The Conservative Stereotype

I am a conservative leaning person yet I struggle with the ways that conservatives have been stereotyped in our country. So my interest was peaked when I saw a Frank Luntz Washington Post article titled Five myths about conservative voters. Here are the myths from the piece along with my comments ...
  1. Conservatives care most about the size of government. || I tend to disagree with Luntz that "conservatives don’t want a reduced government so much as one that works better and wastes less". Conservatives do think that the government is bloated and in need of reduction. I do agree with him that conservatives (as well as liberals) want a government that is more accountable.
  2. Conservatives want to deport all illegal immigrants. || I agree with Luntz when he says conservatives: embrace legal immigration; believe that there should be an eventual path to earned legal status; want effective border control.
  3. They worship Wall Street. || I agree that "conservatives are highly critical of Wall Street and wholeheartedly celebrate Main Street. The business leaders that conservatives respect most are entrepreneurs, not chief executives; conservatives value small-business owners above big bankers."
  4. Conservatives want to slash Social Security and Medicare. || Luntz makes a good point when he says "When it comes to government retirement programs, conservatives are pragmatic, not ideological." In my thinking conservatism is a blend of ideology and pragmatism. We want conservative solutions that can actually work.
  5. Conservatives don’t care about inequality. || I agree with Luntz when he paints the liberal and conservative divide this way: "Conservatives want to increase opportunity, giving everyone the freedom and tools to prosper, so that the poor may someday become rich. Liberals want to redistribute income, making the rich — quite simply — less rich." The key word for conservatives is opportunity not entitlement.
In this election year the press will continue to stereotype both sides of the political aisle. As with most stereotypes, the myths proffered by them only serve to continue the confusion and misunderstandings. Perhaps more articles like this one will one day help to foster communication? Can you think of other ways that conservatives are stereotyped?

1 comment:

  1. I didn't read the article, but based on your article, I still think smaller government is key. To say that a government simply doing a better job doesn't capture for me the essence of conservatism. The real ideal here is that the government shouldn't be doing the job to begin with.


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