General Question

choreplay's avatar

Where can conservatives and liberals find common ground and do some good together.

Asked by choreplay (6290points) January 14th, 2011

Please, hold on the criticism and let’s see what we can come together on. Let’s start by stating what we want and parallel that with a similar want of the opposite party. Then, can there be a middle ground or balance point. What can we do different together to reach some of these goals.

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68 Answers

tedd's avatar

Well that depends how far right, and how far left your prospective conservatives and liberals are. There are a lot of areas where if you pick far enough from center people, they literally have polar opposite views on how to solve our problems.

choreplay's avatar

Well tedd maybe that necesitate more basic goal setting like world hunger. Neither side wants that. Come on folks don’t be pessimistic.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Both sides can work together to make a list of problems that need to be solved.

choreplay's avatar

Right, thats it. @worriedguy Got any suggestions

tedd's avatar

@Season_of_Fall Its hard not to be pessimistic. Multiple times over the last year the president and Dems in general proposed enacting ideas that were originally Republican ideas, only to have Republicans vote them down. Or the Republicans would be behind legislation, until the president said he liked it. Soooo many bills where Republicans sponsored it and helped write it, and as soon as it gained popularity with the Dems, they shunned it as big spending or some other crap.

And the Dems did the same thing while Bush was in office. To me they’re literally just out to do the exact opposite of what the other guy is, in some stupid attempt to further their careers. (the majority of them at least)

LuckyGuy's avatar

Disclaimer Warning-I’ve been accused of leaning toward the liberal side but here are a few that I see:

Energy, pollution, gross income disparity, crime, drugs, education, transportation, polarization.
I’m sure I can think of more.

choreplay's avatar

@tedd, please stop. Ok worried guy what can or should I be doing as an individual regarding some of these. I am likely more identified as a conservative but like to think of myself and being one that is mindful of why and not just following a docterine. That said to give you license to direct suggestions at me of what you think I might be missing and could do better.

lilalila's avatar

How about volunteering at a nursing home or homeless shelter?

klutzaroo's avatar

Well, we could take care of animals… no. Well, we could do something about crime… no. Well we could help the poor… no. The liberals help, but the conservatives mostly think that if they just worked harder, they wouldn’t be poor. Well, we could work on world hunger… still no. Same problem. There’s no middle ground on humanitarian issues because, as a rule, the conservatives are more interested in using funding and time for selfish purposes than for helping people. More interested in wealth building than any kind of sharing. I don’t think there is really any common ground to be found. As @tedd said, every time that Democrats tried to do something for the good of the nation, even if its a Republican pet project, they were blocked for pure political bullshitting. The same thing happens the other day, but it seems more vicious here recently. There’s very little that we agree on, whether its who needs help the most or how to help them. I agree that there should be less contention and more helping people, but with everyone thinking everyone else should make the first move (and then choosing not to notice or assigning a motive when it is), it just doesn’t work.

Winters's avatar

@klutzaroo and yet for some reason, conservatives are more charitable, give more blood, and volunteer more despite them actually making less money on average than liberals and being more interested in selfish purposes.

CaptainHarley's avatar

No more wars of intervention. Go back to the original concept of “defensive wars only!”

klutzaroo's avatar

Really, @Winters? You have proof of this? Any of it? Didn’t think so.

SJA813's avatar

You could start by getting rid of these labels “conservative” and “liberal” which to me has only been enunciated by mainstream media, which in itself is a joke. But my point is it that they’ve done so much so that people feel or least I feel can not have a opinion or middle of the road choice without betraying the left or right side.Specially when it comes to politics.For the elected officials that can stay without term limits it’s all about incumbency.

For example when I voted for the mid-terms it really bothered me that for most of the people I was voting for I didn’t particular like both democrat and republican and furthermore it feels like I am stuck with 2 sides.And generally the “other” parties never stand a real chance.

So what does this leave me, I am forced to be grouped in and labeled into one of these parties. Now I may not have the exact same opinions or ideas as the label I have voted for, but because the media and politics have made it oh so clear that there are only certain topics that will be talked about or favored/supported via my label, that I am now stuck with their overall party wants.

