Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Conservatives vs. Liberals: The Movie

I got this lovely email from a relative this morning (truth be told, most of my relatives are quite conservative) and felt the need to respond. Here is the missive in its entirety:
The Fence
So Simply put and Right On Target . . . . Enjoy . . . .

You can’t get any more accurate than this!

Which side of the fence?
If you ever wondered which side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a Conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
If a Liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns banned.

If a Conservative is a vegetarian, he chooses not to eat meat.
If a Liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned.

If a Conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a Liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect, and special considerations.

If a Conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A Liberal expects the government and tax payers to take care of him as an entitlement.

If a Conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a Conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A Liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

If a Conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or chooses a job that provides it.
A Liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his as an entitlement.

If a Conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
A Liberal will delete it because he's greatly "offended".

Well, I forwarded it. What are you going to do?

What do you think? If you call yourself a conservative, is this what you think liberals believe? If you are a liberal, how accurate do you think this describes your beliefs?

I'll add my response to the comments of this post.


Crunchy Chicken said...

Here is my response.........

"A Liberal will delete it because he's greatly 'offended'."

As a liberal, I'm not so much offended as I am disconcerted about how easily misunderstood both sides are and by the fact that there really aren't "sides", but rather there are gradations. You will find that most people fall towards the middle ground, regardless of what they call themselves, conservatives, liberals or otherwise. This may be considered humorous, but what it does do is promulgate generalizations, many of which are untrue. It may be "simply put", but it is not right on target, and that's the problem.

I can only speak for myself but, living in a very liberal area of the country and knowing full well the beliefs of many liberals, it's something more like this:

As a Liberal, I am pro-gun, but AK-47s in every home? Not so much.

As a Liberal who has been both a vegetarian and a vegan, I don't want all meat products banned - far from it. I want safe meat products accessible to everybody and humane treatment to those animals we are eating. Factory farmed meat is not good for humans nor for the animals.

No Liberal is demanding that homosexuals get legislated respect and special considerations, just that they have equal access to the same rights as the rest of us.

A Liberal wants the government and tax payers to provide for the poor not as an entitlement, but as a humane thing to do.

Liberals demand freedom of speech, but not freedom to dispense statements without accounting for them.

A Liberal non-believer wants God and religion protected under the First Amendment, but wants to keep separation of church and state, and this includes religious dissemination regardless of whether or not it is Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc.

A Liberal wants that we all share in taking care of each other to some degree in order to not only improve health nationwide, but to reduce the huge costs to insurers (and ultimately, taxpayers) for excluding preventative care for so many.

Is that so far off from what you believe?


Katie @ said...

Deanna, my favorite part of your comment that speaks so loudly to what I believe is:

A Liberal wants the government and tax payers to provide for the poor not as an entitlement, but as a humane thing to do.

megan said...

A conservative has time to read 100000 forwards like this and send each of them to you, even though he/she knows you are liberal.

A liberal will receive 10000 of these from conservative relatives who are too passive aggressive to engage in an actual conversation about the issues.

I don't mean to generalize, but I truly have never received a polarizing forward with a liberal bias. I've been barraged with many a forward in my emailing days and all of them have been from the far right wing.

Farmer's Daughter said...

I'm annoyed by both sides of the generalization, and I tend to agree with most of your response, and I'm a registered republican. So there!

Veronica said...

I got this same forward from my father a few weeks ago, and I think I'm going to send him a link to this post. I definitely feel like turning political issues into binary situations is counterproductive to meaningful dialogue. I totally agree with megan about the passive aggressive nature some people have when sending these endless forwards. Thanks for posting this, Crunchy!

Erica said...

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who believe there are two kinds of people in the world and those who...well, you know the rest.

Kim said...

I disagree with most of it. As what most would consider a liberal, I just think people should be able to do whatever they want, as long as it doesn't harm others. I am pro-gun (with a license of course!); as a non-believer, I don't mind if other people believe or talk about it (heck, I go on mission trips!); as a vegetarian, I don't try to convince others to do it too; etc. In fact I've always thought of Conservatives (probably somewhat inaccurately) as being closed minded in the way that Liberals are described.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Deanna!


Bucky said...

I've been trying to play nice. But ...

If a Conservative doesn't like guns ... he is not a real conservative. Fealty to the NRA is the litmus test for Republicans. If you don't think that every citizen should be able to own a rocket launcher, you can't be a conservative. (Muslims excluded, of course.)

If a Conservative is a vegetarian, he chooses not to eat meat ... has anyone ever met a vegetarian conservative? The real question is "if a conservative doesn't enjoy eating the meat of an endangered species, can he be a real conservative?"

