A phrase embodying the idea that Conservatives hold ideas that long ago were considered liberal. For example, many Conservatives will quote the Founding Fathers of the United States to support their views. However, in their own time, Founding Fathers were extreme Liberals.

This relationship is not necessarily a Bad Thing. Conservatives and Liberals form a yin-yang that helps to prevent new ideas from being integrated into the general culture either too quickly or too slowly.

This process does not work in some cases (see abortion) where the two sides are fundamentally irreconcilable.

Note: This writeup will not make any sense for certain definitions of Conservative and Liberal.

Although it is quite true that the people most often quoted by conservatives were liberal for their time, by modern standards they would generally be considered reactionary.

The most famous example of this may well be Thomas Jefferson himself, who kept slaves (and depending on who you ask, may have even fathered a few of his slaves' children). But there are others. By modern standards, even Abraham Lincoln, so famous for freeing the slaves, was actually quite racist.

No, I'm not trying to justify racism or slavery. What I'm trying to point out is that when you try to examine a historical person's political views, it's important to view them in not just a context appropriate to that time, but a modern context as well. the reason: statements like the title of this node have a rather nasty tendency to be found inconsistent.

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