Political Ideology: Crash Course Government and Politics #35


Hi, I’m Craig, and this is Crash Course Government
and Politics. And today, we’re gonna get personal. Not personal in the sense that I’m gonna tell you
I’m a bed wetter cause I’m not…gonna tell you that. We’re gonna talk about people’s personal political
views and where they come from. This is what political scientists sometimes call Political
Socialization. But before we get into the forces that help
create our political outlooks, we should probably define what political ideologies look like
in America. [Theme Music] In America, there are a number of ways
people characterize themselves politically. Typically, they identify with a political party, although
as we’ll see when we talk more about parties, this has become less likely over time. And although there’s a lot of overlap between
political party and political ideology, there’s not 100% correspondence between the two. But there is 100% overlap between my fist
and this eagle’s beak! Politics. So, now I should probably say what I mean
by political ideology. Basically, I’m talking about whether you identify as liberal or conservative
or libertarian or socialist or anarchist or nihilist or craigist – people who just love
me. I’m one of those. You’re probably familiar with the idea that
liberals are on the left, and conservatives are on the right. And this can be a helpful shorthand,
but what political views do these terms represent? Let’s go to the Clone Zone! What? The Clone
Zone – it’s right here now? I’ll just…I’ll leave then. This way? I’ll go this way. Taking a cue from anti-federalists, American
conservatives believe that a large government poses a threat to individual liberty, and we prefer our national
government to be as small as possible. (Scoffs) We have this in common with libertarians.
There are some basic functions like national defense that government can best take care
of. But especially since the New Deal, our government has taken on too much. What government
we need is best handled by states and localities. For the most part, American conservatives
believe in the free market and that it will provide the greatest economic opportunity
and benefit to the greatest number of people. American conservatives usually support a strong
defense. This is one place where we generally don’t think spending should be cut. Most other programs,
the things that fall under discretionary spending, can and should be left up to the private sector. And
this will allow the government to reduce its spending. Lower spending, in turn, will mean lower taxes.
Ahh, delicious lower taxes. This means that we don’t like flag burning,
and we favor prayer in schools because these reflect traditional religious and patriotic
values. Just like the eagle. I love the eagle. You’re
my friend. (Kisses eagle) Many conservatives, as strong adherents
to religious faiths, are against abortion. But I’d say there’s a greater diversity in conservative
views on social issues than on economic ones. The social sphere is where we differ significantly
from our libertarian friends who don’t see any role for government in people’s personal
lives. This means that libertarians often support things like marijuana legalization that
more traditional conservatives do not support. If there’s one value that American conservatives
privilege above others, it’s liberty. America is a country of freedom, and in most cases, government
is more of a threat to liberty than a protector of it. And I’m out. (Kisses hand and touches eagle’s
head) Not bad conservative clone.
But bad, here’s why. Sometimes liberals in the U.S. are called
New Deal Liberals because the policies that we support grew out of the New Deal. And lately, a number
of us are trying to re-brand ourselves as progressives. Although this is a little tricky given that, historically,
progressives and liberals aren’t the same thing. In general, American liberals believe that
government can help solve problems, and a bigger government, like a glorious soaring
eagle can solve bigger problems and more of them. We support government intervention in the
economy, both in the form of regulations and higher taxes, especially when that intervention
benefits historically marginalized groups like minorities, women, and the poor. We like to the government step in on behalf
of consumers and to protect the environment because in general, we don’t trust that the
free market will be fair to everyone. We know that protection of the environment, aiding
the poor, and expanding civil liberties all cost money, so we usually favor a progressive tax system
with higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Although not all American liberals are anti-business,
as a rule we don’t have a lot of faith that big businesses have the average American’s best interest
at heart, and so we prefer to see them regulated. Although we still see national defense as
important, most American liberals feel that the country spends more than enough on the
military and that the defense budget should be cut, leaving more money for necessary social
programs. In the debate over guns or butter, we like
butter. Although we’re also fine with the government telling us not to eat so much of it. If conservatives value liberty, we liberals
cherish equality as their primary political virtue, and we see government as a necessary agent in
promoting equality. (Kisses hand and pats eagle’s head) We’re equals, me and that eagle. Thanks clones. So, for the most part, this
is what most American liberals and conservatives believe, and these are the basic foundations
upon which they build their political opinions. But where do they come from? (Punches eagle
and eagle tumbles to the floor) Political scientists sometimes refer to the
