Thursday, May 15, 2008

Defining Liberalism and Conservatism

If you have every been in a discussion with someone and all of a sudden they ask you to define a concept or idea that you are familiar with, but not intimate, it can be intimidating.

I have one good friend that asks people all the time when discussing government to name and describe the roles of the 3 branches of government and it is fun watching peoples reaction (granted I am sure I had the same one the first time he asked me the question). Likewise in discussions with people on the current presidential race or politics in general the words liberal and conservative are often bantered about synonymously with Democrats and Republican, but they have very little to do with the groups and more with personal views.

To me Democrats and Republicans can be liberal or conservative and quite frankly in the last 12 years or so I have not seen a bit of difference between either group.

To me a liberal values bigger government, more taxation, less personal responsibility, which leads to less overall personal liberty.

A conservative values smaller government, less taxation, more personal responsibility which leads to more overall personal liberty.

Following these definitions I would fall under a conservative. Which are you? How would you define these differently? What are your values?

Think about it the next time you go to the polls you can make an independent and informed decision without following the pundits and false prophets.

2 comments:

george said...

I would fall under the conservative definition here. Nice post.

Steele Street said...

Even if you accept your definitions, they are really tough when applied to actual candidates. Many politicians claim to be a conservative, yet have increased greatly the size of government. Others, get the liberal tag placed on them who's policies do not equate to your definition