WHAT'S YOUR POLITICS?
Do you know what these terms mean,
or are they simply over used catch phrases?

DEMOCRAT
REPUBLICAN
CONSERVATIVE
LIBERTARIAN
LIBERAL
INDEPENDENT
LEFT
RIGHT
POLITICS

Direct sources for the following definitions:
http://www.yourdictionary.com
http://www.dictionary.com/

    We've all heard these terms before, especially lately.  The thing is, I have a problem with how these terms are used.  Journalists, Talk Show Hosts, your friends and family, and Politicians all use these term endearingly.  Perhaps these terms have been over used to the point where it's just good sounding rhetoric.  They've become catch phrases.  The true meanings have been muddled over time through the process of taking the middle of the road.

    Do you know what they mean?  Do you hold the meanings close to your heart?  Which one are you?  Do you stand up for the values that they reflect.

    I have organized definitions from two dictionaries in the original format.  I did edit a bit for the sake of readability but I have not tweaked the literature any other way.  Granted, some of it is repetitive but each definition carries its own separate nuance and I didn't want to edit too much.

    For the sake of argument and good conversation, I might suggest looking up several other terms including: SOCIALIST, COMMUNIST, FASCIST and so on.

    I hope you find it useful.  Perhaps you'll find your political roots and you'll decide that perhaps you are none of these.  Perhaps we should coin new terms for toady's politics.

    Read on, I think you'll find this truly fascinating!


"DEMOCRAT"
dem·o·crat

    Pronunciation: 'de-m&-"krat
    Function: noun
    Date: 1740

    1.  a : an adherent of democracy
         b : one who practices social equality
    2. capitalized : a member of the Democratic party of the U.S.

DEMOCRAT \Dem"o*crat\, n. [Cf. F. d['e]mocrate.]
    1. One who is an adherent or advocate of democracy, or government by the people. "Whatever they call him, what care I, Aristocrat, democrat, autocrat." --Tennyson.
    2. A member of the Democratic party. [U.S.]

                            Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998

DEMOCRAT n
    1: a member of the Democratic Party [syn: Democrat]
    2: an advocate of democratic principles [syn: populist]

social democracy
    Function: noun
    Date: 1888
    : a political movement advocating a gradual and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism by democratic means
    - social democrat noun
    - social democratic adjective

    1. An advocate of democracy.
    2. Democrat. Abbr. Dem., D, D. A member of the Democratic Party.

DEMOCRAT \Dem"o*crat\, n.
    A large light uncovered wagon with two or more seats. [U. S.]

            Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Democrat, Mount.
    A peak, 4,315.1 m (14,148 ft) high, of central Colorado in the Park Range of the Rocky Mountains.

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"REPUBLICAN"
re.pub.li.can

    Pronunciation: ri-'p&-bli-k&n
    Function: noun
    Date: 1697
    1 : one that favors or supports a republican form of government
    2: capitalized
        a : a member of a political party advocating republicanism
        b : a member of the Democratic-Republican party or of the Republican party of the U.S.

REPUBLICAN \Re*pub"lic*an\ (-l?-kan), a. [F. r['e]publicain.]
    1. Of or pertaining to a republic.  The Roman emperors were republican magistrates named by the senate. --Macaulay.
    2. Consonant with the principles of a republic; as, republican sentiments or opinions;
 republican manners.

Republican party. (U.S. Politics)
    (a) An earlier name of the Democratic party when it was opposed to the Federal party. Thomas Jefferson was its great leader.
    (b) One of the existing great parties. It was organized in 1856 by a combination of voters from other parties for the purpose of opposing the extension of slavery, and in 1860 it elected Abraham Lincoln president.

            Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

REPUBLICAN \Re*pub"lic*an\ (r?-p?b"l?-kan), n.
    1. One who favors or prefers a republican form of government.
    2. (U.S. Politics) A member of the Republican party.