One quote I found, not sure by who it is ,but from it states – “Left wing…. Right wing…..Both are attached to the same vulture.”

Think that sums it up pretty well.

To answer your question a little more specifically it is not the 3 million something people of “conservatives” and “liberals” in my opinion, but rather the intentional divide that has been created that is really stopping us from finding common ground.In essence I believe you have to go back to the core of things and fix the system or just get rid of this whole two party system or the whole thing altogether even.I suppose that is more a different discussion.Just my opinion though. Hope I didn’t rant too much,apologize, if I did.

Roby's avatar

Liberals want ultra-social programs in tact because it brings them votes, hence, staying in office….Conservatives want small goverment low taxes with a strong free-enterprise. Work for your money…the more you work the more you get.

Winters's avatar

@klutzaroo

http://www.google.com/search?q=do+liberals+give+more+than+conservatives&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

I decided to let you take your pick of source on whether or not conservatives tend to be more charitable… oh look! They all show that conservatives are more charitable than your average liberal.

choreplay's avatar

I really get angry that people bitch about paying taxes, I dont resent it at all, but I want it to be used in a responsible way that plugs into legitimate programs. Conservatives present, tell me if you resent paying taxes, forget for a moment about your opinion of whether the govt uses our money appropriately. I don’t resent paying taxes!

@sjA813, I don’t like being stuck in a two party system either, but another party just can’t get the momentum to count.

Conservatives, Klutzoroo suggest we have no interest in these programs yes or no. I do. I very much care about all of those issue and am plugged in, in various ways. how about you?

Wars of intervention: yup moody water, I agree but question. Liberals, will the rest of the world really just be nice if we leave them alone?

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Austinlad's avatar

Wouldn’t it be great if we totally dispense with labels and just tackle issues that affect us all?

GracieT's avatar

@SJA813, I would very much like to give you more GA than I can… My favorite magazine, Sojourners, has a saying that ‘God is not a Republican, OR a Democrat’. I agree wholeheartedly. As you can tell from this, I am a liberal Christian, but I am just sick of all of the political bickering. To use a famous quote, ‘Can’t we all just get along’? I am absolutely sick of it now, and am turning into a cynic!

choreplay's avatar

Missingbite, do you claim either side. @Austinlad, Im working on that. If anything maybe this thread will clear up misconceptions. Please look at my question four post up and give opinions.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
missingbite's avatar

@Season_of_Fall Not really. I am obviously center right, but have opinions on both sides of the isle. I am not against paying taxes however, I believe that my charitable giving is spent much more intelligently than my tax dollars are. I believe we need a revamp of our welfare system, education system, and our penal system. I don’t believe in the death penalty, but I also don’t think we do people justice by letting them off scott free for a minor offense. (they may not learn not to commit more crimes until it it too late.)

I think the center right and blue dog democrats could and have worked together. Someone earlier stated that many of the lefts proposals were originally offered by the right and are now shot down. That is only partially true. Most of those programs were altered and enlarged to the point we can’t pay for them today. WE ARE BROKE. Both sides need to call out there own and raise the BS flag every once in a while.

choreplay's avatar

What Do We have in Common:

Conservatives, do you care and do things about social issues?

Liberals: do you want a society in which we can work in and invest so we can thrive, if done in a socially responsible manner?

choreplay's avatar

Im conservative, we contribute to the homeless shelter, my wife teaches ballet to under priviledge children for free. I pay taxes and am proud to do so. I have a small five person company, everyone and everything gets paid before me, we are just below water on making it but I havent let anyone go nor lower pay. I offer profit splits in my company, Come on lefties (said with affection) what else, how do the conservative generalization fit me?

Winters's avatar

Conservative-ish here and in my 20 years on this mudball, I have helped at several soup kitchens; handed out Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for the underprivileged; helped out at a CAPC; worked to maintain healthy living standards at a homeless shelter; helped teach kids about animals at a zoo; helped out at the local Special Olympics; helped clean lakes, ponds, rivers, stream, canals, levees, etc; was an active junior pastor at a church (despite me being an atheist); on top of several other things. I’m annoyed about going through the motions when it comes to paying taxes, but I’m fine with paying them.

missingbite's avatar

Let’s start with health care. I will list a few of the things I see right and wrong with our current Obamacare. (thinks I know are in it)

What we both want.
1. Both sides want pre conditions allowed. Both sides agree.
2. Both sides want more people covered. Both sides agree.
3. Both sides want lower cost. Both sides agree.

