Most Republican members of Congress describe themselves, or are described by others, as “conservative.” Most Democratic members of Congress describe themselves, or are described by others, as “liberal.” Thus, the Republican Party is seen as the conservative political party, and the Democratic Party is seen as the liberal political party. I suspect that if a member of Congress had to read a bill without knowing who introduced it, i.e. read the bill on its own merits, and then decide whether to support it there would be a lot more meaningful legislation passed. Unfortunately, it seems that many members look to their political party to learn where they stand. It reminds me of a time when I saw a church member walk up to the pastor to inquire about a certain religious issue. The member asked, “What do I believe about that?”
Meanwhile, back to liberal versus conservative. From my perspective, I think that Senator Patrick Moynihan’s comment on the subject was very insightful, and helps us understand the difference in liberals and conservatives.
“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of society,” Moynihan wrote. “The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from himself.”