Talk:Conservatism in the United States/Archive 3

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Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4

Modern Burkean Conservatism

This section has some serious problems. Here is how it reads, now:

"In western Europe conservatism is generally associated with the following views, as noted by the conservative author Russell Kirk in his 1953 book, The Conservative Mind, and (during the lat 18th century) by the British political philosopher Edmund Burke:"

And it continues with some quotes. It does not explain a) why we bring up western Europe in an article about the United States, b) in what sense Kirk and Burke "noted" these things, and c) who is being quoted, Kirk? Burke? Kirk quoting Burke? (also note "lat" for "late"). Will whoever wrote this section please fix these problems. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:00, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

I would take it out. Kirk is important to the article, but this section is just confusing. The Four Deuces (talk) 19:15, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Intelligent Design

I've done some rewriting about intelligent design on two grounds. First, the largest religious denomination in the US, Roman Catholics, accepts evolution, at least officially. The ID people are protestants. Second, I think everybody knows what ID is. If they don't, they can follow the link.

The paragraph on Social Conservatism still needs a rewrite, since it has become something of a grab-bag after repeated edits. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:14, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Founding Fathers/Antebellum Sections

I have expanded and re-named "Founding Fathers" as "Origins" and taken out Randolph of Roanoake, which I have expanded and put into the next section. The Four Deuces (talk) 04:52, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

The flow of the article

It seems an odd jump from Southern Conservatism to Russell Kirk to Libertarianism to Lincoln to Cleveland. Somebody needs to organize this section. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:56, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

It's the way the sub-headings appear. The history is divided into three major historical sections, that are subdivided into sections, which is more clear in the contents section. I will look at other articles to see how this was resolved. The Four Deuces (talk) 13:32, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I have re-formatted the sub-headings and moved Kirk to the modern section. I had separated out the "traditional conservatism" section because some writers see them as English-style conservatives as opposed to the pro-business conservatives who followed. By the way, can you think of a better term for the "Libertarian" section? Everyone uses a different term for pro-business conservatives, but they all seem confusing. The Four Deuces (talk) 14:32, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Reading through it again, I will re-integrate the traditional and libertarian sections, and note that there are different interpretations as to what type of conservatives they were. The Four Deuces (talk) 16:39, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I have made the changes so it should look better now. The Four Deuces (talk) 10:41, 9 December 2008 (UTC)


There is a difference between pro-business conservatives and Libertarians. Pro-business conservatives are pragmatic. They favor government intervention when it benefits their business, oppose it when it hurts their business. Libertarians are idiological. They oppose government that does more than fulfil a certain short list of services. What this short list is varies from Libertarian to Libertarian, but has a fairly narrow range. Usually it is limited to support of the armed forces, to protect American interests, and some would prefer a private army, such as Blackwater, to a public army. In any case, it is hard to imagine a Libertarian favoring the kinds of bail-outs that pro-business conservatives are currently asking for. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:43, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

I have already taken reference to libertarianism out of the historical section for periods before the National Review. It has however a much narrower meaning today than it did in the 1950s. Here's what Hayek said in "Why I am not a Conservative": "In the United States, where it has become almost impossible to use "liberal" in the sense in which I have used it, the term "libertarian" has been used instead. It may be the answer; but for my part I find it singularly unattractive. For my taste it carries too much the flavor of a manufactured term and of a substitute. What I should want is a word which describes the party of life, the party that favors free growth and spontaneous evolution. But I have racked my brain unsuccessfully to find a descriptive term which commends itself." The Four Deuces (talk) 22:37, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

The word he was looking for is "progressive". I think the capital L Libertarians are different from the lower case l libertarians, and are an off-shoot of Ann Rand's Objectivists, but I don't know a lot about them, except they turn up here from time to time and rewrite everything from their own POV. Rick Norwood (talk) 16:53, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Paragraph in Psychological Research

I think this paragraph should be deleted or moved to a new section:

"Two research studies suggest that conservatives in the U.S. give significantly more money to charitable causes than do liberals, and are also more likely to donate time or give blood. This may be explained in part by differences in their ideological views, as individuals who believe helping the poor is not a responsibility of the government may tend to make more charitable contributions than those who believe the poor should be aided by government programs. Religion may also be a factor, as religious belief appears to be the strongest predictor of giving.[22][23][24] Research has found that U.S. citizens who identify themselves as "conservative" are more likely to report being "happy" or "very happy" than those who consider themselves to be "liberal". On both sides of the political spectrum, extremists report being happier than moderates.[25][26][27] Happiness is also correlated with the ability to rationalize or explain social and economic inequalities. [28]"

First off, this "research study" was a slanted, politically motivated survey. It has been well documented that the relationship between conservatism and charity is spurious in this case because conservatives are much more likely to be religious and the "researcher" (right-wing political pundit) convientently included all monetary contributions to religious organizations as charity. This makes the entire paragraph misleading, suggesting that research shows that conservatives are more likely to believe in helping the poor. In reality, it appears that they are only more likely to contribute to churches.

On top of that, Brooks has actually admited that he cut out quite a bit of information and that the publisher asked him to ramp up the rhetoric and exagerate the significance of the findings to make a political statement. I do have sources from social scientists to back all of this up.

The main reason this shouldn't be here is that it is not psychological research. Instead of deleting this, it could be put in a new section about survey data. There has been a ton of survey data on liberals/conservatives (who has more sex, etc.). The way it is put here suggests that this survey provides insight into the actual psychology of conservatives, which it doesn't. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sooner016 (talkcontribs) 17:58, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

If you think the text should be moved, then please move it rather than simply deleting it. If you think there are criticisms or limitations of the survey work that have been well documented, then please bring those in with an appropriate source. But whether we like these surveys or not, they are both notable and relevant. EastTN (talk) 20:15, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

More Inline Citations!

This article needs more inline citations. Some parts are okay, but others have no citations whatsoever.Pisharov (talk) 23:56, 31 January 2009 (UTC)


A recent edit suggested that in the phrase "outspoken belief in God", the word "outspoken" was not justified. I see the point being made. On the other hand, many liberals, including Barak Obama, are Christians. The big difference I see between liberals and conservatives is that conservatives speak out more often about their religion, while liberals tend to be more private about their beliefs. Discussion? Rick Norwood (talk) 13:28, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I see the distinction you're trying to make here, but I think the issue is a lot more subtle than the text in the lead would suggest. On the one hand, there are multiple types of conservatives - while most social conservatives are invoke religion regularly, that is much less true of fiscal conservatives. On the other hand, while it may not be as large, we do have a Christian Left, and there are a number of grass-roots activists who invoke faith as a motivation for social change. Since Roe and Reagan, we've become accustomed to thinking in terms of religion and conservative causes - but looking back to the civil rights movement and Vietnam should remind us that religion and conservatism don't always walk in lockstep. EastTN (talk) 17:05, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Good point. (Are you at East Tennessee State University? If so, we're neighbors.) Rick Norwood (talk) 15:44, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

No, but I grew up in East Tennessee. I've had to move away because you go where the work is, but I still consider myself Southern. EastTN (talk) 16:55, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Old fashioned religious attitudes are conservative, while attitudes that challenge these beliefs are liberal. Which beliefs are which depends on the context. The idea that religion as a whole is politically controversial didn't develop until the last 40 years or so. Even today, virtually no candidate for office will argue that religion is a bad thing. Kauffner (talk) 19:52, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

U.S. conservatism and change - proposed deletion

This section has no sources and appears to be original research. It makes the point that conservatives are not necessarily opposed to change. Recommend deletion. The Four Deuces (talk) 19:59, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

The section is certainly a mess.
On another subject, the lede has once again gotten too long. I'm going to prune a bit.Rick Norwood (talk) 21:43, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

It looks better now. Perhaps you could look at the total article too. Also, I was thinking of adding something about theory - Hartz, Kirk, Auerbach, Meyer, Hayek. (Actually rename the "Contemporary Burkean conservativism" section.) The Four Deuces (talk) 23:31, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

John C. Calhoun

Calhoun was certainly called a conservative in his lifetime. Here are quotes from his "Second Speech on the Admission of Michigan" (1837): I am a conservative in the broadest and fullest sense...Having no hope of a better [system], I am a conservative; and because I am a conservative, I am a States Rights man. Kauffner (talk) 12:08, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Sorry it was an oversight on my part when I removed earlier statesman who have been identified by later conservatives as one of them. In fact the article mentions that Calhoun introduced the term "conservaive" into the US, and the use of the term by the US Whig Party. Argument over who had been a conservative was one of the main issues that made this article controversial. The Four Deuces (talk) 00:34, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

The articles is being vandalized. I propose a temporary semi-protection

I read the lead section and it sounds heavily biased, containing phrases as "[America] can do no wrong", etc. So I took a look at the articles history, and comparing the recent changes, I was able to detect quite a bit of vandalism, often coming from one IP address, and possible by several IP addressed operated by one individual. There IP addressed, even though vandalism the articles multiple times, didn't even get a warning. I suggest we semi lock the article for now. --Pgecaj (talk) 23:29, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I got protection for 36 hrs --Pgecaj (talk) 14:53, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Early conservatives

