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Red Family, Blue Family
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This PDF here has a really handy metaphor for comparing the loosely categorized liberal and conservative views of the world.

I found it quite helpful for providing understandable motivations beyond "stupid" or "evil" for the, er, major division I'm not in. I had about gotten to "rabidly different priorities" on my own, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what those priorities were that didn't pretty much boil down to "evil" after all. I'm curious how reasonable it sounds to someone on the other side of the ideological divide, because I am very, very firmly on the "negotiated commitment" side, as is the author of the piece. No matter how good it sounds to us, it's not a useful metaphor if it doesn't work for those it purports to describe.

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(Deleted comment)
Thank you for the link! I am also fascinated by the discussion of the uses of silence.

Wow, T. Coming from a conservative family (though myself inching ever closer to "the other side") I was rather shocked--and yes, offended--that your opinion of conservative has been "stupid" and "evil." I know that it can look strange, but it's a lot more simple than it seems.

Conservatives consider liberals "naive," "whiny," and "unrealistic." On many issues what seems like common sense to have faith in the best in people, conservatives do see the good, but then quickly try to figure out how it can be explioted. Not by themselves, but how other people would take advantage of it. Aid should not be given in a systematic, government run way because that only allows for those who don't really need help to steal it. It should instead be taken upon by those who feel called to serve and give out aid of their own will. A personal judgement free of a system that can be exploited can then be used to decide who actually needs help and who is trying to live in complacency.

In my experience, both assuming that the goverment should be responsible for people and people should give what they have is total crap. Both poor and rich alike would rather not give up what they have, the affluent want to ever work for having more and the poor want to see how they can steal it from someone else with little effort.

I'm not much for the "government as parent" thing. I myself prefer the "government as the shitty manager" theory. We're all enjoying doing our own projects and working with day to day business when the government walks in with that vague smell of old cheese and grinning that stupid grin that says he knows he gets paid more than you. He promptly tells us everything he thinks we're doing wrong, screws up whatever projects we were working on, creepily hits on the girls, and everyone has to watch their tongues because he will stab us in the back all too quickly. After all, in nearly every business the managers are moved up to make sure they do have to strain themselves to do actual work.

And that's my model of the government. Anyone can take advantage of them so long as they're not looking hard enough (which happens too much) and they stick their fingers in the business of those who just want to get work done. I won't call it conservative (especailly with coservatives these days wanting the government to get in everyone's business to protect them from "terrorists"), and I definately won't call it liberal (who seem to think that every problem has to be solved with legislation).

I know this model is only going to lead to disaster as I plan to get my teaching certification and teach in public school. *rolls eyes*

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