Where we disagree.
1. I don’t want to be mandated to purchase anything. We disagree.
2. I don’t think a 26 year old is a child. We disagree.
3. I don’t think creating 1,000’s of IRS jobs to oversee this is a good idea. We disagree.

We are in the position we are in because BOTH sides have failed for years to compromise and stager some of these things in. Both sides have failed.

We need tort reform. We don’t have it. (real tort reform anyway) We need interstate sale of health insurance. We didn’t get it.

What I BELIEVE is that Obama saw an opportunity because he controlled all three branches of the government and he went with it.

What needs to be done with health care is up or down votes on almost all issues. Some on here will say, the democrats did compromise. If they did it was only with themselves. They controlled the House and the Senate. They could have passed anything if they all agreed with each other. They didn’t.

I’ll add that in my opinion, any bill that is 2 or 3 thousand pages is too long and up to know good.

missingbite's avatar

Here is a good example of why conservatives are tired of government getting in the way. If you care to read, it will explain a lot. This happens all the time. Government gets in the way.

choreplay's avatar

Liberals its you turn, what are the other sides generalizations on you and do you fit them or not?

Liberals do you think the government is doing just fine with all the money they collect. Are there areas they should stay out of?

What rights do we have to thrive? What about capitalism is good from your point of view?

Write you own counter points to conservative accusations toward you.

choreplay's avatar

Boy a conversation about cooperation sure did fizzle out fast. lol

Nullo's avatar

The average conservative and the average liberal have different ideas about how government should run. This makes things difficult.

iamthemob's avatar

@Nullo is right. I think the conversation should, as suggested here, therefore, begin at what people want, and why they want it.

I think that this talk on the moral minds of liberals and conservatives is a good starting point. laureth posted it a while ago, and I’m in love with it.

mammal's avatar

trouble is, a lot of conservatives are what they are out of spite, they need to learn how to let go and not be so self preserventionist, they need to learn how to have joy and fun and seasons in the sun :)

iamthemob's avatar

@mammal – same can be said for liberals. I have met more than my share of angry liberals.

choreplay's avatar

@mammal, I put my story down on this page. Im conservative, whats your critisism to me.

mammal's avatar

@iamthemob yeah but they are merely angry with conservatives who cannot loosen up ;) cos conservatives are such party saboteurs.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
choreplay's avatar

Oh, please, don’t tease me, give me a serious answer.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Nullo's avatar

There’s also the social aspects of the two philosophies – which is where the terms actually come from. You have two groups who are diametrically opposite one another on social issues. I don’t think that you’re going to have a lot of success collaborating there, either.

Let’s look at
Abortion, for instance. One side maintains that the fetus is a human. The other maintains that it is not, and may be disposed of with impunity.
Illegal immigration, for instance. One side maintains that illegal immigrants are breaking the law by not using proper channels. The other side maintains that the first side is a pack of racists.
Entitlement programs, for instance. One side thinks that they just make people dependent on the system. The other thinks that they’re indispensable.

Finally, like all good ideologues, these two groups are thoroughly convicted of their own rightness. Entreaties for collaboration are really calls for the one side to become more like the other.

Palatable_Patience's avatar

We have to look at the strengths and weaknesses of each political “mindset” then decide how best to apply these “mindsets” to the issues and problems at hand.

It’s true that people generally do better at things they care about and when they are interested. “We the People” absolutely need to be analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each party and its ability to influence the government in a positive way so that WE can assign roles and responsibility to the right people for the right jobs.

I posit that Democrats care more about the environment, schools, community outreach, social safety-net and social improvement programs. Please pay attention GOP, safety nets are VERY important because they seek ensure that disturbed or lonely individuals can find help and support BEFORE they hurt innocent people. They seek to ease the suffering and unfair treatment of all people. They seek to make society more fair, consistent, and loving so that NO individual person has good reason to think that the Government does not exist to serve them. Government exists entirely to serve the needs of the people it governs. They are not a waste of money if they are done right.

