America is divided, likely more now than at any other time in the country’s history. Disputes involving politics often dominate the lives of Americans. Much of the culture and attitude of our modern society is naturally shaped by government and the topics related to how members of a large and complex society interact with each other through the political system (flowing from the Constitution of the United States of America) that has been proven to be the most effective method of government for prosperity, innovation, and freedom.
I am a conservative. I believe that anyone who objectively looks at the origins of this country can see that God’s hand was involved in what is affectionately referred to as the Founding. Over the past nearly 250 years, many of these ideals have given way to other ideas that have sought to replace the founding principles, the most critical 28 of which are spelled out in the book The Five Thousand Year Leap by Cleon Skousen.
These intentional attempts to deteriorate the vision of government held by those who created the most prosperous and free civilization known to man has been embodied in a movement that has come to be known as “liberal” or “progressive”. In this article, I am going to point out the differences between the two ideologies in context of the most defining characteristics of the two ideologies.
Political Party Affiliation
People with a liberal ideology lean heavily toward the Democrat Party.
The Green Party is a smaller party whose adherents have liberal leanings.
The majority of people with a conservative ideology are members of the Republican Party.
The Libertarian Party is the second largest conservative party in the United States. It is much smaller than the Republican Party, and it is much more conservative, but not nearly as powerful as the Republican Party.
There also a conservative Constitutional Party that is founded on a specific commitment to upholding the original intentions of the Constitution.
Many conservatives who disagree with the platforms of the conservative parties the have left their roots and the principles, and who aren’t attracted to the smaller conservative party register as independents.
United States Founding and Constitution
Liberals tend to dismiss the value of the Founding of the United States and often loathe the Founders. Liberals have re-written US history to change men like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and others from men of integrity and honor to men who exhibited no special qualities. The liberal view of the founding of America perceives the country’s existence as being illegitimate.
Conservatives have a reverence for the men who founded this nation. They feel obligated to protect the Constitution and preserve the original intent of that founding document rather than to change or subvert it.
Role of Government
Liberals believe that government should have more control over the lives of its citizens, and that rights are bestowed upon citizens by the government.
Liberals tend to look to the government for solutions rather than take personal responsibility.
Conservatives believe that government should be limited. In conservative thought, God gives people “inalienable rights”, and that it’s the responsibility of government to simply preserve those rights, and nothing more.
Conservatives value self-government over big government.
Liberals believe that any woman has the right to choose to kill her unborn child.
Pro-choice sentiment has gone as far as passing laws that allow a woman to abort her child beyond the initial 3-month pregnancy period allowed by the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling, in some states making it legal to kill a child all the way up to his or her delivery.
The motivation behind liberal, pro-choice sentiment is the idea that people should be free from long-term “consequences” (a person being born) as a result of their promiscuity. The pro-choice argument made by liberals removes the right of a baby to be given life by treating that person as not human, which conveniently leaves only a women’s right not to be inconvenienced with delivering a live baby.
Conservatives believe that life begins at or near conception, and that the intentional termination of a pregnancy is murder.
Marriage and Family
Liberals support gay marriage.
Liberals believe that the traditional institution of marriage between a man and a woman is outdated, and that people of the same gender should be allowed to be married. This concept of marriage essentially does away with the institution itself.
Conservatives support traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
Conservatives have a Christian view of marriage, which follows the Biblical belief that God ordained marriage between man and woman for creating and raising children and for other purposes that can only be fulfilled when people of complementary genders (male and female) are involved.
Civil Rights, Racism and Social Justice
Pro Social Justice
Liberals believe that America is inherently racist and misogynist from its origins, and that overcoming those failings can only be done through social justice, essentially redistributing wealth from whites (especially white, heterosexual men) to blacks and other minorities.
Liberal ideology considers white men to be the root of most of the country’s problems, and seeks to level the playing field through ideas that include affirmative action hiring policies, reparations for slavery, and other benefits for classes that are considered underprivileged.
The social justice initiatives of liberals naturally require more government intervention.
