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Conservative vs. Liberal Beliefs

ve
Change in global temperature is natural over long periods of time.  Science has not shown that humans can affect permanent change to the earth’s temperature.  Proposed laws to reduce carbon emissions will do nothing to help the environment and will cause significant price increases for all.  Many reputable scientists support this theory.

Gun Control

Liberal The Second Amendment does not give citizens the right to keep and bear arms, but only allows for the state to keep a militia (National Guard).  Individuals do not need guns for protection; it is the role of local and federal government to protect the people through law enforcement agencies and the military.  Additional gun control laws are necessary to stop gun violence and limit the ability of criminals to obtain guns.  More guns mean more violence.

 
Conservative
The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to keep and bear arms.  Individuals have the right to defend themselves.  There are too many gun control laws – additional laws will not lower gun crime rates.  What is needed is enforcement of current laws.  Gun control laws do not prevent criminals from obtaining guns.  More guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens mean less crime.

Full text of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:  “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Healthcare

Liberal Support free or low-cost government controlled health care.  There are millions of Americans who can’t afford health care and are deprived of this basic right.  Every American has a right to affordable health care.  The government should provide equal health care benefits for all, regardless of their ability to pay.

 
Conservative
Support competitive, free market health care system.  All Americans have access to health care.  The debate is about who should pay for it.  Free and low-cost government-run programs (socialized medicine) result in higher costs and everyone receiving the same poor-quality health care.  Health care should remain privatized.  The problem of uninsured individuals should be addressed and solved within the free market healthcare system – the government should not control healthcare.
 

Liberal

Airport security – Passenger profiling is wrong, period.  Selection of passengers for extra security screening should be random.  Using other criteria (such as ethnicity) is discriminatory and offensive to Arabs and Muslims, who are generally innocent and law-abiding.  Terrorists don’t fit a profile.

“…Arabs, Muslims and South Asians are no more likely than whites to be terrorists.” (American Civil Liberties Union ACLU)
Asked on 60 Minutes if a 70-year-old white woman from Vero Beach should receive the same level of scrutiny as a Muslim from Jersey City, President Obama’s Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said, “Basically, I would hope so.”
 
Conservative
Airport security – Choosing passengers randomly for extra security searches is not effective.  Rather, profiling and intelligence data should be used to single out passengers for extra screening.  Those who do not meet the criteria for suspicion should not be subjected to intense screening.  The terrorists currently posing a threat to the U.S. are primarily Islamic/Muslim men between the ages of 18 and 38.  Our resources should be focused on this group.  Profiling is good logical police work.
“If people are offended (by profiling), that’s unfortunate, but I don’t think we can afford to take the risk that terrorism brings to us.  They’ve wasted masses of resources on far too many people doing things that really don’t have a big payoff in terms of security.” – Northwestern University Aviation Expert, A.Gellman.

Immigration

Liberal

Support legal immigration.  Support amnesty for those who enter the U.S. illegally (undocumented immigrants).  Also  believe that undocumented immigrants have a right to:
-- all educational and health benefits that citizens receive (financial aid, welfare, social security and medicaid), regardless of legal status.
-- the same rights as American citizens.  It is unfair to arrest millions of undocumented immigrants.
 
Conservative
Support legal immigration only.  Oppose amnesty for those who enter the U.S. illegally (illegal immigrants).  Those who break the law by entering the U.S. illegally do not have the same rights as those who obey the law and enter legally.  The borders should be secured before addressing the problem of the illegal immigrants currently in the country.  The Federal Government should secure the borders and enforce current immigration law.

Private Property

Liberal

Government has the right to use eminent domain (seizure of private property by the government--with compensation to the owner) to accomplish a public end.
 
Conservative
Respect ownership and private property rights.  Eminent domain (seizure of private property by the government--with compensation to the owner) in most cases is wrong.  Eminent domain should not be used for private development.

Religion & Government

Liberal

Support the separation of church and state.  The Bill of Rights implies a separation of church and state.  Religious expression has no place in government.  The two should be completely separate.  Government should not support religious expression in any way.  All reference to God in public and government spaces should be removed (eg., the Ten Commandments should not be displayed in Federal buildings).  Religious expression has no place in government.
 
Conservative
The phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution.  The First Amendment to the Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”  This prevents the government from establishing a national church/denomination. However, it does not prohibit God from being acknowledged in schools and government buildings.  Symbols of Christian heritage should not be removed from public and government spaces (eg., the Ten Commandments should continue to be displayed in Federal buildings).  Government should not interfere with religion and religious freedom.

Same-sex Marriage

Liberal

Marriage is the union of people who love each other.  It should be legal for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, to ensure equal rights for all.  Support same-sex marriage.  Opposed to the creation of a constitutional amendment establishing marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  All individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, have the right to marry.  Prohibiting same-sex citizens from marrying denies them their civil rights. [Opinions vary on whether this issue is equal to civil rights for African Americans.]
 
Conservative
Marriage is the union of one man and one woman.  Oppose same-sex marriage.
Support Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996, which affirms the right of states not to recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states.
Requiring citizens to sanction same-sex relationships violates moral and religious beliefs of millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims and others, who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Social Security

Liberal

The Social Security system should be protected at all costs.  Reduction in future benefits is not a reasonable option.  [Opinions vary on the extent of the current system's financial stability.]
Social Security provides a safety net for the nation's poor and needy.  Changing the system would cause a reduction in benefits and many people would suffer as a result.
 
Conservative
The Social Security system is in serious financial trouble.  Major changes to the current system are urgently needed.  In its current state, the Social Security system is not financially sustainable.  It will collapse if nothing is done to address the problems.  Many will suffer as a result.  Social Security must be made more efficient through privatization and/or allowing individuals to manage their own savings.

Taxes

Liberal

Higher taxes (primarily for the wealthy) and a larger government are necessary to address inequity/injustice in society (government should help the poor and needy using tax dollars from the rich).  Support a large government to provide for the needs of the people and create equality.  Taxes enable the government to create jobs and provide welfare programs for those in need.  Government programs are a caring way to provide for the poor and needy in society.
 
Conservative
Lower taxes and a smaller government with limited power will improve the standard of living for all.  Support lower taxes and a smaller government.  Lower taxes create more incentive for people to work, save, invest, and engage in entrepreneurial endeavors.  Money is best spent by those who earn it, not the government.  Government programs encourage people to become dependent and lazy, rather than encouraging work and independence.

United Nations (UN)

Liberal

The UN promotes peace and human rights.  The United States has a moral and a legal obligation to support the United Nations (UN).  The U.S. should not act as a sovereign nation, but as one member of a world community.  The U.S. should submit its national interests to the greater good of the global community (as defined by the UN).  The U.S. should defer to the UN in military/peacekeeping matters.  The United Nations Charter gives the United Nations Security Council the power and responsibility to take collective action to maintain international peace and security.  U.S. troops should submit to UN command.
 
Conservative
The UN has repeatedly failed in its essential mission to promote world peace and human rights.  The wars, genocide and human rights abuses taking place in many Human Rights Council member states (and the UN's failure to stop them) prove this point.  History shows that the United States, not the UN, is the global force for spreading freedom, prosperity, tolerance and peace.  The U.S. should never subvert its national interests to those of the UN.  The U.S. should never place troops under UN control.  U.S. military should always wear the U.S. military uniform, not that of UN peacekeepers. [Opinions vary on whether the U.S. should withdraw from the UN.]

War on Terror/Terrorism

Liberal

Global warming, not terrorism, poses the greatest threat to the U.S., according to Democrats in Congress.  Terrorism is a result of arrogant U.S. foreign policy.  Good diplomacy is the best way to deal with terrorism.  Relying on military force to defeat terrorism creates hatred that leads to more terrorism.  Captured terrorists should be handled by law enforcement and tried in civilian courts.
 
Conservative
Terrorism poses one of the greatest threats to the U.S.  The world toward which the militant Islamists strive cannot peacefully co-exist with the Western world. In the last decade, militant Islamists have repeatedly attacked Americans and American interests here and abroad.  Terrorists must be stopped and destroyed.  The use of intelligence-gathering and military force are the best ways to defeat terrorism around the world.  Captured terrorists should be treated as enemy combatants and tried in military courts.

Welfare

Liberal

Support welfare, including long-term welfare.  Welfare is a safety net which provides for the needs of the poor.  Welfare is necessary to bring fairness to American economic life.  It is a device for protecting the poor.
 
Conservative
Oppose long-term welfare.  Opportunities should be provided to make it possible for those in need to become self-reliant.  It is far more compassionate and effective to encourage people to become self-reliant, rather than allowing them to remain dependent on the government for provisions.
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