Friday, December 11, 2009

Conservative as Adjective or Noun

Restate makes the point:

You cannot tell me that freedom does not sell in New England. Conservatives fight for freedom. Republicans fight for Republicanism, but I have no freaking clue what that actually means any more.
In Noun vs Adjective, Erick Erickson makes the distinction between being conservative and being "a Conservative".

One is one attribute (presumably among many); one is a defining identity.

W tended to be conservative, but no one who has a clue would ever suggest he was "A Conservtive".

We better be able to make that distinction as we go into the 2010 elections.

The Gunslinger, EOTIS
Para Bellum


  1. Interesting...Read observations along a similar vein in Russell Kirk's "The Conservative Mind".Twas my "aha!" moment back in the early 1990s ("I am conservative of those traditions which are tried and true,but not a mindless reactionary.My own family history of folks making the best of harsh situations.Under the appropiate situations, BEND that stiff neck every once in awhile,for Individualism's Sake..Individualism and Freedom are the crux of these eternal political dilemas...

  2. I saw Glenn Beck on Barbara Walters. When she asked him what his politics are, he unhesitatingly answered "libertarian" (note the small "l") with the subtitle: "maximum individual freedom".

    Social conservatism is long as you're not forcing your views on others through the power of the Imperial State.

    The most obvious example is abortion. I'm not for outlawing abortion outright - through the power of the Federal Government (any more than I approve of making it a "right" through the agency of the Federal Supreme Court.

    But no doctor or clinic that does it should be supported by a penny of public money. And anyone who wants to protest should be free to do so as long as they don't threaten or assault or impede anyone.

    Making somebody "feel bad" or "uncomfortable" or "offended" doesn't count!

    And protesters shouldn't be threatened, assaulted, impeded or legislated against either!

    Freedom is messy.

  3. A little posturing on my part...I pronounce the word as "conser-VA-tive".Does that make it an adverb? My grammar-dissection skills be all rusted,'n' shit...:)

  4. I think con-'SER-va-tive is correct for both forms, tj.

    Here's a tough one: redistributive.
    It's supposed to be pronounced:


    It's confusing because the closest variant changes the emphasis to:


    So you hear a lot of: "re-dis-tri-'BU-tive"

    And sometimes: "re-'DIS-tri-bu-tive"

    It's a hard one, I admit...but since it's used so often these days (!) Public speakers ought to practice getting it right.