Considering that the term "conservative" did not enter the language until the 1830s, when it was used to describe supporters of the King, the aristocracy and the established church, and suspicion of capitalism, free trade, democracy and republicanism, it is incorrect to label early American statesmen as conservatives. Very few American politicians before Goldwater described themselves as "conservatives". Therefore unless someone can come up with a source, these references should be removed from the lists (with the exception of politicians who called themselves conservatives). The Four Deuces (talk) 18:46, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Sorry to disagree, but liberals and conservatives, as well as demagogues and dictators, have been part of politics as far back as we have written history, and probably a lot further.
Since America was founded on liberal principles, most American leaders have been liberals, but we have had our share of conservatives long before the word came into popular use. Rick Norwood (talk) 00:20, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I think it is generally agreed that Edmund Burke was a conservative, even though the word had not yet been coined in his time. Russell Kirk starts the history of American conservatism with John Adams. To reject this view and tell the history another way based on our own definition of conservatism is OR. Kauffner (talk) 04:18, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

In the discussion pages there has been much argument that shows people's opinions, and I hope to avoid repeating that by referring to accepted academic opinion, including minority opinions. In this sense it is no different from any other article. The fact that modern conservatives categorize earlier statesmen as conservative is important but not proof that they were in fact conservatives. Modern conservatives do not agree amongst themselves about who should be included.

In The Conservative Mind (1953), Russell Kirk lists John Adams, John Randolph of Roanoke and John C. Calhoun as conservatives, but no other major American statesmen. In any case, Kirk's opinion has been rejected by most major scholars, including Louis Hartz in The Liberal Tradition in America (1955) and M. Morton Auerbach in The Conservative Illusion, and subsequent scholars. (These books are all available on Questia.) Most other members of the National Review also rejected this thesis, with the exception of Peter Viereck. Hayek even wrote an article called "Why I am not a Conservative" in rebuttal.

But editors are not content to list Kirk's picks, and the list keeps expanding. Ultimately this will lead to conflict as we try to determine whether Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, the Know Nothings and the Klan were liberals or conservatives. Even worse, some modern conservatives even argue that the Tories in the American Revolution were liberals.

The argument that there have always been liberals and conservatives: The liberalism and conservatism articles begin respectively with empiricist philosophers and reaction to the French Revolution, and no attempt is made to classify earlier statesmen.

Edmund Burke: There is no agreement among historians about who the conservatives were before the Tory party was re-named, with the possible exception of Burke himself. Historians are content to classify British statesmen according to the parties and factions they belonged to without relating them to the modern Conservative Party.

Although this article is about a controversial subject, it need not be controversial. But it requires that assertions are properly sourced. I accept the people who call themselves conservatives should be considered conservatives but do not agree with historical revisionism. Nonetheless the opinions of notable writers like Kirk should be shown. If anyone can show that Kirk's view is generally accepted in academic circles, then I would appreciate it.

The Four Deuces (talk) 18:50, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Auerbach has a chapter about Burke and a chapter about "American Conservatism in the Nineteenth Century." I can't read the actual text, but this certainly implies that conservatism existed well before Goldwater. Kirk also gives Lincoln and Cleveland as conservatives -- and even quotes Lincoln calling himself a conservative.
As for liberalism, the word has several contradictory meanings. FDR used it to mean populist (anti-business) economics, which how it is used in contemporary politics. But FDR's meaning is almost the inverse of the meaning that the word had historically. Kauffner (talk) 20:06, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

My reading of Kirk does not find that he considered Lincoln and Cleveland to be conservatives, only that he valued Lincoln's definition and thought that Cleveland was more of a conservative than Teddy Roosevelt. Auerbach's chapter explained why there was no conservatism in 19th century America and rebutted the idea that Calhoun and Randolph were conservatives.

However, modern conservatism in America has roots in earlier movements and I think the article could show these. For example, it could list Kirk's conservatives, the New Right, the Bourbon Democrats, the Scoop Jackson Democrats, the religious right, and other groups, all of whom are considered to be forerunners or members of modern conservatism. At present it lists people by occupation, e.g., politicians, jurists.

There is an overlap between the precursors of modern American conservatism and liberalism that is not found anywhere else. No one questions that Disraeli was conservative and Gladstone was liberal, but they question what Lincoln and Cleveland were. I think it is better that we not try to resolve this issue and rather just state what the opinions are.

The Four Deuces (talk) 01:47, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm relieved to learn to learn that you are willing use Kirk as a guide. I don't follow the National Review reference; Kirk was a columnist for the magazine for 20 years.
Classical liberals like Adam Smith or Jefferson would be libertarians or libertarian conservatives in today's political terminology. Classical liberal/modern liberalism is a misleading similarity of name only. As for Lincoln, I'll let him speak for himself. This is from the Cooper Union Address (1860): What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against a new and untried? We stick to, and contend for, the identical old policy on the point in controversy which was adopted by our fathers who framed the Government under which we live; (Lincoln is referring to Southern proposals to rescue slavery by reviving the slave trade or imposing it on western territories by congressional edict.) From an 1859 speech given in Columbus, Ohio: The chief and real purpose of the Republican party is eminently conservative. It proposes nothing save and except to restore this government to its original tone in regard to the element of slavery (i.e. the founding fathers expected slavery to gradually fade away after they banned the slave trade). Kauffner (talk) 11:20, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Both of the speeches you quote need to be understood in context: Lincoln wanted to bring the country together and if possible avoid war. Before the Civil War, he was willing to adopt pro-slavery rhetoric if it served that purpose. That doesn't make him a conservative. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:07, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

Lincoln was already well-known for the anti-slavery position he took during the Lincoln-Douglas debates, when he stated that "Negroes," as they said in those days, are included in the "all men are created equal" line in the Declaration of Independence. I don't think he was trying to fool anyone into believing he was pro-slavery, just proposing a step-by-step approach. Kauffner (talk) 19:01, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I should have said "most other members" and have now changed it. Regarding the Lincoln quote, I think that it shows the type of problems we have encountered that can be avoided by using reliable secondary sources. Kauffner and Rick have differing interpretations which are both reasonable and we should be able to find secondary sources that support each side. Also I acknowledge that modern conservatives draw ideas from Adam Smith and Thomas Jefferson, but Kirk e.g. would not group them as conservatives, so it is similar to the discussion about Lincoln.
I enjoy Kirk's writing. I was also reading Viereck's Conservatism (1956), which was re-issued as Conservative Thinkers (2005). ( In that book he acknowledges the problem of determining who American conservatives were in Chapter 16 (p. 99 on). While the chapter is about the post Civil War era, he acknowledges Hartz's view "that American parties have always been the same moderate Lockean "liberals" at heart" (p. 106), although he does not accept it. Unfortunately, the Google Books section does not contain the complete chapter.
The Four Deuces (talk) 15:28, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to see some form of what Lincoln said added to the article. That he felt it necessary to appeal to the conservative vote is significant however you classify him. Of course, classification requires a scholarly source. For Kirk to quote Lincoln in such a favorable way implies he thought of Lincoln as someone like minded, so IMO it is effectively a classification. I should say that classifying Lincoln this way doesn't mean that he can't also be classified as a liberal or whatever. Kauffner (talk) 07:03, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Lincoln's reputation is high, so that everybody tries to claim him. But while, like everybody else, he held some conservative views, he was not noted as an influential conservative. Few authors would call Lincoln "conservative" unless they were engaged in special pleading for the conservative cause, as Kirk clearly was. There is, certainly, nothing wrong with Kirk making the case for conservatism, and he is a noted author, but one paragraph in one of his books does not make Lincoln a conservative. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:08, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the quote is significant, and therefore should be included, but I think we should avoid primary sources as much as possible because they are subject to different interpretations. I suggest that we add a line to Lincoln in the history section:
Lincoln was quoted by Russell Kirk for his positive description of conservatism: "What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?" (p. 7).
BTW Lincoln preceded his question by saying: "But you say you are conservative - eminently conservative - while we are revolutionary, destructive, or something of the sort." ( The second reference is less notable and less ambiguous. He meant that he wanted to conserve the current system of slavery without extending it. (,M1). Both these quotes can be interpreted differently. Also some modern American conservatives, especially from the South, do not accept Lincoln as a conservative.
The Four Deuces (talk) 13:36, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Liberal conservatives

One reason for much of the heat in the discussion of this article is that most of the "real" conservatives have long since given up on Wikipedia as hopelessly liberal, and have gone over to Conservapedia, where they can be assured that the Grand Canyon was dug by Noah's flood, that Global Warming is a hoax, and that all of the Founding Fathers were Bible believing Christians. Those are the God, King, and Country conservatives who, up until about 1970, were the only kinds of people called conservative. They were and are authoritarians.

