People who don't follow politics tend to believe that conservatives and liberals are just flip sides of the same coin. In other words, conservatives are pro-life, pro-gun, and fiscally conservative while liberals are pro-choice, anti-gun, and want to tax and spend, but otherwise, there are no real differences.
However, if you follow politics closely, you'll find that there's a gulf as wide as the ocean between the average politically active conservative and the average politically active liberal. We don't just have political differences; we view the world through very different eyes.
Of course, I don't want to oversell this because as Americans, conservatives and liberals are more alike than different. There also tend to be differences between people who are heavily politically involved and those who aren't. This column focuses on those of us who are more politically active, as opposed to people who don’t pay much attention to politics.
I'd also add that in every category, you'll find exceptions that prove the rule. Moreover, sometimes you'll find both conservatives and liberals engaging in the same behavior, although one side tends to do it much more than the other. All that being said, after spending a decade blogging, here are just a few of the genuine differences that have become apparent over the years.
1) Conservatives are more patriotic than liberals: Conservatives tend to focus on the positive things about America, while liberals focus on the negative. If the first thoughts that came to your mind when you thought of America were “slavery,” "imperialism," and "unfairly using too much of the world's resources," you probably wouldn't like America very much either. Conservatives, on the other hand, look at the fact that we saved the world in WWI, WWII, and the Cold War, take pride in the fact that we have contributed so much to the planet, and believe America has had a tremendous positive impact on history. The conservative view produces love of country. The other view produces a deep seated dislike of our nation.