Just Keep Swimming

Liberal vs. Conservative -- A Pictorial Comparison

I stumbled upon this picture after someone posted it on Twitter or Facebook or the numerous other sites I gallivant about to on the internet. I think, it is an interesting pictorial comparison between liberals and conservatives. Though of course, it is fitting both groups into a neat box and I don't think any actual person would follow that exact description, even if they describe themselves as a Liberal or Conservative. I know personally I would describe most of my views to be of the liberal persuasion, but that doesn't mean that side of the picture/comic/graph describes my views or person accurately.

Actually, I sort of felt the conservatives were described in a fairly negative way in the graph/picture/graphic. But maybe that is only because I have more liberal views, and thus can't relate to a conservative mind set. At the same time, I have people who are quite close to me that would call themselves conservatives but I know that description is not accurate for them. Maybe the bigger issue is the apparent need to describe who we are with such neat terms like conservative and liberal.

I also had a bit of an issue with the terms equality and equity. Though it may just be a matter of how the creator decided to define those terms compared to how I was made to understand them during my taking of Anthropology and Human Right courses in University. I would think equity would fit into a liberal framework rather fine, and that equality would work with a conservative mindset. Then again, on the Liberal side, equality is defined as 'creating a level playing field.' This is how I would choose to also describe equity.

I would think most liberals would be under the belief that due to a history of social injustice and countless other mitigating factors, it is impossible for true equality. Instead, the goal is to try to make sure there is a level and fair playing field. This is why you would see things like affirmative action, or tax cuts focused on specific groups, or things like reparations. It is attempts to get people who are born into an unfair advantage an opportunity to achieve true success. I've often had that described to me as equity, because you are not necessarily treating all people the same (which you would if you were being equal). But again, you are not treating all people the same because not every person has had a fair chance, thus the leveling of the playing field.

On the conservative side, I would think the belief is that you do treat people equal. There is often an opposition towards affirmative action or social programs or benefits given to a specific group. The argument is that it isn't far or being equal when you target a particular group. You often have the mindset that since one person had to work hard for success, then the other person should have to work just as hard without any help. Even if you disagree with that philosophy, I would say that the conservative does believe they are being equal.

Then again, the different views of equality are probably one of the major things that separates a liberal and conservative. Which is probably why things like social reforms or various government programs or even matters like reparations, can cause such a major rift and seed of contention between the two political groups. Of course, I realize there is more than just your basic conservative and liberal when it comes political views. And again, you can have varying degrees of conservatism or liberalism, especially depending on what the issue is.

Despite all that, I still think it is a worthwhile cartoon/graph/picture which can open up some discussion from both sides. Though mainly because I think it allows one side to argue why there description was inaccurate, thus triggering a dialogue for better understanding. Or if a person happens to love everything that is described about them, it allows for an opportunity to explain why they have that mindset or belief in place. I'd be interested to read others thoughts.