Presentation on theme: "The U.S. Political Spectrum LIBERAL (“Left”) CONSERVATIVE (“Right) DEMOCRATREPUBLICAN Where do YOU stand?"— Presentation transcript:
The U.S. Political Spectrum LIBERAL (“Left”) CONSERVATIVE (“Right) DEMOCRATREPUBLICAN Where do YOU stand?
A person’s views on the issues help determine where they fall on the political spectrum. The labels used on the spectrum are not pure categories, but they make up a continuum, or value line, and citizens and politicians fall somewhere on that line depending on what they believe. The Political Spectrum
The Factors that Shape Views Two (2) major factors shape political views: 1.The first is how much change a person is willing to have within their society & government. 2.The second deals with how much government involvement in the economy a person calls for. Other Factors: Family & up-bringing. Gender & Race, & Ethnicity. Religion. Region of the country.
To see where you stand, you would have to figure out where you stand on a number of: Social (people-related). Economic (money-related). and Political (governmental) issues. First you need definitions of the terms: Radical Reactionary. Liberal. Liberal. Conservative. Conservative. Some authors include the terms authoritarian and libertarian. Political Labels
What is a Radical? Seen as being on the far left of the political spectrum, radicals call for wide-sweeping rapid change in the basic structure of the political, social, or economic system. They may be willing to resort to extreme methods to bring about change, including the use of violence and revolution. V.I. Lenin: Mastermind of the Russian Revolution and Father of the Soviet Union
What is a Reactionary? Sitting on the far right of the ideological spectrum, reactionaries want to go back to the way things were—the “good ol’ days.” Often reactionaries are willing to use extreme methods, such as repressive use of government power, to achieve their goals. The term “reactionary is generally negative. A positive way to say the same thing is “arch-conservative.” Hitler’s Mein Kampf is a typical reactionary manifesto
What is a Liberal? Liberals believe that the government should be actively involved in the promotion of social welfare of a nation’s citizens. They usually call for peaceful, gradual change within the existing political system. They reject violent revolution as a way of changing the way things are, often called the status quo. Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King
Liberty & equal rights. Liberals favor government-funded programs that address inequalities that they view as having derived from historical discrimination. A large majority of liberals favor universal health care, with many supporting a single-payer system. A majority also favor diplomacy over military action Favor stem cell research, Favor the legalization of same-sex marriage Favor secular government (officially neutral in matters of religion) Favor stricter gun control Favor environmental protection laws Favor preservation of abortion rights Immigration & cultural diversity is deemed positive; liberals favor cultural pluralism, a system in which immigrants retain their native culture in addition to adopting their new culture Most liberals oppose increased military spending and the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings Liberals include most of academia (college professors) & large portions of the professional class What is a Liberal?
The DEMOCRATIC Party’s liberal platform is largely considered center- left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous operation in the United States. The party contains the most registered voters of any political organization in the world as of 2004, with 72 million voters. From 2006 – 2010, the Democratic Party had been the majority party in both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. However, as of the 112th Congress following the 2010 elections, the Democratic Party still holds a majority in the Senate, but now holds a minority of seats in the House of Representatives. President Obama is a Democrat. DEMOCRATIC Party
What is a Moderate? Moderates may share viewpoints with both liberals and conservatives. They are seen as tolerant of other people’s views, and they do not hold extreme views of their own. They advocate a “go-slow” or “wait-and-see” approach to social or political change. Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is generally seen as a moderate.
What is a Conservative? People who hold conservative ideals favor keeping things the way they are or maintaining the status quo if it is what they desire. Conservatives are usually hesitant or cautious about adopting new policies, especially if they involve government activism in some way. They feel that the less government there is, the better. They agree with Jefferson’s view that “the best government governs least.” Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) is widely regarded as the father of the modern conservative movement
What is a Conservative? A conservative adheres to principles of personal responsibility, moral values, and limited government. Former President Ronald Reagan said, "The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom.” Conservatives believe in: Limited government and balanced budgets Capitalism and free markets Classroom prayer Prohibition of abortion and respect for human life Traditional marriage, not same-sex marriage Laws against pornography The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms The death penalty Private medical care and retirement plans Canceling failed social support programs Enforcement of current laws regarding immigration Respect for our military... past and present Rejection of junk science such as evolution and global warming Minimal Taxation Federalism (Separation of powers among the National, State and Local governments) A strong national defense The upholding of the United States Constitution (strict interpretation)
Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP (Grand Old Party). Early Republican ideology was reflected in the 1856 slogan "free labor, free land, free men. Abraham Lincoln became the 1 st Republican President. The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S. political spectrum and is considered center-right, in contrast to the center-left Democrats. The Republican Party has the second most registered voters as of 2004 with 55 million, encompassing roughly one-third of the electorate. In the 112th Congress, elected in 2010, the Republican Party holds a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, and a minority of seats in the Senate. The party holds the majority of governorships, as well as the majority of state legislatures, and control of one chamber in five states. REPUBLICAN Party