100 CONSERVATISM

100 CONSERVATISM - CONSERVATISM Readings on conservatism...

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CONSERVATISM
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Readings on conservatism Textbook, pp. 229-49
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Study guide on Conservatism Know what the basic beliefs of conservatives are, and the sources of those beliefs. Know the difference between social conservatives and libertarian conservatives Know why conservatives value capitalism so highly What are conservative beliefs on social change, health care, immigration, crime, foreign policy, etc.? How do conservatives derive their positions on these issues from their underlying beliefs?
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Who are conservatives? Approximately a third of Americans regard themselves as conservatives See p. 248 for examples of prominent conservative Americans Prominent conservatives include
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President George W. Bush
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Senator John McCain
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Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
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Congressman Ron Paul
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Congressman Mike Huckabee
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Different kinds of conservatives (former) President Bush is a mainstream ” conservative” (his positions on virtually all issues are straightforwardly conservative)
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(former) Governor Sarah Palin is a mainstream conservative who is especially strong on issues important to social conservatives: Religion/Christian beliefs “traditional” family values patriotism
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Senator McCain is a mainstream conservative who takes centrist (between conservative and liberal) positions on a few issues: Abortion Immigration Campaign finance
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Different kinds of conservative Congressman Mike Huckabee is a social conservative ” (he is more concerned about using government to restore “traditional” family, patriotic, and religious “values” and more critical of the unregulated “free market” than mainstream conservatives)
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Different kinds of conservative Congressman Ron Paul is a libertarian conservative -- he is even more committed to unregulated free markets than other conservatives, and is generally opposed to government power: for example he opposes the US war in Iraq as excessive use of government military power
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Other prominent conservatives Republican Party leaders Most Fortune 500 executives Your boss (probably) Most people who are “in charge” = business Most police officers and military personnel Most white men (especially “non-coastal”) Southern whites in general Rural Americans
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Conservative beliefs Individualism and self-reliance Law and order “Traditional” family, religious, and patriotic values Strong military and defense Low taxes = minimal government
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Important caveat Not all conservatives agree on all issues, of course When we talk about “conservatism” (or “liberalism” or “socialism” or “fascism”) we are referring to the most typical conservative positions or views on different issues
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Two Sources of Conservatism The doctrine of laissez-faire = the belief that government should interfere as little as possible in economic affairs Belief in “ traditional values ” = family, community, God, country
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100 CONSERVATISM - CONSERVATISM Readings on conservatism...

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