crime should focus on rehabilitation, police should be reformed. Cons: People that commit crime need to be punished as a deterrent. Liberts: See libs.

    Economic Libs: Break up monopolies (Facebook) to pave way for start-ups, more environmental regulation, higher tax. Cons: Breaking up monopolies that did not commit any crime goes against a free market economy, less regulation means less fleeing companies to China. Liberts: see cons.

    Education Libs: Higher education needs to be free or severely reduced in price (see above for higher tax) to prevent crippling debt. Pledge of allegiance is a fascist policy. Cons: More campaigns for alternatives to higher education, predatory loans on education should not be allowed, but we should still pay. Liberts: See libs.

    Politics in General: Libs: My party will not solve everything, but in a democracy I should use my voice even if I don’t agree with either of the candidates. Cons: see libs. Liberts: See cons.

    • Yes, I did. I’m very impressed at how so many people miss the part where I say “Yes, there is a lot of over-simplification here, but bear with me”. Maybe I should have said “PLEASE, bear with me”?

    • No, you did it just right for the two other brands. The recurring problem is that few readers or no readers is/are as invested in what you write as you are. That’s where artfulness and editorial deviousness come in! I still suspect you don’t often get exposure to conservative narratives. I object because conservatism goes back to the late 17th century while libertarianism was invented last Wednesday.

    • I appreciate your observations. Actually I am exposed to conservatism to a decent degree. At least I think I am. Anyways, if I recall, I didn’t want to write this as the most profound thing in the world. I’m impressed with some of the commentaries!

    • There is merit in writing simply and even in simplifying. You seem to have done that well given some of the responses you got. My objections of your depiction of conservative positions is not that they are too simple, or even simplistic but that they are caricatures.

    • I see. Yeah, I don’t want to write caricatures or to misrepresent anybody. I just think that people both in the right and the left all too often don’t understand that their “solutions” wouldn’t apply to everybody. That was the point I was trying to make.

  7. I am looking for a party to support. The Liberals are becoming far to selfserving &selfish.
    O’Toole doesn’t have any concept of what he needs to do to take and keep power.
    I am almost convinced to throw in with these guys, even though I need a little more convincing.

  8. Whoever wrote this is plainly misinformed or Willfully Ignorant of the Conservative positions. They strive, at every level, to trash conservatism and to “muddy The waters” surrounding liberalism! Just look at the blue states, huge debts from mismanagement, crime that is out of control-yet they scream about getting RID of police! (I believe they are positioning for Obama’s dream of a “Police State”, just like Hitler’s and Russians! They support big tech oligarths and want to raise taxes on everyone else!! It epitomizes the SWAMP -in positions of power, Running the Show!! Super Scary!!

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