Conservatism Versus Liberalism: Does Philosophy Really Matter?
The foundational belief system you hold determines your views on specific issues. You then have strong opinions you feel are right. If you look at the core beliefs of Conservatism and Liberalism, you can understand and explain the different stands taken on specific issues and the vision each has for our country. These beliefs are opposites in every area and diametrically opposed.
C- Families know best how to raise their children. They need to be strengthened and have the right to raise their children the way they want. L- It takes a “village” not a family to raise a child. Families need government help and oversight. Cradle to grave involvement is optimal.
C-Society is composed of individuals to be judged on their individual merit. Values individualism, self-reliance, and independence. L-Sees society as composed of groups: black vs. white, old vs. young, rich vs. poor, male vs. female. These groups are pitted against each other. Stirs up racial and class envy and division.
C-Individuals are responsible for themselves and their actions. Crime should be punished. Evil exists and good should fight against it. L-Society is responsible for individuals. Man is inherently good and something causes him to do wrong. They talk about how we need to change society when someone does wrong. Even terrorists need to be understood.
C-Limit to how much can be taken from people to give to others. Welfare should help people to become independent (not dependent) and given to those truly incapable of taking care of themselves. L- Supports welfare state. Government is morally justified taking from those that have and giving it to others because people are entitled to basic needs including housing, food, healthcare, income, etc. even if they are able to work.
C- Promotes equal justice. L- Promotes social justice.
C-Competition is good. L- Competition is unfair.
C-Supports lower taxes for all because people have a right to what they earn. L-Supports progressive taxation with high taxes for the rich in an attempt to equalize incomes through redistribution of earnings.
C-Less government is better. Wants only necessary regulation of business, economy, and individual lives, resulting in more freedom. L-More government is better. Many regulations are necessary to achieve a more fair & just society which is government’s primary role, resulting in less freedom.
C-Limited federal government with more power given to state and local governments. L-Powerful centralized federal government with limited state and local control.
C-People and property rights are more important than environment. Supports conservation and development and use of our natural resources along with the development of green technology by private enterprise and when it is economically feasible and self-sustaining. Opposes cap and trade due to its high cost and negative impact on our businesses and way of life. L-Environment more important than people and property rights. Supports rationing and limiting access to natural resources. Focuses on green technology subsidized by the government. Supports cap and trade to redistribute and control energy usage.
C-Wealth is good. All have an opportunity to be wealthy (The American dream). Creates a better life for all through entrepreneurship. L-Wealth is bad and unfair. Promotes class warfare.
C-Equal opportunity without discrimination. Recognizes people make different choices with what they have and that it isn't government's role to make things fair. Doesn’t seek equal outcomes. L-Equal results through such things as quotas, free college, and equal pay for unequal work. Government has to level the playing field in order to have equal opportunity. Seeks equal outcomes.
C- Supports healthcare reform that gives consumers choices. L - Supports government takecover of healthcare and limiting of consumers' choices.
C-Judicial restraint with strict interpretation of laws according to the Constitution and original intent. L-Judicial activism: enacting social policy changes via court rulings. Constitution is seen as outdated and in need of change.
C-Free market economy. L-Government regulation of economy.
C -Free market creates jobs. L -Government creates jobs.
C-Business is good: creates jobs & improves lives. Let free market supply and demand adjust practices and employers and employees determine wages/benefits. L-Business is evil: out to exploit employees, environment, and consumers. Needs to be regulated to protect consumers, employees, and the environment. Government regulates employee benefits.
C-Traditional morality including traditional family and values. Absolute standards of right and wrong. Absolute truth. Sees standing against wrong as a moral duty. L-Tolerance of all lifestyles & beliefs except those that hold views they consider to be intolerant. No absolute standards of right and wrong. Moral relativism.
C-Right to free speech must be supported even if it offends. L-Right to free speech is limited to speech that does not offend. (Political correctness) C-Peace through strength via a strong military. L - Peace through appeasement, cooperation, and understanding others' views. Dislikes showing and exercising strength.
C-Supports a missile defense system. L-Opposes a missile defense system.
C-American sovereignty comes before globalism. L-Globalism comes before American sovereignty.
C-Sees America as good: the best hope for the world. Believes in American exceptionalism. L-Sees America as flawed: racist, homophobic, imperialistic, sexist, ageist and no better than other countries.
C-Western cultures are superior to others without rights, freedom, and respect for life. L-All cultures are equal. Can’t pass judgment on any even if they don’t value freedom, rights, and life. C-God is a necessary part of a moral society. Religion makes people good when they know they have to answer to God. L-State is secular (without God and hostile to Christianity). Seeks to eliminate references of God through separation of church and state.
Liberalism (progressivism) wants to pull us further towards a welfare state with an ever-expanding web of social entitlements and more federal power and control over every aspect of our lives. Liberalism sees a nation of people incapable of solving their problems without the government’s help.
Conservatism believes a powerful federal government limits personal freedom. It seeks to stop the growing entitlement programs, encourage individual responsibility, and return Constitutionally mandated power to the states. Conservatism sees a nation of people capable of solving their own problems with minimal government help, as long as the people are free.
The Republican Party's platform is primarily Conservative and the Democratic Party's platform is primarily Liberal. This does not mean that every Republican is a conservative or that every Democrat is a liberal. However, if you watch the stands the parties take on issues, you will see that the Republican Party is more conservative and the Democratic Party is more liberal in their stands on issues and policies and the direction they want to take us.
If you are still unclear as to what the differences between the philosophies are consider this:
If either Party or philosophy held all 100 US Senators, all 435 Congressionmen and the President for 10 years, what would our nation be like if Conservatives held them compared to what would it be like if the Liberals held them?
I propose to you that we would have two entirely different nations. It is truly a time for choosing. Which nation do you want?