No Social Justice
Conservatives tend to believe that social justice is no only unnecessary, but that its programs, designed to essentially reverse discriminate and create government dependence, are more harmful than helpful.
Conservatives understand that the attainment of equality under the law for all people (including minorities), which has evolved since the founding of the country, is the essence of the American experiment. Although it took almost 200 years to achieve that equality, America is the clear innovator in breaking away from slavery and inequality.
Conservatives recognize that success in America is attainable by anyone who is determined to work hard and exercise discipline. Living the principles of prosperity that apply to everyone is a much better way to achieve “equality” than having a large, corrup government implement programs that redistribute wealth and create more problems than they solve.
Liberals are in favor of immigration policies that don’t respect the law or the borders of the United States.
The liberal attitude towards immigration, which includes everything from ignoring immigration laws to having completely open borders, creates a flow of constituents who will further the most critical mission of the liberal movement: socialism.
As more people illegally immigrate without consequence to America seeking to partake of the wealth that has been created here (ironically, wealth that came from the innovation that comes with capitalism), they are inclined to liberal promises of dependency-inducing handouts from government, and they more often than not contribute to the movement of the country toward socialism.
Conservatives are in favor of immigration, and recognize that the United States of America was built on the idea that people from all walks of life could come here from around the world to partake of the freedom and prosperity here so that they can live the American Dream. However, conservatives recognize the need for the country to maintain its sovereignty, to have well-defined borders coupled with immigration laws.
Liberals are in favor of higher taxes.
Stemming from their view that the government is able to better use its citizens’ money than they themselves can, liberals favor high taxes to be used to create more programs and grow a bigger government to manage and execute those programs.
Conservatives are in favor of low taxes. They hold to the Founders’ intention of limiting the power of government to tax its citizens.
Conservatives feel that government should better manage its expenditures rather than to raise taxes to pay for unnecessary programs.
Liberals tend to be anti-capitalists.
They point to examples of fraud and abuse among American companies as reasons why the system of capitalism itself needs to be replaced by a socialistic one.
Conservatives are firm believers in capitalism.
They understand the benefits of a free-market economy in which competition and choice is paired with the concepts of supply and demand. Conservatives recognize that it is this free-market capitalism system that has produced the most prosperous conditions for its citizens.
2nd Amendment and Gun Control
Pro Gun Control
Liberals are for increased gun control.
Liberals tend to dismiss the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, which explicitly conveys the right to bear arms to US citizens.
The liberal trust in government as the ultimate authority leads them to believe that government should continue placing more rigorous restrictions on people’s access to guns and ammunition.
Pro 2nd Amendment
Conservatives are against gun control measures that go contrary to the rights provided by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
Conservatives recognize the right of people to defend themselves by force, including ultimately defending themselves from an oppressive government should the need arise.
Budget and Spending
Liberals are in favor of the lots of government spending.
Running a large government that intrudes into the lives of its citizens requires spending large amounts of money on programs that would not be necessary in a society that is self-governed.
Liberals aren’t much concerned about a balanced budget, and their addiction to spending has led to higher taxes and large deficits that threaten the economic stability of the country.
Conservatives are proponents of being fiscally responsible and having a balanced budget.
From the conservative viewpoint, funding of government should not weigh heavily upon citizens. Government should be expected to be disciplined in its spending just as its people are expected to be.
Sadly, too many conservative leaders have abandoned their commitment to spending within their means as they’ve given into the influence of lobbyists and others who have pushed our national debt to critical levels that cannot be sustained.
Liberals tend to be more secular than conservatives.
Conservatives tend to be more religious than liberals.
Environment: Climate Change and Global Warming
Climate Change Activists
Liberals are much more likely to believe in climate change.
The idea of climate change has been used by liberals to increase the size of government and to create burdensome regulations that hinder economic growth.
Climate Change Skeptics
Conservatives are much more skeptical of climate change, believing it to be a political invention intended to increase the power of government rather and limit the freedom of citizens.