For a long time America’s politics were divided at the middle with conservatives on one side and liberals on the other. With time there developed another group in the middle referred to as the moderates or the ‘silent majority’. Each opinion poll taken delivers a higher percentage of moderates than the previous one, a proof that majority of Americans are shifting to the centre.
Conservatives are clearly distinguished from liberals for what they stand for. The conservatives hold the history of the country with esteem. They stand for the established American tradition. Socially, they stand for the traditional American family of a husband, wife and children in a heterosexual relationship. They vehemently oppose same sex marriage. In religion they strictly stand for a Christian culture believing that America is not a secular country but rather a Christian nation. For this, they oppose abortion and embryonic stem cells research. They oppose the use of government funds to fund any abortion related programs and research involving embryonic stem cells. They also contend for Christian education to be taught in public schools.(D.Critchlow p.217)
Conservatives stand for minimal government involvement in the economy believing that market factors should be left to regulate themselves and that the government should not be in business but rather leave it to individual entrepreneurs. They advocate for a limited government and reduced taxes. They stand for a strong military able to protect American interests at home and abroad. Most of the conservatives identify themselves with the Republican Party
In contrast the liberals believe in government involvement in the economy reasoning that if market factors were left on their own, then the people are subject to exploitation by greedy entrepreneurs. Liberals therefore stand for a mixed economy combining individual’s involvement and government regulations. The liberals believe it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure all its citizens are well fed, have access to healthcare and decent housing. They crusade abortion rights and same-sex marriages. They advocates for voting rights of African Americans and for limited military involvement abroad. Majority of the liberals associate themselves with the Democratic Party. (M.Grant p.12)
The moderates are not very concerned with party positions but rather with what is right for the American nation. They discuss issues at hand without referring to party positions but rather with the question of what will work best in mind. They cut across party lines and are primarily driven by the urge to look for the best solution to any issue at hand. They are not rigid to any major principle other than the principal of what works best in the situation at hand.
Most Americans are identifying themselves with this group out of realization that the horse-trading between the Liberals and Conservatives is of no good to this country and that modern challenges will not be conquered merely by taking party positions but rather require pragmatism.
The horse-trading between the extremist conservative Republicans and extremist liberal Democrats is likely to fizzle out in the future as more and more Americans move to the centre in such of practical solutions to the problems of the 21st Century. With every opinion poll taken, the number of moderates has been constantly on the increase.