Politicians may have views, but they are usually adaptable and anchored in the political realm. Most politicians base their judgments on power, riches, or adherence to legal or moral principles, or, as Morgenthau puts it, "the terrain of international politics is the idea of interest articulated in terms of power." They understand that ideas are tools used by nations for self-preservation.
A politician's beliefs are those values that guide her decision making throughout her career. These values can change over time as circumstances alter priorities. But even when changed, these values still influence what policies are adopted by governments. For example, American politicians of the early 21st century were largely influenced by liberal ideals regarding civil rights and equality before the law. However, they were also concerned with issues such as economic growth and security, which placed them far from liberalism's roots in democratic movements.
It is important to understand that beliefs do not just influence decisions; they are also part of decisions. That is, a politician cannot decide one thing and believe another. Rather, she must decide based on what she believes to be true at the time. For example, Senator Joseph McCarthy claimed to have evidence that showed that members of the United States government were working with communists. Although this might have been false information, he was still able to make the judgment that pursuing such investigations was worth the risk because it could benefit America's interests.
Political beliefs are value judgments about human conduct that consist of a collection of concepts or a framework of abstract notions. These values/beliefs can be organized in a hierarchy with one set of values being preferred over another. Political beliefs are often summarized in the slogan "right vs. left." The right tends to value order, law and stability above all else while the left values equality, freedom and creativity.
I believe that politics is the practice of putting your beliefs into action. It is this which makes it such a powerful tool for good or evil. I am a conservative who believes in individual liberty and responsibility. I also believe that the government should play a role in providing security through a well-regulated police force and a fair system of laws.
I turned my back on party politics for several years after becoming disillusioned by what I saw as its extreme left and right tendencies. I now believe that it is important to return politics to its proper place - between left and right. In my view, this is best done by supporting politicians who share our values; whether they are left or right depends on which values are most important to them.
I am not only a conservative but I am also a Christian first and foremost.
Political views may be as sophisticated as intellectual theory or as flimsy as religious fanaticism. But, make no mistake, ostensibly scientific concepts or highly considered philosophy can be...
All political ideas can be divided into two broad categories: fundamental principles on which policies are based; and procedures for choosing members of legislative bodies.
Fundamental principles include the idea of a republic or monarchy, but they also include such labels as fascist, communist, and liberal. They can be even more specifically described as including federalist systems or not, flat structures or pyramids, strong leaders or democracy. Some fundamental principles are more tolerant than others, but in general they oppose certain kinds of conduct because they believe it destroys society or impairs its ability to function properly. For example, some philosophies or religions condemn slavery or other forms of oppression because they believe it harms humanity or prevents progress.
The choice of a fundamental principle thus determines how policy will be made. If you choose a monarchy rather than a republic, then there is a clear-cut order of precedence for who makes decisions about policy: your ruler directly. If you select a system of government where both the executive and legislative branches have some degree of independence from each other, then policy is decided by a combination of rulers and politicians.