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The first failed conservative value we will look at is dogmatism. I interviewed Barbara, Carole and Nina at a conference of Democratic Clubs in Los Angeles. When I asked them to contrast conservative and progressive values, they all talked about conservative dogmatism and rigidity. Conservative dogmatism starts with the beliefs first and fit the facts to support them. The war and occupation of Iraq is a case in point. If the facts don't fit the dogma, they are ignored.
Failed Conservative Values: Barbara Levin on Dogmatism
My own feeling and my own prejudice is that people on the right are believers rather than thinkers. And they start with the belief, and they fix the facts around their beliefs. That’s how we got into Iraq, under the memo that says, as you know, we’re fixing the facts around the policy that’s already established.
You start with a belief, then you fix the facts to go with your belief. And they do that with gay people, they decide that it’s a chosen lifestyle, because they start with a premise that it’s wrong, and if it’s wrong, it can’t be something you’re born with – it has to be chosen. That is a classic example of fixing the facts around the policy.
And I think they do that with a number of things. I think they listen to code words, and then don’t think through what these things actually mean. So family values – what does that mean? To most people on the right, I think it means anti-gay, it used to be anti-black, anti-woman, anti-change. Because they’re used to the universe as they believe it was created. And they think the universe was created as the way they see it existing. And therefore, any change is against the natural order of things. Because the natural order of things is what’s already there – what they’re used to.
Progressive, as the name implies, is always pushing for change, which conservatives, who are anti-change, hate. They are uncomfortable with it. And progressives look for progress – as the name implies. Progress means change of a specific kind, not just any old change, but change to improve people’s lives. Change for betterment, change for economic justice. Change for legal justice, for social justice. Change that will improve conditions for the most number of people.
That’s what progressive values are all about, as the name implies. And conservative values are about, “I’m used to this. Change is threatening. I don’t want change.” I mean, the right likes to have their version morality as very static, “God wants things this way, and this way is the way it is”. And that’s their idea of morality. They start with the rule, and then they use their idea of morality which is to use morality to judge people. So people are bad if they don’t obey the rule.
Progressive values start with the premise being people. That which helps people is good. That which hurts people is bad. And then they use people to judge the rule. So, if the rule helps people, it’s a good rule. And if the rule hurts people, it’s a bad rule and should be changed.
Conservatives values, just um, are very ridged and they deal with almost religious family. From a certain type of religion, which I'm very well aware of because I'm from Okalahoma. and I know the religion, I know why they frame it that way.
We need an enlarged support system around our families - education, health care.
More expanded caring feeling, much more accessible to humans, and egalitarian so to speak. Whereas republican values is very ridged, very focused, you have to be a certain type of religion or mind set. Whereas we are this large supportive caring type of feeling.
Conservative values are based on beliefs, not the world around us. This has nothing to do with religion, because I think there are religious progressives, and there are religious “conservatives”. There is a belief among the conservatives that I know that there is right and wrong, and those people that are not in their mind right, have no rights.