If a Conservative is homosexual ... he lives on the down low and enjoys tapping his foot at airport bathrooms hoping to enjoy a little anonymous heterosexual man-on-closeted-man sex; or engages in inappropriate behavior with underage congressional pages; or molests alter boys while denouncing the evil of homosexuality and wearing too much Prada; or buys both meth and male prostituates between ravings about the importance of heterosexual relationahips and family; or possibly enjoying the company of rent boys while on European vacations after giving "expert" advice under oath in court on the evils of homosexuality.

If a Conservative is down-and-out ... he calls his congressman to get billions in TARP money.

If a Conservative is a non-believer ... and most of them are ... he pretends to be devout while laughing at the religious fools who think that he is really concerned about banning abortion instead of giving money to the rich.

If a Conservative decides he needs health care ... he uses his gold-plated government provided health insurance while he berates the "welfare queens" who rely on the government for assistance.

If a Conservative reads this ... he is lucky to have had a public education giving him basic skills provided by the socialist government that he wants to dismantle so that his children can be illiterate idiots.

Lisa Under the Redwoods said...

The thing that bothers me most about these types of e-mails is their intention is to deepen the divide between groups in the US.

Mike said...

Striking in its absence from this list:

"If a conservative is against abortion he doesn't have one; liberals try to force their morality on everybody else through government interference."

oh, wait.

Kitrina said...

@Bucky.... I'm a conservative vegetarian... hey look, they do exists ;)

As for the email, I think that there are extremes to both sides that give both the left & right a very bad name.

Also, I don't try to force people not to eat meat...but I do try to educate them on why I choose not to eat meat myself.

Kitrina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

CC: I LOVE what you and Bucky said!! Kudos!! Trip out that you have a conservative vegetarian reader, who knew?? LOL Jenny K

Anonymous said...

don't feed the trolls.

Unknown said...

I feel your pain. I too have "conservative" relatives who send me email forwards like this. The most memorable was the one my uncle sent me filled with much evidence about how Obama was literally the anti-christ (and it wasn't sent as a "joke" email). I still haven't gotten over it. I was just talking with my husband this evening about how disappointed I am in my uncle and people like him. I thought he was an intelligent, kind, and thoughtful man, in addition to being conservative. But it turns out he is small minded, bigoted, and really not all that bright. I realize the disappointment is my problem... I should have seen him and accepted him for who he is but I can't seem to let it go. I'm curious how you (or anyone else who's had this experience) deal with it. Does it disappoint you? Does it change your relationship with that relative? I've lost all respect for my uncle and I hate that but I don't know how to feel differently.

Robj98168 said...

As a Liberal- lets put it correctly - a Commie pinko fag liberal, I am not offended as I realize there are a great many folks out their who believe differently than I. What did you expect? "Welcome, sonny"? "Make yourself at home"? "Marry my daughter"? You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons.

Unknown said...

Maybe we liberals do but in, or want to legislate what others do in some ways. But there is no way that conservatives can say that they refrain from.

When a conservative doesn't like abortion, she tries to make it illegal for anyone else to have an abortion. When a conservative doesn't like gay marriage or homosexuals, he denies them the right to marry, or to have other rights that other married couples have.

I cannot think of a group more interested and aggressive in legislating what others do with their bodies and in their personal life than the right wing (I won't use the word conservative here - because I don't believe this applies to conservatives in general, but to the very right, and the religious right).

Kate said...

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."

Wow. Bigoted much, Robj98168? Do you actually *know* any farmers? You know...the people that grow food to feed people who sneer at them, and mostly eke out a very modest living in exchange for the hard work of doing so. I happen to know several farmers. Their political views run the gamut of the political spectrum. None of them are morons. Maybe you should try enlightening some of that smugness and willfull ignorance you're saddled with.

Greenpa said...

Farmer's Daughter said...
I'm annoyed by both sides of the generalization, and I tend to agree with most of your response, and I'm a registered republican. So there!

:-) I'm with you. :-). And I tend to think Ike and John Kennedy were actually in the same party.

This person's claim to be a "conservative" is not demonstrated. What they DO demonstrate is a good familiarity with demagoguery.

The diatribe is carefully constructed of half-truths to force the reader to a particular conclusion. It would be very easy to construct one, nearly identical, that works the opposite way.

Stuff like:

"When a Liberal is a businessman, he wants his employees to lead healthy, happy lives, and his stockholders and executives to be rewarded when appropriate.

When a Conservative is a business man, he wants his employees to be illegal aliens with no rights, and his stockholders to have regular dividends, and his executives huge bonuses, regardless of actual corporate performance."


What you might do, Crunch, is exactly that; return manipulative writing for manipulative writing; and send it back to them.

Greenpa said...

Rob- "You know... morons."

One of my all time favorites from Mel Brooks.

So do you know "The Twelve Chairs", his second movie and a huge flop? And his best, according to him (and me).

Oldnovice said...

