There is a difference between those that identify themselves as liberals and those that identify themselves as conservatives. Mainly, that one identifies as liberal and the other as conservative. We spend so much time splitting people down an imaginary line that both sides see as the line between good and bad. Rather than looking for similarities, we label people as different from us and attack until they come around.
Case in point: This graphic from David McCandless. The article surround this graphic says it is ‘useful to remember what each side is supposed to stand for’ and gives a perspective on the difference in child rearing. The infographic is McCandless second attempt, as he thought the first favored liberals too much.
The problem is that this second attempt does the same thing. The language on the Liberal side is softer while the language on the Conservative side is harsh and strict (the colors don’t help this). Apparently Liberal child rearing is based on respect and trust and Conservative is based on respect and fear. Because no liberal would ever instill fear in their child.
According to McCandless, Liberals idealize a community based on ethics, while Conservatives view a community based on morals. That’s a pretty fine line there — ethics inform morals and vice versa. Is it really all that different?
The Liberal side is about improving the world, while the Conservative side is about protecting what is good. I know Conservatives, and they also believe they are improving the world. Liberals also believe in protecting what is good. Both sides are doing it, but one is soft, just trying to make it a better place, and the other is harsh, just trying to protect what they have.
Finally, the whole infographic is based on assumptions. Not all Liberals are like that. There are some who would claim the title Liberal who are racist or sexist, or don’t really believe in achieving equality for everyone. Likewise, there are some Conservatives who are not out to protect big business or raise children with tough love. In short, the graphic is too neat, too this side and that side to be a good representation of what each side stands for. Knowing what each political leaning supports is good when it comes to explaining politics to high schoolers trying to decide where they fall, labeling people based on assumptions is bad when it comes to working together and fostering peace. We don’t need to add any more fuel to the fire of partisanship. Why not remember that there are commonalities in both sides instead?