Conservatism VS Progressivism in US Politics

America’s politics are divided into many issues, but most notably, the conservative vs progressive debate. While some people may think that these terms are outdated and no longer relevant in modern-day America. But it is more than just a political party affiliation. Conservative values embody traditional family values and emphasize economic stability over social justice. Progressive ideals focus on equality, diversity, and social reform through legislation. This article will explore what defines each side of this divisive issue to decide which aligns most closely with your beliefs!

Conservatives in America are known for being religious, believing that morality should be regulated by the state. While liberals believe that people have a right to practice whatever religion they choose.

Thought Behind Conservative & Progressive

Progressive: pro-immigration reform, anti-global warming laws, more funding for education.
Conservatives: against immigration reform, global warming not a big deal to them (or they do nothing to stop it), less money for schools and colleges.

President Lyndon B. Johnson Signing H.R. 18763, the Bill to Authorize Pre-School and Early Education Programs for Handicapped Children

Republican believe on socially conservative pro-market capitalist platforms favoring tax cuts along with deregulation.
In contrast, Democrat supports social equality issues such as civil rights. While supporting greater government intervention into the economy through fiscal policies that favor protectionism over free trade agreements, especially NAFTA & TPP. In addition, the Democratic nominee typically campaigns on liberal positions like support for universal healthcare coverage via Obamacare or Medicare-for-all.

Republican vs Democrat

Republican Party promotes conservative policies like free-market capitalism favoring lower taxes and fewer regulations with gun rights. At the same time, opposing universal healthcare coverage via Obamacare or Medicare-for-all & liberal social justice issues such as women’s liberation. Welfare reform prefers big business over government programs that help workers. Who typically vote democrat under the Obama administration but voted republican for Trump during the last election. Mainly due to his promise to bring jobs back from Mexico & China, among other things.

However, until Trumps’ presidential victory in 2016, Republicans lost many supporters when President Johnson passed Great Society programs in 1960. And shifted most democrats towards liberal progressive policies. They used big government programs for social justice via civil rights protecting minorities and welfare reform. helped women to become more independent. As well as regulating business to benefit workers rather than only shareholders who are typically wealthy people who can afford lobbyists or donate politicians campaigns. On the other hand, Democrats to progressives on social issues and economically became liberals by supporting greater use of federal funding for education & healthcare, among other things. It helped create America’s middle class during the latter half of the 20th century before the Republican party under Reaganomics from the 1980s.

Republicans’ Conservatives Policies

less governmental intervention in economic affairs, except tariffs to protect domestic industry. Believes that private spending is more efficient than public spending or incentivizing through tax breaks or subsidies. Because it gives individuals control over their hard-earned money and allows them to make personal decisions about spending their disposable income. They believe this will encourage competition, leading to more significant innovation by business owners trying desperately to stay afloat in a competitive market. Republicans generally support free trade agreements like NAFTA, TPP, etc.

Believes in free markets and that resources should be allocated by the forces of supply & demand rather than government intervention. The Republican party is generally against minimum wage laws, unions, etc.

Republicans are strongly opposed to gun control legislation which they believe infringes on their constitutional right to bear arms. They also support open carry laws, concealed carry permits, stand your ground law, etc. (Trump has come under fire for his conservative policies)

Democrat’s Progressive Policies

Democrat’s Progressive Policies are not the result of liberals or democrats but instead come from ideas that have been around for over 100 years. Although Democrats might push these policies more than Republicans, they both work to make America great!
Democrats like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders promote progressive policies such as free college tuition. They also support universal health care, already available in many other countries, including Canada and Australia.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders has been pushing for a single-payer health care system in America since he was elected in 1991. In the 2016 presidential election, Republican candidate Donald Trump said that if Obamacare is not repealed and replaced with something better, he will support universal healthcare coverage.

There is generally one party for conservatives and another for progressives on both sides. Among Democrats, moderates like Bill Clinton (who believed in free trade) support centrist liberal policies. In contrast, left-wing progressives like Bernie Sanders believe that more federal funding of programs should be used to help promote social equality & economic justice via progressive policies. It favors civil rights, welfare reform, and regulating big business. Which has become unpopular with the Democratic Party establishment since Hillary Clinton lost her presidential bid against Donald Trump. He promoted Trumpeconomics which favors neoliberalism over Reaganomics. He believes greater tax cuts across the board will benefit all Americans, including working-class voters. Who voted Democrat during the Obama administration but defected to Republicans under Trump based on his promise to bring jobs back from Mexico & China.


Understanding the difference between conservative and progressive ideals is important to understand where you stand politically. If you align with traditional family values, then conservatism may be for you! On the other hand, if equality, diversity, and social reform are what drive your passion in life. Then being a progressive might be right up your alley. Those who aren’t sure which side they fall on or if there’s even a divide at all, they can explore both sides. Whether progressive or conservative, we all want what’s best for our country.

George Mandell

George Mandell Consultant: Public Policy, Political Campaigns. Conservative / Liberal. I believe conservative principles: Clean air, water and land; healthy and sufficient food; safe and healthy housing; health care; education, opportunity and hope are necessary requirements for human life. Democrats are on-pace to lose the 2022 Midterms. Strategy: Cut taxes for the many, tax the ultra wealthy more. Improve faith in government by making taxation more fair and progressive - those who have more should pay more in taxes. Gun control: Treat guns like cars. Cars can be weapons too and cause loss of lives.