Having Trouble Figuring Out What Conservatives Really Think?

Bret translates 10 popular phrases used by conservatives into ordinary English.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • meanmike

    2 is my favorite.

  • NewEnglandBob

    These are very accurate. The key one is:

    6. America first / Me second, everyone else third

  • Randomfactor

    I take issue with #6. “America first” means “Me first, my in-group second, everyone else third.”

    • http://anythingbuttheist.blogspot.com Bret

      My mistake.

  • http://thelatinone.com/blog thelatinone

    I have my own edits

    10. Support our troops defense contractors
    9. I oppose big government except when we need to police gays, women and brown people
    8. Family values / I decide what families should be
    7. Obama is a Nazi Socialist / I know nothing about Nazis, Socialism, or Obama
    6. America first / Me second, everyone else third
    5. Only 53% pay taxes / I don't understand consumption taxes
    4. Wealth will trickle down / The rich are pissing on us
    3. I’m pro-life / Unless you’re a black convict or lack health insurance
    2. Liberal bias / Science and history
    1. I don’t see color / I ignore or have never seen minorities

  • Glodson

    Seems airtight to me.

    I just object to the word “think” in the title of this post.

  • http://aurorawalkingvacation.blogspot.com Paul Little

    We object when they use Strawman arguments against us…

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Camels With Hammers

      True true, and I have talked a lot about not demonizing our enemies of late, etc., so I did ponder if I was being hypocritical or, at least, violating my own standards. I don’t think so though, because I don’t think most of these are strawmen, I think they are not presentations of the right wing’s arguments but what the logic of their thinking always amounts to.

      When they say “liberal bias” they ARE very frequently referring to actual history and science they just don’t like.

      When they refer to the value of life as an inviolable, overriding priority, it is to the exclusion of taking people’s health in the form of health care or the well-being of black prisoners in jail to matter seemingly at all. “Color blindness” does effectively amount to avoiding looking into the problems caused by racial inequality, etc., etc.

      I think these policies reflect implicit value priorities which ARE selfish, which ARE hyprocritical to the words they are using and which DO make those words have an Orwellian ring.

      Maybe a couple you could make the case are too harsh but I think these are fair challenges to conservatives to look at the implications of what the effects of these slogans are in the actual policies and attitudes that seem to accompany them.

      Now, if you can highlight ways that liberals fail to live up to their words in policiies, pass them my way and I will run that list too. I do try to criticize both sides when appropriate.

    • http://anythingbuttheist.blogspot.com Bret

      Next week, I’ll cover liberals. I’m way left of liberal, so I have almost as much contempt for Democrats as I do Republicans.


      Change you can believe in / I never said change you can prove

    • http://anythingbuttheist.blogspot.com Bret

      I dunno about you, but I object that conservatives/Republicans are wrong. You may focus on strawmen, but some of us are just doing what we can to keep their ignorance from driving us mad. I use humor, and apparently you use self-righteousness. I can’t pretend I’m any better as a person than a conservative, but I am funnier and I also happen to be correct. I’m not correct because I exaggerate Republicans, it’s just something enjoyable I do on the side while being right.

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Camels With Hammers

      That’s a little harsh to call him self-righteous just for saying we shouldn’t be hypocritical.

    • Crommunist

      It is when no evidence of hypocrisy is offered to back up the assertion.

  • dochopper

    2.Liberal bias = Anything or anyone that proves I am stupid