Fritz Pettyjohn: Liberals and conservatives and the great beer-white wine divide



The division of the human family into its two distinct branches, liberals and conservatives, occurred some 20,000 years ago. Until then all humans coexisted as members of small bands of nomadic hunter/gatherers. A thousand generations ago, in the pivotal event of societal evolution, beer was invented. This epochal innovation was both the foundation of modern civilization and the occasion of the great bifurcation of humanity into its two distinct subgroups.

Once beer was discovered, our prehistoric forebears decided it was time to settle down. Making beer required grain, and securing a steady supply of it ordained the invention of agriculture.

After that was accomplished, ancient man quickly, and unfairly, consigned actual cultivation to women.

Men couldn’t just run off, willy-nilly, however. Neither the glass bottle nor the aluminum can had yet been invented, so it was necessary to stick pretty close to home, and the brewery.

This left our male ancestors with a lot of time on their hands, and led to the division, which persists to this day, of the species.

Some men tried to conserve remnants of the old way of life (hence the term “conservative”) by spending their days in the open field in the dangerous pursuit of big game animals. At night they would roast their prey at a big barbecue, and afterwards sat around the fire drinking beer and telling off-color jokes.

Other, more timid, souls stayed closer to home. They are responsible for the domestication of cats and the invention of group therapy. Mostly, they sat around worrying about how life wasn’t fair and concocting elaborate schemes to “liberate” themselves from inequity (thus their designation as “liberals”). In the evening they gathered around their fire, nibbling on fruit and nuts, sharing their innermost feelings.

Today some liberals try to pretend they’re really sort of conservative, and sometimes succeed in confusing people. The following are a few tips to use in distinguishing the two types.

By definition liberals believe in big government and high taxes. Life is unfair and the government is there to do something about it. Most people are too stupid to spend untaxed income wisely, and high taxes allow liberals in government to do a better job of it.

Conservatives don’t like government, and, aside from the military, wish it would just go away. They hate taxes, regulations, speed limits, and small cars.

Typical conservatives are former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the late President Ronald Reagan, and, up there with the Big Man in the Sky, the incomparable John Wayne.

Typical liberals are Dustin Hoffman, Shirley McLaine, and Pee Wee Herman. 

All conservatives drink beer. American beer.

Some liberals like imported beer, but most prefer white wine or foreign water from a bottle.

Liberals like to drive Volvos and Saabs because they’re made (or used to be made) in socialist Sweden. They like to eat weird food because it’s un-American.

Your basic conservative vehicle, especially in Alaska, is the Chevy Suburban. It’s big, it’s American, it’s four-wheel drive, and it sucks up the gas. Conservatives eat beef, which they (surprise!) like to barbecue.

Big game hunters are conservative. Interior decorators are liberal.

Liberals invented the designated hitter rule in baseball because it wasn’t “fair” to make the poor pitcher take his turn at bat.

Conservatives, inspired by a remark of the legendary Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker Jack Lambert, believe quarterbacks should be required to wear skirts, so they can more easily be distinguished from real football players.

James Brown and Ray Charles were conservatives. Michael Jackson and Milli Vanilli were liberals.

Most social workers, personal injury lawyers, journalists, and group therapists are liberals. Most ranchers, loggers, professional soldiers, and steeplejacks are conservatives.

Liberal jurors distrust the prosecutors and police. Conservatives figure the defendant must be guilty or he wouldn’t be on trial.

Most conservatives not only believe in the death penalty, they would cheerfully implement it, personally, if called upon to do so.

Liberals think capital punishment is a barbaric relic, and unfair to boot.

Liberals believe Europeans are, generally speaking, far more enlightened than Americans. Conservatives think they’re basically decadent, as evidenced by their complete absence in the NFL. (Place kickers don’t  count).

Typical conservative movies are “Raising Arizona”, “Patton”, and “Conan the Barbarian”.

Typical liberal movies are “Prince of Tides”, “Last Tango in Paris”, and “The Big Chill”.

The quintessential liberal is the handicapper, the person who decides how much extra weight to saddle the faster horses with in order to make the race “fair”.

