In American politics, power is the focal point with differences in ideology becoming very influential. Liberal and conservative ideologies complicate American political views. As a result, the two ideologies are critical in understanding American politics (Conover and Stanley 11). This essay discusses the general differences in the way in which Conservatives and Liberals approach American politics.
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The first faction comprises the Conservatives who base their ideology on what they consider as reason or logic. The conservative’s ideologies are individualistic by nature. On the other hand, the liberals comprise the second faction with ideologies that encompass emotions and basic ideals that are collective in nature. Due to these fundamental differences in approaching American politics, there are differences in providing solutions to the problems that Americans face (Schneider 239).
The liberal’s ideology opposes the link between the government and the citizens since when the citizens get deeply involved in government matters they get coerced to realize the wrongdoings and enact laws to curb the problems. These ideologies discourage citizens’ participation in governance. Furthermore, the liberal’s ideologies consider individuals powerless hence, should move forward above their circumstances in mass. For instance in Barrack Obama’s keynote address, he reiterated that ‘America citizens who think that racism is a barrier to American success are misled if they do not come to terms with a larger economic force that is vital in the creation of economic security to all’ (Sugrue 67). Thus, based on the liberal’s political ideology, having proof of correctness, the liberals use all their effort to impose on Americans their vision of goodness on the majority. Furthermore, the liberals believe that their political agenda is for the greater benefit of the American citizens.
According to the conservatives’ ideology, there is the desire that society lives a better life. However, there is a major difference in how the federal government should conduct its role. Thus, the conservatives view the government’s role to be of insignificant impact since; a combination of individual’s sufficiency and strength is a better cure of the society’s needs. Hence, they hold a view that the government should face some restrictions in functions that support and protect people’s liberty. Conservatives do not support the government’s involvement in an individual’s rights, and they do not value the differences in socio-economic groups. For instance, according to Barry Goldwater’s 1964 acceptance speech, he stressed that “increased threat to the nation, individual safety, and other property, especially in the American cities is of paramount interest and should be a concern for any thoughtful American citizen” (Schneider 240). Conservationists believe that every American citizen has a choice to change his or her circumstances. Furthermore, the conservatives support the view that the government encourages individuals to avoid responsibility through an attempt to distribute wealth through tax codes, and involvement in commerce, as well as, its welfare entitlements imposed on individuals. Hence, American citizens depend on the federal government in order to ensure that they meet their basic needs. This ideology does require the government the government’s involvement in individual activities. Through this ideology, the more the government takes an individual’s responsibility and wellbeing, the society becomes more dependent and weaker.
In conclusion, American citizens are operationally liberal. On the other hand, they can be described as conservative ideologically and symbolically. Thus, in the norm, American citizens prefer conservative ideology to the liberal ideology that is full of self-identification and symbols. However, liberal policies are preferred on the major dimensions of conflict resolution.
Conover, J. Pamela and Feldman, Stanley. The Origins and Meaning of Liberal-Conservative Self Identifications. American Journal of Political Science 25(4): (2006): 617-645.
Schneider, L. Gregory Conservativism in America since 1930. New York: New York University Press, 2007. Print.
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Sugrue, J. Thomas, Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race. New York: Princeton University Press, 2010. Print.