For nearly 100 years, Americans have been debating if conservatism, liberalism, or something in between is what’s best for the country. Still, there is one thing right now that Americans agree about. According to a new Gallup poll, government tops the economy, inflation, immigration, and crime as the country’s top problems today.
In short, Americans are frustrated with government policies, extreme partisans, and demagoguing. There is a failure of leadership to unite the country from the president on down. Democrats, independents, and Republicans all agree.
The poll was released as President Joe Biden prepares to jet around the country and start his latest demography tour.
Instead of focusing on moderating to the center, the White House indicates Biden will double down on his failed economic policies by calling them victories while continuing to attack Republicans.
So, I’ve decided it’s time for an honest and objective look at the core differences between conservatism and liberalism. When the contrasts are side-by-side, you can understand the battle lines that are drawn as both political parties seek the power they need from a majority of voters to enact their agendas.
Let’s be honest. Without a strong elected majority, no party can gain the consensus needed to employ an ideology or agenda.
Still, over the last few decades, the contrast has been lost about what conservatism and liberalism are and are not. In the demonizing of the two, the distinction is no longer about ideas.
Why is that?
Could it be that one holds more sway with the public on a given issue? To overcome its disadvantage, the side unable to capture the imagination of voters is left to hurl insults, slanders, and misinformation.
So, let’s dig into broad generalities about the contrasting ideologies:
Conservatism believes that a smaller government with fewer laws and regulations is more efficient at fulfilling its role in the US Constitution of protecting liberties and rights enshrined in the founding document.
Conservatives believe the private sector is better positioned in a free market to solve poverty and inequality with minimal government intrusion. Conservatives believe in low taxes and spending and want a balanced budget. As such, it believes that people should provide for one another’s means through charity and that high-income earners should be incentivized to invest in entrepreneurs who create jobs that ultimately help people move up the economic ladder.
Conservatism also holds to a more literal interpretation of the Constitution based on what each Amendment meant at the time of its writing.
It also holds a strong belief in self-responsibility.
Liberalism believes that the government should have a large role in regulating commerce and industries. It would tax people through a progressive tax system to pay for social programs such as universal health care and welfare programs, among others.
Liberals believe it’s the government’s role to provide for the less fortunate and tax higher-income individuals to pay for their programs.
Additionally, progressives believe people should look to the government to provide structure and create equity, sometimes at the expense of economic freedoms if necessary. Additionally, what the Constitution meant at its time of writing is insignificant. Instead, the main question is how should it adapt to the modern world.
The contrasts beg a few questions.
Which governing philosophy is most compatible with the Constitution and the free economic marketplace created by it?
Which one unleashes human potential and challenges people to rise from the bottom up?
Which one truly solves the problem of inequalities and gives people the best shot at hope, opportunity, and happiness?
I know which side I’ve settled on, and I’m ready and capable of defending it.
The Conservative Era, Copyright 2023