Saturday, June 15, 2013

Do you know what the labels really mean?

So I was eating at the counter in the restaurant this morning when I overheard a few of the waitresses talking about politics and beliefs.

The way they were tossing them around I had the feeling they really didn't fully understand the meanings behind them so I thought I would bring them up here.  So let me bring up the Wikipedia definition of the basic ones.

Republican PartyCurrently the party's platform is generally based upon American conservatism,[1][2][3] in contrast to the Democratic Party, who endorse more liberal policies. American conservatism of the Republican Party is not wholly based upon rejection of the political ideology of liberalism, as some principles of American conservatism are based upon classical liberalism.[4] Rather, the Republican Party's conservatism is largely based upon its support of classical principles against the modern liberalism of the Democratic Party that is considered American liberalism in contemporary American political discourse

Democratic Partyis one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States along with the Republican Party. Since the 1930s, the party has promoted a socially liberal and progressive platform,[2][3][4] and its Congressional caucus is composed of progressivesliberals, and centrists.[5] The party has the lengthiest record of continuous operation in the United States and is among the oldest political parties in the world.[6]

Libertarian Party is an American third party that reflects the ideas of libertarianism. The Libertarian Party was formed in Westminster, Colorado, in the home of David Nolan on December 11, 1971.[7] The founding of the party was prompted in part due to concerns about the Vietnam Warconscription, and the end of the Gold Standard.[8] Although there is not an explicitly-labeled "left" or "right" designation of the party, many members, such as Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson, say they are more socially liberal than the Democrats, but more fiscally conservative than the Republicans.

Progressive: American progressives tend to advocate progressive taxation and oppose what they describe as the growing and negative influence of large corporations. Progressives are typically in agreement on an international scale with left-liberalism in that they support organized labor and trade unions, they usually wish to introduce a living wage, and they often support the creation of a universal health care system. In the United States, liberals and progressives are often conflated, and in general are the primary voters of the Democratic Party which has a "large tent" policy, combining similar if not congruent ideologies into large voting blocs. Many progressives also support the Green Party or local parties such as the Vermont Progressive Party.

Conservatism: Major movements within American conservatism include support for tradition, law-and-order, Christianity, anti-communism, and a defense of "Western civilization from the challenges of modernist culture and totalitarian governments."[109] Economic conservatives and libertarians favor small government, low taxes, limited regulation, and free enterprise. Social conservatives see traditional social values as threatened by secularism, so they support school prayer and oppose abortion and homosexuality.[110] Neoconservatives want to expand American ideals throughout the world and show a strong support for Israel.[111] Paleoconservatives, in opposition to multiculturalism, press for restrictions on immigration.[112] Most U.S. conservatives prefer Republicans over Democrats, and most factions favor a strong foreign policy and a strong military.

Now keep in mind these are small snippets from the sites I pulled them from.  I would strongly urge someone to go and read through them fully to get the full impact of what those simple terms mean.  Also these are just the basic terms that everyone uses, there are many more out there with their own set of definitions.

Now comes the next part which makes this fun.  There are so many different combinations of the above terms that could follow a persons belief system its hard to describe them all.  I will say that certain terms such as 'progressive' and conservative' are not limited to just one specific party.  In fact, they describe people in all of the parties.  So for example if you say you are a Republican, that can be broken down into other sub-fields   You can have a progressive Republican just as you can have a conservative Democrat or even other multiple combinations.

Another thing is the fact that you can have current leadership of a party have one belief in the spectrum and the main body of the party lean towards the other direction.  But why do people still vote for them?  That's a pretty easy answer.....

It's easy to 'vote' for the party.  It is pretty lazy and simple to do it that way but a large number of people by and large don't want to 'do the homework' and see who they actually like or what they truly believe in.  I know people that are part of a party because 'my mom/dad or family has been in this party for generations.  Well, I'd hate to tell them but parties change over time and readjust.  So the party that their parents were part of 20-30 years ago might not be the same party today.

More people need to do research and see where they stand.  It's amazing that we have the internet, this world wide web, a device where everything is at your fingertips.  The problem is though is that it seems there are fewer people today than even 15 years ago that will actually USE it to do some research, verify things and come to their own conclusions vs believing in what someone says.

So do me a favor, before you make a decision on a topic, do a little research over it.  You might be surprised as to what you will discover.

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