The Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives

The powers-that-be use the words “conservative”, “Republican”, “liberal” and “Democrat” as wedge issues.

But those terms are largely without substance. They are really “brand names” like Coke and Pepsi, and with about as much difference.

For example, Bush is a “Republican” and so-called “conservative”, and yet he spent our country into staggering debt levels, launched various imperial adventures, and rolled back 200-year old traditions contained in the Constitution.

Nancy Pelosi is a “liberal” and “Democrat”, yet she has apparently flown all over the country on air force jets using them as her “personal airline”, prevented impeachment against war criminals, and encouraged torture and spying on Americans, and covered-up of the fact that the supposed sources of information for the 9/11 investigation were unreliable. Pelosi talked about ending the Iraq war, but then voted for spending increases for the war every single time.

And both Bush and Pelosi helped throw trillions of dollars at failed, corrupt financial companies without requiring any oversight or control.

True, there are some real and important differences on certain issues.

But on many issues, the difference is mainly one of style and images, and the parties are no more different than Coke is from Pepsi: both are drinks made with a lot of sugar, carbonation, food coloring, preservatives and water. Their “secret flavoring ingredients” might be slightly different, but they are 99.9% the same.

Progressives Versus Libertarians

The words “progressive” and “libertarian” still have some meaning, and have not yet been totally co-opted. People who consider themselves “progressive” are largely critical of the DNC agenda, and are pushing for real change.

Likewise, “libertarians” are highly critical of the Republican party, and support real change.

Indeed, despite the divide-and-conquer strategy of the powers-that-be, and its false “left-right” dichotomy, progressives and libertarians think a lot alike on many issues. That’s why progressives who support Dennis Kucinich and libertarians who like Ron Paul actually work together on many issues.


Of course, part of the problem is that “Neoconservatives, like Bush, are not really conservative. And “Neoliberals” are not really liberal.

So whatever distinction the terms conservative and liberal might formerly have had are largely gone, co-opted by the wealthy and powerful to serve their needs. As such, they have become largely indistinguishable.

How Could He Be Both Conservative and Liberal?

George Washington was neither a “republican” or a “democrat”. Those parties didn’t exist when he was president. He was simply an “American”.

Let’s play a game. Who are the all-time most conservative people in America? Who are the most liberal?

You might assume that the most conservative people are small-town midwestern Christians, and that the most liberal people are San Franciscan gays or hippies. But are those stereotypes accurate?

What could be more conservative than a native american who followed traditions largely unchanged for hundreds of years, who took only as much as he and his family needed, who used every single part of the animal he killed and wasted nothing, and whose spiritual beliefs formed the basis for every part of his life?

What could be more liberal than the “seven generations” concept of the Iroquois:

The Great Law of the Iroquois League imposed a duty upon leaders to “have always in view not only the present, but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground—the unborn of the future Nation,” and the Iroquois tradition is to consider the impact of decisions on the next seven generations.

The Iroquois sought to protect their environment so that it could keep providing healthy food and good living. They were peacemakers who negotiated conflicts between other tribes. And the women elders had impeachment power to sideline a male leader who acted for himself instead of for the good of the tribe.

Am I saying that we should all dress up like native Americans and show up at pow wows? Of course not. I’ll I’m saying is that the strategy of the elite is always to create false stereotypes to divide and conquer us and turn us against one another.

I’m saying that we need to think for ourselves about what conservative and what liberal means, and which parts of each we want to embrace and which parts we don’t want any part of.

I’m saying don’t let others define you. Define yourself.

Note: The Iroquois also came up with the separation of powers form of government which, apparently, inspired the Founding Fathers. See this and this.

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  • middleworld

    wow great article. great blog. thanks. I was always a democrat who hated republicans. Now I hate democrats and republicans! Looking for allies wherever I can find them, looking way beyond labels. I couldn’t agree more. I can’t believe how divisive the media is-phony wedge issues have people insulting each other and at each other’s throats. 90% of us want the same things- good schools, jobs, clean environment, leisure time, good housing etc. etc. etc.These nasty elite bastards have us fighting each other instead of them and their evil corporations. Separation of corporation and state!

    • stan bemis

      Really liked this.Why drink pepsi or coke?maybe things go better without either.maybe one should have oj or water?

  • Lucius

    Yes, indeed. There are a number of commentators (generally thought of as conspiracy theorists such as David Icke and Jim Marrs) who have long noted that the difference between the 2 political parties is, at best, one of style and rhetorical appeal rather than of substance because they both serve the same “master”. Whether that be something as abstract as the status quo, or the corporate military complex, or something more sinister, the so-called shadow government, the Illuminati or whatever, the fact is that both parties serve what we used to call “the Establishment.”I consider myself an independent progressive. I listen to Ron Paul and generally agree with him. I listen to Kucinich and generally agree with him. It is unfortunate that we can’t form a coalition of libertarians and progressives to form a viable alternative to the stranglehold the two parties have on our system of government.

    • David Valjean

      It was Progressive Politics back in the late 1800’s that got us into the mess we are in today and you want more of it??? It was progressives that brought us WW1, the Bull Moose Party and the Feminist Movement. FDR was a progressive and I can’t believe someone would think libertarians and progressives would be synergistically complimentary or even compatible with one another. Just proves that democracy does not work, idiots voting means mob rule which is why we have an Electoral College made up of idiots. Democracy; a governmental process in which the most unscrupulous get voted into office by the most incompetent…

  • Max mickle

    Do you really think her over all tone is conservative? Oh but you mention that she ruled liberal too. So now were saying she isnt consistent? You could not wait, you posted first, and offered no example of your claim.

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  • Auntiegrav

    Personally, I like the Random Party: you simply pick people at random like jury duty and they represent their area. You get 1 year to put your affairs in order to serve for 4. Everyone has to pay attention in Government class, then.
    Can’t be as many felons as we have now.
    Otherwise, the Pitchfork Party is my second choice: Only conduct business (or government) with someone you can reach with a pitchfork.
    P.S. You might want to watch the grammar checker. It should be “All I’m sayin’ ” not “I’ll I’m saying”.