Political spectrum: left or right?

Author: | Former Editor in Chief November 6, 2012 1:30 am

College is a great time to drop all preconceived notions you may have about certain political beliefs or parties. As you are challenged to learn to think critically while in college, it’s time to stop letting others tell you what party you belong to.

Below, we offer a bit of a political primer to catch you up on all the terms and commonly held beliefs of each party. For starters, the left and the right refer to opposite ends of the political spectrum; liberals are left-wing, while conservatives are right-wing. Generally, Democrats align with liberal beliefs, while Republicans align with conservative beliefs.

Read the description of the beliefs of both liberals and conservatives on the important issues below, and see where you fit in.

LIBERALS

Abortion

A woman should have the choice to decide what happens to her body. A fetus does not have individual rights, as it is not a human life. Women that cannot afford abortions should receive a taxpayer-funded abortion.

 

Death Penalty

Do not support the death penalty. It is cruel and unusual punishment. Each execution is the possible death of an innocent being.

Economy

The government needs to regulate the economy in part by monitoring the private sector, as the government’s job is to look out for the public interest.

Education

Public schools provide the best opportunities and education. Raising teacher salaries and reducing class sizes is the best for education today.

Energy

Oil is becoming a depleted resource. The U.S. needs to start looking into alternative energy (such as wind and solar power) and put money for research toward it.

Global Warming or Climate Change

Burning fossil fuels leads to increased carbon dioxide, which causes climate change. Clean energy investment can reduce the effects of climate change. Laws to reduce carbon emissions are necessary.

Gun control

The second amendment does not give Americans the right to bear arms, but only allows for a state militia. The local and federal government needs to protect citizens; citizens do not need guns to protect themselves.

Health care

Anyone who cannot afford it should be provided health care through low-cost government-controlled healthcare.

Immigration

Those who enter the U.S. illegally deserve amnesty. Immigrants deserve all educational and health benefits, as well as rights, citizens receive.

Racism

Minorities are still without the same opportunities that whites have. Racism is still prevalent. Affirmative Action gives minorities opportunities they never had.

Religion in government

Support separation of church and state. Religious expression has no place in government. References to God should not be displayed in federal buildings.

Same-sex marriage

Marriage is the union between two people that are in love, whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender individuals. All individuals should have the same right to marry.

Taxes

Government can help the poor by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Taxes create jobs and give the government the ability to create welfare programs.

CONSERVATIVES

Abortion

Human life begins at conception. Abortion is the murder of a human life. An unborn baby has separate individual rights from those of the mother. Taxpayers should not fund abortions. Most conservatives support the Partial Birth Abortion Ban.

Death Penalty

Execution is a just punishment in the case of murder. The death penalty isn’t cruel or unusual. The victims must be kept in mind.

Economy

A free market system and private enterprise are best for the economy. Free markets bring more jobs; reduce government regulation.

 

Education

Education vouchers provide competition. Vouchers allow parents that aren’t particularly wealthy to choose a private school for their child.

 

Energy

Oil, gas, and coal are plentiful in the U.S. Oil drilling on land and at sea should be increased. Wind and solar energy will not be affordable or abundant enough.

Global Warming or Climate Change

The global temperature will change over long periods of time. Science doesn’t show humans can affect a change in earth’s temperature. Laws to reduce carbon emissions will only cost money.

Gun control

The second amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms. Each citizen has the right to protect him or herself. There are too many gun control laws now; further laws will not lower the crime rate.

Health care

Competitive, free market health care is best. Low-cost programs result in lower quality health care.

Immigration

Support only legal immigration. Entering the U.S. illegally does not give you the same rights that legal citizens have.

Racism

Racism is an injustice of the past. There are laws that protect individuals in today’s society. Affirmative Action creates reverse discrimination.

 

Religion in government

The words separation of church and state are not in the Constitution. God can be acknowledged in public schools and buildings. Government shouldn’t interfere with religion.

Same-sex marriage

Marriage is the union between one man and one woman. Support Defense of Marriage Act, which gives states the right to not acknowledge same-sex marriages licensed in other states.

Taxes

Support lower taxes and smaller government. Government programs give people a reason to be lazy; they don’t encourage people to work for their living.

Some information and ideas for this article were taken from a list done by Student News Daily.

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