My dictionary defines the word "liberal" as: "Favorable to progress or reform." "Conservative" is defined as: "Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., and to agree with gradual rather than abrupt change." But the liberals I know want to put the brakes on right now, and the conservatives want to go whole hog, change every rule in the book, and jump right off the page of American democracy in favor of "progress."
We have a two-party system in this country. The moderate Republicans, currently referred to as the "Democrats," and the corporate imperialists, who've hijacked the Republican party under the name of "Neocons."
Raise your hand if you believe that the average national political figure, of any stripe, is an honest, hard-working person concerned mainly with representing their constituents in the best way they know how. I see a lot of pessimists out there. Well, you all better raise both your hands because our elected "representatives" seem intent on robbing the public trust blind and giving our money to their corporate backers.
In a war we're supposed to rally behind our leaders, vilify the "enemy" as well as all those in opposition to the war in the name of patriotism, and calmly proceed to give various contractors (corporations) billions of dollars of our hard-earned money for ships, planes, missiles, tanks, and private armies that don't, as far as I know, swear any kind of oath to uphold the Constitution. Then there are the lucrative (no-bid?) contracts to clean up the mess wars always seem to leave behind, and of course to keep the oil flowing.
Our leaders are publically hoping that this war goes on forever. They've got one hand on the Bible and the other in our back pockets for what little we have left after bills while they cry, "Cut taxes!" But they don't seem to be paying taxes the same way that we do, and their kids aren't in any hurry to go fight these wars.
These are the reasons we need checks and balances in our government, including a politically independent or at least balanced judiciary. We must have transparency, full disclosure, accountability, and more money spent on education so that we can run these aristocratic bums out of office and govern ourselves for a change. Democracy and free enterprise - good ideas; let's try them.