Conservatives: Every Man for Himself

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Open for use, anywhere, at any time.


Original post on MPR new forum

Call to Action

Use this frame in all your postings. Point out whereever conservative arguments are consistent with "every man for himself". This includes a lot of conservative viewpoints: individual freedom, anti-tax, anti-welfare, "pulled up by his own bootstraps", gun-carry laws, etc.


The idea here is to point out that conservatives have a strong streak of independence in their positions, and that independence is at odds with civilized society. Civilization is actually a cooperative effort, where people agree to do things together for the benefit of all. "Every man for himself" points out the inherent selfishness and self-centeredness of the conservative position.

Using this frame forces people to choose between being conservative and being generous.

Points to make:

  • Conservatives blame people for their own problems.
  • Conservatives don't want to accept responsibility for social problems.
  • Conservatives prefer to think of themselves as independent and noble.
  • Many conservative viewpoints come down to the strength of the individual.
  • Many people need help to deal with real problems in their lives.
  • Every man for himself is basically anti-social.
  • Every man for himself is basically selfish and self-centered.


Inspired by George Lakoff's work on frames.

My father uses the phrase "self-servatives."

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