Ideologies vs. Political Parties

Marissa Caster, Secretary/Staff Writer

With the amount of political issues and elections being presented to American students, it is crucial that the students of Odyssey ECCO be informed of political definitions in order to help them navigate through today’s political climate. Being informed about how the United States’ government operates as well as the difference between parties and ideologies will lead you to have more knowledgeable discussions about our government.


Political Ideologies
Ideology Definition
Liberal those who generally support social and political reform, governmental intervention in the economy, more economic equality, expansion 0f federal social services, and greater concern for consumers and the environment
Conservative  those who generally support the social and economic status quo and are suspicious of efforts to introduce new political formulas and economic arrangements. Conservatives believe that a large and powerful government poses a threat to a citizen’s  freedom.


Social Conservative Often called traditionalists; those who want the government to promote moral values. Usually includes religious groups
Libertarian someone who emphasizes freedom and beliefs in voluntary association with a small government.
Socialist someone who generally believes in social ownership, strong government, free markets, and reducing economic inequality



Main Two Political Parties

Democratic Party: advocates social and economic equality, along with the welfare state. It seeks to provide government intervention and regulation in the economy. Democrats are sometimes referred to as “the Party of the People,” attracting immigrants, blue-collar workers, women, and minorities. Democrats tend to take a more liberal stand on important issues. They believe that the federal government should take a more active role in people’s lives, particularly those who are in need.


Republican: Republicans tend to take a more conservative stand on issues. They believe that the federal government should not play a big role in people’s lives. Most Republicans favor lower taxes and less government spending on social programs. They believe in less government intervention in business and the economy.



Political ideologies are a set of views a person has on politics and the role of government. None of the ideologies mentioned in the table are either good or bad and all depends on a person’s personal preference. Even though liberalism and conservatism are often mistaken for the Democratic and Republican parties, they are no the same thing.


A political party is a group of people with similar political goals, opinions, and often ideologies. The purpose of these parties is to get candidates elected to public office (such as the presidency). A person does not have to agree with everything their party does and advocates for. Although people in the same political party 0ften have the same ideologies, political parties and ideologies should not be confused.