Conservatism explains the resistance to change and following traditional social systems, while liberalism describes the adoption of change and innovation in all aspects of life. In politics, some conservatives and liberals aim to support their people’s well-being and racial justice (Foner, Ch. 26, 2019, p.1057). Politicians focus on the preservation and acceptance of changes through innovation of what brings positive impact to society. For instance, policies that focus on gender equality and eradication of poverty are accepted. One can analyze and explain how liberals and conservatives shaped and adapted to the changes that Americans saw regarding social, economic, and cultural issues.
Social change is the transformation of factors that alters the social behaviors of a society. The continuing sexual revolution affected the American growth of the population. Moreover, more divorces increased, and fewer marriages happened under the reign of Nixon (Foner, Ch. 26. 2019, p. 1039). Similarly, homosexuality surged with more anti-discriminatory rights being introduced in various cities. The supporters of liberalism realized that their government was harming them. They argued that the government was unable to alleviate poverty but instead support single motherhood. The conservatives appointed by Reagan ensured that his projects would revive the economy by reduction of taxes. The approach also guaranteed that everyone would adapt to the changes and afford the basic needs.
Conservatism led to economic problems that promoted lower taxes, reduced government regulation, and cuts in social spending to spur business investment. Wars can also impact the economy of a country. In this case, the Vietnam War affected the US economy, and it strained the countries production rates leading to industrial arrears and protests in various regions (Foner, Ch. 26, 2019, p. 1042). Additionally, the funding of the military during the war led to inflation. President Nixon was a conservationist, and during his reign, he developed policies that would revive the economy of the US government.
From 1981, the US experienced modern conservatism under Reagan, where he transformed America from the graduated taxes as the wealthy paid more levies. During Reagan’s reign, he expanded the economy, which led to a decrease in inflation and increased oil production. Moreover, unemployment dropped as poverty among the people declined due to more job opportunities steered by Reagan economic policies (Foner, Ch. 26, 2019, p.1066). The liberals were against Reagan’s step to restore the economy through the reduction of taxes, arguing that the approach would favor the rich. However, they learned that the economic growth would be enhanced despite lower tax rates, allowing them to adapt to the changes.
Cultural change explains the influence of social capital on an individual or a community’s behavior. The Vietnam War impacted most Americans’ minds and believed that the government contributed to the Vietnam War, leading to the loss of lives expenditure hundreds of millions of dollars and diverted funds from needs at home (Foner, Ch. 26, 2019, p.1043). Civil rights introduced on freedom such as sexual freedom changed their family and religious values. Nixon also ensured that America was an anti-racist society and advocated for equality in the community. In modern conservatism, Regan focused on ways to restore the traditional values of America and increase individual freedom (Foner, Ch. 26, 2019, p. 1032). He refused to sign the bill of right to sexual freedom, such as homosexuality and the right to abortions. Reagan also supported gender equality and helped in empowering women.
In conclusion, the conservatism and the liberalism supporters focused on the development of the American society. Politicians are elected to impact society positively in the economic, social, and cultural sectors. For example, Nixon was nominated as the president through his conservatism and liberalism, and he vastly improved societies. Reagan was also a modern conservatism that helped American society to grow by reducing taxes, providing subsidized housing, and gender equality. Thus, there are various ways that the liberals and conservatives shaped and adapted to the changes that Americans saw regarding social, economic, and cultural issues.
Foner, E. (2019). Give me liberty! An American history: Seagull, vol 2. (6th ed.). WW Norton & Company.