The people who still edit Wikipedia, and who call themselves conservatives, are mostly Libertarians, and by "conservative" they mean small government and low taxes. But goodness knows the conservatives of yesteryear, the supporters of Louis XVI, were not in favor of small government or free enterprise. They were in favor of absolute monarchy! To apply the word "conservative" in the "small government" sense to politicians such as Lincoln, who were using the word in a very different sense, is to attempt to rewrite history. When Lincoln, for example, said "conservative", he meant pro-slavery. He also meant "state's rights", but not in the sense of smaller government, but rather in the sense of local autocratic government. I don't think that's the sense that "small government conservatives" want to adopt.

The alliance between the old style conservatives and the small government conservatives is purely political, and may change tomorrow. The small government conservatives actually have more in common with the Democratic party, which supports abortion, separation of Church and State, relaxed drug laws, and other causes that Libertarians and Liberals share. The people who call themselves conservatives today may very well call themselves liberal tomorrow, when they notice that the Republicans did not keep their promise of smaller federal government.

There is every reason for an encyclopedia article to resist the spin of politics and to use the words "liberal" and "conservative" the way the dictionary defines the words. We may mention the Libertarian jargon "classical liberal" and "small government conservative". But claims that all of the Founding Fathers favored small government is as specious as the claim that all of the Founding Fathers were Bible believing Christians. They were a diverse lot, and their common cause and rallying cry was "Liberty!" Rick Norwood (talk) 15:56, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

We need a section explaining what American conservatism is. I suggest outlining the differing opinions of Viereck, Kirk, Hartz, Auerbach, Meyer, Hayek, Goldwater and Sara Diamond. It is an anomoly that there could be a major "conservative" movement in the modern US. The "anti-elitism", and support for non-traditional churches and libertarianism certainly make American conservatism different. In any case, readers who want to know what conservatism is can read the Conservatism article. The Four Deuces (talk) 15:06, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

The times, they are a changin'. Anything we say about conservatism in the US today is apt to be wrong tomorrow. In fact, conservatives in the US don't seem to know what they are for, only what they are against. I'm reminded of politics in the Byzantine Empire, when the red party was against the green party, based on the colors worn in horseraces by their favorite jockeys. In time, since I believe most people are conservative by nature, a new conservative movement will come to the fore, defending the traditional American values of the Catholic church, protection of women, and our great Hispanic heritage. Rick Norwood (talk) 19:02, 14 April 2009 (UTC)


I just removed the line in the Intro of the page that was after ...major American ideology, which said "it is also complete bull****." That is vandalism and should not be able to be written. Filthy Language like that should be filtered anyway. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:00, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Could I nominate this for featured article status?

How would I go about doing that?PokeHomsar (talk) 14:52, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Research Section - Propose Deletion

Most of this section relates to studies that did not include American subjects or included them with other nationalities, and have no place in this article. Also, the section about charitable giving is unhelpful, because it does not come from a peer-reviewed objective study. Previous discussion shows that readers find this section unbalanced.

It would be helpful to include a study of American conservatives, showing where they fit into American demographics, e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, religion, income level, region, urban/rural, education level, etc.

In the meantime, I suggest the deletion of this section.

The Four Deuces (talk) 17:57, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Whoa - by deleting the entire section, you've removed material on surveys that were conducted in the U.S. This seems like a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater to me. Survey data isn't the same thing as a double-blind experiment, but that doesn't mean that it's useless or irrelevant. Population based correlations studies also have their place, and are very common in the social sciences. I'd like to strongly suggest that we put back in U.S. based material, clearly characterize survey-based material as such, clearly characterize studies based on correlations as such, include any critiques that we can find reliable sources for, and let the reader decide. Let's be careful that we don't introduce a censorship bias here, by excluding writers we disagree with. Whether or not we agree with their methods or conclusions, the data and line of reasoning advanced by researchers and authors such as Brooks is notable (by one simple measure, it's gotten prominent play and discussion in newspapers of record such as the Washington Post and New York Times). On the other side, the psychological theories of thinkers like Pratto and Altermeyer are often used by critics of conservatism. We're leaving a huge chunk of the public discussion surrounding conservatism out if we drop this. EastTN (talk) 14:48, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
I think the Altemeyer and Pratto studies were conducted using studies of people throughout the world and therefore belong in the Conservatism article. If you have studies specific to the US or sections of these studies specific to the US then put them in.
The Brooks study was done by a think tank and was not peer-reviewed, so its findings are not reliable. If there is such a study then put it in. Do the charities include donations to televangelists? Did they donate more time to charity because they lived in areas where government services were not available? Does he assume that all religious people are conservative?
There is a debate however at Talk:Conservatism#Remove the entire psychological section.
Incidentally, I am not censoring writers I disagree with, just interested in relevance and reliability.
The Four Deuces (talk) 01:11, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't share your wholesale dismissal of "think tanks" - all too often, my side's "research organization" is your side's "think tank" (and vice versa). In this case, the work is notable if for no other reason than its prominence in public debate (which is pretty thoroughly nailed down by the newspapers of record that have covered it, and the editorials in the same papers that have cited it). If you're more comfortable, it can be introduced by something along the lines of "Advocates of conservatives often cite research by Brooks . . . " with the editorials as sources, and then a summary of the research and a description of who performed it and how it was published. Criticisms would of course be fair game as well. We absolutely need to make sure that anything we include is accurately described so the reader of Wikipedia can make informed judgments about it.
Please understand, I did not intend to accuse you of intentional censorship, or any other form of bad faith (and I apologize if I gave you that impression). I do, though, think we need to be very very careful not to entirely exclude from Wikipedia material that has a prominent place in public debates, and that is relevant to an understanding of why one side or the other says or believes what it does, because in our judgment it is flawed or incorrect. We can end up inadvertently censoring things that way. Much as I've argued in support of Altemeyer at Talk:Conservatism#Remove the entire psychological section, whether he's right or wrong, Brooks is notable on the issue of Conservatism in the United States. Excluding him because of where he publishes hurts the liberal who reads this article to try and understand how conservatives think. EastTN (talk) 14:36, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

I think with any studies cited they should be:

1. relevant to the US
2. indicate whether they are academic and peer-reviewed
3. mention opposing views
4. mention whether the views are generally accepted
5. clearly indicate whose opinion is being given
6. give most reliable sources available - it is better to refer to specific reports, and avoid e.g., George Will (who is a columnist) as a source.

The reports in this section did not do this. I have no objections if you wish to improve it. I question though the lasting value of the Brooks report, even if it may have generated discussion at the time. The Four Deuces (talk) 19:18, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't fundamentally disagree with you. In particular, I'm absolutely behind full bibliographic information on all sources, and bringing in opposing sources whenever they're available (I'm supporting you in arguing for that in the discussion on the Talk:Conservatism page). I would quibble a bit with #4, because it's almost impossible to establish in many cases - and begs the question of "among whom?" Economic theory and psychological theory might be good thought examples. Pick a particular economic model - Keynesianism is in vogue today - is it "generally accepted?" Hard to say. It spent a few decades in the wilderness, if you will, but has come to new prominence with the economic downturn and new administration. In 1995 we might have said that it was completely discredited - but there were plenty of Keynesians around even then (just as their are plenty of supply-siders hiding the the woodwork today). The "accepted" question is much easier to answer in the hard sciences than it is in the social sciences, economics or political theory. This is one I think we need to be particularly careful with for positions that we don't personally agree with, or work that we have suspicions about - our own views can color our judgment. Frankly, in 1995, I would have been sorely tempted to argue against including Keynesianism because it was no longer generally accepted - and I would have been wrong.
On 6, my preference is to cite both the original study or book, and then also cite a couple of reviews or commentaries that are publicly available on the internet. That allows the reader who may not have access to the original to get a quick flavor of the material immediately. I recognize the concern you may have that pundits or reviewers aren't as academic, but I do limit myself to newpapers of record and clearly identify the source (e.g., George Will writing in the NYT), and in my judgment the ability to quickly get a summary of what's in the book or study outweighs the disadvantages of having an editorial or book review as a secondary source.
We may simply disagree on Brooks. I think he's relevant to the debate. My background may color my view here - I work in a field where population statistics and correlation analysis is fundamental. If I worked in one of the physical sciences, my instincts might be different. EastTN (talk) 16:17, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

I had some exposure to stats at school, but am no expert. Brooks has taken an unscientific approach in Who Really Cares (2006). His survey showed that conservatives gave more to charity than liberals and he has then given evidence that differences in wealth and education could not account for the difference. He should have run linear regression analysis to find the correlation between conservatism/liberalism and charitable giving, using other variables such as income, religion, urban/rural. He claims he originally planned to publish an academic study but published a popular book instead. I can only assume that he is unwilling to allow his conclusions to be subjected to academic scrutiny.

Curiously he also published the academic book Gifts of Time and Money (2005), where he describes motivations for charity but does not ascribe it to conservatism. One thing I found interesting is how the schedule for voluntary work by country for 1998 was presented differently in the two books:


In the 2005 book he compares 19 industrial countries. 51% of Americans volunteered their time, compared with 57% in Canada, 50% in NZ and 49% in Cyprus and Australia. In the three countries most similar to the US, volunteerism was the same, although the other countries probably are more "liberal".