REPUBLICAN adj.
    1: relating to or belonging to the Republican Party; "a Republican senator"; "Republican party politics"
    2: having the supreme power lying in the body of citizens entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them or characteristic of such government; "the United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government"- United States Constitution; "a very republican notion"; "so little republican and so much aristocratic sentiment"- Philip Marsh; "our republican and artistic simplicity" -Nathaniel Hawthorne n 1: a member of the Republican Party [syn: Republican]
    3: an advocate of a republic (usually in opposition to a monarchy)
    4: a tributary of the Kansas River [syn: Republican, Republican River]

            Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University

republican
    Function: adjective
    Date: 1712
    1. a : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a republic
        b : favoring, supporting, or advocating a republic
        c : belonging or appropriate to one living in or supporting a republic
    2. capitalized
        a : DEMOCRATIC-REPUBLICAN
        b : of, relating to, or constituting the one of the two major political parties evolving in the U.S. in the mid-19th century that is usually primarily associated with business, financial, and some agricultural interests and is held to favor a restricted governmental role in economic life

re·pub·li·can (r-pbl-kn) adj.
    1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a republic.
    2. Being in favor of a republic as the best form of government.
    3. Republican. Abbr. R., Rep., Repub. Of, relating to, characteristic of, or
           belonging to the Republican Party of the United States.  n.

re·publi·can·ism n.
    1. One who favors a republic as the best form of government.
    2. Republican. Abbr. R., Rep., Repub. A member of the Republican Party of the United States.

Republican
    Usage: geographical name
    river 445 miles (716 kilometers) Nebraska & Kansas rising in E Colorado & flowing E to unite with the Smoky Hill forming Kansas River

Democratic-Republican
    Function: adjective
    Date: 1818
    : of or relating to a major American political party of the early 19th century favoring a strict interpretation of the constitution to restrict the powers of the federal government and emphasizing states' rights

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"CONSERVATIVE"
con.ser.va.tive

    Pronunciation: k&n-'s&r-v&-tiv
    Function: adjective
    Date: 14th century
    1 : PRESERVATIVE
    2    a : of or relating to a philosophy of conservatism
          b: capitalized : of or constituting a political party professing the principles of conservatism: as (1) : of or constituting a party of the United Kingdom advocating support of established institutions (2) : PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE
    3 a : tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions : TRADITIONAL b : marked by moderation or caution c : marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners
    4 : of or relating to Conservative Judaism

CONSERVATIVE \Con*serv"a*tive\, a. [Cf. F. conservatif.]
    1. Having power to preserve in a safe of entire state, or from loss, waste, or injury; preservative.

            Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

 CONSERVATIVE \Con*serv"a*tive\, n.
    1. One who, or that which, preserves from ruin, injury, innovation, or radical change; a preserver; a conserver.  "The Holy Spirit is the great conservative of the new life." --Jer. Taylor.
    2. One who desires to maintain existing institutions and customs; also, one who holds moderate opinions in politics; -- opposed to revolutionary or radical.
    3. (Eng. Hist.) A member of the Conservative party.

            Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

 CONSERVATIVE adj.
    1: resistant to change [ant: liberal]
    2: opposed to liberal reforms
    3: avoiding excess; "a conservative estimate" [syn: cautious]
    4: unimaginatively conventional; "a colorful character in the buttoned-down, dull-gray world of business"- Newsweek [syn: button-down, buttoned-down]
    5: conforming to the standards and conventions of the middle class; "a bourgeois mentality" [syn: bourgeois, materialistic]
    n : a person who has conservative ideas or opinions [syn: conservativist] [ant: liberal]
            Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University

con·ser·va·tive (kn-sûrv-tv) adj.
    1. Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change.
    2. Traditional or restrained in style: a conservative dark suit.
    3. Moderate; cautious: a conservative estimate.
    4.   a. Of or relating to the political philosophy of conservatism.
          b. Belonging to a conservative party, group, or movement.
    5. Conservative. Of or belonging to the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom or the Progressive Conservative Party in Canada.
    6. Conservative. Of or adhering to Conservative Judaism.
    7. Tending to conserve; preservative: the conservative use of natural resources.
n.
    1. One favoring traditional views and values.
    2. A supporter of political conservatism.
    3. Conservative. Abbr. C. A member or supporter of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom or the Progressive Conservative Party in Canada.
    4. Archaic. A preservative agent or principle.

con·serva·tive·ly adv.
con·serva·tive·ness n.

            Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition

conservative
    Function: noun
    Date: 1831
    1 a : an adherent or advocate of political conservatism
       b capitalized : a member or supporter of a conservative political party
    2 a : one who adheres to traditional methods or views
       b : a cautious or discreet person

Progressive Conservative
    Function: adjective
    Date: 1944
    : of or relating to a major political party in Canada traditionally advocating economic nationalism and close ties with the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations
    - Progressive Conservative noun

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LIBERTARIAN
lib.er.tar.i.an

Pronunciation: "li-b&r-'ter-E-&n
Function: noun
Date: 1789
    1 : an advocate of the doctrine of free will
    2   a : a person who upholds the principles of absolute and unrestricted liberty especially of thought and action
         b: capitalized : a member of a political party advocating libertarian principles

    - libertarian adjective
    - lib.er.tar.i.an.ism /-E-&-"ni-z&m/ noun

civil liberty
    Function: noun
    Date: 1644
    : freedom from arbitrary governmental interference (as with the right of free speech) specifically by denial of governmental power and in the U.S. especially as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights -- usually used in plural
    - civil libertarian noun or adjective

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LIBERAL

LIBERAL: ib·er·al (lbr-l, lbrl) adj. Abbr. lib.

    1.    a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
           b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
           c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
           d. Liberal. Abbr. Lib. Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.

    2.    a. Tending to give freely; generous: a liberal benefactor.
           b. Generous in amount; ample: a liberal serving of potatoes.

    3. Not strict or literal; loose or approximate: a liberal translation.

    4. Of, relating to, or based on the traditional arts and sciences of a college or
           university curriculum: a liberal education.

    5.    a. Archaic. Permissible or appropriate for a person of free birth; befitting a lady or gentleman.
           b. Obsolete. Morally unrestrained; licentious.
n.
    1.A person with liberal ideas or opinions.
    2. Liberal. Abbr. Lib. A member of a Liberal political party.
    [Middle English generous, from Old French from Latin lberlis, from lber, free; see leudh- in Indo-European Roots.]

liber·al·ly adv.
liber·al·ness n.
    Synonyms: liberal, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, generous, handsome, munificent, openhanded.

    The central meaning shared by these adjectives is ìwilling or marked by a willingness to give unstintinglyî: a liberal backer of the arts; a bounteous feast; bountiful compliments; a freehanded host; a generous donation; a handsome offer; a munificent gift; a fond and openhanded grandfather.
    See also synonyms at broad-minded.

    Antonyms: stingy

            Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition Copyright © 1996, 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

LIBERAL \Lib"er*al\ (l[i^]b"[~e]r*al), a. [F. lib['e]ral, L. liberalis, from liber free; perh. akin to libet, lubet, it pleases, E. lief. Cf. Deliver.]
    1. Free by birth; hence, befitting a freeman or gentleman; refined; noble; independent; free; not servile or mean; as, a liberal ancestry; a liberal spirit; liberal arts or studies.  "Liberal education."  --Macaulay.  "A liberal tongue." --Shak.

     2. Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a
 liberal giver. "Liberal of praise." --Bacon.   "Infinitely good, and of his good As liberal and free as infinite. --Milton.

     3. Bestowed in a large way; hence, more than sufficient; abundant; bountiful; ample; profuse; as, a liberal gift; a liberal discharge of matter or of water.  "His wealth doth warrant a liberal dower." --Shak.

     4. Not strict or rigorous; not confined or restricted to the literal sense; free; as, a liberal translation of a classic, or a liberal construction of law or of language.

     5. Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic.

     6. Free to excess; regardless of law or moral restraint; licentious.  "Most like a liberal villain." --Shak.

     7. Not bound by orthodox tenets or established forms in political or religious philosophy; independent in opinion; not conservative; friendly to great freedom in the constitution or administration of government; having tendency toward democratic or republican, as distinguished from monarchical or aristocratic, forms; as, liberal thinkers; liberal Christians; the Liberal party.  "I confess I see nothing liberal in this "order of thoughts," as Hobbes elsewhere expresses it. --Hazlitt.

