The American debate of liberals vs. conservatives

 

In this day and age most, if not all, Americans identify themselves as either a liberal or a conservative, a left or a right, a Democrat or a Republican. It is the power struggle that existed since the conception of this nation, the cause of our division. It started with our founding fathers and lasted all the way to modern America where bleeding-hearts and hard-heads are going at each others’ throats via social media.

However, despite the ongoing aggression by the two factions, many Americans do not truly understand the beliefs and differences between the two and simply stoop to name calling and stereotyping without any legit criticism nor the willingness to understand each other. Such division is neither beneficial to our society or our economy. As the nation stands divided we cannot stride to our full potential as an united country. Understanding each other and working together is the key to continuing the success of America’s “great” past.

Despite our drastic differences we have more in common than most people think. Both liberals and conservatives want many of the same thing: prosperity for our people, less crime in the streets, minimized suffering, and a healthy society for ourselves and the future generation; The argument comes from how to achieve these goals.

Liberals believe that it is the duty of the government to provide equal opportunity for all people and protect civil liberties and rights. They believe government intervention is essential in providing for the needy, leveling out the playing field for the minority, and making sure no child is left behind. Liberal standpoint stems out of change and acceptance, the need to accept individualism and embracing individual emotions and opinions.

Conservatives on the other hand, believe that it is the duty of an individual to solve their own problems, that there should be a limited government and all people are free to compete in the market according to their own ability. Conservatism originates from the belief of a more rigid and structured system, where physical and spiritual purity is valued highly, and respect for tradition and authority is essential.

When liberals see a hungry kid, they set out to change the law, amend the Constitution and collect taxes to prevent the child from going hungry ever again. When conservatives see a hungry child they feed the child and teaches the child how to catch fish so the child doesn’t go hungry again. This is the analogy used by Heather Summerville when she was asked about the fundamental difference between the two factions.

Both sides uphold noble causes that mean well and although there is disagreement on who should take care of the child (the government or the child himself), that shouldn’t take away from the respect we have for each other’s opinion and their validity.  

A person can hold a liberal standpoint when it comes to abortion but share a conservative value when it comes to the issue of private property ownership. Liberalism and conservatism are not two factions where we should belong to one and oppose the other, but rather they are two spectrums of solutions to an issue we must understand and choose when facing different dilemmas.

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