Political ideology is "a coherent set of values and beliefs about the purpose and scope of government held by groups and individuals."1 It is a set of ideals a person or group of people have that explain how a society should work, how power should be allocated, and to what end it should be used. In America, a person's ideologies will most likely cause them to associate more with or less with a specific political group. Some organizations have specific principles they are built around, while others embrace a broader range of ideas. The four ideological types in America are libertarians, liberals, conservatives, and communitarians or populists.
Libertarians are the modern hippies, as I like to call them. Libertarians like variety in lifestyle as well as in economic structure. They believe that all people are the owners of their own lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish.
They support individual responsibility and civil liberties and oppose government intervention for anything other than the protection of an individual.
Liberals, like libertarians, support freedom of choice pertaining to social and moral issues. However, liberals also support government control of the economy. They like the government to play an active role. Liberals favor government funded programs to help the disadvantaged, regulate the environment, and defend civil liberties, but oppose laws to restrict personal behavior.
Conservatives are just the opposite of liberals. They prefer a narrow role for the government, particularly in regard to the economy. Conservatives generally oppose high taxes and government control of business but support strong military, strong law enforcement, and laws that limit personal behavior to protect morality and traditional family values.
Communitarians, also called populist, emphasizes the interest of communities and societies over those of the individual. They oppose diverse lifestyles and free market economy. Communitarians...