Polarization of political views continues to grow annually, leading to many conflicts and controversial views on the actions of the elected President and the rest of the U.S. political apparatus. Two major parties, Democrats, who are mostly liberal, and Republicans, who are mostly conservative, continue to claim that they are the true defenders of American freedom, promoting their ideals through all available channels (De Dijn, 2020). These actors differ significantly, calling for the assessment of their intentions. This essay will discuss how modern conservatives and liberals view the role of the government in society and how media outlets are involved in U.S. politics.
The Role of the Government
The image of an ideal government differs among all individuals, yet there are patterns that allow people to align themselves with others in order to achieve greater leverage. The modern liberals and conservatives stem from the rift between classic liberals that occurred after American society has realized the full extent of the disparity that the free market supposedly caused (Sasser, 2018). The primary issue remains the same for both sides: the security of people’s rights (De Dijn, 2020). Modern liberals continue to push against this imbalance by supporting policies that promote equality by embracing the role that the government might take in this dispute (De Dijn, 2020). However, conservatives continue to support the decreased involvement of governmental entities in market activities(De Dijn, 2020). The role of the government in redistributing wealth through complex programs, such as welfare support became a critical point of discussion. Since the core problem remains unresolved, it continues to produce new points of conflict between these two ideologies, such as tax rates, individual versus communal responsibilities, healthcare financing, and many others.
Some of the critical issues in modern society have caused diametrically opposite reactions from liberals and conservatives. For example, liberals argue that actions against the oppression of minorities, environmental protection, and universal healthcare access must be pushed by the federal government. At the same time, conservatives are inclined towards granting the local governments freedom in choosing what policies to enact. However, Sasser (2018) states that both conservatives and liberals “share the same basic commitment to a democratic form of government that exists to serve the people.” This point of connection allows these two groups to coexist and even cooperate on the same issues, despite the described differences in views on many other aspects of governmental structures.
The Role of Media in Modern Politics
As modern society cannot be separated from its digital environment, it is essential to overview the impact of media channels on U.S. politics. There are many players on this field, but what is more interesting is their “allegiance” to either side of the political views. Many media outlets align their messages from politics-related articles with either liberal or conservative readers (Benkler et al., 2018). Media gives many tools to leverage the views of a neutral majority towards either liberal or conservative ideology merely by reviewing an issue from its opinions. It is not uncommon that there is no wrong or correct answer in political topics, making the presentation of the information an essential part of convincing that either liberal or conservative take is the appropriate one (Benkler et al., 2018). As a result of these affiliations, the distrust towards media channels in the United States skyrocketed during recent years (Benkler et al., 2018). By depicting the same event from a different angle while pushing the proposed solution as the only acceptable one, Democrats and Republicans harm their reputation and disrupt the natural course of political conversations.
The speed and ease of information spread made it easy for misguiding articles to gain significant attention prior to being revealed as such. The phenomenon of echo chambers recently came into existence due to this notion (Benkler et al., 2018). One of the direst implications of this direction is the prevention of meaningful dialogue between both sides that may lead to severe stagnation of society.
In conclusion, the political environment of the United States is primarily shaped by the views of both parties on the role of the government in society, despite their opposite nature. The definition of freedom takes on new aspects with each new issue within the nation. Conservatives value the individual’s rights over collective prosperity, while liberals argue that this ideology gives the elite freedom to abuse the system and promote equality. Stemming from this take, conservative views are focused on empowering smaller governmental entities while protesting against large-scale control attempts. Similarly, liberals are focused on preventing further disparity by promoting greater control over markets and individuals by the federal government.
Both liberals and conservatives employ a wide variety of tools to promote their points of view. Media outlets often follow the direction of either group, creating a highly polarized digital environment in which some news is tailored to be more appealing to either liberals or democrats. These biases grow more prominent annually, speeding up the polarization process. Some implications of this separation, such as echo chambers, present a significant danger to productive disputes that can lead to meaningful policies.
Benkler, Y., Farris, R., & Roberts, H. (2018). Network propaganda: Manipulation, disinformation, and radicalization in American politics. Oxford University Press.
De Dijn, A. (2020). ‘Freedom’ means something different to liberals and conservatives. Here’s how the definition split—And why that still matters. Time. Web.
Sasser, A. (2020). The shared Foundation of liberals and conservatives. Alabama Policy Institute. Web.