4Ideology •Definition–Ideologyis a system of beliefs and values about the nature of the good life, society, the economy, moral values, and the role of government.–"Liberalism" and "conservatism" are the two dominant systems of beliefs and values in American and Texas life today.••••••••••••••••••
4Ideology •Conservatism–The basic conservative principle in economic policy is laissez-faire, but in practice conservatives often pursue "pseudo laissez-faire," that is, the theoretical assertion that an unregulated economy produces the best results coupled with practical support for government policies that help business to overcome problems in the market-place.–Commonly described as being on the “right wing” of the political spectrum, conservatives argue that economic problems are caused by over-regulation by government.••••••••••••••••••
4Ideology •Liberalism–Liberals are more apt to blame "market failure" for economic problems and to place more faith in the ability of government to direct economic activity.–Commonly described as being on the “left wing” of the political spectrum, liberals usually oppose government activity in the personal sphere while conservatives generally favor government regulation in areas such as religion, sexual activity, and drug use.–On foreign policy issues liberals and conservatives tend to follow partisan rather then ideological cues.–Because of these contradictions, ideological debates are often confusing, but in Texas as else-where ideological arguments form the basis for a great deal of rhetoric and intense disputes over public policy.••••••••••••••••••
4Ideology •Ideology in Texas–Texas has historically been dominated by a combination of the traditionalist and individualist political cultures which are translated, in the Texas case, into an ideology of political conservatism.–A 2002 survey reported that only 18 percent of Texans think of themselves as liberal while 52 percent call themselves conservative. –Self-report numbers may contain ambiguities but are sufficiently dramatic to emphasize the weakness of the liberal ideological tradition in Texas.–Although the national Democratic party is controlled by liberals and the national Republican party is controlled by conservatives, both parties in Texas are unusually conservative.–The Texas Democratic party is comparatively more liberal that its Republican counterpart because it contains a large and active liberal minority.••••••••••••••••••
4Political Socialization•Definition–The process of political socializationexplains how the attitudes and values of the conservative political culture that dominates Texas are transmitted from one generation to another.