What Are Your Political Beliefs? What does a Conservative think? What does a Liberal think? Conservative Viewpoint “…people who generally like to uphold current conditions and oppose changes. Conservatives are often referred to as the right wing.” www.enchantedlearning.com/election/glossary.shtml “Of the two major parties in the United States, the Republican Party is generally considered to be the more conservative. “Political” conservatives in the United States usually support free-market economic principles and low taxes, and distrust federal, as opposed to state and local, government power. “Cultural” conservatives may be opposed to abortion or to the excesses of popular media.” www.uta.fi/FAST/GC/poliglos.html Conservative Viewpoint “A conservative is a person who in general opposes social change.” www.tomgreengop.org/politicalterms.htm “Traditionally, conservative means to favor things as they are and to be cautious. To be conservative politically is to respect traditional institution and distrust government solutions to problems.” warrensburg.k12.mo.us/iadventure/allamerican/glossary.html Liberal Viewpoint • “In the US political spectrum, “liberals” are said to be slightly left-of-center or somewhat left-of-center. Of the two main political parties, the Democrats are thought to be more liberal, as the term is currently defined…” www.uta.fi/FAST/GC/poliglos.html • “Traditionally, the word liberal means to be open to new ideas and tolerant of others. To be liberal politically, is to emphasize political and economic freedom. They tend to favor gradual changes in society and promote government programs to solve problems.” warrensburg.k12.mo.us/iadventure/allamerican/glossary.html Liberal Viewpoint • “…political or social views that put a great emphasis on creating new social patterns or values, often with the help of direct government action. (Contrast with conservative views, which put more emphasis on the importance of traditional values and social patterns.) Liberals view society as something that can be easily reshaped to meet changing conditions. They believe that many existing social patterns, including marriage, gender roles, and race relations are severely flawed and unfair.” www.fasttrackteaching.com/termsmodern.html OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS Do You Understand the Difference Between a Liberal and a Conservative? Label each of the following statements with a “L” if it is a liberal viewpoint and a “C” if it is a conservative viewpoint. 1. Liberal or Conservative • Marriage – A union between a man and a woman. A union between two consenting adults regardless of sexuality. 2. Liberal or Conservative • Abortion – A woman should have the right to choose whether or not she will carry full-term. Abortion should only be allowed in extreme cases – such as incest, rape or if the mother’s life is in danger. 3. Liberal or Conservative • Gun Control – The government should implement more policies regulating the type of guns that citizens are allowed to own. There should be no type of controls placed on our right to own guns as this right is protected by the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. 4. Liberal or Conservative Our national government should tax less and therefore allow its citizens to decide how best to spend their own money. 5. Liberal or Conservative When companies are given more economic freedoms they create more jobs and opportunities for citizens to become prosperous. 6. Liberal or Conservative Freedom of speech should be protected even if we find that speech offensive. 7. Liberal or Conservative Parents and students should be given the choice as to what type of schooling is best, even if that choice is a religious school. 8. Liberal or Conservative Our government has an obligation to provide for all of its citizens basic necessities like food and healthcare. Follow-up Activity • Visit the following websites and evaluate them to determine each groups political ideology. • • • • www.nraila.org www.aflcio.org/home.htm www.aclu.org/index.html www.immigrationforum.org • click on “Inside the Forum” • The viewpoint of each of these websites can be found on the following slides.