Conservative vs. Liberal

A Political Analysis on Today’s Ideologies

By Sierra Howard

You’re probably wondering “Oh no, not another fight about politics” or afraid reading this will draw you into the dark abyss of politics.

Don’t worry, it’s not. It’s to help you understand what is “Conservative” and what is “Liberal”, how are they alike, and how do they differ.

They may be considered the two most dominant political ideologies in society today.

What is Conservatism, (also known as the right wing) though?

It is defined as being centered around keeping tradition and social stability, and to be adverse to change.

Encyclopedia.com cites the origins of this belief system as coming from Britain,  France, and Germany during the French Revolution.

A figure that contributed to this movement is John Locke.

Here are some beliefs they follow.

1.The free market is favorable to the philosophy.

As it is an economy that depends upon supply and demand, where buyers and sellers are free to buy, sell, and trade based on price that is mutually agreed upon without government intervention and regulation.

The principle pushes that their should be freedom of competition, opportunity and prosperity.

2. Small government is a government that engages in little activity.

The reason why there is a disdain of large administration in this philosophy is because it is believed to be intrusive in the citizen’s lives and oppressive to freedom.

3. Low taxes gives incentive to work, save, and invest. Basically, you earn your own money, you spend your own money.

4. Preservation of the constitution is also important. Not saying that the Constitution should never be changed especially to adjust to the times, but changes to the document should be made only by amendment.

Although this philosophy may be adverse to change, contrary to belief, change is something that should be slow, gradual, and natural to conservatives.

Notable conservatives are Paul Ryan, George W. Bush, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Now that you’re more familiar with one side of the story, take time to get to know the left wing. Liberals tend to be of course the opposite of Conservatism.

They focus more on how it is government’s duty to be involved in social issues and civil liberties.

The Atlantic marks that after 1769 it was then the idea of “liberal” became popular in Spain. It was also something spoken about in Adam Smith’s “Wealth Of Nation.” Some of their principles may be:

1. According to Business Dictionary, higher taxes (emphasized mostly on the wealthy) is which seems to be the staple of the left wing.

With increased taxes placed on the rich, the money can help fund programs like Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, food stamps, etc.

2. A heavy reliance on large government is to ensure that the needs of the people are met, and equality is ensured

3. A market that is government regulated is to protect the people from the unfairness.

It is also the obligation make sure the market remains in the interest of the public and not just private.

Also, most known liberals are Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Barack Obama.

Although they have many differences and stances they disagree on, their similarities should not be downplayed.

The left wing and right wing feel the same on Social Security (one of the safety nets for the poor, elderly, and other poverty stricken citizens, is in jeopardy and should be protected at all costs).

The Deseret News also explains that both political ideologies value marriage commitment and the importance of putting children first.

The most talked about rumor believed by many is that conservatives have no heart for the poor, but statistics, given by HubPages explain that in fact they donate to charities 30% more than liberals do.

Encyclopedia.com refers to Confucian, Islamic, and Buddhist as a form of liberalism because of the value that is placed on non-Western cultures, there has been support in these religions.

In conclusion these parties have different values they all look for a positive end result. Sometimes disagreeable and unrealistic.

Sometimes healthy and idealistic.


1 reply »

  1. Sierra, you are wrong that John Locke was a conservative, or contributed to conservatism. He is in fact known as the founding father of liberalism! In the 17th century, conservatives wanted to preserve feudalism and monarchies. Locke was staunchly opposed to those. Even today, the descendants of classical liberalism are not conservatives and republicans, but libertarians, a completely separate ideology.

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