Indeed, Democrats should be focused to create and retain legislation that fosters programs that improve the lives of humanity, create social safety nets only where they can be incredibly beneficial and effective. (i.e. actually saves us money long term)
It’s proven fact that good “Blue” legislation may cost money now, however it can and will pay for itself through the benefit to society. However, they should be held to a strict standard of accountability by the Red’s because of the inherent risk of wasting tax-dollars on unnecessary projects. Blue’s should always tend toward progress and change, improving upon the past ways of doing things so that we move toward a more perfect world.

I posit that Republicans (Red’s) care most about individual freedoms, smaller government, less tyranny from taxes, the right to bear arms, less government intrusion into their personal lives, and the military of this Great Nation, America.

Indeed, Red’s should be focused on creating and maintaining a society that respects individual freedom from the tyranny of government. They should be the Guardians of our Federal Budget, they should make sure that we store and save during “feast” so the US is prepared for “famine.” They should be the wise accountants eliminating wasteful spending and increasing efficiency everywhere in government. They should be committed to making sure that we always have the best military in the world and we never take Peace for granted. They should be the watchdogs that make sure that our law’s do not infringe upon our right to religious freedoms. They should always tend toward being averse to change in effort to keep the important values that blessed this country.

Lastly, “Common Ground” is about bringing people together and finding creative ways to pass legislation that meets the needs of the Red’s and Blue’s at the same time. I love how our government is built upon checks and balances. Red’s and Blue’s alike need to be more respectful of the each other while “Checking” and realize that as we may choose different paths we ARE planning to arrive in the same place… A happy society in which “truly equal” opportunity exists for every US citizen. A society that helps the people that genuinely need it. A society in which government is optimized to the fullest extent and as small as it can effectively be.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
iamthemob's avatar

@Palatable_Patience – I would agree with you except for two things (1) individual freedoms and (2) less government intrusion into their personal lives. I would posit that both care most about the first one, and that the Reds actually care less about (2) except in ideology only.

When we talk about less government intrusion into our personal lives, the Red support of moral legislations is completely contrary to this. Although there is a lot of Blue support for government intrusion, it is less directly into our personal lives.

Winters's avatar

@iamthemob I feel that with your opinion on (2), it’s really only true with the Bible Belt conservatives. Many conservatives I know are hardly like that at all and I do know several liberals who feel more morally obligated to dabble in our lives (such as the mayor of my hometown).

iamthemob's avatar

@Winters – I don’t think so. Of course there are exceptions, as you mention, but if we’re talking about general positions, legislation that finds Red support on the moral side of things is much more about approving a traditional, Christian lifestyle. I don’t think that’s limited to the Bible belt. There should be zero support from the Red side for anything like DOMA if it were solely a Bible belt thing.

Palatable_Patience's avatar

@iamthemob— I understand but in theory, Republicans are supposed to be all about smaller government and less government intrusion. One of the big problems nowadays is that we don’t have any lie-detector tests to analyze whether these politicians are really motivated to improve the system. How do we actually hold our politicians accountable to their election speeches? I’m so frustrated with voting and being disappointed. It seems like laziness on all sides of the spectrum is the real issue. Even if we do our best jobs as voters, we need to have more ways to hold our elected officials accountable…
Thanks for the support Winters!

zophu's avatar

There is plenty that both sides would gladly work on together! That’s why so much effort is poured into keeping them busy fighting over a few psychologically sensitive issues.

iamthemob's avatar

@Palatable_Patience – I can’t argue with that.

Nullo's avatar

@Palatable_Patience That’s why it is vitally important to distinguish between Republicans and Conservatives, Democrats and Liberals.
Adam Sandler is a Republican.

iamthemob's avatar

@Nullo – I think this is all why it’s vitally important to actually stop trying to make all these artificial categories.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Palatable_Patience I agree with you completely. I think the thing we forget, especially in looking at your frustration, is that we all live in communities that are part of a state. I think we can make people more accountable when we are closer to them on the state level. To me, at least, it has to start there.

