Conservatism and Liberalism Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1734 Words
Date:  2022-02-21

In the American political environment, two important concepts govern the formulation of laws and policies. The concepts are liberalism and conservatism where both play a remarkable democratic role in shaping governance and formulating policies regarding critical issues brought by evolutionary social changes that took place over the years. Both conservative and liberal ideas aim at achieving the best practices that bring the best social good; however, both concepts differ in the means of achieving the same results. Though the liberal and the conservative's views on the role of government have been progressively changing over the years, their underlying principles have remained the same (Conway et al., 2016). These principles are the foundations of the various radical ideas attached to each group. Religion, justice, rights, liberty, and equality are important topics that each group attach a different degree of importance. The way these factors should influence governance has remained a significant topic of debate throughout the history of the United States. Americans from both sides of the divide feel that basing governance on the opposite side will undermine their beliefs and values and that is why the republican and the democratic states are in constant opposition on matters regarding governance. Both conservative and liberal ideas are devised for the general social good however conservative ideas fit better with the contemporary political environments and help effect changes from individual levels.

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As a matter of facts, we all desire good things in life ranging from equal opportunity, freedom, health, material access and few people suffering as possible. Achieving the best level of success in these aspects is the primary goal of both conservatism and liberalism. In my opinion, believe that conservatism is better faceted in helping individuals and ultimately the entire society in achieving the best in life. The reason for this is that conservatism cultivates behavioral change and accountability from individual levels. In a study carried out by Clarkson et al. (2015) to establish the linkage between self-control and political and social ideologies, conservative ideas are found to correlate with personal accountability and self-control. These positive traits have been associated with high personal achievement.

While liberals attribute causality to external factors including the government and sociocultural forces, conservatives attribute causality to dispositional or internal factors such as self-control and personal efforts. For instance, a student with a conservative mindset will understand that high achievement is a consequence of adequate studying efforts and will, therefore, dedicate more time and efforts to reflect the best results in their end-of-semester examinations. As a result, they are likely to achieve better results compared to their liberal colleagues. Comparatively, attributing causality to external factors will limit personal efforts and free will to effect change. The research by Clarkson et al. (2015) is consistent with this logic by stating that personal free will is critical to better achievement, and by discouraging the belief of free will decrease brain activation.

The contemporary worldview is one with equal opportunity with absolutely no need for affirmative action. I believe that any radical move by the government to allow or deny equal individual opportunity on the racial basis is total discrimination is morally wrong. We contend that discrimination occurred in the past due to the discriminatory system that existed back then. The modern educational and corporate environments allow for equal participation providing a leveled ground for high achievement for people of all races. Since we grow, interact and compete in the same environment with the same set of the rule of law and materials access capacity, there is no need for affirmative action. A race-conscious employment program, for instance, may discriminate the most suitable white conservatives who may be desperately looking for a job. Here, the choice made has no moral standing since the discriminated individual has never been part of the historical oppressors. Nevertheless, affirmative action is a sure way of promoting racism which despite the desperate efforts made by the government over the years to end the vise. Leslie, Mayer, and Kravitz (2014) highlight that affirmative action will alienate conservatism further and makes its something else that is not only conservatism but also anti-liberalism.

It is bad to assume that liberals are only composed of minorities and the people of color while conservatives are comprised of only the whites. Affirmative action will likely benefit members of minority groups and people of color with conservative ideas and strongly believes in conservatism. Also, there are white conservatives who are poor and in dire need of opportunities available to the other groups. Therefore, affirmative action is discriminatory to the whites and not conservatives. The group-specific programs targeting the minorities and the people of color supported and developed by liberals are bad policies that serve to foster racism rather than wakening. Marohn (2016) states that the so-called liberals who complain of racism are the ones promoting racism through affirmative actions. They further highlight that the current and future generations can weaken and end racism by not touching the hots buttons in a progressively healing society.

