Detecting Bias

Conservative vs. Liberal/ Left vs. Right Explained

These sites explain the difference in liberal and conservative positions.

The Political Spectrum

It is important to note that labels of conservative and liberal and their meanings change with time and place. In the 1800s in the United States, the Democratic Party was viewed as conservative and today it is described as liberal. Similarly, in Europe the label liberal refers to someone who believes very strongly in the workings of the free market, whereas in the US someone with that position is viewed as a conservative.

Problematic though it is to attach labels, the chart below is an attempt to describe the thinking and positions taken in the political spectrum presently in the United States. 

NOTE: Although in recent news reporting the color red is usually associated with the Republican Party (conservative) and blue with the Democratic Party (liberal), the color code is reversed on the circle chart below. Below in the circle blue is tied to more conservative (rightist) thought, red to more liberal (leftist) thought.



Used with permission from Rita Blanford, Reference Librarian: