Liberals vs. Conservatives

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The ideals and the composition of liberals and conservatives are radically different at times, and yet these same beliefs work together to make up the basic framework of American political thought. They both have the same goals for prosperity and yet they have polar opposite ways of achieving them. Ideologically, they are at odds with the size of government and the role that it plays. Some want big government that provides for people, while others elect for a small government that does not interfere with the lives of people. As is expected liberals tend to vote for certain issues that conservatives will disagree with and vice versa. Of course the issues are not random, each side will vote for and against particular kinds of issues. Demographically it is possible to predict, to a certain degree, what school of thought someone belongs to by their social status, ethnicity, or even their level of schooling; however, it is more difficult to do so accurately using these factors. Each faction, with its own varying viewpoints, constitutes a large portion of modern political thought in America.

The main ideological argument that separates liberals and conservatives is the role that the government plays in the lives of people. Typically, liberals believe that the purpose of the government's existence is to serve the people by ensuring their needs, “Dworkin for example, claims justice is the essential motif of liberalism and that the state's duty is to ensure a just and fair opportunity for all to flourish in a civil society” (Wiggins 2). Naturally, government must be enormous to provide for the needs of the masses. Conservatives on the other hand stray from extensive governments partially due to the scorned centralized governments of Brit...

... middle of paper ... government that does more for the people, while conservatives want a smaller one that keeps to its own affairs. On the issues, liberals will vote to gain more freedoms and extend existing ones, while liberals will mostly vote to cut taxes and decrease government spending. Also, demographics have a lasting impact on which side they identify themselves with. Though differing in how to accomplish tasks, the steps to accomplish the duty can be drastically different.

Works Cited

Saad, Lydia. "Political Affiliation Demo Graphics in the United States", Gallop Polling Today. March 15, 2011 p. 27 - 31

Wiggins, Nelson. Liberals and Conservatives in Contemporary United States: A study in Refractive political Dynamics. Boston: Harvard Press, 2011

Wilson, James Q., and John J. DiIulio. American Government. Boston: Houghton Mifflin College Division, 2005. Print.
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