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Republican, Democrat - The two main political parties in America. Different political beliefs and philosophies can and do exist within a political party, which is why you see disagreement in Congress on proposed legislation even when one party controls the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House.
Conservative, Liberal - Historically the two main political philosophies in America. In theory, republicans and democrats can be either conservative or liberal, but in practice (at the moment anyway), only the republican party contains both liberals and conservatives. Democrats are always liberal, only differing by the degree to which they are liberal. Sometimes they are so liberal they border on being socialists (e.g., Bernie Sanders).
The Left - A reference to liberals.
The Right - A reference to conservatives.
Fiscal Conservative - Conservative with respect to financial issues such as taxes and economics. Usually used when describing somebody who is conservative on fiscal issues, but liberal on other issues (e.g., abortion, the environment, gun rights).
Social Conservative - Conservative with respect to social issues such as abortion and marriage. Usually used when describing someone who is conservative on social issues, but liberal on other issues (e.g., government, taxes, gun rights). Many members of the church are in this category because they are conservative on abortion and marriage but liberal on guns and the role of government (because they favor using taxpayer money to help the poor).
Here are the policy positions of each, by issue:
|Issue||Liberal Position||Reason for Liberal Position||Conservative Position||Reason for Conservative Position|
|Government||Favor big (in size) government with lots of rules and regulations on businesses and citizens.Favor lots of government control.||The bigger and more involved government is in our lives, the more powerful the politicians who run it become. Individual citizens are liberal because (whether right or wrong) they want to impose their beliefs on others and the only way they can do that is through government.||Favor small and limited government.Favor small amounts of government control.||To be consistent with the Constitution and the beliefs of the founding fathers who wrote the Constitution.|
|Taxes and Government Spending||Favor the high taxes and high government spending needed to pay for the big government and government control they want.||Higher taxes mean more government control and power when determining who pays taxes to government and who gets money from government. Politicians of both political parties like this power because it makes them important to those seeking tax breaks. Liberals citizens support high taxes to fund the programs that impose their beliefs on others.||Favor low taxes and low government spending.||Conservatives believe that people are better decision makers with their money than government.|
|Immigration||Favor open borders and legal and illegal immigration.||Unknown. Liberals should be against immigration to help blue collar wages rise. I suspect they support immigration to America because immigrants overwhelmingly vote for liberals (mostly Democrats) and because immigrants are coming from countries with similar political view as liberals (e.g., less freedom, more government control).||Favor open borders and legal immigration. Do not support illegal immigration solely on legal grounds.||Most conservatives believe that immigration is good for the economy and helps businesses meet their labor needs without consideration for what is good for the American worker.|
|Trade||Support free trade without restrictions.||Unknown. Liberals say they are for the working class so they should be against free trade. The only explanation that makes any sense is that liberals want the middle class job losses from the free trade deals so they can exploit the resulting income inequality for votes during elections.||Support free trade without restrictions.||Conservatives support businesses without consideration to the American worker. Conservatives believe that when businesses do well, everybody does well, even though there is absolutely no evidence to support this belief.|
|The Economy & Economics||Favor government control using laws and regulations.||Because they believe that government can solve economic problems.||Favor "free" markets.||Because they believe the free market can solve problems better than government.|
|Corporations||Believe corporations are excessively greedy and the cause of income inequality.||Because there is some truth to this and because they can politicize this issue for votes.||Believe corporations serve the public and that the profit motive is what motivates entrepreneurs to provide goods and services to the rest of us.||Because there is some truth to this.|
|The Wealthy||Believe the wealthy got wealthy by taking advantage of others.||Because there is some truth to this.||Believe that the wealthy deserve to be wealthy because they work hard and take all the risks.||Because there is some truth to this.|
|Income Inequality||Believe that income inequality exists and is caused by an unfair economic system. Believe that the role of government is to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor.||Favor government control on this issue.||Most conservatives believe that income inequality is a result of the differences in the productivity of people (some work harder than others and some are smarter than others.)||Believe in the free market solution.|
|Labor Unions||Claim to support labor unions.||Unknown. Perhaps it's to give the appearance of supporting blue-collar workers to get their votes on election day. I say appearance because their trade and immigration policies hurt blue-collar wages and jobs.||Do not support labor unions.||Conservatives do not support labor unions because they think (right or wrong) that they are bad for businesses, because they believe in free market principles and because they believe that a rising economy helps everyone, even though there is no evidence to support this belief.|
|Individual Freedom and Liberty||Favor government control over individual freedom.||Reasons range from genuine reasons (believing government can help) to wanting more political power for themselves and the ability to impose their beliefs on others.||Favor individual freedom over government control.||Conservatives believe in small, limited government in accordance with the Constitution.|
|Gun Rights||Favor banning law abiding citizens from owning firearms.||Unknown. One possible explanation is that citizen ownership of guns prevents government from having complete and absolute control.||Support the rights of law abiding citizens to own firearms.||Support individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution.|