The American cowboy, of course, is your basic, full bore conservative. The following story, part of this writer’s family folklore, demonstrates why: 

A hundred years ago an Englishman in South Dakota was trying to find the owner of a huge cattle ranch. He rode up to one of the ranch hands and asked,  “Excuse me, but could you tell me where to find your Master?” To which the cowboy replied, “That sumbitch hasn’t been born.”

Fritz Pettyjohn served in the Alaska Legislature from 1982-1986 and now blogs at


  1. Now that’s a contribution. ??
    Thanks, Fritz, for reminding us of the political status quo and material differences of the two parties. Even though there are exceptions and outliers, you pretty well nailed it. (Libs tends to go for Subarus and Hondas. Thats how I identify them on the road). My only question then is: how did early humans deal with LGBTQ individuals? Were they allowed to sit around the fire pit and drink beer?

  2. Funny, Fritz!
    But you make one mistake: the so-called “liberals” of today are in no way liberal — they are purely authoritarians, if not totalitarians.
    The biggest difference that I have noticed with leftist/authoritarians vs. conservatives or libertarians over the years is their consistent condescension and arrogance: “ALL right-thinking people believe exactly as I do, and anyone who believes differently does so because they are ignorant or evil, or both”.

  3. You forgot one: Conservatives go to colleges like The Ohio State, Texas, and Alabama. Liberals go to places like Berkeley, Dartmouth, and Arizona State.
    Oh wait……

  4. Love when a Conservative like this guy calls himself out as not being one, since most quote on quote conservatives believe the government should regulate a women’s personal health decision and whom people should marry. Hence they are not true conservatives, just ideology driven liars.

    • You are incorrect.
      The supreme court decision got the federal government OUT of women’s reproductive issues. For the record abortions are NOT healthcare, as it does not address a health issue detrimental to a woman’s health per se, in the vast majority of cases. It addresses the irresponsible behavior of men and women, who want sex, but not the natural consequences of that act. So they disguise it as “health care” and make the innocent third party pay the price.
      Also I am not sure who the liar here really is, since you ignore the baby in the womb, as an inconvenient truth. As for same sex marriage you decided that government is just fine and dandy to force those, who are not interesting in your sex life to “celebrate it” with you by making cakes or take photographs….

        • What do YOU want exactly?
          Weren’t liberals the defenders of the down-trodden, mistreated and defenseless? How very un-liberal of you to throw such individuals, with so much potential to mold in your image, on the dust heap of history BEFORE they had a chance to make any!

    • Maybe it was his liberal Berkeley degree and upbringing….I see where Salmon Smasher was going with this now.

  5. LOL.

    Got a little tore up thinking about how the American League should be classified as ‘liberal’. Other than that, it all seemed pretty damned funny!

  6. another HUGE difference we’ve all seen lately:

    conservatives by and large didn’t get the clot shot, believe in mandates , small business shut downs, school age children locked off playgrounds and stuck home, on and on

    liberals by and large got the clot shot, boosters , drank the koolaid from the govt, big Pharma, cdc, who , on and on

    tell me I’m wrong

    • Yet you believe in getting the government involved in personal health decisions and whom people marry and love getting your yearly welfare (PFD) check from the state right?

      • Actually, the opposite is true.
        Conservatives do not want the government involved in personal health decisions, and the marriage issue is not about getting a license, it is about forcing churches and businesses to provide services against their will.
        And, the individual portion of the mineral royalties that the Alaska Permanent Fund gives out is not welfare, socialism, or any other boogieman. It is a payment to citizens of the state because we all own the mineral rights.

        • Look up Welfare’s definition.

          Believe what you want but the pfd is indeed welfare. And you take welfare.

          • And, I am good with it, unlike some virtue signaling morons who think people are going to be proud of them for refusing their portion of the State’s gains.

            Maury Suttman

          • So, I did look up welfare, and after looking at several dictionaries, this is the closest definition that is applicable to the PFD: financial or other assistance to an individual or family from a city, state, or national government:
            Exactly how does receiving a portion of the State’s mineral royalties meet that definition?
            I do not need the PFD for financial assistance. And, the overwhelming majority of the people I have ever met do not rely on the PFD for anything other than luxuries.
            So, exactly how is the PFD welfare? Take your time, I can wait.

