Conservative Quotes

Quotes tagged as "conservative" Showing 1-30 of 160
Robert A. Heinlein
“Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”
Robert A. Heinlein

Frank Zappa
“The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, 'All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn't asked any questions.”
Frank Zappa

Ronald Reagan
“I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.”
Ronald Regan

Joseph Sobran
“If you want government to intervene domestically, you’re a liberal. If you want government to intervene overseas, you’re a conservative. If you want government to intervene everywhere, you’re a moderate. If you don’t want government to intervene anywhere, you’re an extremist.”
Joseph Sobran

Theodore J. Kaczynski
“The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can't make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society without causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.”
Theodore J. Kaczynski, Industrial Society and Its Future

Dinesh D'Souza
“In my view, the pro-life movement at this point should focus on seeking to reduce the number of abortions. At times it will require political education and legal fights, at times it will require education and the establishment of alternatives to abortion, such as adoption centers. Unfortunately, such measures are sometimes opposed by so-called hard-liners in the pro-life movement. These hard-liners are fools. Because they want to outlaw all abortions, they refuse to settle for stopping some abortions; the consequence is that they end up preventing no abortions.”
Dinesh D'Souza, Letters to a Young Conservative

Daniel Patrick Moynihan
“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”
Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Pat Conroy
“I'd be a conservative if I'd never met any. They're selfish, mean-spirited, egocentric, reactionary, and boring.”
Pat Conroy, Beach Music

Dinesh D'Souza
“There is a legitimate argument over whether the death penalty effectively deters violent crime, although my personal observation is that not one of the criminals who have been executed over the years has ever killed again.”
Dinesh D'Souza, Letters to a Young Conservative

Calvin Coolidge
“This country would not be a land of opportunity, America could not be America, if the people were shackled with government monopolies.”
Calvin Coolidge

Criss Jami
“In essence I find that the foundation of modern conservatism is driven by a clinging to God in fear of the world, whereas the foundation of modern liberalism is a clinging to the world in fear of God; albeit, the true foundation should be one's clinging to God in fear of God.”
Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile

Michael S. Horton
“When the focus becomes ‘What would Jesus do?’ instead of ‘What has Jesus done?’ the [conservative/liberal] labels no longer matter.”
Michael S. Horton

Rick  Mercer
“In the United States I have always believed that there was a big difference between Conservative and stupid. Boy is it getting harder to prove that one by the minute.”
Rick Mercer

Jaron Lanier
“An imaginary circle of empathy is drawn by each person. It circumscribes the person at some distance, and corresponds to those things in the world that deserve empathy. I like the term "empathy" because it has spiritual overtones. A term like "sympathy" or "allegiance" might be more precise, but I want the chosen term to be slightly mystical, to suggest that we might not be able to fully understand what goes on between us and others, that we should leave open the possibility that the relationship can't be represented in a digital database.

If someone falls within your circle of empathy, you wouldn't want to see him or her killed. Something that is clearly outside the circle is fair game. For instance, most people would place all other people within the circle, but most of us are willing to see bacteria killed when we brush our
teeth, and certainly don't worry when we see an inanimate rock tossed aside to keep a trail clear.

The tricky part is that some entities reside close to the edge of the circle. The deepest controversies often involve whether something or someone should lie just inside or just outside the circle. For instance, the idea of slavery depends on the placement of the slave outside the circle, to make some people nonhuman. Widening the circle to include all people and end slavery has been one of the epic strands of the human story - and it isn't quite over yet.

A great many other controversies fit well in the model. The fight over abortion asks whether a fetus or embryo should be in the circle or not, and the animal rights debate asks the same about animals.

When you change the contents of your circle, you change your conception of yourself. The center of the circle shifts as its perimeter is changed. The liberal impulse is to expand the circle, while conservatives tend to want to restrain or even contract the circle.

Empathy Inflation and Metaphysical Ambiguity

Are there any legitimate reasons not to expand the circle as much as possible?

There are.

To expand the circle indefinitely can lead to oppression, because the rights of potential entities (as perceived by only some people) can conflict with the rights of indisputably real people. An obvious example of this is found in the abortion debate. If outlawing abortions did not involve commandeering control of the bodies of other people (pregnant women, in this case), then there wouldn't be much controversy. We would find an easy accommodation.

