The Political Spectrum - LPS

The Political Spectrum - LPS

The Political Spectrum Where do you stand? What is a Continuum? A persons views on the issues help determine where they fall on the political spectrum. The labels used on the spectrum are not pure categories, but they make up a continuum, or value line, and citizens and politicians fall somewhere on that line depending on what they believe.

Factors That Determine Placement Two major factors shape political views. The first is how much change a person is willing to have within their society and government. The second deals with how much government involvement in the economy a person calls for. Others also bring in the question of how much freedom from government authority a leader is willing to give the people. Political Labels To see where you stand, you would have to

figure out your opinions on a number of social (people-related), economic (moneyrelated), and political (governmental) issues. What is a Radical? Seen as being on the far left of the political spectrum, radicals call for widesweeping rapid change in the basic structure of the

political, social, or economic system. They may be willing to resort to extreme methods to bring about change, including the use of violence and revolution. V.I. Lenin: Mastermind of the Russian Revolution and Father of the Soviet Union

What is a Liberal? Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Liberals believe that the government should be actively involved in the promotion of social welfare of a nations citizens. They usually call for peaceful, gradual change within the existing political system.

They reject violent revolution as a way of changing the way things are, often called the status quo. What is a Moderate? Moderates may share viewpoints with both liberals and conservatives. They are seen as tolerant of other peoples views, and they do not hold extreme

views of their own. They advocate a go-slow or wait-and-see approach to social or political change. Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) is generally seen as a moderate. What is a Conservative? People who hold conservative ideals favor keeping things the way they are or maintaining the status quo if it is what they desire. Conservatives are usually hesitant

or cautious about adopting new policies, especially if they involve government activism in some way. They feel that the less government there is, the better. They agree with Jeffersons view that the best government governs least. President Ronald Reagan is widely regarded as the father of the modern conservative movement What is a Reactionary?

Hitlers Mein Kampf is a typical reactionary manifesto Sitting on the far right of the ideological spectrum, reactionaries want to go back to the way things werethe good ol days. Often reactionaries are willing to use extreme methods, such as repressive use of government power, to achieve

their goals. The term reactionary is generally negative. A positive way to say the same thing is arch-conservative. The Political Spectrum Introduction What are political parties, and how do they function in our two-party system? A party is a group of people who try to control government by winning elections and holding public

office. Political Parties: Nominate candidates Inform and inspire supporters Encourage good behavior among members Govern once in office Perform oversight on government actions

What is a Party? Checkpoint: What are the three elements that make up a political party? The party organization is the party professionals who run the party at all levels by contributing time, money, and skill. The party in government includes the candidates and officeholders who serve at all levels of government. The party in the electorate are the millions of voters who identify strongly with a particular party and support its policies.

What Parties Do Parties express the will of the people in government. They can also encourage unity by modifying conflicting views and encouraging compromise. Parties nominatefind, recruit, prepare, and gather public support forqualified political candidates. Parties inform the public and try to shape public opinion, using all forms of media to campaign for or against opposing candidates and policy issues. Roles of Parties Parties act as a bonding agent to encourage accountability among their candidates and office holders.

Parties play a key roles in governing at all levels. Legislatures are organized along party lines and parties shape the electoral process. Partisanship guides many legislative votes and appointments to public office. Parties provide channels of communication between the branches of government. Common Good Whatever the differences between the left and the right in accepting change and involving the government, all viewpoints are helpful to society. They encourage us to

discuss, debate, and compromise while all work toward the best in our society. Liberal or Conservative? Left or Right? Favor political and social reform, usually government-driven; favor increased federal services (welfare, social security, Medicare, student-loans, etc); government intervention in the economy; consumer protection ensured by the government; government involvement in protecting the environment; guaranteeing the rights of people; and one which is different than

more involvement, tend to support less military. Liberal or Conservative? Left or Right? Tend to believe that a larger/powerful government threatens its citizens freedoms; support smaller government; support limited government involvement in economic issues (laissez-faire); tend to believe social problems should be handled on a smaller scale (state- level, community-level, churches, etc) generally support a stronger military.

Ideological Consensus Americans tend to share a broad ideological consensus. The United States is made up of many different cultural groups. While Americans dont agree on every issue, they do support the same basic freedoms. Strongly divisive issues have tended not to last for

generations. Building Consensus Both major parties try to be moderate and build consensus. Both parties tend to have a few major areas of policy differences while being rather similar in other areas. The similarities between parties arises because both parties are after a majority of voters in any given election. Both parties must compete for the many voters in the middle of the political spectrum.

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