          • Welfare: “…….statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need……..”
            The PFD is not welfare. It is exactly what it’s called; a dividend:
            “…….a sum of money paid regularly (typically quarterly) by a company to its shareholders out of its profits (or reserves)……..”
            Believe what you want, but those of us who aren’t ideologues know better.

          • Maureen,
            Before Bill Walker it was a dividend that the Permanent Fund Corporation distributed every year, using the state as a pass-through, since the wealth was derived from communally owned state assets. It was based on a fixed formula to determine the amount that specified each portion to the state and the people.
            After Bill Walker and the Supreme court meddling the legislature now gets the whole enchilada and graciously decides what crumbs are left for the people. Ironically now the state is the largest recipient of welfare if one follows your “logic”.

        • No the PFD is government welfare, it’s not in the constitution of our state, therefore it’s an entitlement not a right. And you do believe in government getting involved in personal health decisions if you are against abortion, especially with no exceptions. So no you are not conservative.

          • Rino, the P- Fund was a conceived to LIMIT GOVERNMENT by keeping 25% of the People’s wealth from being spent by the Political Parasitic class, ( on themselves and their buddies).

            I’m guessing you are joined with Parasitic group?
            Nice try pal.

          • The right was a property right plucked from the entire bundle of property rights not compensated/paid for after: valuation, negotiation and sale at market rate paid in legal tender BEFORE illegal seizure. It doesn’t matter who or what you are in the USA you pay FIRST before you take the property right according to the US Constitution and federal supporting code of federal regulation 49. That code of federal regulation is due process and can not be found anywhere in historical evidence in Alaska with regard to the taking of the private mineral rights from private estates. This was a persuasive argument for the compensation later with the Permanent fund dividend. Now Walker et al foolishly took that.

  7. Fritz, thanks for the laughs! It is what is sorely lacking in this “oh so correct” world of ours, since our authoritarian overlord liberals have no sense of humor. Maybe every time they want to ban a new word, we should just laugh in their face…..
    FYI to Ted, Subarus may be indicative of a liberal mind-set in the lower 48, but up here in the frozen north they are just practical and I know of many a conservative, who appreciate their great winter driving qualities.

  8. “……Some men tried to conserve remnants of the old way of life (hence the term “conservative”) by spending their days in the open field in the dangerous pursuit of big game animals. At night they would roast their prey at a big barbecue, and afterwards sat around the fire drinking beer and telling off-color jokes……..”
    In the late Alaskan Motorized Hunting Period, these conservative hunters discovered the difficulty of transporting enough beer into the field with them in glass and paper-thin aluminum. Beer buzzes required quantity, and the horror of broken containers and spilt beer were too much to bear psychologically and in an environment were replacement wasn’t possible.
    These hardy and resourceful men re-discovered whiskey, and found this salvation available in plastic bottles.
    Now easy quantities of elixir in durable containers could supply hunting expeditions that could last weeks. Chainsaws were invented to supply the copious amounts of firewood necessary for such nighttime gatherings, and which use further divided the hunter class from the climate traumatized class.
    So as the powdered class attacked the whiskey of the hunter class with taxes, the lightweight glory of the Devil’s Salad was re-discovered………..
    ……….and thus the Darwinian Struggle known as The Descent of Man continued like the advance of an Alaskan glacier………..

      • The assent of LGBTQ in just 20 years put the nail into the coffin of 20,000 years of real men who protected and fed their women and children.

        • Whoa Mary! WHOA!

          Queers may have put a nail in the coffin of those men that view their buddies as delicious but there remains a strong cohort of “real men” that do protect and take care of women and children. To find that remaining group just look for the kind of man unlikely to have been taken to transvestite story book hour at the Loussac as a child. Note that he is not a dying breed; we’re everywhere.

  9. Do you mean the cast cement class or caste system which is still post MLK’s Day race based in Alaska?

  10. I love the mental picture of a bunch of rag bags sitting around a fire, eating nuts and berries, and sharing their feelings.
    Probably within sight of a bonfire/BBQ.

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