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Unformatted text preview: onservatives are slowly succeeding at pushing political leaders to the right
Supreme Court banned prayer in school in 1960s, going against majority of the public Supreme Court has sided with civil liberties even though the public tends to support more Gun Control police power in war Strong “self defense” culture in America Death Penalty “Tough on crime” culture in America Taxation No one likes to pay taxes Health Care Unfair some cannot afford health care Use of Force/War Patriotism Strong “national security” culture across US history
Dissenters accused of being unpatriotic A Summary of Ideology
Summary What defines a Liberal in America?
– Protect civil liberties first (over public safety) Promote personal freedom Engage in “good will” diplomacy
Build multilateral coalitions in dealing with world affairs Promote government activism (som) to produce more equality in society (e.g., mitigate differences in income) What defines a Conservative in America?
– Protect public safety first (over civil liberties) Morality and religion should be part of politics and law Engage in “clutched fist” diplomacy
Act unilaterally in world affairs if necessary Some nationalistic tendencies (America first) Promote smaller government (capitalism) to create opportunity in society A Summary of Ideology
Summary What defines a Moderate in America? – Do what works (pragmatism over principle) – Compromise liberal and conservative ideas to find a “middle
oftheroad” practical solution
– Some moral and nationalistic tendencies (in agreement with conservatives) Ideology in America
35 Percentage of respondents 30 * 17% of respondents said they hadn't
thought much about their ideology.
25 20 15 10 5 0 Extremely
liberal Liberal Slightly
liberal Moderate Slightly
conservative Self-reported ideology
Source: 2004 American National Election Study. Conservative Extremely
conservative Ideology of the Political Parties
Conservative Democratic Party
Green Party Tea Party
Party Political Party Libertarian
Party Elected Representatives? Party Actions in Practice Democrats Yes Promote bigger
government/government activism; favor
civil liberties over public safety;
moderately anti-business Republican Yes Limit bigger government/government
activism; favor public safety over civil
liberties; moderately pro-business Green No Strongly favor environmental
regulations; anti-business Tea (2010-present) No Smaller government – less government
spending; repeal Obama health care Libertarian No Favor civil liberties over public safety
and promote capitalism A Measure of Polarization
on the Issues
The distance between Democrats and Republicans measures the degree to which they agree or disagree
The greater the distance – the more intense the disagreement
The lesser the distance – the more Democrats and Republicans agree Conclusions
Conclusions How does ideology work in America? – The policies of our government are mostly moderate Why? » Public Opinion – the public tends to be moderate, and in a democracy, politicians try to accommodate a majority of the public to maintain their political power and to win the next election
» Separation of Powers – the powers of government are divided among three branches, no one branch can dominate politics, cooperation and compromise are necessary for all branches of government to agree on policy (i.e., agree on what government will/will not do) – Change in American politics is inspired by the ideas of ideologues (i.e., liberals on the far left and conservatives on the far right) Moderates take these ideas, water them down, and turn compromise solutions into government policy Ideologues always feel cheated by the compromise of their ideas...
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2012 for the course POLS 1337 taught by Professor Barnes during the Spring '08 term at University of Houston.
- Spring '08