The Liberal Side
By India Afriyie
Welcome to America, a country where politics splits itself between the Left and The Right. Each position has strong opinions regarding social, economic, and environmental issues. These include lifestyle and religion. I must disclaim, this is a general idea of the basic ideology of liberalism, with the consideration that there are many subdivisions and groups with differing opinions. Many young, low-income, and people of color fall on the left side of the political spectrum. Whereas many old, high-income, and white people fall on the right side of the political spectrum. Because of this college campuses have a large number of liberal voters. Liberals believe the government’s job is to solve social issues while attempting to create social equality all. But what are the left sides actual views on political and social issues and what does it mean to be a liberal?
The Social Side
If liberals governed society, everyone would have peace and we would all be riding unicorns to work. It is obvious this statement is not true. The bottom line is, liberals can’t design a utopia. A real utopia would be combine all walks of life in balance. The liberal social side does, however, claim the map to an open and tolerant mindset.
There are many videos of police killing or harming unarmed black men released on social media. Conversations about whether the police are correct to react with excessive force have begun. The liberal party’s discussion would be an analyzation of the relationship and history between black people and the police. Highlighting how it has always been averse. They would talk about the negative stereotypes that surround the black community, such as them being the aggressors or more prone to committing crimes. After this, the next discussion would surround the legal system favoring police officers and disfavoring black people. Finally, commenting on how the media demonizes black victims of these crimes. Liberals dissect these crimes through a race lens.
Another major social issue split between the two sides is Gay and Trans rights. In June of 2015, the United States of America legalized gay marriage. This was a tremendous victory for liberals. The liberal mindset is that everyone has the right to the pursuit of happiness and marriage regardless of your sexual orientation. An unsolved issue with gay and trans rights is transgender use of bathrooms. Transgender people want to use bathroom of the gender they identify with. Some people see this as inappropriate. They argue that trans people could use their access to bathrooms as a chance for sexual assault. Liberal’s retort that there is no basis that transgendered people will cause any issue using their preferred bathroom. There is, however, evidence to suggest that transgendered people are in danger if they use the bathroom for their biological sex. A major part of liberalism, is tolerance; if no one gets hurt, then people can to live their personal lives with freedom.
The Economic Side
If you find yourself in detest with our current system of poor people being caught in cycle of poverty despite working 40+ hours, you might be a liberal. The liberal mindset centers equality; regardless of where you’re from you should be able to have an equal chance at having dinner every night.
A liberal believes that the government should step in and assist those in need with programs and plans created to help them. These plans include things like universal health care and food stamps. Because conservatism favor limited government, there is a divide on government involvement. People believe in personal accountability. The assumption that if you work hard enough you will not be poor. This is not true because of the obstacles that low-income people have to face. The left argues that regardless of personal accountability there should be a basic living standard we all live by.
Minimum wage; an issue you wouldn’t think could draw rigid lines but you’re wrong. Created as the Fair Labor Standard act in 1938, minimum wage by law requires employers to pay their employees a base wage. The first minimum wage was $0.25/hr, which would be about $4 today. Even though the country’s minimum wage increases every few years, it is still not keeping up with inflation. Caroline Fairchild of The Huffington Post reported that “according to a March study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the minimum wage should have reached $21.72 an hour in 2012 if it kept up with increases in worker productivity.” While liberals understand that there needs to be slow progress in the rise of minimum, understand it is impossible to live working 40+ hours on minimum wage.
The Environmental Side
Everybody lives on Earth, but somehow we do not agree on how to take care of it. Climate change and energy fall under the umbrella of environmental politics. While money is the main driving factors for issues in environment, this portion will discuss the issues outside of money, else this article will become about corporate greed.
Because fossil fuels are nonrenewable and drilling for oil is bad for the environment, many liberals push for natural energy resources such as wind and solar. The Student News Daily reported that it is the liberal stance that “the government must produce a national plan for all energy resources and subsidize (partially pay for) alternative energy research and production.” Liberals focuses on clean and renewable energy sources.
Global Warming is the destruction of the Earth’s OZone layer through the production carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. While many scientist have researched and support global warming, there is a large amount of people that do not believe in it. The Student News Daily found that most liberals propose “laws to reduce carbon emissions in the U.S. are urgently needed and should be enacted immediately to save the planet.”
People have many ideas of how the world should be controlled. America is unique because we have multiple people with vast different ideologies living together with (relative) peace. There is are no right or wrong ways to see the world. Liberalism offers a viewpoint that focuses on equality and human rights along with environmental welfare. It is not a perfect political party, but it has its strengths that set it apart from the other parties.
Fairchild, C. (2013, February 13). Minimum Wage Would Be $21.72 If It Kept Pace With
Increases In Productivity: Study. Retrieved April 26, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/13/minimum-wage-productivity_n_2680639.html
Conservative vs. Liberal Beliefs. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2017, from