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Thu Dec 29, 2011, 07:35 PM

Is the word "conservative" about to become a putdown?

The word "Republican" has gone out of vogue thanks to George W. Bush and the Great Recession. One needs look no further than the Tea Party to see a clear example of stout-hearted Republicans running away from their party name and performance. Nowadays, even the most Republican of Republicans knows to sidestep their party affiliation when in polite company. If nothing else, it lets them avoid being asked if they voted for Bush.

The word Republican is toast, but what about the talismanic, argument-settling, self-worth-asserting word "conservative" itself? Have its many unfortunate recent associations with crackpots, serial liars, and flabby, diamond-ring-twisting hegemons finally brought down the last safe right wing word? What will conservatism call itself now that the word conservative is starting to become short for "laughably deranged asshole" in popular culture?

There has been a perceptible change in the Zeitgeist. I can't say for sure when it occurred. Perhaps at some point the Tea Party took off its glasses and everyone saw it was just George W. Republican after all. Maybe enough people witnessed Rush Limbaugh twitching on video making fun of Alex P. Keaton's multiple sclerosis. Maybe a critical mass of media consumers noticed that recently Fox News has begun to morph into a culture-wide laughingstock. I don't know when it happened, but the writing is on the Facebook wall.

Saying "I'm conservative" these days doesn't mean what it did ten short years ago. The presumption of respectability formerly accorded the words has disintegrated. The good will has dwindled to a puddle. Thanks to the hard work of self-professed "conservatives" like George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and (let's definitely not forget) Glenn Beck, saying "I'm conservative" today is a quick way to lose people. If the trend continues, it won't be long before calling someone a "conservative" will be a putdown.

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is the word "conservative" about to become a putdown? (Original post)
gulliver Dec 2011 OP
slay Dec 2011 #1
elleng Dec 2011 #2
backscatter712 Dec 2011 #3
eridani Dec 2011 #4
opihimoimoi Dec 2011 #5
Bluenorthwest Dec 2011 #6
Zorra Dec 2011 #7
TroglodyteScholar Dec 2011 #10
IDemo Dec 2011 #8
TroglodyteScholar Dec 2011 #9
Proud Liberal Dem Dec 2011 #11
tledford Dec 2011 #12
LiberalFighter Dec 2011 #13
dawg Dec 2011 #15
LiberalFighter Dec 2011 #17
izquierdista Dec 2011 #14
socialist_n_TN Dec 2011 #16
Odin2005 Dec 2011 #18
mazzarro Dec 2011 #19

Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 07:41 PM

1. Always has been in my book

 

conservatives like to cling to the past and progressives like to progress towards the future.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 07:46 PM

2. Has been for a while, I think,

because of its misuse by those you name, and lack of understanding of essential definition:

1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
2. Traditional or restrained in style.
3. Moderate; cautious.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 07:51 PM

3. I certainly hope so.

It needs to be made pejorative for the next ten generations!

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 07:53 PM

4. Not among the committed batshit crazy

The general public, hopefully.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 07:55 PM

5. It already is...they jus don noes it yet....LOL

GROUP OF PHONIES

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 07:56 PM

6. It always was the ultimate insult in my opinion.

 

It implies a dislike of the new, extreme risk aversion, a general complacency and lack of forward motion. Lethargy, parsimony and fear.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 07:57 PM

7. +1

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:01 PM

10. Don't forget the complete lack of intellectual curiosity.

"I have a simple (if flawed) answer for every question, and time spent actually thinking about it is time wasted."

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 08:11 PM

8. If "about" means since the era of Tricky Dick, then yes.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #8)


Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:04 PM

11. "Conservative" is really a misnomer

in terms of describing most of the right-wing/Republicans nowadays. "Regressives" seem to be a better way to describe them and their policies IMHO as they seem fixated in not only preventing progress but actually taking us ass-backwards to..........well, somewhere I'm pretty sure most of us don't want to go.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:05 PM

12. Would that it were so. eom

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:08 PM

13. Can we get it redefined in the minds of the public

so they don't want to be associated with conservatives?

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #13)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:20 PM

15. I think we should try.

n/t

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Response to dawg (Reply #15)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 10:23 PM

17. Absolutely

Like reminding them that

Government is not the problem.

Republicans are the problem.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:09 PM

14. I use it as a synonym for "constipate"

 

Fortunately a diet high in fiber cures conservatism.....err constipation.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 09:44 PM

16. From your keyboard to God's ears

or eyes or whatever sensory organs She uses.

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 10:32 PM

18. About to?

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Response to gulliver (Original post)

Thu Dec 29, 2011, 11:48 PM

19. IMO - we need to align "conservative" with "neanderthal/backwardness" - n/t

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