In the 2006 book, Canada, NZ, Cyprus and Australia are omitted, and the US is well ahead of second place Latvia at 39%. The country that is most similar to the US on this list is Great Britain, which is at 28%.

One chapter, "Continental Drift" begins by explaining that although the US government gave less per capita in Humanitarian response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake than European nations, private donations were $1.5 billion. But it fails to mention that private American giving was much lower than most other countries (follow the hyperlink).

Obviously he is throwing out data in the 2006 book that do not agree with his conclusions. Unfortunately by not exposing the book to academic scrutiny we do not have reliable criticism of his work. Worse, It would seem that the 2006 book uses the same data as the 2005 book, but reaches different conclusions. (The criticism I made is WP:OR and could not be included either.) I do not think a textbook would include Brooks' findings. I don't think anyway it belongs in a section called "Research".

With (4.) I should have said we should make some comment on the level of acceptance if possible.

The Four Deuces (talk) 08:46, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Look, I don't want to get into a fight over who's right here. I might be inclined to assume less bad faith on Brooks' part than you are (there are other reasons, such as fame and fortune, that someone might publish a popular volume rather than another academic study) - and personally inclined to pick apart other sources cited in the article instead. But bottom line, we are criticizing the use made of survey results by a prominent author working in this area. That is, as you note, the essence of OR. Brooks' claims regarding Conservatives are discussed in the New York Times and Washington Post - but we've decided that his methodology is questionable enough that they can't even be mentioned in this article. That doesn't make any sense to me. We don't have to agree with them, we should describe what he did and what he claims as accurately and neutrally as possible, and we should certainly include any rebuttals or criticisms that we can document, but I can't see how we can with a straight face say that they are either not notable or not relevant. Frankly, this is something that someone might come to Wikipedia to find our more about! EastTN (talk) 15:32, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

History section

Something needs to be done about the history section, which has been rewritten by someone woefully ignorant of American history. To give just one example, they claim that John Adams and Alexander Hamilton were leaders of the Federalist Party. Adams and Hamilton were bitter enemies, and Adams refused to engage in party politics, often saying that party politics would destroy the American government.

I'm going to try to fix it. I'd appreciate help. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:38, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Half the history section is about the Revolution and the nineteenth century. But the issues and parties from this period don't fit easily into modern categories. The Whigs called themselves conservatives, but all they meant by this is that they opposed secession. The business vs labor issue doesn't become central until the 1890s. Kauffner (talk) 14:26, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Read over the changes I've made. I'm sure you can improve on what I have written. On the other hand, the free market conservatives could not win an election without the support of the religious conservatives, and so the article needs to reflect their views as well. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:26, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Although it is problematic to speak about American conservatism before c. 1955, the history section is important for several reasons:
1. American political history is usually seen as a conflict between the grand and petit bourgeois liberals (Whigs/Girondins v. democrats/populists), usually represented by Federalists/Whigs/Republicans v. Democrats. (e.g., Charles Beard, Louis Hartz) and now called conservatives and liberals.
2. Some modern American conservative historians see the federalists and leaders of the Old South as true conservatives in the tradition of Edmund Burke, and identify Adams and Calhoun as conservatives (e.g., Russell Kirk).
3. The Old Right is seen as the immediate predecessor of the New Right, and call them "conservatives" (so we want to know who they were) (e.g., Lee Edwards, Sara Diamond).
4. Modern American Conservatism is the result of various political realignments, such as southern democrats and Cold War liberals (e.g., Albert Wohlstetter, neoconservatives).
BTW there is evidence that the Whigs, who took the term "conservative" from the UK Conservatives, just as modern American Conservatives have, saw themselves as conservatives in a general sense, even though it did not mean they were conservatives. Also, the mention of the Loyalists, or Tories, is important because of their role in Canadian conservatism.
When I first looked at this article there were numerous debates about who really was a conservative. But we can only lay out the theories and let people decide.
The Four Deuces (talk) 21:27, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Hamilton is generally considered to be the founder of the Federalist Party and John Adams is considered to have been their candidate for president. See Encyclopaedia Britannica.[1] Generally a party's nominee for president is considered a leader of the party. Adams of course opposed partisan politics. There are two major conflicting views of American conservatism, the "consensus" view of Louis Hartz in The Liberal Tradition in America (1955)[[2]] and the "conservative" view of Russell Kirk in The Conservative Mind (1953).[3] Kirk's view was criticised by M. Morton Auerbach in The Conservative Illusion (1959)[4] Charles W. Dunn and J. David Woodard defended Kirk's view in The Conservative Tradition in America (2003) [5] All of these books are available on Questia. Hartz's view with some adjustments is considered the mainstream view, even among modern American conservatives, although Kirk's views have been highly influential on American conservatism, providing them with a reason for calling themselves conservatives. Some of these books are available online on and they are all available on Questia. If you have a better source for American political history, I would like to know what it is. The Four Deuces (talk) 16:03, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Hartz claims everything -- and the opposite. He denies that there is any such thing as American conservatism, but they also win elections. As Alan Wolfe writes, "It takes a love of paradox to appreciate the work of Louis Hartz."[6] Hartz has so few references, he seems to be thinking out loud. How can a book like that be a source of any information at all? Kauffner (talk) 01:45, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I am not stating that The Liberal Tradition in America is a good source of information, merely that its interpretation of American history is widely accepted. Hartz thought that America was naturally what we might call "libertarian" (he says "liberal") and basically anti-socialist but also anti-aristocratic. Even the review you kindly provided states "Yet Hartz got the large picture astonishingly right." I also believe that we should acknowledge the earlier view of American history as conflict, which is mentioned in the review (it is called the "progressive" view) as well as the conservative view of Russell Kirk.
If there are other views that should be included, I would be appreciative if you could tell me about them. The Four Deuces (talk) 09:45, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
BTW the eight pages of footnotes in The Liberal Tradition in America compares with twelve pages in The Conservative Mind, which was a longer book. The Four Deuces (talk) 14:23, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

help with Global warming article

Please help us with the Global warming article. there is currently a small number of editors who are continually refusing to allow any dissenting views. thanks. --Sm8900 13:39, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that conservative objections to global warming are political, while the question of global warming is scientific. The article rightly rejects opinions by non-scientists as POV. It was the same some years back with cigarettes, where the politically motivated opinion that cigarette smoking did not cause cancer was rightly not included in the article on smoking. Rick Norwood 20:30, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Please stop canvassing, Sm8900, and do not remove warnings from your talk page or any others (diff). -- Cielomobile talk / contribs 00:27, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

The fact is conservatives just want you to sleep at night by saying "oh, it will be okay, the liberals just want to take your money from you; they don't give a crap about you" they are lying to you just because it benefits them and their oil guzzling pals at the refineries. All everyone does is point fingers at everyone else without trying to reach any kind of solutions just because of greed. Anarchy! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:25, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Note: I restored the paragraph above. Only obvious spam and personal attacks should be deleted from talk pages. If the person who posted the paragraph deleted it, please delete again with an explanation that it is a self-deletion.Rick Norwood (talk) 11:55, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

What liberals believe is "scientific," but what conservatives believe is "political." That's convenient! Eleanor Goodman, Newsweek's chief "scientific" mind, came up the phrase "global warming denier." I prefer "global warming supporter" myself. But hey, I won't turn down the ticket to Tehran. If anything, I'd say holocaust deniers actually get better coverage in the drive by media than GW supporters do. We're told there is a "scientific consensus" that we all must bow to, but we not we're told what that consensus is, at least not in scientific terms. Kauffner 10:57, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
This talk page really is not the place for such an argument. There's a mediation being done; if you want to make any comments regarding global warming, please do so on its talk page. -- Cielomobile talk / contribs 17:45, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
We're told there is a "scientific consensus" that we all must bow to, but we not we're told what that consensus is, at least not in scientific terms. - Based on peer reviewed documents - about 700 in favor, 0 opposed, and 200 neutral. Raul654 02:37, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
I looked at your link, but it doesn't say what the mythical consensus actually is. Are you claiming that 700 abstracts argued that CO2 buildup and global warming are bad? I doubt if you can find any scientific paper that says that. Kauffner 10:00, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Here is another link.

Of course, predicting the weather is risky. The weather forecast last night predicted snow. Today, no snow. On the other hand, it is safe to predict that in the Northern Hemisphere, on the average, December will be colder than June.

There are three points about climate change, all scientific, none political.

1) Is the climate changing? The scientific consensus is overwhelmingly "Yes". 2) Is this climate change man made? Again, the scientific consensus is "Yes", but with slightly less certainty than in the case of 1. 3) Is this bad news for human beings. Yes, because human agriculture, cities, dams, canals, and so on are all based on the current climate, and it will be very expensive to change all of this infrastructure to adapt to a new climate.

Now, what arguments have been brought to bear against this consensus. I'm sure you don't buy into the "it's all a liberal conspiracy" crap, so we'll stick to scientific arguments. There are essentially two:

1) Because we are dealing in probabilities, we should not do anything until we are absolutely certain. This doesn't hold water -- under the same argument smoking is not bad for our health because we are not absolutely sure it will kill us.

