Do you consider yourself a liberal, conservative, or somewhere in between? Do you know what it is that makes someone a ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’?
Liberals, or liberalism, is a political stance that places utmost importance on protecting liberty. Liberals believe that the government is necessary, but should have boundaries to prevent it from becoming a threat. There are different variations of liberalism, but for the purposes of this fact sheet, we will focus on the modern-day liberal.
7 Facts about Liberals
In this post, let’s examine some interesting facts about liberals that may help you determine where you fall on the political line.
1. Liberals were the Backbone of the Constitution
The Constitution of the United States was based on the ideas of two prominent liberalists in history – John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham. Liberals generally support the guaranteed rights of all citizens, including the freedoms of speech, press, and religion. Liberals also support the right to bear arms.
2. Liberals Promoted Free Trade
Historically, it was liberals who spearheaded the idea of free markets and free trade. That is, the idea that all people should be free to buy and sell services and goods.
3. Liberals Believe the Government Should Provide Education and Healthcare
People in the liberal political party generally support the government providing some level of education to everyone. They also support improved access to healthcare, even if it requires tax increases.
4. Liberals Support Peace, Not War
Most liberals in the U.S. support a peaceful approach to disputes. Most consider peace important and believe that governments should work together to resolve conflict, rather than starting wars.
5. Not all Liberals are Democrats
Not everyone who considers themselves a liberal is a democrat. However, research shows that 47% of Democratic voters do consider themselves liberal-leaning. People who consider themselves conservative or moderate also frequently vote Democratic. Conservative and moderate voters make up just over half of Democrats.
6. Research Shows Liberals Think Differently
Research shows that people who self-identify as liberal think differently than those who identify as conservative. A few examples include:
- Liberals tend to be less squeamish
- Liberals have more ‘aha’ moments, or bursts of insight
- Liberals tend to look around more and follow gazes, rather than staying focused
- Liberals enjoy more abstract art than conservatives
- Liberals are more likely to describe themselves as optimistic
- Liberals are more accepting of scientific facts
7. Liberals Become More Conservative when Afraid
Research shows that, no matter the political stance, people generally become more conservative minded when they are afraid. One example is the months following 9/11, when the U.S. saw a large conservative shift. Studies also show that fear generally fuels conservative viewpoints and can change the way people think and respond.
Does ‘Conservative’ or ‘Liberal’ Really Matter?
Research follows voting trends and how Americans identify themselves politically. However, nowadays, it seems like there are more people who focus on their ideologies rather than putting a title on their political stance. It is entirely possible for someone to have conservative views but vote a Democratic ballot. And it is also possible for someone who is a Democrat to vote in favor of a conservative bill.
This makes one wonder what the future will hold for politics. Will the lines between political parties stay black-and-white, or continue to mesh into shades of gray?