What Are Liberal Politicians?

W. Joyner

Liberal politicians hold to and champion the views of liberalism. Modern-day liberal politicians are considered to be those who advocate not only for personal liberties, but also for a variety of programs that provide a social safety net for members of society. Often referred to as left-wing or leftist, a liberal generally supports the development of government regulations and programs that help ensure and protect equality for all people.

Liberal politicians usually advocate for greater government intervention in the economy and programs they believe will help society.
Liberal politicians usually advocate for greater government intervention in the economy and programs they believe will help society.

Present-day liberalism, in most parts of the world, is considered to be social liberalism. It is characterized by the idea that liberalism and social justice are intertwined and cannot be separated. Liberal politicians consider the responsibilities of the state to include protecting civil rights while at the same time undertaking social and economic initiatives. They generally regard the good of society to be congruent with individual liberty.

Modern-day liberal politicians typically advocate for programs that provide a social safety net for citizens.
Modern-day liberal politicians typically advocate for programs that provide a social safety net for citizens.

Traditional liberalism was born of the idea of individual freedom. In contemporary society, however, particularly in the democratically governed countries of the west, liberalism has taken on a different connotation. Liberal politicians are noted for espousing personal rights, such as the right to seek an abortion, freedom of expression, and freedom from discrimination. Additionally, they generally promote the development of government-mandated and managed programs or laws geared toward assisting those members of society who are in need or are disadvantaged in some way. Such programs might include welfare and child-care assistance, education grants and loans, unemployment benefits, and minimum wage standards.

Additional areas of concern often include environmental issues. Most liberals pursue an agenda that looks to protect the environment with such initiatives as designated wildlife habitats and forest preservation. Environmental questions extend to the development of lands and areas for the harvesting of natural resources, such as offshore drilling for oil or cutting down trees in forests. Additionally, a liberal will tend to support measures to limit emissions from factories and automobiles.

Support for greater amounts of government assistance often goes hand in hand with calls for higher levels of taxation. Liberal politicians usually encourage progressive taxation, resulting in higher tax rates for the more affluent. In addition, they commonly advocate for higher taxes upon businesses. As a result, they are often labeled, whether rightly or wrongly, as being anti-business.

Adding to the anti-business debate is the liberal politician’s usual stance on employee protections and rights. Included is a long-standing backing of labor unions. Liberals will most often advocate for minimum wage thresholds, workplace safety standards, and fair labor practices for the betterment and protection of workers.

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Discussion Comments

@cardsfan27 - I have to be honest, I am not as politically savvy as I would like to be and I would like to know more about the differences between the two.

It seems to me like the liberals are a bit more focused on social issues and spreading the wealth as opposed to the conservatives that see it is better for people to make it on their own.

I do not know which way I lean more toward as both seem to make sense to me and I guess this is what politics are all about, the differences between the two and deciding how one feels on a certain issue and figuring out which side they want to be on.

To be honest, I feel like there needs to be more explanation into the differences as I think it is way to simple to say that one side thinks this way and the other thinks the other way.

Why do liberals feel this strongly towards social programs and why do conservatives focus on smaller governmental roles and when this all start.


@stl156 - With the risk of turning this into a political debate I feel like this difference need to be addressed in order to show how the two major parties are different and appeal to certain ways one may feel is best for running the government.

The Conservatives feel that it is better to have less of a governmental influence and rely more on letting people live their lives, while the liberals feel the government must be more involved.

This means that the perception is that people feel like the liberals may be more controlling, but this is not entirely the case. It is simply a way of seeing how a nation should be run and in the realm of politics, where differences reign supreme, there are going to be people that feel it is best to let things ride out and some that feel it is best to have a really strong centralized influence.


@kentuckycat - That is a fair point to make, but one has to keep in mind that no matter what it is nearly impossible to not spend money and run a nation.

One could argue that the conservative spend as much money as the liberals, but they do so focusing on other ventures that do not necessarily revolve around public welfare or environmentalism.

Instead of focusing tax dollars on these types of social programs the conservatives may feel like they need to focus this money into building the military for either defense of the nation or to stimulate the economy.

It is really interesting to see that the differences between the two are not as different as one may think, as in my belief they both are willing to spend money, just on different types of ventures that revolves around their particular ideology.


I really feel like the liberals in America are viewed negatively simply due to their willingness to spend as well as their influence over people's lives by trying to grab a hold of the social issues.

I really feel like it is probably better to let people lives their lives and focus on certain things that focus more on the future. Although the environmental issues that are a focus of the liberals do fit this description, the fact that much more money is spent willingly, leads to more debt, despite the fact that the governemental assistance it provides for some people.

With political affiliations aside I feel like liberals are a lot more polarizing than conservatives for this exact reason as people are not willing to be taxed more in order to provide for others besides themselves or spend their hard earned dollars on government programs that may have little effect on the people that put money into them.


Spot on.

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