The five agents of socialization heavily influence a person’s political beliefs and views on different issues. Family and friends can influence a person on major political positions and even affect if that person considers themselves liberal, conservative, or moderate. A liberal is open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values. A conservative holds to traditional attitudes and values and is cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion. A moderate holds moderate views in politics and sits between the extremes of liberal and conservative beliefs.
Because more Americans see both sides of complex issues and see both parties as overly ideological and wish politicians would compromise more, they identify themselves as moderates than as liberals or conservatives. The term political moderate can generally be used to describe someone who doesn’t hold views on the far edges of the political spectrum. Moderates can be known to possess lower levels of political information and less likely be politically engaged than those who are closer to one of the ideological poles.
Since they are so open to different ideas they may feel less involved in the political process; however, moderate is a favorable term in politics, one that condones pragmatism as opposed to extremists or radicalisms. Pragmatism allows for a variety of views on any philosophical topic. In the 2012 American National Election Study, 31 percent of Obama voters rated themselves and Obama as “moderate” or “slightly liberal,” while 21 percent of Romney voters rated both themselves and Romney as “moderate” or “slightly conservative.
” Some of these people may identify with a particular party or describe themselves as independents. If they consider themselves members of a party, such as the Democratic or Republican Party, they will be open-minded about ideas from the opposition parties. One reason more Americans consider themselves moderates can be because of how open-minded the public is becoming on different issues, such as gay marriage and the legalization of marijuana.
Americans sense there is not only black and white on issues, but also gray spots they want to explore and learn about. Being too extreme with a political ideology can be harmful, because the politicians will not open themselves up for compromise or too hear the other issues stance. Moderates can hold a few beliefs on the far edges of the political spectrum, but their overall philosophy is more centrist. Most moderates do not feel really comfortable with any political party, but their views can often lean in one direction or another or another to some degree.
Political moderates are less active in politics overall when compared to people in the liberal or conservative ideologies, because they have more aggressive viewpoints. Moderates may feel less passionate about issues, or overall pay less attention to politics on a day-to-day basis. Since the average American knows very little about our federal government and the issues that take place, that can also be a reason why more Americans consider themselves as moderates.
They may hear an issue form the liberals side and agree with it, then hear an issue from the conservative side and agree with it. Liberals overwhelmingly, with 75 percent, worry government is not involved enough in the economy, while conservatives mostly, with 60 percent worry government is too involved in the economy; moderates lean toward the liberal side of the argument, with 53 percent saying not enough involvement to 40 percent who say there is too much involvement.
Only 23 percent of moderates favor a larger government that provides more services (liberal view) and 37 percent favor a smaller government with fewer services (conservative view). Majorities of moderates believe government should play a role in creating equal opportunity for every American (liberal view), but moderates also believe that government has created incentives for poor people not to work (conservative view).
More moderates see undocumented immigrants as hardworking people trying to care for their families (liberal view) and a slim majority disagree with the idea that giving them citizenship would reward bad behavior (conservative view). Americans share a wide range of political and cultural values as we can see with these political view examples. They can agree with an issue on one side and disagree with an issue on the other side. They are open minded to each side of the arguments and take into consideration each factor to form their belief.
Moderates think that parties, Democratic and Republican, are overly ideological and wish that the politicians would consider each side of the arguments on different issues to compromise more. They see both sides of complex issues and can have a range of different views from each of the liberal and conservative side. The American public has been more open than ever to different values and beliefs and that is why more Americans consider themselves moderates, than liberals and conservatives.
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