The Difference Between Liberal And Conservative Words

I have to admit I never really thought about it this way.

Liberals talk about politics in language that appeals to our primal socialist instincts, developed on the savanna when we belonged to small clans of hunter-gatherers who really did look out for their kin. Conservatives discuss politics in language that reflects modern reality: socialism doesn’t work in groups larger than a clan, because people do not behave selflessly when they belong to a large group of unrelated strangers.

When you belong to a large group of people, it all becomes impersonal, all theoretical. The results of actions taken “for the good of all” become distant because it affects people not known by those making the decision, and therefore, they aren't 'real' people, just abstractions. That is why socialism has always failed once it scales up. (It also failed on the small scale when the Pilgrims tried it at the Plymouth Colony. If it wasn't for the Wampanoag, they all would have starved to death. This was the first example of the Thatcher maxim, where the colonists only survived because of “other people's money,” figuratively speaking.)

Liberals manifest their yearning for social connectedness by using words like care, help, kind, neighbor and volunteer more often than conservatives do. Conservatives more frequently use power words like boss, coerce, hero, strong and victory.

Ah, those good-hearted liberals, uninterested in status and money. (The Obamas and their fellow liberals vacation on Martha’s Vineyard only because the beaches are so pretty.) And those deadly power-crazed conservatives, reluctant to even utter nice words like volunteer. (Never mind the studies showing that conservatives actually do more volunteer work than liberals do.)

It all comes down to the old aphorism: Actions speak louder than words. The liberals use lots of words to try to get other people to do something, and usually not the correct something. The conservatives actually do something and are not required to be coerced into it, even by liberals.