2) Climate change is already so bad that any effort to mitigate it is pissing in the wind. This is a slightly stronger argument, but I for one am not ready to lie down and die. We've overcome bigger problems.

Rick Norwood 14:19, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Rick, there is no such thing as "scientific consensus." Your side likes to paint evolution and global warming as "settled matters" as more and more scientists are coming out against "global warming," which your side has conveniently changed to "climate change" due to the impending cooling trend. We went through a cooling trend in the 1970s that most scientists (and liberals of the day called it a consensus) would lead to the next Ice Age. Consensus on man-made Global Warming should be taken with a grain of salt. Learn from history.PokeHomsar (talk) 14:56, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

1) There is a scientific consensus. It is a large body of knowledge, accepted by almost all scientists everywhere in the world. It is this knowledge that allows scientific and technological progress. 2) The idea that there are a large number of scientists who dispute evolution and global warming is a lie. The idea that the number of scientists who dispute evolution and global warming is increasing is a lie. 3) I read a lot of history. Here is a quote from Science News, May 9, 1959, "A 25% increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere during the 150-year period ending in 2000 A. D. has been forecast." Now, fifty years later, we observe that the actual increase in carbon dioxide in the 150 years from 1850 to 2000 A.D. was 29%. The 1959 article goes on to predict global warming. The Ice Age articles from the 1970s were not a consensus of scientists, but a fad in the popular press.
The question is, can America survive when it has become the most scientifically illiterate of all industrialized nations? Rick Norwood (talk) 18:26, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
So the scientific consensus is just that CO2 is increasing? CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas compared to water vapor. Do you really believe that everyone who disagrees with you is lying? How convenient! Kauffner (talk) 08:31, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

All everyone does is point fingers at everyone else without trying to reach any kind of solutions just because of greed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:25, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Kauffner: I do not think you are knowingly lying. I think you listen to the conservative press, and believe what you hear. I am not a climatologist. Are you? If not, then all we have to go on is what we read, and how we evaluate the sources we read. The article on climate change is, correctly, based not on popular reporting, but rather on primary scientific sources. With very few exceptions (the article on the climate change controversy lists them all) stories that argue against man-made climate change come from the conservative press, and their use of lies to promote their point of view has been exposed so often that it is hard for me to understand why intelligent people still believe them (though I know they do). Rick Norwood (talk) 12:09, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
My Astronomy textbook from the 1970s stated that both global cooling caused by pollution and global warming caused by greenhouse gases were factors influencing the climate but that scientists did not know which would have a greater effect. They were sure however that they would not cancel each other out. There was never a "scientific consensus" that global cooling would lead to the next ice age, it was merely one of the possible outcomes. The Four Deuces (talk) 14:45, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
So what's changed since the 1970s? I don't think scientists understand the climate any better now than they did then. Only the politics has changed. The environmental movement has always been claiming that some apocalypse will occur if we don't do things their way: overpopulation, energy crisis, resource depletion, ozone layer depletion. Global warming is just more of the same hocus pocus. David Lindzen is one the top experts in this field and he estimates one third chance of warming, one third chance temperatures will stay the same, and one third chance of cooling. Kauffner (talk) 06:44, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
What has changed is that more information has become available. In the 1970s scientists could not predict future human behavior that would affect climate change. Improved pollution controls, cheap oil and the emergence of China and other countries as industrial powers have all been major influences that could not have been predicted. Scientists today can project how climate will be affected if we stop burning fossil fuels, if we continue at the same rate or if we increase the rate. There may be unforseen factors as well. But do you think that, all things being equal, an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere would cause global warming? The Four Deuces (talk) 11:50, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I assume that Kauffner is a reasonably intelligent person, and if it were not that his rational mind closes down when conservative dogma are threatened, he would never suggest that climate science has not advanced in the last forty years, or that Richard Lindzen, a paid spokesman for the oil industry, is a top expert in the field. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:10, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Scientists knew all about the greenhouse effect and rising CO2 back in the 1970s, but that didn't cause them to to predict global warming. To make its predictions, the IPCC still uses the same ratio between CO2 and temperature that was developed back in the 1970s. Water vapor accounts for about 90 percent of the greenhouse effect, so a slight increase humidity has as much effect as all the industrial CO2 ever produced. There must a feedback mechanism, otherwise climate would vary wildly all the time. To answer The Four Deuces question, I don't think is any simple or linear relationship between CO2 and temperature. :Even if you take the CO2/warming theory at face value, temperatures rise a couple of degrees, and so what? Here is the satellite temperature record for the last 30 years. There is a very slight upward trend, but nothing like Gore's bogus hockey stick. "Cap and trade" is the GM/Chrysler/UAW bailout on a bigger scale, an excuse to raise taxes to pay back unions and other political contributors. It won't even have a significant impact on CO2 emissions, unless China and India are so awestruck by this move that they are willing to sacrifice their economies as well.
Lindzen was the primary author for a chapter of the IPCC report. Academics get research grants -- that's just what do. This is a basis to discredit someone? Kauffner (talk) 16:40, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

If you were able to think rationally on this subject, you would never have written a sentence such as "I don't think scientists understand the climate any better now than they did then." The idea that science has progressed greatly in the past 40 years in every area -- except, by chance, the area where your political views cause you to disagree with it, is absurd on the face of it. As is your contention that the money Lindzen took as a spokesperson for the oil industry is the same as a research grant. And, yes, scientists did predict global warming in the 1970s. As you can see here, they've been predicting global warming since the 1950s.

"Science Past from the issue of May 9, 1959 — A 25% increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere during the 150-year period ending in 2000 A.D. has been forecast. Dr. Bert Bolin of the University of Stockholm in Sweden told the National Academy of Sciences meeting in Washington that the burning of coal, oil and gas was adding carbon dioxide to the air at about one-half a percent each year.… The increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the last 100 years, he said, is much more likely to be about eight percent than the usually quoted two percent. Carbon dioxide is believed the cause for earth’s suspected warming trend of two to three degrees Fahrenheit in the last 50 years."[1]

Conservative media have about a dozen arguments against man made global warming, which they repeat over and over, all of which have been debunked. Honest conservatives are not doing their cause any favors by repeating the same stale untruths over and over again. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:36, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Source Watch doesn't say anything about Lindzen being a spokesman. It says he is a member of a, "think tank which has been funded by corporations including ExxonMobil."[7] Everybody gets their money from somewhere. So what's the upshot here? Al Gore is right and we really are going to burn up in eight years? It seems that supporting "the consensus" means never having to have an opinion of your own. As Lindzen has written, I'd like to support the consensus, but no one can explain what it is, at least not the scientific aspect of it. I'd say conservative opinion is more solid on this issue than on almost any other policy issue. Kauffner (talk) 15:01, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Political thinking on issues like this follow a predictable path: there is no global warming, there is global warming but it is not man-made, it is man-made and we are doing something about it, it's too late to do anything and finally we predicted global warming but the "liberals" failed to take it seriously. (John McCain has laid the groundwork for the last spin.) Of course the Democrats will do nothing to address the problem. If they were really serious they would immediately end all agricultural subsidies. The Four Deuces (talk) 16:20, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
If environmentalists were serious about this issue, we'd switch from coal to nuclear power. The real agenda has nothing to do with CO2 emissions. Kauffner (talk) 16:29, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
The solution to every problem is not more government spending, as eight years of conservative rule should teach us. Do you really want your tax dollars (or money borrowed from China) subsidizing air conditioners and turkey deep-friers in Texas? Besides the coal would keep burning and we would merely all be using more energy. The Four Deuces (talk) 22:10, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Gentlemen: back on topic, please: How best to improve this Wikipedia article. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:43, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Suggest Adding Survey Data on Prevalence of People Self-Identifying as "Conservative"

I ran across a Gallup poll on how American's describe their political views.

There's a good bit of interesting information here. There's not an immediately obvious home for this material in any of the existing sections (at least, I didn't see one). But it does seem relevant to discuss how prevalent self-described "conservative" views are in the U.S., and how that prevalence varies by age, gender and party affiliation. EastTN (talk) 15:53, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Interesting link. Polls don't really show much, as I'm sure you know, but they do sway elections. I seem to remember a Gallup poll during the presidential primary, where Democrats chose Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton by almost 60%, but in another poll chose Hillary Rodham Clinton over Barack Obama by almost the same percentage.
My hunch is that if you asked 100 people what "liberal" and "conservative" mean you would get 100 different answers.