Empathy inflation can also lead to the lesser, but still substantial, evils of incompetence, trivialization, dishonesty, and narcissism. You cannot live, for example, without killing bacteria. Wouldn't you be projecting your own fantasies on single-cell organisms that would be indifferent to them at best? Doesn't it really become about you instead of the cause at that point?”
Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget

Dinesh D'Souza
“In philosophy seminars, the choice is usually between good and evil. In the real world, however, the choice is often between a bad guy and a worse guy.”
Dinesh D'Souza, Letters to a Young Conservative

Noam Chomsky
“Both political parties have moved to the right during the neoliberal period. Today’s New Democrats are pretty much what used to be called “moderate Republicans.” The “political revolution” that Bernie Sanders called for, rightly, would not have greatly surprised Dwight Eisenhower.

The fate of the minimum wage illustrates what has been happening. Through the periods of high and egalitarian growth in the ‘50s and ‘60s, the minimum wage—which sets a floor for other wages—tracked productivity. That ended with the onset of neoliberal doctrine. Since then, the minimum wage has stagnated (in real value). Had it continued as before, it would probably be close to $20 per hour. Today, it is considered a political revolution to raise it to $15.”
Noam Chomsky

“There was nothing conservative about Adolf Hitler. Hitler was an artist and a revolutionary at heart. He wanted to completely upend and remake German society.”
A.E. Samaan

Ann Coulter
“A word to those of you out there who have yet to be offended by something I have said: Please be patient. I am working as fast as I can.”
Ann Coulter

Michael   Lewis
“When you’re a conservative Republican, you never think people are making money by ripping other people off,” he said. His mind was now fully open to the possibility. “I now realized there was an entire industry, called consumer finance, that basically existed to rip people off.”
Michael Lewis, The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

Criss Jami
“It turns out that indecision is a path itself; but figuratively, a vertical path - up or down - meaning it isn't always a fruitless path. One is forgotten, but the other is glorified. To be what they call 'middle-of-the-road' in most cases just means you have a hard time figuring out who between options is dumber. So quite often those who refused to decide were, after all, the bold individuals, the influential ones, the creative ones, those who snatched their own authority.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

“What never fails inside the mind of an intellectual never works outside the confines of his head. The world’s stubborn refusal to vindicate the intellectual’s theories serves as proof of humanity’s irrationality, not his own. Thus, the true believer retrenches rather than rethinks; he launches a war on the world, denying reality because it fails to conform to his theories. If intellectuals are not prepared to reconcile theory and practice, then why do they bother to venture outside the ivory tower or the coffeehouse? Why not stay in the world of abstractions and fantasy?”
Daniel J. Flynn, Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas

Ben Carson
“If Americans simply choose to vote for the person who has a D or an R by their name, we will get what we deserve, which is what we have now.”
Ben Carson, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future

Brandon Sanderson
“It does strange things to you to realize that the conservative establishment is forcing you to be a progressive liberal fighter for universal rights.”
Brandon Sanderson, Perfect State

Ronald Reagan
“I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”
Ronald Reagan

Benjamin Wiker
“Like Aristotle, conservatives generally accept the world as it is; they distrust the politics of abstract reason – that is, reason divorced from experience.”
Benjamin Wiker

Ann Coulter
“Where there's smoke around a conservative, there are journalists furiously rubbing two sticks together.”
Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter
“I think there should be a literacy test and a poll tax for people to vote.”
Ann Coulter

Criss Jami
“One of the Christian's biggest fears is appearing 'too Christian'. God forbid, because that's often characterized as god-awful! We want to be one, but without being 'one of them'.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

Thomas Jefferson
“That liberty [is pure] which is to go to all, and not to the few or the rich alone. (to Horatio Gates, 1798)”
Thomas Jefferson

William F. Buckley Jr.
“The individualist insists that drastic depressions are the result of credit inflation; (not excessive savings, as the Keynesians would have it) which at all times in history has been caused by direct government action or by government influence. As for aggravated unemployment, the individualist insists that it is exclusively the result of government intervention through inflation, wage rigidities, burdensome taxes, and restrictions on trade and production such as price controls and tariffs. The inflation that comes inevitably with government pump-priming soon catches up with the laborer, wipes away any real increase in his wages, discourages private investment, and sets off a new deflationary spiral which can in turn only be counteracted by more coercive and paternalistic government policies. And so it is that the "long run" is very soon a-coming, and the harmful effects of government intervention are far more durable than those that are sustained by encouraging the unhampered free market to work out its own destiny.”
William F. Buckley Jr., God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of 'Academic Freedom'

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