     Note: Liberal has of, sometimes with, before the thing bestowed, in before a word signifying action, and to before a person or object on which anything is bestowed; as, to be liberal of praise or censure; liberal with money; liberal in giving; liberal to the poor.

The liberal arts. See under Art.

Liberal education, education that enlarges and disciplines the mind and makes it master of its own powers, irrespective of the particular business or profession one may follow.

 Syn: Generous; bountiful; munificent; beneficent; ample; large; profuse; free.

 Usage: Liberal, Generous. Liberal is freeborn, and generous is highborn. The former is opposed to the ordinary feelings of a servile state, and implies largeness of spirit in giving, judging, acting, etc. The latter expresses that nobleness of soul which is peculiarly appropriate to those of high rank, -- a spirit that goes out of self, and finds its enjoyment in consulting the feelings and happiness of others. Generosity is measured by the extent of the sacrifices it makes; liberality, by the warmth of feeling which it manifests.

            Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

LIBERAL \Lib"er*al\, n. One who favors greater freedom in political or religious matters; an opponent of the established systems; a reformer; in English politics, a member of the Liberal party, so called. Cf. Whig.

            Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

LIBERAL adj.
    1: showing or characterized by broad-mindedness; "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions" [syn: broad, tolerant]
    2: having political or social views favoring reform and progress
    3: tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition [ant: conservative]
    4: given or giving freely; "was a big tipper"; "the bounteous goodness of God"; "bountiful compliments"; "a freehanded host"; "a handsome allowance"; "Saturday's child is loving and giving"; "a liberal backer of the arts"; "a munificent gift"; "her fond and openhanded grandfather" [syn: big, bighearted, bounteous, bountiful, freehanded, handsome, giving, openhanded]
    5: not literal; "a loose interpretation of what she had been told"; "a free translation of the poem" [syn: free, loose] n
        1: a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties [syn: progressive] [ant: conservative]
         2: a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets

            Source: WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University

The liberal arts. See under Art.

Liberal education, education that enlarges and disciplines the mind and makes it master of its own powers, irrespective of the particular business or profession one may follow.

 Syn: Generous; bountiful; munificent; beneficent; ample; large; profuse; free.

 Usage: Liberal, Generous. Liberal is freeborn, and generous is highborn. The former is opposed to the ordinary feelings of a servile state, and implies largeness of spirit in giving, judging, acting, etc. The latter expresses that nobleness of soul which is peculiarly appropriate to those of high rank, -- a spirit that goes out of self, and finds its enjoyment in consulting the feelings and happiness of others. Generosity is measured by the extent of the sacrifices it makes; liberality, by the warmth of feeling which it manifests.

            Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

LIBERAL, KS (city, FIPS 39825) Location: 37.04472 N, 100.93553 W Population (1990)

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INDEPENDENT
 in·de·pend·ent

INDEPENDENT adj. Abbr. ind.

        1. Not governed by a foreign power; self-governing.
        2. Free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others; self-reliant: an independent mind.
        3. Not determined or influenced by someone or something else; not contingent: a decision independent of the outcome of the study.
        4. Often Independent. Affiliated with or loyal to no one political party or organization.
        5. Not dependent on or affiliated with a larger or controlling group or system: an independent food store.
        6.  a. Not relying on others for support, care, or funds; self-supporting.
             b. Providing or being sufficient income to enable one to live without working: a person of independent means.
        7. Mathematics.
             a. Not dependent on other variables.
             b. Of or relating to a system of equations no one of which can be derived from another equation in the system.
        8. Independent. Of or relating to the 17th-century English Independents.

 n.
    1. Often Independent. One that is independent, especially a voter, an officeholder, or a political candidate who is not committed to a political party.
    2. Independent. A member of a movement in England in the 17th century advocating the political and religious independence of individual congregations.
    3. Independent. Chiefly British. A Congregationalist.

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