One thing the Gallup poll shows that I do believe. People are becomming more polarized in their views. There was an interesting study (in Science???) that showed the views of groups tend to be more extreme than the views of individuals. Rick Norwood (talk) 17:00, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

The poll may not be entirely accurate because people have emotive responses to the terms. I remember reading about a similar study where they actually asked people's views on different issues and found that people who expressed liberal views often considered themselves conservatives. Mind you I think the term conservative has suffered so perhaps they now consider themselves moderates. I would put it in but look for other studies as well. You might also find a report that compares the US with other countries, and current results with historical ones. The Four Deuces (talk) 17:52, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree that your mileage may vary with polling - and they way questions are worded is incredibly important. The thing that struck me with this was that they had results over an extended length of time. I also completely agree with Four Deuces that other surveys would be useful as well - I just happened to stumble across this one scanning the news this morning. EastTN (talk) 23:01, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
EastTN - I missed your comments on Brooks which were higher in this page. He could be mentioned in this article but it would be wrong to present his findings as factual or in any way reasoned. Because his writing appeared as a popular, not academic, book, there is no academic criticism that could address his deeply flawed method. The major example I gave was that he omits statistics for Canada, Australia, and New Zealand - the three countries most similar to the US - which show that their citizens are equally or more generous than Americans. The Four Deuces (talk) 13:36, 4 July 2009 (UTC)


This article has some major problems, one of which is the lack of distinction between the different types of conservatism. For instance, Reagan's view of Conservatism was much different than say Russel Kirk's, yet the two are lumped together in the opening paragraph. I'll work on this, but the distinction between things like paleo-conservatism and neoconservatism needs to be highlighted more. Soxwon (talk) 15:58, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Conservative means wanting to conserve the past, traditionalist. Since the word first came into use at a time when the past meant a strong class structure, its original use was "God, king, and country", over against the liberals, who believed in change, in "liberty, equality, fraternity". There is still a lot of this in modern conservatism, but it is no longer a desire to conserve the past, but rather to return to a past seen as better than the present. Then you have the Libertarians, the Raegan conservatives, who have nothing in common with the "God, king, and country" conservatives except a temporary political alliance -- "I'll give up freedom of religion if you'll lower my taxes." But the Libertarians are trying to change the meaning of the word, and out of this attempt to rewrite the dictionary for political gain comes most of the confusion in this article. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:16, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, considering how much Liberal has changed, I don't think it's so much as "rewriting the dictionary" as "evolving with the times." You can't just say that it's a "political alliance" when things like laissez-faire and minimal gov't has become so associated with the conservatives. Soxwon (talk) 19:23, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Reagan and Kirk are not lumped together in the first paragraph but are both in the lead. Please read it again because I think the lead does mention the various groups that have come to form modern American conservatism. The Four Deuces (talk) 20:28, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

Soxwon: Republicans have attempted to change the meaning of "liberal" and "conservative" for political gain. This is propaganda, not scholarship. Yes, the meaning of words changes with time. But unless academics try to slow these changes, communication will become impossible, and the meaning of words will change with every election. When Bush was in office, "conservatism" was not associated with minimal goverment. Conservatives only really favor minimal government when a Democrat is in office. A language that changes with every election hinders rather than helps real communication.

Except for the Libertarians, who are a small minority, most conservatives consider themselves conservative because they believe that America is a Christain nation, that "those people" have an unfair advantage over "us", and that we need to return to a time when "those people" knew their place, and White, Christian men ruled the country. They also believe in American exceptionalism. In other words, God, the ruling class, and country. Not much change there at all.

The most important liberal issues in my lifetime are freedom of the press, freedom of religion, limitation of the president by the law, and equal rights for women, Blacks, Hispanics, and gays. In other words, liberty, equality, and fraternity. Not much change there either. The "suchi eating liberal" that conservative politicians set up as a straw dog to win votes is not real. I'm liberal, but I don't like big government and high taxes, I don't want to give "special rights" to women, Blacks, Hispanics, and gays and I don't want to take away your guns.

The strategy to first change the meaning of the words, and then argue that people who follow the old cause under the old meaning necessarily follow the new cause under the new meaning. That's propaganda, not scholarship.

One reason reference works exist to prevent the redefinition of words and the rewriting of the past for the purpose of propaganda. Some people are interested in what the past was really like, and what words really mean.

If you want to promote Libertarianism, then say you are promoting Libertarianism, don't pretend that Libertarianism is conservatism in order to win conservative votes. If you want to oppose socialism, then oppose socialism, don't pretend that liberalism is socialism to win votes. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:48, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Rick, Soxwon has always been respectful and presented intelligent arguments. But you should read Louis Hartz's The Liberal Tradition in America that explains why Americans call each other "Right wing" and "socialist". The Four Deuces (talk) 04:06, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

You're right, The Four Deuces. I apologize, Soxwon. I just wish that people would go beyond trying to redefine words and focus on issues. For example, it is very reasonable to discuss how much the government should spend, how much it should tax, and who it should tax. It is a total waste of time to argue that liberals like high taxes or that conservatives support no taxation at all. Neither of these statements have been made by any reasonable liberal or conservative I know of. I'll take a look at Hartz's book.Rick Norwood (talk) 14:01, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

True, but popular opinion has become such that ppl are more likely to associate a liberal ideology with higher spending and taxation (for social programs) than conservatism (which has become more associated with business and the private sector) is what I'm saying. Of course, no generalization is ever true in all cases (blue dogs for instance), but I think that this is the general rule. ( Soxwon (talk) 17:13, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Respectfully, the evidence seems to me to suggest otherwise. It is true that the Republicans have done everything in their power to shape popular opinion to the belief that liberals want higher spending, but when you look at the facts, every president, Republican and Democrat alike, has spent more than the previous president, usually almost twice as much. It is true that, in general, Republicans tend to spend money to help the upper class and Democrats tend to spend money to help the working class, but they both spend. As one example, even as the Republicans were saying that we cannot afford health care, they were also saying that we must build bombers that the military neither want nor need. Many businessmen are conservatives. But many others, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett for example, are liberals. Some people think government spending is bad for business, others that government spending is good for business. Only the most doctrinarie free-trade people still think total deregulation is good for business, after the savings and loan fiasco.

The backbone of the conservative movement in America is the conservative Christians. Without them, the Republicans would be a minor party. (Or, more likely, would change and, for example, stop alienating Black and Hispanic voters. They are going to have to do that in any case.)

Both liberalism and conservatism have their good and bad points. The main reason I work on the various political articles is because I want them to reflect what, for example, conservatives say they believe, rather than propaganda from either inside or outside the conservative ranks. That's why I place so much emphasis on standard reference works. Rick Norwood (talk) 19:58, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

bad citation

Everyone makes mistakes, but there have been a number of very careless citations in recent edits. For example:

"The capitalist conservatism that dominated the Reagan administration which favored a more or less laissez-faire free market economy arose from classical liberalism.[2]"

First, the book in question is not by psychical researcher Alan James Mayne, but is by political commentator Alan Mayne. Second, the book is not titled "From Politics Part to Future" but is titled "From Politics Past to Politics Future". Third, the book does not use the phrase "classical liberalism". Rick Norwood (talk) 15:57, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

It certainly does use the phrase "classical liberalism." Read again. Introman (talk) 16:00, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I did a search for the phrase. If the search missed it, please provide a page number. Rick Norwood (talk) 22:13, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

I removed the following from the lead: The capitalist conservatism that dominated the Reagan administration which favored a more or less laissez-faire free market economy arose from classical liberalism. [Mayne, Alan James. From Politics Part (sic) to Politics Future. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999. p. 123][8] It is alright for academics to coin a term like "capitalist conservatism" in their writings, but they should not be used without comment in articles. The correct phrasing would be "what Alan James Mayne referred to as "capitalist conservatism". But then his use of the term lacks sufficient notability to be included.
This is important because there is no clear definition of "capitalist conservatism". Does it mean a conservatism that embraces capitalism or rather a conservative interpretation of capitalism. Different writers may use it in different ways.
The Four Deuces (talk) 22:43, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
So why don't you just be a helpful collaborative editor and change the wording a bit instead of censoring the information? Time after time it seems you're just intent to keep information out of these articles, looking for any excuse you can come up with. Introman (talk) 22:48, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

No, other editors are not obliged to correct bad writing, and removal of bad writing is not censorship. Rick Norwood (talk) 23:08, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

You said the title of the source is wrong and I corrected it. What other technicality is wrong? You deleted all the information. What's wrong now and why didn't you correct it? You're not obligated of course, but is shows a lack of good will I think. Introman (talk) 23:12, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Introman, why don't we discuss this. Why do you think that the information you inserted belongs in the lead? Why did you choose the source? Do you not think that the term "capitalist conservatism" might be ambiguous? The Four Deuces (talk) 23:17, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't care about the term "capitalist conservativism." I'm not concerned with semantics. Change it to "Reagan's form of conservativism," it doesn't matter. It belongs in the lead because throughout this article it talks about how classical liberalism influenced American conservatism yet it wasn't mentioned in the intro. Introman (talk) 23:34, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
If I may interject, I think that Reagan conservatism has become one of the most influential in the conservative movement. That being said, I think "neoconservatism" is more accurate than "classical liberalism" (though the term can still certainly be used). I know that the form of "classical liberalism" that lent itself to laissez-faire is important as well, but I'm not sure from where it originated. I'll have to reasearch that one... Soxwon (talk) 23:21, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
Reagan was definitely not a neoconservative. Nor did neoconservatism influence Reagan's conservatism that I'm aware of. Reagan read and was inspired by the works of the classical liberals, and not the neoconservatives, and the economists that advised him were also laissez-faire economists such as Milton Friedman. Introman (talk) 23:34, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Introman: You hastily attempted to correct the title and still got it wrong. I did go to the trouble of telling you what the correct title was, and the correct name of the author. Instead of thanking me for the help, you complain that I'm not showing "good will" by correcting your mistakes, and continue to edit carelessly.

