@firetyger - The Edmund Burke argument for conservatism is that our traditions and practices reflects the collective wisdom and experience of all those who went before us. There is great value to this and it would be foolhardy to cast it aside for the next new thing or the next new idea.
@firetyger - @Celestial_Teapot - Ultimately nothing is "right" or "wrong" by virtue of its longevity or recency alone. I'm sure that's not a revelation to any of us. The virtue is in being able to discern what from our past, and in our future, is relevant, reasonable and worthy of retention/adoption rather than being bound by the equally fallacious ideas that something that is new/something that has been around for a long time is "good" just because.
@moss_icon - No it's not. Rather than age, ideas and positions stand on their merits-- evidence and arguments. As individuals, we can only assess political, religious, and social positions through a lens with personal biases and a limited scope of personal experiences and education.
That is why in science and history, professional consensus matters so much. It matters when many minds, independently converge to a common consensus.
Conservatism (in the Burkian sense) recognizes the value of historical consensus. They believe that our forebears have had the arguments on the important issues, and through a long and continuous process, have winnowed down to what works and what seems true. The ideas given to us, through history, was borne through a consensus of the generations. Conservatives don't believe that ideas are right just because they're old-- rather, because they're so valuable, we must be conservative, careful, in the acceptance and adoption of untested, newfangled ideas.
@Celestial_Teapot - Well said. As per Conservatives, I believe that (the Burkian Sense) is how a Conservative of integrity would act, in that it's a non-absolute position born of reason, trial and error. I don't disagree with their position at all.
I think the modern Conservative, however, is largely reactionary and has little integrity in the way of consistent political/social philosophy. Rather than letting reason inform their prejudices, they let prejudice inform their reasoning.
@Celestial_Teapot - I mean, there's also the problem of whether the collective wisdom of previous generations was indeed "wisdom" at all, and not merely prejudice. It's a bit of a generalisation but when some major upheaval occurs, history generally shows that very rarely does "keeping things the way they were" win out or work. I'd like to think that, in those instances, it's because people were able to do as all people should, regardless of political alignment - evaluate the issue reasonably and intelligently. A Liberal should be able to evaluate a bad "new-fangled idea" and reject it, just as a Conservative should be able to identify when The Old isn't working and change and progress are needed.
@moss_icon - @Celestial_Teapot - what defines modern conservativism is drastic change, though. Take abortion, for example. Modern abortion law is the product of a long, painful historical realization by our society that abortion is a necessary part of a functional, first-world society. Many conservatives want to simply abandon decades of case law and outlaw/restrict abortion at a federal level that is unparalleled in American history. The same thing for the growing number of anarcho-capitalist libertarian/Tea Party conservatives that want to completely disband all/most federal agencies, outlaw taxation, or disband social programs like Social Security. Then, there are all the closeted racists who want to overturn the Civil Rights Act, affirmative action programs, etc., which have been around for decades. Again, there are all things that have existed for a long time and were created in the measured judgment of several generations of Americans because the society modern conservatives want to create simply wasn't working.
When it comes down to it, what many conservatives want to "conserve" are aspects of a society that either never existed (e.g., abortions have always been prevalent in America, and their frequency has been declining since Roe v. Wade) or conserve aspects of our society that were failed and/or undesirable.
i just attempted to dialogue with a conservative. it's become obvious to me that they haven't the slightest idea what liberalism really stands for. i told her to continue seeing me as the scum of the earth, because the feeling is probably politically mutual.
@flapper_femme_fatale - I don't think it's possible for us to find common ground. The best thing to do is split up the country and go our separate ways. Much like what the English did with India, when they created Pakistan and India as separate states, except that our split needs to be more thorough than that.
@Ambrosius_Augustus_Rex - i'd be all for it. my mother and i both agree that we should have just let the South secede. to quote an upcoming film, what's the point of having civilization if no one wants to be civilized?
@flapper_femme_fatale - Now that is one thing we can agree on. There is no point in forcing people who are disparately different to live together. Of course, it doesn't have to be a straight north/south split, it could be that every state goes it's own way, or maybe different communities within each state. There is nothing wrong with having city states even.
@UTRow1 - I think splitting the country up is the best thing to do. Then you liberals could have your socialism and your huge invasive government, and we could have our borderline anarchy and family oriented societies. It's the perfect solution which would make everyone happy, or at least us, and niether of us would have to deal with eachother any more.
@Ambrosius_Augustus_Rex - That might make sense in a world with no externalities, geographic proximity, a south with industrial capacity, no contracts between interstate parties, national corporations, etc. Unfortunately for us both, we don't live in that world.
One can look to the future and care about people without being a liberal. The definitive feature of a liberal (in the modern, not classical, sense) is that he/she is willing to forcibly compel others to accept their vision of the future via taxation and government mandate.