I got some of the most outlandish Emails from family before the 2008 election ... usually full of stuff that a few seconds at Snopes would debunk. I politely asked that I not be included on the distribution list of such things and my request was honored.

Bucky said...

I actually get crap like this -- and much worse -- all the time from my fundie Pentacostal family. They are people who believe all of that scary dark-people-are-out-to-get-us internet email shit. Idiots every one.

Bucky said...


You write that you are a conservative and a vegetarian and "look" they do exist.

Then in the next post (now removed by you) you write that you aren't actually a conservative but an independent.

My point stands.

Bucky said...

Farmers Daughter ... aren't you a Jew?

I'm so confused.

A Republican Jew? I've heard of such people, but much like a unicorn, I always thought they were the stuff of legend and myth.

You do realize don't you, FD, that all of your right-wing Christian Republican brethren want you dead. And I mean that in the very literal sense of the word. They want you dead.

They want you dead because the death of the Jews is, they believe, the immediate beginning of the events that will lead to The Rapture and the Second Coming of their god.

Just pointing that out for you.

The Christianists love the Jews only insomuch as the establishment of the Jewish state is the first step on the path towards The Rapture.

Well, and it annoys the shit out of the heathen Muslims. That's just a bonus.

Aydan said...

I'm not even a liberal, and that's a ridiculous email. Unfortunately, I know people who subscribe to beliefs like those. Sometimes they email me.

As an independent, I am saddened when people try to divide the country into two camps, whether it's good ol' patriotic Constitution-loving true Americans(TM) vs. godless hippie liberal atheists, or humane progressive-minded blue-staters vs. those stupid inbred rural rednecks.

@ Bucky-- While there are, unfortunately, some Christians who think the destruction of Israel is a good thing (???), they tend to be visible only by virtue of their volume, not their numbers. Lumping all right-wing Christians together and ascribing genocidal wishes to them all based on the actions of a tiny minority (that most of us think are in great error) does the rest of us a great disservice.

p.s. bohemian said...

"If a Conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down."

gee, it always seems to be the other way around from what I've witnessed! remember those poor Teletubbies?!?

Crunchy Chicken said...

Bucky - I think you are thinking of Sharon...

Bucky said...


Sorry, FD.

But still ... Republican?

What are you thinking?

Bucky said...


I always hear about these mythical tolerant, liberal Christians.

But funny thing is, I've never actually seen one.

You say that the crazies are visible by their volumn, which is certainly true.

But why don't you speak up? If there are in fact liberal Christians, then why don't they speak up?

One of the constant complaints from the Right about Muslims is that the moderate, peace loving Muslims don't speak up.

Sadly, the same is true of the Christianists. All we ever hear is the far Right hate.

So please don't blame me for lumping all of you Christian haters together if you don't speak up and talk about how much your god is really a god of love.

You have no one to blame but yourselves for your silence.

Aydan said...

Hi Bucky,

Nice to meet you. I'm Aydan, a Christian who thinks the idea of destroying Israel and/or Jews is repugnant. Technically speaking you still haven't seen one, but you've met one.

I'm not a liberal Christian. I'm an independent. However, during the last election I went around telling anyone who would listen exactly what was problematic about John Hagee's endorsement of John McCain with regards to his beliefs about attacking Iran and starting a war where Jews would die (?!). I have not come across another influential Christian figure who advocates that, but if I did, I would do the same thing. Please don't accuse me of silence, especially when you don't know me.

Perhaps it is different where you live-- where I live, the soup kitchen is organized and supported by Christians, as well as the food pantries and most of the thrift stores. Several low-income schools are supported by congregations via tutoring or donations of supplies. I'm sorry that you have not encountered Christians doing any of these things and that your experiences have all been negative, and I hope and pray you will meet more loving Christians in the years to come.

And now I will stop derailing Crunchy's comment thread. :) The other thing that bothered me about this email Crunchy posted was that all the hypothetical conservatives and liberals are male! So, what, a conservative thinks all voters are men and a liberal whines about a lack of women's suffrage? ;-) (According to this email, that is.)

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Bucky: A few Liberal to radical Christian links for you to check out. They aren't silent, they just don't get the media coverage.
I guess that's enough for a sampling. Only the MCC is a relief and development organization(Mennonite Central Committee). All the rest are political, social justice organizations. None of these groups proselytize for Christianity, oh, the MCCCHURCH, an LGBT church does preach so I guess they do.
Anyway, just to let you know-I am not a believer in Christianity.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

BTW, terrific response to the e-mail Crunchy.

Mike Ginn said...

More proof that the conservatives who forward the message are shallow minded and out of touch.

Baton Rouge

Bucky said...

Thanks for the links, Equa Yona.

I visited every one.

Amd ssill I stand firm in my assertion that liberal Christians, if they actually exist, are deaf, dumb and silent.