Soxwon: Reagan conservatism was primarily anti-communism. I agree that neoconservatism is more accurate than "classical liberalism". The big problem with "classical liberalism" is that it implies that early liberals favored small government, when in fact most understood that only a strong government could prevent mob rule and protect the rights of minorities.

I'm not sure, but I think the origin of the term "classical liberalism" in the sense of "libertarianism" comes from the phrase "classical economics", meaning economics before John Maynard Keynes. Rick Norwood (talk) 23:30, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

You're hung up on semantics. It's also called "traditional" liberalism. All it's referring to is liberalism before modern liberalism appeared. You could just as well call it "early liberalism." Introman (talk) 23:37, 19 August 2009 (UTC)
But if that's your definition of what a "classical liberal" is, then you can't very well add Patrick Henry or Jefferson into that definition, as they both favored smaller central gov't, and more powerful state level gov't. That's why I wasn't satisfied with simply classifying Jefferson and the like in the same category of say a more modern liberal, as the values and ideas have changed so much that you're really comparing apples and oranges. Sure the jive about about preserving freedoms and all is good, but the methods used varied so much from person to person, and the intent of the founding fathers so varied, that comparing them as a class to today's ideas is really quite difficult IMO. Soxwon (talk) 23:40, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

(out)It already says in the lead Core conservative principles include a trust in God and country, and many U.S. conservatives support a fiscal policy rooted in small government, laissez faire capitalism, and supply-side economics. Also: in 1955, William F. Buckley, Jr. founded National Review, a conservative magazine that included traditionalists, such as Kirk, along with Roman Catholics, libertarians, and anti-communists. This bringing together of separate ideologies under a conservative umbrella was known as "fusionism". Also: In 1980, the conservative movement...was able to to nominate and elect the Republican candidate Ronald Reagan, a self-identified American conservative, as president.

The following would therefore appear to be redundant: The capitalist conservatism that dominated the Reagan administration which favored a more or less laissez-faire free market economy arose from classical liberalism.

The Four Deuces (talk) 23:57, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

How would it be redundant if what you quote doesn't even mention classical liberalism? Introman (talk) 23:58, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

The quote makes it seem that classical liberalism did not play a role in American conservatism until Ronald Reagan. The Four Deuces (talk) 00:12, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

If you have a source for classical liberalism inspiring conservatism at an earlier time then provide it. That's not a good reason for censoring mentioning that classical liberalism was the main economic influence on Reagan's conservatism. Introman (talk) 00:19, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I think the problem here is that during Reagan's presidency, he had little control over the economy. Other figures like Paul Volcker were much more influential. And Volcker himself could hardly be described as a classical liberal. That's perhaps my own WP:OR, but I could probably find sources to back it up. I bring this up b/c that would make the statement that is being inserted would be fundamentally flawed. Soxwon (talk) 00:22, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok, you can have your opinion, but it is sourced and there's lots more sources where that came from. You're saying Volcker wasn't a classical liberal. Well, Reagan wasn't either. He was a conservative. Nobody is claiming Reagan was a classical liberal. Classical liberal ideas had a revival during the bad economy in the 70's, which brought on a rejection of rejection of modern liberalism and revival of classical liberalism. Those reading the classical liberals brought those ideas into conservatism. I don't know much about Volker, but maybe he read the classical liberals too. I don't know. I'm not saying he was a classical liberal. This about ideas/philosophy, not people. Introman (talk) 00:42, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Gentlemen, I'm tired, and am going to bed, leaving the article in your capable hands. Rick Norwood (talk) 00:25, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Soxwon's right. I don't think Reagan was a dogmatic follower of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus and John Stuart Mill. His government was morely likely to follow more modern economists. The Four Deuces (talk) 00:30, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

No kidding. No one has claimed he was. If he did, that would make him a classical liberalism. No one is claiming Reagan was a classical liberal. He was a conservative. There is a difference. But classical liberalism strongly influenced his version of conservatism. It's sourced. What do you mean by his government was more likely to follow more modern economists? Following modern economists doesn't mean you're not following classical liberal ideas if those modern economists are influenced by classical liberals. Regardless, hear it from the horses mouth if you wish: "REASON: Are there any particular books or authors or economists that have been influential in terms of your intellectual development? REAGAN: Oh, it would be hard for me to pinpoint anything in that category. I’m an inveterate reader. Bastiat and von Mises, and Hayek and Hazlitt–I’m one for the classical economists." [ttp://] Introman (talk) 00:50, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, he would say that, wouldn't he? In reality the Reagan administration was inconsistent in its economic policy. They even hired Paul Krugman to help get them out of the recession in 1982. The Four Deuces (talk) 01:12, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
That's not relevant. This is about IDEAS/PHILOSOPHY. Conservatism is a PHILOSOPHY. I don't know how many times I have to explain that to you in these political philosophy articles. If you want to claim in the article that they didn't live up to their philosophy in their actions, you can certainly to that if you have a source. Introman (talk) 01:27, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
But we're not talking about conservatism, we're talking about liberalism. The Four Deuces (talk) 01:33, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
We're talking about both. We're talking about Reagan's conservatism (philosophy) arising out of classical liberalism (philosophy). And it's sourced. Introman (talk) 01:35, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

(out)Reagan's already mentioned in the lead. There is no need to give his views undue weight WP:UNDUE, especially as you say conservatism is a philosophy (actually an ideology or in the US a collection of ideologies) and Reagan was not a prominent political theorist. The Four Deuces (talk) 01:45, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

You'll grasp at any straw you can to keep information I add out of articles won't you? You don't care whether it's true or not or sourced or not. I'm not saying to mention him again. I'm saying to mention that his conservatism arose out of classical liberalism. And by Reagan's conservatism I didn't mean he was the only proponent of it. Obviously he wasn't. By Reagan's conservatism I mean the conservatism that Reagan subscribed to. It's larger than him. Introman (talk) 01:49, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Next? What's your next objection to try to keep it out? Introman (talk) 01:54, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
WP:AGF I am not trying to keep the term "classical liberal" out the lead, just think that it should not be put in just for the sake of mentioning it. Do you have any other suggestions how it could be put into the lead? Also one of my main objections to inserting your edit is that you should try to obtain consensus, which apparently has no been done in this article. Incidentally I notice that the Ronald Reagan article does not mention classical liberalism in its lead. The Four Deuces (talk) 03:02, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Dude, I've assumed good faith for a long time now. I'm sorry, but it's gone. I don't think you act in good faith anymore. I think you try to keep information out of articles that you simply don't want to be exposed. You'll keep picking and picking for reasons to try to keep it out. When one objections fails, you'll move on to the next. When that objections fails, you'll move on to another, one. It doesn't stop. Now you've just come up with the ridiculous objection to mentioning it here is that it's not mentioned in the Reagan article's intro. Your attempts to keep information that you don't like out of articles wreaks with desperation. You're completely unreasonable. Introman (talk) 03:37, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
You have to take account of how the writing flows. The lead states many U.S. conservatives support a fiscal policy rooted in small government, laissez faire capitalism, and supply-side economics. Then we read, The capitalist conservatism that dominated the Reagan administration which favored a more or less laissez-faire free market economy arose from classical liberalism. Surely the best place to mention classical liberalism would be before Reagan otherwise it sounds as if he was the first American whose conservatism...arose from classical liberalism, and implies that the earlier laissez-faire arose from some other ideology. May I suggest that you consider how the concept of classical liberalism could be better introduced or whether it is relevant since the lead already mentions laissez-faire, libertarian and similar concepts. Incidentally please use polite forms of address. The Four Deuces (talk) 04:34, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Avoid words and phrases that are easily misunderstood.

The article, and especially the lede, should focus on the ideas of conservatism in the United States, and avoid the jargon of any political subgroup. Say anything that is referenced by an important source, but say it in a way that avoids spin. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:05, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Introman, I have not looked at your sources for this text, but wonder if it fits in properly: After losing political influence through the 1970's, conservatism found new life in the 1980's adopting the economic ideas of the classical liberalism revival. Since this follows discussion of Buckley and Goldwater it implies that those men did not accept the economic ideas of the classical liberalism revival. Is that your position? The Four Deuces (talk) 16:29, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
They could not accept the ideas of the classical liberalism revival. There was no revival in their time. Hence, they weren't able to win the election on classical liberal ideas. Those ideas weren't popular enough. Introman (talk) 16:31, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
But Goldwater had run on the same economic ideas as Reagan. They were part of modern American conservatism from the start. The Four Deuces (talk) 19:27, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
So? If you have a source for that, feel free to put it in. Introman (talk) 19:31, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I do not wish to put anything in and it is not my role to do your research for you. Your statement After losing political influence through the 1970's, conservatism found new life in the 1980's adopting the economic ideas of the classical liberalism revival is not supported by your sources and conflicts with other information in the WP article. You should really be familiar with Buckley and Goldwater. The Four Deuces (talk) 20:49, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes it is supported by the sources. If you think it can be tweaked a little if you think you can make it more closely represent the sources, then feel free to try. The closer to what the sources say the better. If you want to claim something about Goldwater then you go do the research and put it in the article. Introman (talk) 22:05, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

(out)Encyclopedia Britannica online which btw is a poor source says:

The intellectual foundations of this revival were primarily the work of the Austrian born British economist Friedrich Hayek and the American economist Milton Friedman....Revitalized conservatives achieved power with with the lengthy administrations of Prime Minister Margeret Thatcher (1979-1990) in Britain and Pres Ronald Reagan (1981-1989) in the United States.

