PUBLIC OPINION: Ideology & the Scope of Government
WHAT IS POLITICAL IDEOLOGY?? • Consistent set of values and beliefs about the proper purpose and scope of government • Political Theories • Totalitarianism -- advocate unlimited power for the government to enable it to control all sectors of society • Anarchism -- oppose government in all forms • Political Labels in US Politics • Liberal • Conservative
LIBERAL V. CONSERVATIVE • Liberals tend to favor a more active federal government for regulating business, supporting social welfare, and protecting minority rights, but also prefers less regulation of private social conduct. • Also known as left wing • Conservatives favor more limited and local government, less government regulation of markets, more social conformity to traditional norms and values, tougher policies toward criminals • Also known as right wing
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS Liberals describe conservatives as reactionary, right-wing extremists Conservatives describe liberals as crack-pot, knee-jerk bleeding hearts
LIBERAL OR CONSERVATIVE • Government should not censor speech, press, media or the internet. • Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs. • Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security. • Replace government welfare with private charity. • Government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest
LIBERAL OR CONSERVATIVE • Government regulation of business usually does more harm than good. • Too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few large companies. • Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs. • The government should help those in need even if it has to raise taxes. • Government programs like welfare discourage people from working.
OTHER IDEOLOGIES • Moderates are those who lie in between liberalism and conservatism • Roughly 80% of all Americans fall into this category • Libertarians are those who wish to maximize personal liberty on both economic and social issues • Prefer a small, weak government that has little control over either the economy or the personal lives of citizens • Radicals and reactionaries