I visited all of those sites you listed, Equa, and I didn't find a single press release denouncing Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell as the false prophets they are. In fact, I found not a single mention of any of the hateful Christianist groups that dominate the political discussion.

Which proves my point. All of the Christianist groups that claim to be all about love are really just all about hate.

Bucky said...

Views expressed are entirely my own and not at all in any way those of Crunchy Chicken.

Aimee said...

I have a rabidly conservative ( maybe reactionary is a better word) uncle who likes to forward me emails railing against undocumented immigrants. What is especially galling is that he likes to loudly proclaim how much he admires "legal Mexicans" while sending me truly hateful and racist messages. Some of these espouse killing or torturing people all in the form of "humor."

Oh, and he is perfectly aware ghat I am married to a Mexican immigrant.

I have to agree that I personally have never received a mean spirited e-mail from the left side of the spectrum. I'm sure they exist, but are nowhere near as numerous.

As to the liberal Christian debate - while I am not really a Christian, I often attend the local Lutheran church. They have recently endorsed gay clergy and called for comprehensive immigration reform. What about the Unitarians? And, especially, check out the Quakers. They are really awesome advocates for justice and tolerance.

Lisa said...

As you know Deanna I have had major issues with family and friends that are very conservative (religiously and politically) and many have cut ties with me because they think I'm a terrible socialist.

Anyway I think I have a bigger view of this than many. I was raised in a religious conservative family. I'm even still registered as a Republican. I was a page at Republican conventions several times, took over the local party a few years ago with some friends (that was a blast! haha We were all socially liberal so pretty cool group).

Also FYI to those that don't know me I live in the belt buckle of the bible belt- Oklahoma.

Anyway as a conservative my liberal friends were always kind and respectful. We just didn't talk politics.

As a liberal many of my conservative friends and family have been pretty rude to me. I've been called countless names and had pretty hateful things said to me even by strangers.

There are problems on both sides and I'm not a registered democrat because I don't like that party either but I have to say for me in Oklahoma liberals have been kinder to me than the other side.

Lisa said...

Oh and to Aimee: I was raised Presbyterian (very similar to Lutheran) which is very liberal for PCUSA (what I was), they are very environmental.

At this point I would call myself a Quaker. :)

Amy in Tacoma said...

Bucky, here's one article that Sojourners has written condemning Pat Robertson:

And here's one where they address both Robertson and Falwell:

Unknown said...


Billie said...

I wonder if the Conservative/Liberal divide would disappear if you had more than just the two major political parties?

I grew up in Canada where there were 3 major parties for most of my life (28 years in Canada) with another party or two showing some force just as I was leaving. I can't say that I ever saw the vitriol being displayed there that I see in this country.

Two parties makes it very easy for one side to not like the other side because two parties makes the sides very clear. Put another party or two in the mix and now there is more than just us against them. Just one reason why I am not particularly in favour of a two-party system.

Rosa said...

Heh, Lisa, you know why liberals mostly just don't talk politics with Conservatives?

Only one side bombs people.

That's only half joking, of course - it was much less funny in the '90s - but I get a lot of this stuff in my inbox, and from random strangers (my parents live in RV parks and that's like an NRA rally, socially). It's hard not to rise to their bait.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Thanks for all the comments. I'm glad (I guess) that I'm not the only one getting these.

Not too surprisingly, I didn't hear peep from my response :)

Kitrina said...


I should have said I'm registered independent with very conservative views... I do not believe that you have to be republican to be conservative. I think that that is the biggest misconception out there. Either that or what I consider conservative varies from that of others. :)

MLH said...

I've never considered myself to be that liberal, but I'm still upset about the assumptions that are made in that email. It's ridiculous to assume that there aren't conservative gay people fighting just as hard for marriage equality. It's also ridiculous to assume that liberal gays are asking for special treatment.

Aimee suggested Unitarians as a group of more liberal Christians. While the Unitarian Universalist faith does originate in Christianity, it is very different today. Different to the point that I don't even consider UU a Christian denomination. (I'm a UU.) However, the UU church is often doing what they can to fight for equal rights. They have been performing weddings for gay couples for decades and often march in Pride. So, while not an example of Liberal Christianity, they are a liberal religious movement.

Amy said...

This is a great post! I particularly liked Bucky's response. And you know who would be the first to complain if our socialist fire department didn't save their home or business from burning down! Wonder how they will enjoy driving on gravel roads as all over the country now state and local governments will be returning roads to gravel because they no longer have the funds to maintain them. Heaven forbid we should raise the taxes of the wealthy elite and corporations! Paul Krugman recently wrote about this issue in the NY Times. I like the definition of the word liberal as I think it says so much: open-minded, tolerant, favoring civil and political liberties, democratic reforms, and protection from arbitrary authority.