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Left-Wing vs. Right-Wing in America

left rightLeft-Wing vs. Right-Wing in America 

The basic differences between left-wing and right-wing ideologies are perhaps best explained by the rights of individuals vs. the power of the government. Left-wing practitioners are socialists in that they believe society is better served with greater government intervention. Those on the right, the conservatives believe that the best outcome for society is achieved when individual rights and civil liberties are paramount and the role of the government is minimised.

Take a look at the American version of Left vs. Right. You will also see where the New York Times sits.

Comparison chart



Political Philosophy Socialist   Conservative
Economic Policy Income equality; higher tax rates on the wealthy; government spending on social programs and infrastructure; stronger regulations on business.   Lower taxes and less regulation on businesses;    reduced government spending; balanced budget;
Healthcare Policy Believe that access to healthcare is one of the fundamental rights of all citizens. Support universal healthcare, the Affordable Care Act, expansion of Medicare and Medicaid. Oppose government-provided universal healthcare and the Affordable Care Act. Favor competition to Medicare from private insurance companies; oppose Medicaid expansion.
Immigration Policy Pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants; moratorium on deportations or prosecutions of undocumented immigrants who are young adults and have no criminal record. No “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants; stronger border patrol and fence to check illegal immigration. Belief that illegal immigration is lowering wages for citizens and documented immigrants.
Education Policy Favor expanded free, public education. Believe parents who want to home-school their kids or send them to private school should be able to get vouchers for opting out of the public school system. Generally not opposed to Public education.
Views on Abortion Generally in favor of abortion rights, and stem cell research. Generally against abortion and opposed to stem cell research.
Views on Gun Rights In favor of gun control laws like background checks or waiting periods before buying a gun; banning automatic weapons; and disallowing concealed weapons. Strongly opposed to gun control laws; strong proponents of the Second Amendment.
Views on Gay Rights Generally support gay marriage; support anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT against workplace discrimination. Generally opposed to gay marriage; opposed to certain anti-discrimination laws because they believe such laws conflict with certain religious beliefs and restrict freedom of religion.
Voter ID Laws Against voter ID laws citing undue burden on lower income groups causing them to be disenfranchised. For voter identification laws to combat voter fraud.
% of U.S. population self-identifying 23% 38%
Associated Political Parties Democratic PartyGreen, Socialist Republican PartyLibertarians; Constitutional Party
Associated Media The New York Times, MSNBC National Review, Fox News
Ideologies Social Democracy; Federalism;Socialism, Communism; Collectivism; Marxism Capitalism; Conservatism
Famous Proponents of Ideology Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Einstein, Barack Obama, Francois Hollande, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Noam Chomsky, Warren Buffett. Margaret Thatcher, George Washington, Winston Churchill, George W. Bush, Mitch McConnell, Rupert Murdoch, Rush Limbaugh, Tony Abbott, Mitt Romney


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