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How Liberals and Conservatives Structure Their Arguments

Robert Dimuro

Posted on March 31, 2019 11:05

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The policies supported by the general public are shaped by the ways in which liberals and conservatives convey their messages.

There isn't much on which conservatives and liberals agree, which is exemplified on the debate stage. However, in addition to their being on opposite sides of virtually every issue, the way in which conservatives and liberals structure their arguments also differentiates the two sides. Generally speaking, I see the difference as this: Liberals are goal-oriented, and conservatives are systems-oriented.

Liberals tend to campaign on goals and idealizations, such as “Medicare for all,” or “every American should receive a living wage.” These visions aren’t usually coupled with detailed plans or practical limitations - liberals delegate those responsibilities to government bureaucrats.

The power in the Left’s messaging is that it galvanizes the masses to support whoever will promise them the most free stuff. When liberals fall short of expectations, they blame conservatives for obstruction - such as in the failure of Obamacare to be a viable healthcare system.

Bernie is a great example of how a liberal politician operates. He points out each instance in which America falls short of its European counterparts in terms of social benefits, promises to provide all of them, and is vague in describing their practical implementations.

Since the “nuts and bolts” behind almost any policy is above the heads of most voters (both liberal and conservative), Bernie doesn’t need to explain them. What matters is that Bernie is exceptionally skilled at painting a picture in which the vast majority of Americans are suffering at the expense of the very rich - catering to the constituency that has by far the most voting power.

Conservatives tend to stand behind American principles and traditions, placing faith in the systems on which America was founded. This is why conservatives defend private institutions, the free market, and the rule of law.

Both liberals and conservatives want every American to be happy, healthy and successful. However, since conservatives premise their viewpoints on the principles of freedom and individual responsibility as means to these ends, they reject the notion that government interference can get us there.

In its nature, this message is much harder to convey to the general public, as it doesn’t promise to realize any societal goal - it only promises that the free market leads to the conditions in which the goals of happiness, health, and success are most likely to be realized. This argumentation requires a higher-level understanding of systems in order to be supported by the masses.

President Trump understands the shortcomings in trying to persuade people with messaging that’s rooted in philosophical conservatism, which is why he uses liberal strategies to defend conservative viewpoints. He makes some of the same promises that liberal politicians make, such as promising that every American will have healthcare coverage. However, he has also worked with Republicans in Congress to implement conservative solutions to healthcare coverage that involve less government interference.

If both liberal and conservative strategies are employed in the effort to reach common goals, I believe liberals and conservatives can work together more effectively on passing bipartisan legislation.

Robert Dimuro

Posted on March 31, 2019 11:05

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Matt Rhoades , New York Post You can't open a newspaper or turn on the TV these days without hearing about hacking in American...

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