process by which individuals establish their personal political ideologies as political
socialization. And they have identified four main agents that contribute to our political
identities. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble! The first and most important source of our
politics is family. This makes a lot of sense since kids either want to emulate their parents
or reject their ideas. And parents are usually the first people that express political opinions
to kids. As I suggested, family can influence your
political outlook in negative and positive ways. If you respect your parents and admire
them, it’s likely you will adopt their political ideology. On the other hand, adopting an opposing political
view can be a form of rebellion. Still, for the most part, liberal parents
breed liberal children, and conservative parents create new generations of conservatives. The second major influence on political ideology
is social groups, which in this case, refer to one’s race, gender, religion, or ethnicity.
Obviously, these are generalizations, but certain groups tend to fall predictably into
liberal or conservative camps. African Americans and Jewish people are among
the most liberal Americans while white Catholics tend to be conservative. Latinos are an interesting
case because many identify as Catholic, but they tend to be more liberal politically. One of the reasons that many use to explain
why African Americans and Latinos tend to be liberals is that these groups are disproportionately poor
and receive a significant share of government benefits. To this way of thinking, economic self interest
is a prime determiner of where one stands politically, and it also explains why white
conservatives, especially those who are wealthy, favor policies of lower taxes and less government
intervention. One problem with this purely self interested
view of political ideology though is that there is a large number of low income, low
wealth white voters who also do or would gain from more government benefits. But they tend
to be conservative. In other words, be careful when you try to define
a person’s politics by looking at their bank account. Gender also tends to be statistically significant
in terms of political ideology. The gender gap refers to the fact that women tend to be
more liberal overall than men. This is especially true on the issue of national defense where they
tend to favor spending reductions rather than increases. Thanks Thought Bubble. The third agent of
political socialization in the U.S. is education, namely the primary and secondary school system. This is the most formal way that our political
views are shaped since almost all American students take at least one year of American
history, and many states require courses in civics. In these courses, students learn about political
values like liberty and equality and may come to align themselves with a liberal or conservative
view. And maybe you’re watching me in one of these
classes right now… Conservatives tend to think that American
schools and textbooks skew towards a liberal outlook, but this might be because most public
school teachers are members of unions, and teachers’ union membership correlates highly
with a liberal viewpoint. Whether or not most teachers and textbooks
are liberal, it’s a bit of a leap to assume that most students will automatically adopt
the ideology of their teachers. Education does relate to political ideology
in at least one measurable way though. In that the higher the level of education one
attains, the more likely one is to profess liberal views on issues such as women’s rights
or abortion. On the other hand, higher education levels also
correlate with more conservative views on issues like government support of national health insurance or
affirmative action programs to help African Americans. So, as with many things we look at, things
aren’t so clear cut, and it’s important to have some kind of data to back up our generalizations. One final agent of political socialization
are the political conditions one lives through. Example – if you grew up during the Great
Depression and saw FDR’s New Deal programs benefit you and your family, it’s likely that you’d
develop and maintain pro-government, liberal views. If you came of age during the Reagan era,
when popular politicians were singing the praises of self-reliance and calling government
the problem rather than the solution, it’s likely that you’d develop conservative political
views. It remains to be seen whether people who form
their political identities during the Great Recession will be liberal or conservative.
But don’t worry – pollsters are busy trying to figure it out. So there you have a very broad outline of
what the words conservative and liberal mean in American politics and some of the factors
that turn people into liberals or conservatives. More than probably anything I’ve said in this
series, these are generalizations that you need to look at critically. This doesn’t mean
that if you find someone or if you are someone who doesn’t fit either description 100%, that
we’re completely wrong, only that political ideologies are complex and change over time. But we need to understand the outlines of
these generalities because they get used all the time in our discussions of American politics. In fact,
it would be hard to talk about politics without them. Thanks for watching – see you next time. Crash Course Government and Politics is produced
in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course U.S. Government comes from
Voqal. Voqal supports non-profits that use technology
and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at
voqal.org. Crash Course was made with the help of all
these political ideologues. Thanks for watching!