Palatable_Patience's avatar

bkcunningham— Good point. One of the problems for our elected officials is also that they are not “allowed” to vote bi-partisan without being called a Flip-Flop. These kinds of terms can actually scare our elected officials into observing party lines so they don’t lose their jobs in the next election cycle. Look at what the Clinton administration was able to accomplish. Whether or not you voted for him, its most likely that he supported at least one policy that you agreed with. Many of his executive actions seemed like they were coming from the Red… He is a good democrat and it proves that we can work together.

Palatable_Patience's avatar

(regarding clinton)Besides the cheating and dishonesty in his personal relationships… Nobody’s perfect… I agree that State government makes more sense for certain types of issues…. Job growth, Social Services and Schools are good examples because the local gov is more inclined to pay attention to the details. However Federal government is totally necessary in some situations like foreign policy, war on drugs, taxes, and watchdog agencies like the FDA. Corporations make the problem even more difficult because they are motivated by money to be opportunistic. If we only had state government, then companies could selectively migrate to the states that best serve their needs, putting the people in peril.

Nullo's avatar

@iamthemob While ‘Republican’ and ‘Democrat’ are artificial, ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have meanings that actually come in to play in a person’s daily life.

iamthemob's avatar

@Nullo – I don’t think that they have any meaning that is worthwhile. Whether or not something is liberal or conservative can be debated. The result of such a debate is fairly meaningless.

Whether or not something is practical, workable, and actually reflects an underlying ideal is more important – and whether or not it’s liberal or conservative will have no effect on the results of any analysis about whether the idea is “good” in any of the above ways.

klutzaroo's avatar

@Winters The income disparity between liberals working in socially beneficial and low paying jobs, i.e. social worker, and a conservative investment banker who is more concerned with income and therefore has more to give is something that you fail to consider.

klutzaroo's avatar

@Palatable_Patience How do you reconcile “less government intrusion into their personal lives” from the conservatives and the attempts to control others’ personal lives? For example, the way that they do anything and everything to keep homosexuals from having any kind of rights. The intensive focus on abortion, perhaps the most personal of all things they try to interfere with. Any other thing where they try to control what people do in areas and avenues that don’t affect them, other than the power trip they get from being able to influence what people do in their own lives.

Winters's avatar

@klutzaroo that’s funny, because there’s quite a few sources which also show that on average, the typical liberal actually earns more than the typical conservative, they just tend to give more to political campaigns than to people who actually need it.

klutzaroo's avatar

@Winters I’m sure I can find a study that says that the moon is actually made of cheese too.

cockswain's avatar

Meaning studies can’t hold value?

missingbite's avatar

@cockswain Meaning most people, conservatives and liberals alike, only believe the studies or polls that go along with their line of thinking.

cockswain's avatar

Most people are flawed in that way and should endeavor to be more objective. Myself included. Don’t trust the conclusion, look at the experimental design and see what conclusion you draw from the data.

Winters's avatar

@klutzaroo even when several well known and trusted non partisan research groups show this?

cockswain's avatar

Hey, let’s see if we can discuss the study in question without complaining about its conclusions.

cockswain's avatar

Or how about someone who deems themselves “conservative” find some study that asserts something you like and we’ll talk about it. I don’t care. Just want to have an intelligent discussion. Sick of the partisan crap and logical fallacies. One topic at a time.

iamthemob's avatar

Whether or not it is generally well-known that a group is considered non-partisan is something in itself that is always up for debate, @Winters. ;-)

I’m with @cockswain on this one to a degree. When we bring up these studies, we more often discuss the conclusions rather than the data. Of course, conclusions are great – but studies rarely yield conclusions, and rarely are complete. Experiments do, but not studies.

And I think that’s the problem most have with studies – they are treated as experiments. Most studies rarely give us anything conclusory – but merely correlative.

mattbrowne's avatar

We need to innovate to save the planet.

zophu's avatar

Innovation is more intimidating than arguing about what to do with problems caused by oboslete systems.

mattbrowne's avatar

Innovation doesn’t have to be a machine. In can be different behavior. Like buying local. Or taking the bike for short trips.

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