It does not say that American conservatives only adopted these ideas in the 1980s. And as I already said I am not interested in adding anything to the lead.

The Four Deuces (talk) 22:59, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

You're right it doesn't say that they "only" adopted these ideas in the eighties. It just said they did adopt them in the eighties. If you think they adopted them before then in an equal or larger way that's notable then find a source for that and put it in the article. But, as you said, you're not interested in adding anything to the lead. So I don't know what you want from me. Are you wanting me to find that and add that to the lead? Introman (talk) 23:12, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
You do realize that one way or another classical liberalism is going to be mentioned, because even you claim that Goldwater took the ideas of the classical liberals, don't you? The influences to conservatism definitely need to be mentioned. So if your aim is to just prevent mention of it, you're not making a good case for it. Introman (talk) 23:26, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I know that you insist on inserting the term "classical liberalism" into the lead of every political article you edit. But your current insertion distorts the facts. Why do you not read about the history of American modern conservatism and determine a better way to introduce the term into the lead. (Hint: read the article.) The Four Deuces (talk) 23:30, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm discussing classical liberalism because liberalism is what I'm focusing on right now. I want to discuss liberalism in every article where its relevant. It was missing out of the intro of this article, which I think is inexcusable. If you think my intromission "distorts the facts" then you need to presents some sources that prove that it distorts the facts, because it is saying what the source is saying. I don't think the sources are distorting the facts here. Even if a source is distorting "the facts" that is not good reason to delete it, because we're not supposed to judge what is factual or not but what is sourced or not. If you find something that disagrees with a source, you simply note both points of view. Introman (talk) 23:43, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Asking me to provide sources that Reagan held the same views on economics before he was elected as he did after and that these were common to American conservatives is unneccessary. The lead is supposed to represent what is in the article and if you read the article you would see that it is true. The Four Deuces (talk) 06:11, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't know what you're talking about now. I asked you to do no such thing. But Reagan's views changed over time. As far as them being different immediately before and immediately after he was elected, I don't think so. Anyway, I don't know what your comment is about. Introman (talk) 16:40, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

(out) What I am saying is that your contention that ideas similar to Hayek's only became an influence on American conservatives after Reagan's election is false and that anyone with an elementary understanding of the subject would know this and that it is not up to me to explain history to you. However you may gain an elementary understanding of the subject by reading this article. The Four Deuces (talk) 18:18, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

I said no such thing. You're saying I'm saying that. Introman (talk) 18:21, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Introman's sources

According to Introman, all true liberals are libitarians and all true conservatives are libertarians. In fact, everybody who isn't stupid is a libertarian. The question, then, is where are all the libertarians? Why aren't libertarian candidates swept into office by overwhelming majorities?

The answer is that Introman's sources don't really say what he claims. It only takes him minutes to search for a source that contains a word or phrase that, taken out of context, seems to support his views. It takes serious editors hours to actually track down and read those sources and discover what they actually say.

No book I have read on politics says what Introman claims, so the temptation is to dismiss him out of hand, but maybe The Four Deuces, Soxwon, and anyone else interested in joining us can share the work of checking Introman's sources. I'm willing to give an hour or so of my Sunday morning to the project. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:01, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Contract with America, George W. Bush

Introman removed the following sentence from the lead: Subsequent electoral victories included gaining a Republican congressional majority in 1994 and the election of George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004 with the notation not really intrinsically relevant that Bush was elected. There is no context in relation to conservatism with this sentence.

You should discuss major changes. These elections were considered major achievements by American conservatives and removing reference to them distorts the article.

Can you please explain why it is not really intrinsically relevant that Bush was elected.

The Four Deuces (talk) 02:47, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Hardly a "major change." You tell why it's relevant if you want it in there. I don't see the relevance. Introman (talk) 02:49, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
It would be helpful if you gained familiarity with the subject before making edits. The Four Deuces (talk) 02:56, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
It would be helpful if you answered my question. Introman (talk) 02:57, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

(out) Here's a recent quote from Lee Edwards who is is widely regarded as the chief historian of the American conservative movement:[9] The modern conservative movement began as a Remnant with Albert Jay Nock and Frank Chodorov; grew into an intellectual movement with Friedrich Hayek, Richard Weaver, and Russell Kirk; blossomed into a political movement with William F. Buckley Jr. and Barry Goldwater; burst into full bloom as a governing movement with Ronald Reagan and The Heritage Foundation and other organizations; succumbed to hubris with Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay; imploded under George W. Bush and the neoconservatives; and is now wondering whether it is headed for the ash heap of history.[10]

The point is you are editing an article about a subject that you have made no effort to study and are wasting people's time by asking elementary questions. This is the same as editing the lead for Christmas then asking people who Santa Claus was. This is disruptive editing (see WP:DE) and has the effect of distorting articles so that they provide inaccurate information and slowing down the process of article improvement.

The Four Deuces (talk) 03:33, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

You saying I'm engaging in disruptive editing, means absolutely nothing. Anyway, as you can see, Bush is spoken of in relation to neoconservatism. If you want to put him in then there needs to be context. Introman (talk) 03:58, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
It does not say that at all and Dr. Edward's writing is very clear. If you find these texts difficult, then it is much better to discuss them here rather than make edits that distort the article. The Four Deuces (talk) 04:07, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
"The conservative movement...imploded under George W. Bush and the neoconservatives." It doesn't say that at all right? Introman (talk) 04:11, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Please explain your point and how it is relevant to this discussion. The Four Deuces (talk) 04:15, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
I already have. Introman (talk) 04:16, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

(out) Again, I do not understand what you are saying. The Four Deuces (talk) 04:25, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm saying the sentence was just stuck in there with no context. So what if George Bush was elected? Introman (talk) 04:34, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
The point was that his election was an electoral victory for conservatives, which you deleted from the lead. Subsequent electoral victories included...the election of George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. The Four Deuces (talk) 04:38, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Why is that considered an electoral victory for conservatism? Do you have a source for that? The source you gave indicated that it was the "implosion" of conservatism, not a victory. The point is what does the election of Bush have to do with conservatism? SOmeone who reads the intro needs to know that it's relevant if it is and why. A victory for Republicans and victory for conservatism are not necessarily the same thing. Introman (talk) 04:44, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
I am sorry but the text is clear and your comprehension of the reading appears to differ from a normal reading. The Four Deuces (talk) 04:53, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
It's there without context. The sentence says " Subsequent electoral victories included gaining a Republican congressional majority in 1994 and the election of George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004." Electoral victories for what? Victory for Republicans or conservatism? Introman (talk) 05:00, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

(out) The passage is at a comprehension level that would be understood by the average literate adult. The Four Deuces (talk) 05:14, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Let's assume that it is. Then the question is, what's the source? Your source contradicts it. Your source equates Bush with NEOconservatism and say that the conservative movement imploded as as result. Introman (talk) 05:21, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
The passage is at a comprehension level that would be understood by the average literate adult. The Four Deuces (talk) 05:26, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Let me know when you want to respond to something I actually said. Introman (talk) 05:30, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

George W. Bush described himself as a conservative. Conservative commentators described him as a conservative. The only way he isn't a conservative is if we use your peculiar definitions, in which liberal = conservative = libertarian, and the majority of liberals and conservatives are not "real" liberals or "real" conservatives. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:01, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

No, I don't consider conservatism to be libertarianism. Don't put words in my mouth. If you think Bush is a conservative, then simply source it. An interventionist foreign policy has never been considered to be conservative, neither has been expanding of the welfare state, both of which Bush engaged in. That's why Bush is not considered a conservative by many conservatives. So if you have sources saying he's a conservative then by all means add them, as long as it also points out than other conservatives disagree. Introman (talk) 14:04, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Introman, I reverted your recent edit to the lead. It disagrees with some of the sources and is too minor to include in the lead. Perhaps you may wish to add it to the body. The Four Deuces (talk) 14:26, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
First of all, I want you to know that I just go through the motions having discussions with you because experience has proven to me that you completely lack any good faith. I have discussions with you for the record simply because it's good Wikipedia policy. But, to address your point, major conservatives saying Bush is not a conservative is not minor. It's too major to ignore if you have Bush in the intro giving the impression that he's a conservative. I know you don't care, but it's POV of you to delete the notable view that he's not considered a conservative. Introman (talk) 14:31, 25 August 2009 (UTC)