Take the Test: Are You Liberal or Conservative?

What is conservative?  What is liberal?  I ask this question because these words get thrown around all the time with no real clear understanding of what they mean.  To some people I am viewed as a Liberal.  Me, Mr. Wannabe-Vast-Right-Wing-Conspiracy-Member, a Liberal.

Of course to others I am Neo-Conservative, or Neo-Con as John Edwards likes to say.  Me, Mr. I-Can-See-All-Sides-and-Want-to-Promote-Understand, a Neo-Con.  Of course none of the labels are true of me and to be fair, they are probably not true of anyone.  The words Conservative and Liberal do not even have meaning, they are labels that we apply and depending on our point of view one is a good word and the other is a nasty word.

A long time ago in a political universe far far away these words did have meaning.  Conservative meant you agree with the status quo and liberal meant you wanted to change it.  CS Lewis in his book “Mere Christianity” brings up the example of the word gentleman, a gentleman was simply someone who owned land, therefore if you heard that someone was a gentleman you knew that they owned land.

This gentleman may be a liar, a scoundrel or a cheat, or a man of grace and dignity; none of this was know by the word gentleman except that he owned land.  The other attributes would have to be explained. 

Over time the word began to take on a different meaning, it meant someone who is honest, someone who is charming, someone who acts as a land owner should.  Now the word gentleman simply means a nice guy and we have no proof that he is a nice guy other then the label that we have attached to him.

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Therefore, I have a test, before you do this test I want you to think about what label you think best fits you.  Are you a Conservative, Liberal, or Moderate?  Use whatever definition of the word you want and write down what you are. 

Next, I will ask some questions about issues of the day and I want you to write down conservative or liberal using the definition as it was meant to be.  Conservative for the status quo, liberal against the status quo.


Status quo is education is paid for by tax dollars based on land values into the system, the system then pays for education based on where you live and controls the process.  If you agree with the current system you are conservative, if you want to change it, liberal.

Capital Punishment

Status quo is that the death penalty is legal in the USA, it is up to the States to choose if they want to adopt it or not.  If you agree that the individual State has the right to execute criminals if they feel it is appropriate, then you are conservative, if you want to change it, liberal.


Status quo is that abortion is legal in the USA and individual States can not choose if they want to restrict it or not.  If you agree that the individual State should not be able to limit abortion then you are conservative, if you want to change it, liberal. 

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Status quo is that taxes are based on earned income and investment income, some want higher taxes or lower taxes but the system is still the same.  If you agree that income should be used for taxes then you are conservative, if you want to change it, liberal.

The War in Iraq

Status quo is we have a large presence of troops in Iraq and for the time being it looks like that will for a the time being.  If you agree that USA must stay in Iraq then you are conservative, if you want to change it, liberal.

Religion in Public Schools

Status quo is that Church and State are separate, because of this religion is restricted in public schools.  If you feel that religion should be restricted in public schools then you are conservative, if you want to change it, liberal.
Now, if you were able to say that you were conservative for all six issues or liberal on all six issues then you can say that you are indeed a Conservative or a Liberal.  Short of that, you are a person with different ideas about what parts of the status quo need to be changed and what parts need to stay the same.



  1. I always new I was a liberal at heart! ;)

  2. This test is pretty vague and isn’t very accurate.

    Some of these issues aren’t conservative or liberal but look confused with democrat and republican. If that is true then you may want to look into the fair tax proposal and check the list to see how many libs/dems want that to go in effect. I can go on about the other points I disagree with on this but not really worth my time. Have a good day. :)

  3. This is crazy — you’ve got so many things backwards! You think conservatives don’t want the tax system thrown out? You’re nuts then. You are obviously a liberal who has no idea of what a conservative is.

  4. “… if you want to change it, liberal.” Change it how? This is the question where many liberals can’t even agree among themselves. They are divided even in there own house, not even knowing which way the wind blows. Liberals stand on unstable ground. When they fall, you never know which way they’ll fall, and when they do, they call it ‘rolling with the punches’. Granted, that is more an art form than scientific study. These little scenarios at the end of this article are indeed an unfair and unbalanced assessment of conservatives, by leaving out “what liberals would do”.

    Liberal governments are getting to the point where it’s own citizens will need a personal lawyer to make sure what they do is legal or not. They pass needless legislation in an effort to “control” it’s own citizens, thus the result is that our freedoms and rights are a stake.

  5. no offense dude….you are completely off the mark on almost every point here. conservatives most definitly want the state to control abortion rights for example.

  6. Michael Callaway

    Ray, George, Mark and Cid, clearly my message did not get through. Now it could be that you did not read my post all the way through or else I did not do a good enough job explaining myself. I was not talking about Conservative such as Ronald Reagan is a Conservative or Liberal as in Ted Kenndy is Liberal. My point is that the word Conservative and Liberal mean different things to different people.

    To some, John McCain is not a real Conservative and to others he is too Conservative and to others he is a Liberal. He is the same person, but to different people he gets a different label.

    Conservative use to mean for the status quo, what ever that status quo was. Liberal meant wanting to change the status quo no matter how you wanted to change it.

    The point was that if you said you were liberal on education that would have told tell me you want to change our education system. I would have no idea how you want to change it, that you would have to explain. Right now if you say that you are Liberal on education, oddly, you really want to keep it the same as it is now, which in this case would make you conservative.

    I hope this helps, it probably does not, most people do not like to think and explain politics in a rational way, we like labels and saying that the other side is not just wrong but evil too.

  7. I understood you, Michael. It was witty. Clever, even. Two thumbs up. Consider being misunderstood a compliment.


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