Conservatism vs. Liberalism

Topics: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, Democratic Party Pages: 2 (695 words) Published: September 10, 2012
Conservatism vs. Liberalism
Liberalism is defined as a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties. It considers the government as a crucial instrument for the improvement of social inequities. Liberalism was developed from ideals such as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier. Liberal’s believe that the government role should be to guarantee that no one is in need and have policies that generally call for the government to solve problems.

Conservatism is defined as a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change. It calls for lower taxes, limited government regulation of business and investing, a strong national defense, and individual financial responsibility for personal needs. Ronald Reagan’s economic and foreign policies were dominated by conservative principles. Conservative’s believe that the government’s role should be to provide people with the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals and have policies that generally call for empowerment of the individual to solve problems.

It is hard to say which movement has had a more positive impact on the United States because they have both had a great impact with good and bad ideas on both sides. If I was asked if I was a conservative or a liberal, I would have to say neither because there are things that I like and dislike about both. Look at Ronald Reagan’s Presidency, which was dominated by conservative principles; the federal tax revenues grew despite tax cuts and family income grew by 10% and his two terms were among the most prosperous in American history. But liberals like Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy have given us Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, and civil and women’s rights legislation, among many...
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