Political Ideological Spectrum

The Ideological Spectrum

The ideological spectrum is a collection of the general public’s political viewpoints. This spectrum progresses from extreme to extreme; radical, reactionary, liberal, moderate, and conservative. Everyone lies somewhere on the spectrum; however, many people are unaware of where they lie or label themselves with labels to which they do not belong. Others believe they do not belong anywhere on the spectrum because they do not participate in political concerns. However, the truth is that they are most likely moderates or have strong feelings about political issues but are unaware of it. These labels of reactionary, moderate, liberal are not normally comprehended; the paper shall seek to explore these terms in details.

Understanding Liberals

A liberal is a phrase used to refer to a person who lobbies for change, new policies or new concepts. In the modern world, liberals are more interested in individual rights as well as state invention and control. They desire that each person be accorded equal rights, particularly on matters regarding health care, immigrants, wages and gay marital unions. They often offer great support to the disadvantaged members of the society, stating that the affluent persons ought to be taxed heavily to assist the poor (Knight 15). They want the government to offer protection for the people and ensure the safety of each individual. They advocate for the ban on firearm ownership and making work unions compulsory. They believe that death penalty must be prohibited. They want to reduce defense spending and eliminate Missile Defense program.

Understanding Conservatives

A conservative is a person who tends to avoid any change often staying in the status quo. Conservatives unlike the liberal are advocating for a strong military and taking crucial measures in protecting the country even if other nations should be invaded (Jost, Christopher and Jaime 320). They oppose the concept of giving amnesty to illegal aliens and desire to stop illegal migration by constructing a fence along the country’s borders, mostly the Mexican border (Jost, Christopher and Jaime 321). They also oppose abortion as well as euthanasia. They want the government to have more faith-based agencies such as having religions in learning institutions.
Conservatives encourage tax cut, keeping government out of business and having capitalistic and free market strategies (Knight 25). They advocate for the protection of gun ownership liberties and that crimes should receive the optimal punishment such as death penalty and individuals ought to be held liable for their own doings. Conservatives put high esteem on tradition and culture. The marriage between a man and woman ought to be maintained, and homosexuality should not be encouraged (Jost, Christopher and Jaime 320). Looking at the US presidents, the current president Donald Trump has some qualities of a conservative. He is attempting to build a wall along the US-Mexican border and he opposes abortion and gay rights.

The Extremes: Radical and Reactionary

Radical and reactionary are the extreme edition of the two labels. Radical is an extreme version of liberal. They prefer strong political, economic or social changes and support this without compromising (Sears and Carolyn 45). Some of the radical may even use harsh measures to achieve these changes. This may include wars, protests, violent demonstration, what they desire they must get. They are impatient with slow changes and want immediate transformations. Some of the radical, however, like pacifists do not favor the use of violence. Although they want changes, they believe that all human lives are important and no one to kill in the quest of changes (Sears and Carolyn 47). Examples of renowned radical include Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. King organized peaceful demonstrations which went a long way in ensuring fair treatment of the blacks and abolishment of segregation laws.

Moderates: The Middle Ground

Moderates are people who are in the middle ground. They do not have specific viewpoints, but they share opinions of either liberals and conservatives or both. They do not have extreme views, and they are receptive of any opinion and can compromise. They are satisfied with the society though they think there can be improvements in some areas. According to them, changes should be made gradually (Jost, Christopher and Jaime 326). This label at times, however, can be problematic, especially on contentious issues like abortion or gay rights, or military. Former President Barrack Obama can be seen as a moderate. His policies on heath care reforms, views on foreign policy as well as policies on economy reforms were gradual and non-detrimental.

Reactionaries: The Extreme End of Conservative

Reactionaries are on the extreme end of conservative. So conservative are they that they desire to undo the political changes or progresses. They prefer the society in his previous state probably in the early history. Reactionaries may resort to extreme measures to achieve their objective including violence or ears. This can be seen in early kingdoms, or monarchies, dictatorship, and wars were prominent.

Other Labels: Socialist, Communist, and Libertarian

Other labels include socialist, communist and libertarian. Socialists advocate for communal ownership rather than individual ownership. Lands, businesses, properties, as well as other belonging, should be owned by the community. They believed that society should be centered on cooperation rather than competition(Jost, Christopher and Jaime 320). This view, however, in the current world can be problematic. People are more enlightened and have different viewpoints and personalities. They are more aware of their rights and would not want to be controlled.
Communists on the other hand advocates for classless and stateless societies. They seek to eliminate problems that a capitalist economy has and individuals ought to have equal access to all services. They however often share the same viewpoints with socialists. Karl Marx is a renowned communist who believed that the inequalities and sufferings in the world are as a result of capitalism where the rich exploit the poor (Sears and Carolyn 35). Libertarians are people who value personal freedom. They believe that the government should safeguard all citizens against internal or external violence, however, leave them to deal with heir problems alone. The government should not interfere with individual lives, decisions in private businesses among others. According to them, the government should offer equal rights to all citizens without reference to religion, economic status or race (Sears and Carolyn 41). They should be allowed to enjoy the fruits of their labor without any interference. Libertarians simply want minimal state involvement in personal lives and choices and values free will.

Personal Political Views

Being a military veteran, I am a conservative. I believe our great country ought to be safeguarded, and borders should be safe from illegal immigrants who might come and engage in criminal activities in the US. For a country to be safe, military ought to be properly equipped, and having been in the military; I know the importance of sophisticated military weaponry. When a country is not protected, the security of the citizens is threatened. If tough measures were not taken after the 9/11 attacks, the country might have faced other terrorist attacks. Secondly, life is very important, so abortion should never be legalized. Individuals should use family planning rather than abort. Abortion should not be done in cases of risk of life or rape. The US is a democratic nation, however, there is a culture that keeps the nations grounded. Although free will is encouraged, it should not be used to encourage immoral behaviors. And finally, changes in the policies should be gradual so that it does not disrupt the current system.

Works Cited

Jost, John T., Christopher M. Federico, and Jaime L. Napier. “Political ideology: Its structure, functions, and elective affinities.” Annual review of psychology 60 (2009): 307-337.
Knight, Kathleen. “Liberalism and conservatism.” (1999).
Sears, David O., and Carolyn L. Funk. “The role of self-interest in social and political attitudes.” Advances in experimental social psychology 24 (1991): 1-91

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