100 Replies to “Political Ideology: Crash Course Government and Politics #35

  1. Conservatism and Liberalism only retain their identities when BOTH exist. We want to protect the rights of the marginalised, AND encourage economic growth. We want to defend against government abuse of power, AND maintain social order.

    What we want to avoid is the totalitarian overhaul of any one ideology. In either case, they lead to oppressive control as well as social, economic and moral erosion.

    That said, the left, in recent years and on this side of the world, have been seeeeriously pushing it…😒

  2. I feel like the only way for liberals and conservatives to fight over which political ideology is superior is by telling facts and also opinions. But for me, I just wish people that were liberal and conservatives would just get along and come together and secure hostility against each other.

  3. I guess I am a patriotic libertarian? I’m native and want no government (mainly because what they did and continue to do to my ppl) don’t ask me for help because I I don’t want yours, leave me alone and I will leave you alone

  4. I feel like left leaning people see education as a way to feel superior to others. I stopped at a bachelors degree because I got my degree in accounting and I had enough credits to sit for the CPA thus it would not be a good investment for me. Anything I would have learned getting my masters I learned on the job.

  5. It's good to know that a liberal in Europe has a different meaning. Liberals in Europe are more right wing and support a free economic market with less government interference.

  6. This whole video just told me that i agree with some of both liberal and conservative sides…
    I feel like I'm neither one or the other… But to vote i gotta be a part of one or the other…
    Whew… This is tough

  7. No idea why conservatives are seen as prizing 'liberty' as the highest value, meanwhile enthusiastically trying to roll back abortion, minority rights, secularism.. What they're really about is 'liberty' for the conservative, Christian, upper-middle class at the expense of that of others. They claim to value 'hard work' while at the same time cutting social programs and taxes on the rich. They call it 'incentive', seeming to believe that being poor is by choice. We don't all start on a level playing field, and these policies make it even harder for the poor to better their lives.

  8. Ok obviously this guy never heard the study from Johnathan hiedt showing that in education all the way to college. There is a liberal bias, in the 70s is was about 3:1 liberal conservative now adays it’s upward up 22:1 liberal to conservatives so there is a high bias one way

  9. My two cents' worth: don't EVER identify as "liberal," "conservative," "Democrat," "Republican," etc., and for at least three reasons: (1) these words (and others) have been tossed around without being defined for so long now that they virtually have no meaning at this point anyway, (2) identifying with one of these labels essentially constitutes joining a group, which ALWAYS compromises one's ability to analyze issues as rationally and objectively as possible (because as amazing as it is, the human brain is poor, overall, at dealing with group bias) and (3) piggybacking off of (2), what do you need these labels for anyway? Why not just approach politics one issue at a time and decide independently what makes sense to you and why?

  10. I posted this on another youtube channel and I thought it was good enough to share here. Radical is a small group of people using the government for their own piggy bank. Radical is lying to the people nonstop to keep them in line. Radical is offshoring all production so you only have to pay Americans fifteen dollars an hour for work you can't offshore. Radical is reducing all government benefits to poor, middle class, old and young people so you can live in "The Hamptons" by getting your paid off representatives in the government to give you tax breaks you don't deserve. Radical is espousing right wing B.S. Radical is teaming up with Russians to do a soft coup to overthrow the government. Radical is gerrymandering all of the districts so the minority can control the government. Radical is having all men make decisions for women's health decisions. You might as well get your club out and go back to living in cave if you want to do that. So quit calling democrats radicals when they are the ones who want a fairer representation in government "of the people, for the people and by the people."

  11. I think you mean a new generation of straight confusion and chaos, Like the nutty educated college kids with the mob mentality of today. They are very dullusional ,which does not mean open minded or political .It means what it is, Dullusional. So if you live in political society that supports heavy drug use to reach your inner self, and your child agrees with that philosophy , Are you saying that's good with you?

  12. I have a mixed household (I think that’s what it’s called) my dad is a conservative and my mom a liberal. It’s kinda rough because if I agree with one of them the other seems upset.

  13. One thing that all government officials have in common = their all corrupt and find loopholes to line their pockets with money while not going to jail (usually taking donations from corporations to vote on stuff or multi million dollar speaking fees to give a speech).

  14. So Republicans believe everyone has the opportunity to succeed regardless of race, religion, gender, etc…., while Democrats believe everyone besides white people are victims.

  15. With all due respect to all parties, I’m only curious but why is protecting the environment and taking care of people even if it mean sacrificing some of our money to taxes? If i can be of service to others, I’d be more than happy to pay more taxes.

