Liberal (progressives?) as compared to conservatives have some social features which are readily evident. As compared to conservatives they much less willing pull together to work for a common goal, less respectful of law and order and those officers who enforce that, as well as a smaller connection to traditional family structures. Additionally they have weaker or more abstracted ties to traditional religious beliefs. Contrast behavior of the two anti-government movements (Tea Party/Occupy X Street) and their respective treatments of law enforcement and property.
In the recent political discourse regarding government spending over healthcare and more generically what roles government should take and to what extent in civic life, liberal tend to favor more centralized and stronger government institutions. Taking the above differences into account, one might argue that the desire for these structures to be taken by government is a rational choice (except the dislike/distrust of police perhaps). If you don’t have family to lean on as you get older, you’ll want the government to be ready to step in to that role for example. My point is that having made the decision that those behaviors are requried, it is rational to want a more socialized government with stronger social support.
What is not as rational is the initial step, i.e., that the failure to pull together for communal efforts as an example is laudable or a virtue. Specifically, it seems that while having made the decision to be liberal the requirements noted above follow. What doesn’t follow is that being liberal in this sense is in any way shape or form a good idea, i.e., rational.
In fact, none of those difference highlighted above are very good. Taken together they make the case that Mr Habermas tries to make in his debate with Cardinal Ratzinger very difficult. Their debate centered around the question of whether liberal secular democratic society contain the institutional and societal cohesion to sustain itself. Without the ability to organize, without strong family and so on, … can it survive. Police forces are primarily staffed by conservatives, for reasons noted above. Can a society which is almost all secular liberals … staff a police force? Who within that society would make the personal sacrifices to take on those sorts of jobs? Why? What motivates the person to put life and limb on the line on a daily basis for mediocre renumeration within the context of the liberal worldview? Review the individuals taking part in the various “Sitting” protests today. What percentage of these young people will be future policemen and women? How close is that percentage to zero? How about joining the Armed services to defend his/her country?