Reader’s Letter: Political ideology definitionsPOSTED: 10/4/11 12:27 PM
Questions often arise as to what is a liberal? What is a conservative? What does it mean to support the left or the right? What does a certain political party stand for? Although some positions change over time and it’s never good to make generalizations about what a certain group thinks, I will clarify some of the basic ideological definitions. Politicians have a wide range of opinions; thus, any particular leader doesn’t necessarily fit neatly into these categories.
The original definition of a liberal was someone who advocated change, new philosophies, and new ideas. A conservative was someone who avoided change, instead preferring to stick to the tried and true. In modern times, these definitions have been expanded to include a wide set of political beliefs (which are defined below).
To be leftist or agree with the left political point of view is synonymous with being liberal. To be rightist or agree with the right political point of view is synonymous with being conservative. The left and right terms were created because political ideology is viewed on a continuum. For example, if you agree more with liberal ideas, you’re considered more leftist in your thinking, and if you agree more with the conservative, you’re considered more rightist in your thinking.
The difference in political ideology is that on abortion liberals are pro-choice while conservatives are pro-life (Christian Values). On healthcare, liberals believe the system should be 100 percent government controlled, while conservatives believe in de-regulation and the introduction of free market reform. In business the liberals believe in increasing regulation, while the conservatives press for easing regulation and keeping government out of business.
On crime the liberals believe in protecting the rights of the accused first and foremost, while conservatives provide maximum punishment and protect the rights of the victim first and foremost. On the issue same sex marriage, liberals believe in legalization, while conservatives believe it must be banned (Christian Values). On Religion, liberals maintain separation of church and state; prevent faith-based government initiatives. Conservatives maintain separation of church and state but introduce more religion in schools; allow faith-based government initiatives (Christian Values).
Liberals believe the death penalty must be banned but conservatives believe it should be maintained. Liberals believe in banning guns, but conservatives protect gun ownership as they believe every man must have the right to protect himself because we are living in an imperfect world. Liberals believe the minimum wage should be increased and conservatives do not believe in a minimum wage or maximum wage – They believe in performance determining a man’s earnings.
On social security (pension), liberals increase the pension age (e.g. 68 or 70); increase salary limits subject to tax. Conservatives believe in privatizing the system and allowing citizens control over their own money and stock investments.
Liberals increase taxes, especially on the rich but conservatives cut taxes, especially on businesses that invest and hire because they create jobs and not government. Liberals believe workers should be unionized wherever possible, even if it means mandatory joining of a union but conservatives believe unionization should be limited, and workers should never be forced to join. Liberals believe assisted suicide done by a physician should be allowed but conservatives believe it must be prevented. Liberals believe immigration issues are prevented through the creation of a national ID card & database to track people in the country. Conservatives also create a national ID card & database to track people in the country.
Liberals believe that government should be big and have socialist policies. Conservatives push for reducing the size of the government and use more capitalist, free-market policies. Liberals believe government needs to protect people from themselves, but conservatives believe people should be responsible and be held accountable for their own actions.
I hope you now have a better understanding of which side of the political spectrum you are. And now you may know if you are a conservative or a liberal. Conservatives are usually people of Christian values. Liberals tends to be less in favor of Christian values. As human beings we all must respect each other’s views even if we disagree. I leave it up to you to determine if DP, UPP or NA is liberal or conservative. Political ideology is not an American thing it exists in most countries of the world.
I, Miguel Arrindell, am definitely a conservative. I believe only God, our creator, can do as he pleases, and no man or government has the right to regulate sin and make it legal or make wrong, right. For example abortion and same sex marriage. However I must continue to love all people. That is a commandment from God.