  16. Video: is made by PBS
    PBS: gets roughly one billion dollars over the course of 4 years from the government
    Government: "needs more money"

  17. But conservatives don't support Liberty, the liberty to kneel for a pledge, the liberty to marry who you want and however many, the liberty talk about all aspects of our job even pay rate, the liberty to put what I want in my body, or the liberty to to take something out abortion or living organ donation. Conservatives think they support Liberty but in realty by its definition they step on others liberty fo the sake of there own. LIBERALS DO TO THO.
    I was born in the 90s and have seen the corruption and self indulgence from the majority of people on either side. I have also come to belive that in order for a Democracy to work it's voting populace must be intelligent and informed. However our lives are so busy we don't have time to think or learn about politics, and that there is so much information we could never be informed unless we worked in politics. So with the very foundation or our democracy gone it is no longer functioning as intended. The size and corruptablity of it has made it oppressive in nature, and we all know what has to be done at that point. Revolution peaceful or violent is the only solution we have.
    What's the point tho our planet is dying in just 5 generations it will be a different world entirely. All because our leaders have been to corrupted to act, and because most of of us can't see past, YOU and NOW.

  18. Why limit oneself by the label liberal or conservative. Why not think for yourself for once instead of relying on a silly political template.

  19. Cons: Cats cant have salami
    Libs: Cats can have a little salami
    Socialist: Cats can have alot of salami

    i know were my vote is going to go

  20. So conservatives actually think that cutting domestic spending would lower taxes? Are you sure they won't just spend more on the military and then give the rest to their wealthy friends.

  21. this is very helpful on my part i go to classen sas i need to learn all i can on political views i have a report to do that is worth a huge grade in my western hemisphere class . You can learn a lot on political views wish me luck on my report .

  22. Dumbest video I've watched this week because of how blatantly US-centric and anti-academic this is but still tries to pass it off as based in political theory

    Liberalism and Conservatism are not two dichotomies. You can be a conservative liberal

    Liberalism is characterised by an emphasis on private property, markets, small government, low taxation & regulation. It is not defined by whatever the Democratic Party in U.S. is up to these days

  23. the kissing is annoying I'm trying to learn. Turn him to a woman IF he is gonna kiss something….. SUPPER ANNOYING MY TESTOSTERONE HAS DROPPED

  24. I support gay married interracial couples right to compete in the free market, go to church, and protect their marijuana crop with AK-47s.
    Am I a Conservative Liberal or a Liberal Conservative?

  25. How fascinating and very educational to know more of which party I belong to. Watching this video also brings a sense of nostalgia of PBS shows (not to mention SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK) I’ve watched growing up in the 80’s and 90’s like: READING RAINBOW, NOVA, WISHBONE and SQUARE ONE. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

  26. One thing Europeans should know when watching American political videos. They don't use the political terms in the correct way, they have made their own versions for it. Liberal in the US means progressive left leaning politics, it don't actually have anything to do with liberalism at all.

  27. I do not fit any where in that graph it seems. I see certain governmental institutions as corrupt or corruptible despite torts claiming exemption. I also see that completely unregulated markets often end with the winner taking all the money out to another economy. I am also disgusted by any social or cultural enforcement by the threat of imprisonment or death. So I seem to be that little dot in the center.

  28. The divide comes down to how each party attempts to curb the nature of mankind. Conservatives are too obsessed with magical thinking (religion). Progressives are too obsessed with empathy (female). The truth lies in the fundamentals of our species. The truth is, morality is instinctually objective, free will is an illusion, and the way nature deals with glitches in DNA, is by eliminating them with force (male). We have to allow men to maintain the hierarchy. Sometimes when decisions become ethically difficult, good men have to get rid of bad men (glitches) to protect our species as a whole. We cannot change mans nature to better suit societies comforts or females serotonin levels. Let men be free men and we will all survive. Let women control us, and things will be peaceful for a short time, then suddenly the end for everyone. Conservatism has its flaws, but what it doesn’t attempt to do, is neuter it’s men by taking away their complex roles in society. Liberalism has its flaws, but what it doesn’t attempt to do, is forget that we are a very emotional right brain dominant species.

  29. I, for one, am mostly left leaning. I support equality and believe in a strong central government, but I also believe in a strong standing army, which is more right leaning.

  30. I know I’m probably going to be bashed from both sides, but I think the best America is balanced America, and I don’t mean same amount of voters on the far left and far right, I’m talking about both sides meeting close at the center

  31. When he placed the groups into Conservative and Liberal. I laughed hard when he said, "White Catholics tend to be the most Conservative." That is sadly accurate. Coming from a White person himself.

  32. Conservatives are crazy, Liberals are useless. Post-Capitalist Social Eco-Anarchist Syndicalism is my ideology!

    No but really, that's my ideology. Screw American Politics.

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