Government Essay: Liberals and Conservatives
Even though there are many political parties in the United States, the major ones are the Republicans and the Democrats. Saad writes that according to Gallup and USA Today polls 35% of Americans describe their political views as moderate, 40% think of themselves as conservative, and 21% of the interviewees said they are liberal (Saad 2012). It is strange that the major parties represent centre-right (the Republicans) or centre-left (the Democrats) political views, but there is no moderate party as it is in Europe, for example. In addition, one third of the US citizens support moderate ideas.
The liberal and the conservative ideologies are different in many aspects. The representatives of the Liberal Party search for equal opportunities for all people in the country. They think that the state has to protect the civil rights and liberties, while the Conservatives talk about limitation of governmental power, individual responsibility of people for their lives and personal liberty. The Liberals claim that the government should be responsible for social well-being and it should guarantee at least the subsistence level for everyone in the country. In a contrary to the Liberals, the Conservatives think that the government should only give the citizens freedom and opportunities to work and achieve their goals. The Liberals emphasize the state has to solve the problems of people, while the Conservatives underline the ability of each person to cope with his/her problems him/herself.
The Conservative and the Liberal parties have opposite viewpoints on urgent social problems. It fully illustrates the line that divides the American society into two parts that are not able to understand each other. Moreover, they do not even want to try, because the difference is in their perception of the world. The Conservatives support traditional values like heterosexual values, prohibition of abortion, physician assisted suicide, euthanasia, and propaganda of religion. Their liberal opponents claim that the marriage is the union of people who love each other and it does not necessarily mean that they are of different sexes. The also think that if the person wants to die without loosing his/her dignity, he/she has the right for it. They consider religion to be the individual thing for everyone and the government has nothing to do with it.
Modern American liberalism is a combination of mixed economical issues, social justice and social liberalism (Bardes 2011-2012). It is presented in the US government by the Democratic Party. The first urgent problem the American liberals try to cope with is abortion rights. The Democrats state that it is the right of the woman to decide what is happening with her body. It is impossible to say that the fetus had its own rights, because it is not a human being. The Liberals also emphasize that those women who do not have money for abortion can take the sum from the government.
The second issue a Liberal support is the affirmative action. They consider the US to be still a racist country, where the majority of people do not want to hire the representatives of ethnic minorities. The Democrats explain the fact that people from minorities do not succeed in their careers like the whites because they do not have equal opportunities. That is why the government should impose the regulations to make the competition fair.
The third issue the Liberals try to achieve is the governmental control of the healthcare system. In this case it will cost less or even be free, so that everyone will be able to receive medical help. They emphasize that all American citizens have the right for equal healthcare, no matter how much money they have.
The main rival of the Democratic Party in the United States is the Republican Party that supports the conservative ideas. The first thing that the Conservative might support is the restriction of immigration rules. They say that those people who enter the country illegally can not wait for governmental support, medical aid or social security, because they break the law.
The second thing the Conservatives claim for is the war against the terrorism. They think that the ideas of militant Islamists can not exist in one world with the US, so the menace needs to be annihilated. The terrorists have to be tries as enemy combatants in the military courts, unlike the proposition of the Liberals to try them in civilian courts. The Republicans do not agree with the Democrats that the terrorist menace is the result of harsh foreign policy and do not want to discuss peaceful solutions of the problem.
The third thing that the Conservatives support is the right of all citizens to keep and bear arms. They are against numerous gun-control regulations and do not think that these measures can reduce the crime rate. In a contrary, the Republicans claim that if everyone is able to protect him/herself, there will not be so muck crime in the state.
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press gives the following statistics about the target audience and the supporters of the Democratic Party:
“The socially progressive Liberals and staunchly conservative Enterprisers are tied as the two most affluent groups, while Liberals are the most educated. Liberals have a slightly higher percentage of college graduates than Enterprisers; 49% of versus 46% of Enterprisers. Bystanders, those who chose not to participate in the political process, have the least percentage of college graduates (11%) and are tied with Disadvantaged Democrats as the most financially distressed” (n.d. 2005).
I would rather support the Democratic Party, even though I agree with several issues proposed by the Republicans. The Liberals do not have such a rigid ideological basis as the Conservatives do, and this is their advantage, because they have a possibility to develop. The Republicans have all chances to start killing everybody who does not want to guard the traditions. The ideas of the Democrats to develop the social care in the country and introducing of free medical services and education are great. In addition, their ideas are might gain more popularity in the nearest future. The sexual and ethnic minorities support the democrats, because they are promoting their social rights on the governmental level. The Liberals are against military conflicts and this subject is very urgent nowadays. Many American soldiers died during the wars in the Middle East and the US families do not want to loose their sons and fathers one more time for the sake of democracy out of their own country. In addition, the state budget can not afford supporting military instead of developing social care system. There ideas make the Liberals vary popular among the majority of Americans. However, the popularization of more ethical ideas about homosexuals, abortion and euthanasia create an atmosphere of a post-modern movie, where serious themes soon turn into kitsch. That is why is essential not to go to extremes in political views, because the position “my way or the high way” is not the right thing for ruling the big and the heterogeneous country like the US.
Bardes, Barbara A., Shelley, Mack C., Schmidt, Steffen W. American Government and Politics Today: Essentials. (2011 – 2012). Web.
(n.d.). Beyond Red vs. Blue Republicans Divided About Role of Government – Democrats by Social and Personal Values. Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. (2005). Web.
Saad, Lydia. Conservatives Remain the Largest Ideological Group in U.S. Gallup Politics. (2012). Web.