I agree somewhat with Brandon Christensen on this, but I would add a few things and put it differently. I think one of the problems with Americans politics is that a lot of Americans don’t understand it. And people get labeled with political labels that don’t reflect their political ideology accurately for good and bad. The so-called mainstream media is a big cause of this problem, because many times they don’t understand the political labels, factions and ideologies that they talk and report about.
For example if you believe Barack Obama is a foreigner who was born in another country with no real proof of his American citizenship, you get labeled as a Conservative. Even though no real Conservative would want to have anything to do with the Birthers. Because of course they believe the President was born in Hawaii. If you believe in political correctness and that any critical speech that is directed at any minority group or minority in America is somehow not only a form of bigotry and hate, but that it should be censored and that government should step in shut down that type of speech and punish the people who express it, you get labeled as a Liberal. Even though the First Amendment was written by the Founding Liberals of America who gave us Freedom of Speech. And Freedom of Speech is and has always been the first Liberal Value.
If you look at the American political spectrum it goes from the Far-Left where you have Marxists who are Far-Left as people can get and then move a little right and you’ll find Democratic Socialists/Social Democrats. To Progressives who are still on the mainstream Left in America if you think New Deal and Great Society and move right from that and you’ll find where I am the Center-Left where Liberals sit. And then move to the Center-Right and you’ll find the Conservatives. A bit further right than that and you’ll find the Neoconservatives. Neoconservatives can be Far-Right as well if they believe that America should police the world and expand democracy through force and that national security is more important than individual freedom and civil liberties and are with the Christian-Right on the social issues. Go Far-Right and you’ll find the Christian-Right in America. Who want their religious beliefs and lifestyle enforces by government on the rest of the country.
The reason why Liberals are center-left and Conservatives are center-right and again I’m talking about Liberals in the real classical sense, Social Liberals who believe in both social justice and individual freedom people like Wendell Willkie, Jack Kennedy and many others and Conservatives like Barry Goldwater, Bill Buckley, Ron Reagan and many others, is because both sides are actually fairly close politically. Share similar principles, goals, values and even agree about government in the sense that neither sides wants a big government interfering into people’s personal and economic affairs. Both sides believe in our federal form of government, federal system and even federalism. We even tend to agree on a lot of social issues outside of lets say abortion, but don’t want government telling us what to do. We differ on the role of government. How should government be used to serve, not direct as many people as possible.
The reason why Liberals and Conservatives tend to look bad the with average American voter lets say who is not a political junky, or a hyper-partisan and tend to vote based on who they believe best represents them and not their party, is because the fringes on both sides who see bipartisanship and governing as surrender who promote big statist views on both sides get labeled either as Liberal, or Conservative based on what side of the political aisle they’re on. According to the mainstream media today’s Liberals are big government Socialists, or Statists who think people are stupid and need big government to manage both their economic and personal affairs for them. And Conservatives are people who want America to police and dominate the world and replace the U.S. Constitution with their version of the Bible. And throw all poor people off of public assistance, cut off all immigration and are all bigots.
When the facts are Liberals are Center-Left. People who believe in freedom and opportunity for all. Again individual freedom, plus social justice. Using government to expand freedom, not government dependence. And Conservatives believe in individual freedom and using the private sector even through taxpayer subsides to see to it that more Americans can achieve freedom as well. While the Neo-Marxists on the Left are the real big government statists. People who believe in political correctness and a form of leftist fascism, as well as a nanny state to make sure everyone in living healthy. And a welfare state to manage our economic affairs for us. With the big government statists on the Right being the Christian-Right in America. A combination of rightist Protestants and Catholics. But the so-called mainstream media won’t tell you these things, because that would require them to do their homework. And actually understand what liberalism and conservatism actually is.