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OPINION

A Guide to Basic Differences Between Left and Right

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Source of Human Rights

Left: government

Right: the Creator

Human Nature

Left: basically good (Therefore, society is primarily responsible for evil.)

Right: not basically good (Therefore, the individual is primarily responsible for evil.)

Economic Goal

Left: equality

Right: prosperity

Primary Role of the State

Left: increase and protect equality

Right: increase and protect liberty

Government

Left: as large as possible

Right: as small as possible

Family Ideal

Left: any loving unit of people

Right: a married father and mother, and children

Guiding Trinity

Left: race, gender and class

Right: liberty, In God We Trust and e pluribus unum

Good and Evil

Left: relative to individual and/or society

Right: based on universal absolutes

Humanity's Primary Division(s)

Left: rich and poor; strong and weak

Right: good and evil

Ideal Primary Identity of an American

Left: world citizen

Right: American citizen

How to Make a Good Society

Left: abolish inequality

Right: develop each citizen's moral character

View of America

Left: profoundly morally flawed; inferior to any number of European countries

Right: greatest force for good among nations in world history

Gender

Left: a social construct

Right: male and female

Most Important Trait to Cultivate in a Child

Left: self-esteem

Right: self-control

Worth of the Human Fetus

Left: determined by the mother

Right: determined by society rooted in Judeo-Christian values

Primary Source of Crime

Left: poverty, racism and other societal flaws

Right: the criminal's malfunctioning conscience

Place of God and Religion in America

Left: secular government and secular society

Right: secular government and religious society

American Exceptionalism

Left: chauvinistic doctrine

Right: historical reality

Greatest Threat to the World

Left: environmental catastrophe (currently global warming)

Right: evil (currently radical Islamist violence)

International Ideal

Left: world governed by the United Nations, and no single country is dominant

Right: world in which America is the single strongest entity

Primary Reason for Lack of Peace in Middle East

Left: Israeli settlements in the West Bank

Right: Palestinian, Arab and Muslim denial of Jewish state's right to exist

Purpose of Art

Left: challenge status quo and bourgeois sensibilities

Right: produce works of beauty and profundity to elevate the individual and society

Guns

Left: ideally universally abolished, except for use by police, the armed forces and registered sportsmen

Right: ideally widely owned by responsible individuals for self-protection and the protection of others

Race

Left: intrinsically significant

Right: intrinsically insignificant

Racial, Ethnic and Gender Diversity at Universities

Left: most important

Right: far less important than ideological diversity

Black America's Primary Problem

Left: racism

Right: lack of fathers

Greatest Playwright

Left: entirely subjective; there is no greatest playwright

Right: Shakespeare

War

Left: not the answer

Right: sometimes the only answer

Hate

Left: wrong, except when directed at the political

Right: wrong, except when directed at evil

Cultures

Left: all equal

Right: some are better than others

America's Founding Fathers

Left: rich white male slave owners

Right: great men who founded the greatest society

Purpose of Judges

Left: pursue social justice

Right: pursue justice

National Borders

Left: a relic of the past

Right: indispensable for national survival

View of Illegal Immigrants

Left: welcomed guests

Right: illegal immigrants

Nature

Left: intrinsically valuable

Right: made for man


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