Conservatives believe that religion is indispensable in governance and administration of justice. The United States society is quite diverse, and the constitution supports freedom of worship and adherence to one's religion and cultural beliefs. Conservatism acknowledges the role of religion and culture and administering justice based on one's cultural obligations (Dolan, 2013). We contend that cultural and religious ethic contributes to a greater extent to proper personal behavior and ethical practices. Surprisingly, most religious morals are identical across religions and stem from ancient teachings passed from generation to generation. Conservatism constitutes upholding religious morals from personal levels and administration of justice. The study carried out by Paulo Sousa of the Queen's University Belfast, and Jared Piazza of the University of Pennsylvania found that most conservatives occasionally invoked religious ethics which they refer to as deontological ethics (Conway et al., 2016). On the other hand, liberals consistently invoke consequential ethics when faced with an ethical dilemma (Dolan, 2013). From the findings, conservatives judge morality based on the universal rule while liberals judge morality is basing on the action's outcomes. This suggests that liberals are more likely to engage in unethical practices when there is no risk of being apprehended. In a situation where the benefits of undertaking an unethical act outweigh their negative consequences, liberals are more likely to undertake the act.

In matters regarding human life such as abortion and the death penalty, conservatives are more conscious and oppose any possibility of ethics in the subjects. From this point of view, we can see human life as sacred, and no one has the authority to end it whatsoever. Regardless of social and religious morals, human life is paramount and utmost dignity ought to be attached. An unborn baby acquired separate rights from those of the mother since conception. Having the decision of whether to keep or terminating pregnancy made by an individual will lower the dignity of human life same to when a killer is simply subjected to life imprisonment instead of being killed.

The conservative and liberal ideologies on how the economy operates differ significantly. From the look of things, conservative ideas on economic stability and financial freedom seem to have a more profound impact relative to the liberal ideologies. While liberals strongly believe in the government policies to regulate markets and create opportunities for all, conservatives consider government intervention to be a major factor causing economic instability and uncertainties to potential local and foreign investors (Carson, Thomas, & Hecht, 2015) The constant policy changes make it difficult for private business organization to effectively plan and forecast (Carson, Thomas, & Hecht, 2015). Goldford (2015) suggests that well-intended but misguided government policies such as excessively easy monetary policies, attempts, and wider home ownership, the imposition of minimum wages brings temporary and short-term benefits but causes long-term harm to business organizations. On the other hand, liberals blame the private sector and unbridled free markets for economic instability. From their point of view, excessive leverage and speculations of the private sector create all the instability especially when the government steps in to bail them out and regulate the market.

Conservatives are skeptical about the government's ability to obtain and use the relevant economic data to implement appropriate discretional policies. They often prefer automatic policy rules such as market-determined income, balanced budgets, flexible exchange rates, and fixed money supply growth rates (Goldford, 2015). Practically, such policies provide a stable and predictable business environment relative to short-term policies that only serve to confuse business organizations and bring more uncertainty. Both the conservative and liberal approaches to the economic stability and equal opportunities are, but the means to achieve the ultimate goals brings all the difference. While liberals leave causality of their fate in the hands of the government, conservatives believe that a free market free from external interference will heal itself and will operate optimally indefinitely (Goldford, 2015).

Conservatism revolves around retaining the traditional beliefs, values, and practices. In the increasingly and rapidly evolving world, there is a need to adjust and allow for more flexibility to create room for innovation and ultimately technological advancement in disciplines such as biomedicine. Studies that involve living creatures more specifically, human life have been marred with conservatism and evokes strong debates (Nisbet, & Markowitz, 2014) Scientific inquiry has always led to the breakthrough and groundbreaking scientific discoveries leading to the invention of new medical techniques and procedures to deal with life-threatening medical conditions. Today, conservatives only support the umbilical cord stem cell and adult stem cell research. The adult stem cell research has lead to the invention of treatments for life-threatening conditions such as Parkinson's disease, leukemia, and spinal cord injuries. There is no yet discoveries made from embryonic stem cell research due to curtailment of the research by conservatives in developed countries (Nisbet, & Markowitz, 2014).


In conclusion, conservatism and conservative mindset are significantly important and a prerequisite for personal success and higher achievement. It fosters personal accountability and ethics of individual members of the society. The economic and financial independence perspective of a conservative is one that is more likely to give desirable results regarding personal financial success and economic stability that favors both domestic and foreign investment. Nevertheless, conservatism is less associated with radical policies that promote racism such as affirmative actions. These findings show that conservatism is more effective than liberalism. However, it does not mean that liberalism lacks positive aspects. A better democracy can be attained by bringing the positives of both concepts and merging them for better understand...

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