|The Constitution||Are either indifferent to the Constitution (i.e. they ignore it), or believe the Constitution is a "living document" (meaning it changes with the times).||Because the Constitution conflicts with their goals of large amounts of federal government control.||Conservatives obey the Constitution as written and as intended by the founding fathers.||Because conservatives believe in small, limited government and the individual rights and liberties protected by the Constitution.|
|The Environment||Believe that the earth is warming and that the warming is caused by humans and that humans have the ability to take measures that could lower the temperature of the earth. Believe in government control of the environment via rules and regulations on individuals and businesses.||Some genuinely want to preserve the earth. Some want to implement environmental policies to gain additional control (and subsequent power) over society.||Favor protecting the environment when it makes economical sense. Do not favor large amounts of environmental regulations that increase the costs of doing business.||To keep American businesses competitive in the global market place and to keep prices low for consumers.|
|Welfare, Food Stamps & other Government Assistance||Favors maximum government assistance and the taxes on the "rich" to pay for it.||To control people and get more people to vote for liberal policies and bigger government. Favor government redistribution of wealth.||Favors government assistance only for those unable to work (i.e. disabled).||Because the Constitution does not give government the power or authority to take from one American for the purpose of giving it to another American.|
|Marriage||Support gay marriage.||Support the rights of gays to participate openly and equally in society.||Do not support gay marriage. Favor marriage between one man and one woman.||To support the family unit for the benefit of their children and in accordance with the teachings of their Church.|
|Abortion||Favor the right of the woman to have an abortion at any time even if the fetus could survive outside the womb on its own.||Favor the rights of women over the rights of the unborn.||Favor the rights of the unborn fetus especially if the fetus can live outside the womb.||Believe in the rights of all people including the unborn. Against abortion in accordance with the teachings of their Church.|
Nationalism, Globalism - Two relatively new (to most people) political philosophies in America and the most important in modern times. Nationalists believe in doing what they think is best for their own country, not the world. Globalists believe in looking at the "world view" and doing what they think is best for the world. Globalism is not Imperialism. Imperialism is the spreading of power militarily or by diplomacy to increase the footprint of the country including its borders. Globalism is instead a political philosophy that recognizes no borders whether it pertain to the movement of people (immigration) or multi-national corporations. Imperialism is empire building whereas globalism is the elimination of sovereign countries though the elimination of the host nation's borders, language and culture.
Here are the policy positions of each, by issue:
|Issue||Nationalist Position||Reason for Nationalist Position||Globalist Position||Reason for Globalist Position|
|Jobs||Favor policies that promote job creation in America.||Because good paying jobs for Americans is the only thing keeping America from voting for socialism.||Supports policies with no preference for American job creation.||Globalists favor what is best for multi-national corporations not American workers.|
|Immigration||Against Immigration.||Because immigration hurts the wages of American workers, because increasing the supply of labor reduces its value and cost to corporations. It's simple supply and demand.||In favor of immigration. Favor the free flow of labor without border restrictions.||Favor what is best for multi-national corporations not American workers.|
|Trade||Against "free trade" deals like NAFTA, GATT and the TPP.||Because these free trade deals give American businesses incentive to lay off American workers and move their factories to foreign countries.||Favor free trade deals like NAFTA, GATT and the TPP.||Favor what is best for multi-national corporations not American workers.|
|Multi -National Corporations||Favor the interests of the American worker over the interests of multi-national corporations.||Favor corporate profits except when corporate profits are at odds with the interests of American workers (e.g., when moving factories to other countries).||Favor the interests of multi-national corporations over the interests of American workers.||Favor maximum corporate profits even at the expense of the American worker.|
|Income Inequality||Believe income inequality is caused by corporations moving good paying factory jobs to foreign countries (e.g., via free trade agreements).||Because there is some truth to this.||Most believe that income inequality is a result of the differences in the productivity of people (some work harder than others and some are smarter than others).||Because there is some truth to this.|
SCOTUS - Supreme Court of the United States.
POTUS - President of the United States.
Progressive - Another word for liberal. A word liberals are using to rebrand themselves as something desirable (i.e. "progress").
Crony Capitalism - A term used to describe politicians awarding government contracts in exchange for favors such as campaign contributions or the promise of a job after the politician leaves office.
Income Inequality - A term used to describe the diverging wealth between the rich and the poor.
Tea Party - Not a political party. Refers to those who favor low taxes and the return to constitutional government (i.e., government that operates within the limits of the Constitution).
Debt (National) - A reference to the total money borrowed and owed by the federal government (approx. $20 Trillion).
Deficit (Budget) - A reference to the annual budget shortfall which gets added to the national debt each year.
Unfunded Liability - A reference made to money the government has promised to pay in the future (usually from collecting money in the past) but doesn't have because the previously collected money was immediately spent instead of being saved. Estimates of the amount of the U.S. government's unfunded liabilities range from $100 Trillion to $200 Trillion dollars.
CAUTION: Beware the deceptive way politicians speak. For example, when a liberal politician (Democrat or Republican) says that they "cut" funding or spending, they mean that they cut the increase, not that they cut the amount. To these politicians, if the spending was going from 1 million dollars to 2 million dollars, but was changed to 1.5 million dollars, they see that as a "cut". Obviously this is absurd because it increased from $1 Million to $1.5 Million for a 50% increase in funding. Only in Washington D.C. is this a cut.
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