Many times, people get confused on which way they should go regarding political ideologies. There have been concerns about which political ideology has the best policies between the liberals and the conservatives or libertarians. However, as individuals, our wants or needs are the same, we all want prosperity, freedom, healthy living, crime-free environment and less suffering. The difference, however, comes on how we want to achieve all these objectives in life. Real liberals are considered to be those who believe that the government has the mandate to ensure people accomplish these objectives. Liberals feel that the government should work towards achieving equity and equality for all, protecting human rights and ensure all peoples problems are solved by the government. Conservatives, on the other hand, believe that they have a personal responsibility to solve their problems. Conservatives feel that the governments should only provide people with the freedom to pursue their own goals through people empowerment to be able to explain their issues rather than the government solving their problems for them as it is with the liberals. The truth of the matter is both liberals and conservatives need the government at some point, although in a different way. Therefore, the fact is actually in between; we cannot say liberals or conservatives have better policies. However, both ideologies are aimed at peoples well being the only difference is the approach (Gairdner 76).
Besides the fact that, liberals advocate for complete government control and no government control for the conservatives, they both want freedom in some way either social or economic freedom which is aimed at achieving the well-being of the people. In fact, both favor government control only that the authority in entirely different areas. The liberals tend to love freedom when it comes to the social and personal items. However, conservatives want freedom on business and economic matters. Although the Tories wish for less involvement of the government on issues concerning economics, they still want the government to be involved in social issues. There is some inconsistency among individuals regarding the ideologies because not all conservatives believe in less or no government involvement in economic matters. At the same time, not all liberals think in total government control on economic and social problems. The Libertarians seem to like both social and economic freedom (Krutz 108).
On the issue of abortion, for example, liberals feel that a woman has the right to decide on what to do with her body. According to them, the fetus is not considered as human life and therefore does not have rights. Liberals believe that, the decision to perform an abortion is personal and that it’s the government responsibility to protect that right. The right to affordable, legal and safe abortions courtesy of government taxpayer funds. The conservatives, however, feel taxpayer money should not be used to fund abortions because of them abortion is murder. Conservatives consider a fetus as a living human being and have rights like any other individual. Considering all these facts, people’s right to good health should be respected. So long as the life of the fetus endangers that of the mother, then one can be given the freedom to decide what is best to do, provided that they are informed of either consequence of their decision. The consent or declaration must be an informed one (Paterson 98).
On issues concerning the economy, the liberals advocate for a market system where the government has control over the economy. That the government should protect its citizen from businesses that have selfish and greedy intention. Liberals want government regulations to ensure the prosperity of the country is protected by the best public interest. They want more taxes which will be used more for social spending rather than military issues. Conservatives, on the other hand, want competitive capitalism which would bring the most significant opportunities for high standards of living among individuals. Conservatives wish to lower taxes to be used mostly for social things and are okay with military spending. considering both perspectives, the liberals and conservatives aim at ensuring economic safety, economic growth, peoples wellbeing and are all against exploitation by the private sectors which is a good thing. Both the liberals and conservatives favor taxation although on different things. In other words, they both do not want misuse or misallocation of taxpayer funds (Gairdner 102).
On matters health, the liberals want the government to be fully in charge of the health care system, providing free medical services so long as they pay tax. Conservatives, on the other hand, want an indirect involvement of the government such as through health insurance subsidized drug prices. Both ideologies are aimed at affordable health care; the only difference is that some want full government involvement and the other want semi-government involvement. In fact, looking at it, they both want the government to be involved in health care matters, meaning, that government still has a critical role to play in ensuring quality and affordable healthcare to its citizens. The libertarians, however, are not interested in the government involvement in matters health. Nevertheless, they want the healthcare industry to provide the best level of health service at a lower cost which is still in line with the other ideologies health agendas (Krutz 114).
The issue of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide has also played a critical role in ideological differences among the various ideological groups. The liberals are advocating for the legalization of the matter and conservatives firmly against the legalization of euthanasia. The reformers argue that, individuals have the right to a dignified death and that terminally ill patients can choose to end their pain or suffering and that the government should not interfere. According to them, interference by the government amounts to forcing a person to go through suffering and pain at a very high cost which would otherwise be used to benefit others. The conservatives, on the other hand, believe that euthanasia is unethical, immoral and should never be legalized. They think that the medical practitioner has a responsibility to provide compassionate care and alleviate patients suffering. The conservative’s fears, however, lie on the risk of assisted suicides even to patients who are not critical upon legalization of euthanasia which will devalue human life. Considering people have the freedom of choice, it is necessary to respect their decision and choices so long as their choices are not made out of ignorance (Krutz 132). They must be informed of the benefits and risks involved before they make that specific choice either to opt for euthanasia or not. Both liberals and conservatives, however, have a common goal of alleviating patients suffering and giving human life more value and dignity. The only difference is again the approach.
Concerning gay marriage, the liberal believes that marriage should be between two people who love each other, whether gay, bisexual or lesbian as dictated by equality of human rights. According to liberals, all individuals have the right to marry and therefore prohibiting gay marriage will infringe other people’s civil rights. Conservatives, on the other hand, believe that marriage must be between a man and a woman. They accept same-sex marriages violates religious beliefs, and that is morally unacceptable. Considering all facts, people should be allowed to make their decisions according to their interest so long as in exercising their right; they are not infringing on the rights of other individuals. In general, the liberals are considered to support gay marriage, drugs, social security, welfare, immigration, abortion, government health care while the conservatives oppose. The conservatives on the other hand advocate for fewer business regulations, fewer labor laws, lower taxes. All these are aimed at the wellbeing of the individuals; the only difference is opinion, test, and preference which is normal and healthy in an environment (Gairdner 127).
In between the various political ideologies, there is an aspect of government involvement although through different approaches. The whole idea revolves around the level, and amount of freedom people are comfortable with. Less government involvement translates to more freedom and more government involvement means less freedom. As people grow, however, they tend to be exposed to these differences, make a choice which should be respected as per the constitution. The government, yet, have a crucial role to play in ensuring people live in a comfortable environment regarding security, healthcare, education and other essential things in the life of its citizen. Authoritarian governments, however, are not mainly constructive but rather destructive and should not be entertained.
Gairdner, William. The Great Divide: Why Liberals and Conservatives will Never, Ever Agree. 2015.
Krutz, Glen. American Government. 2016.
Paterson, David. Liberalism and Conservatism. 2001.