Politics For Plebs: The Basics of Political Preference

By Sid Slesicki, Clarion Photo Editor

Among possible controversial conversation topics, such as religion, income level, race, and sexual orientation, politics comes to the forefront as a topic to generally avoid at most costs. However, while it is good to be aware of your conversational audience, being educated on the basics of touchy topics is a great way to see where your views align in the situation, and see the reasoning behind the opposing viewpoint. In this article, three basic political ideologies: Centrism, Liberal Leftism, and Right Wing Conservatism, will be presented alongside a few examples of the general ideological stances on political issues affecting the nation currently.

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Centrism: At the middle of the political spectrum is an ideology called centrism, and is widely characterized by its ideals advocating for logic-based and common sense solutions for current and future issues. Centrists tend to favor hard evidence in terms of providing reason to pursue certain causes, and emphasize doing what is right over doing what is deemed to be popular. In terms of stances on political issues, Centrists currently favor a market-based economy (when goods and services that are guided solely by the interactions of a country’s individual citizens and businesses with little government regulation), and want to reform the current political system to lower the influence of big money corporations within our legislative and electoral processes using government intervention (oh the irony), while putting an emphasis on clean energy usage for environmental conservation, and promoting a healthy diet to lower healthcare costs.

Left Wing Liberal Ideology: Those who support the causes of social equality and egalitarianism (the doctrine that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities) will find that the left side of the political spectrum will align most, if not completely with their ideals. Leftists tend to support a stronger democratic presence in society, believing that in order to maintain a balanced society, democratic rule is essential in making sure that one person or group doesn’t end up making conditions for the rest of society unfair. Additionally those on the left would mainly agree that human development flourishes when individuals engage in cooperative, mutually respectful relations that can thrive only when excessive differences in status, power, and wealth are eliminated. Political Parties who will typically adopt left wing ideals are the Democrats.

Right Wing Conservative Ideology: If you favor decisions that uphold traditional values, or protect the rights of individuals rather than the collective community, your ideology may swing towards the right side of the political spectrum. Right leaning individuals favor lowered taxes in order to provide more income for the individual citizen, gun rights, low government interference in the life of constituents, and a high support of Capitalism. Political parties who usually adopt conservative ideals are usually Republicans.

Despite the general usage of political affiliation to associate traits of either side of the spectrum to individuals who align with a certain side, it is important to note that while you may have ideologies that differ with the views of others, this is okay in most instances. It is a common occurrence in politics to see officials adopt views on both sides of the spectrum, and just because someone aligns mostly with one side, doesn’t mean they can’t adopt or agree with common stances taken by the opposing political ideology.




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