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ConsiderTHIS: Political Identity vs Ideology

March 10 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm| Main Library (Traverse City)


What is your Political Identity?  How do we define Conservative or Liberal (and what’s a Libertarian anyway)? Are they tied to the Political Parties or ideologies unto themselves?

Panelists: Tak Ready, government teacher at TC West High School; and Ben Boren, Northwest Michigan Libertarian Party.
Host: Anthony Weber, NMC Faculty

Join the conversation!

Although everyone agrees that there is a difference between being a conservative and being a liberal (or a progressive), it’s harder to say in precisely what that difference consists. Self-described conservatives might characterize liberal belief systems in ways that liberals themselves would not accept, and the same is true the other way around – liberals might be quick to mischaracterize conservatives in ways that self-described conservatives might not accept. Is there a way to characterize this distinction in ways that (most) everyone accepts?


TADL has partnered with Boomerang Catapult to offer a collection of books intended to encourage critical thinking through reading, reflection and discussion. The collection and upcoming discussion-based programs are titled CONSIDERTHIS:Philosophy for Everyday Life.



Michael A. Roberto, The Art of Critical Decision Making (2009) Great Courses on CD
Van Jones, Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together (2017)
Donna Van Natten The Body Language of Politics: Decide Who Is Lying, Who Is Sincere, and How You’ll Vote (2020)
Jeff Flake, Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle (2017)
Thomas Frank, Listen, Liberal, or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (2016)
Mickey Edwards, The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans (2012)
Lawrence Lessig, They Don’t Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy (2019)
Ezra Klein, Why We’re Polarized (2020)

The Conservatarian Manifesto: Should Libertarians & Conservatives Unite? (2015)*
Moyers & Company: How Do Liberals and Conservatives See the World? (2012)*
TEDTalks: Jonathan Haidt—The Real Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives*
The Two-Party System Is Making America Ungovernable: A Debate (2014) *
*Available through Access Video on Demand through TADL’s website: www.tadl.org/at-home


Online Resources

Conor Friedersdorf, “What Americans Mean When They Say They’re Conservative”, The Atlantic, January 27, 2012 (https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/01/what-americans-mean-when-they-say-theyre-conservative/252099/)
Ed Rooksby, “What Does It Mean to be a Liberal”, The Guardian, August 15, 2011 (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/aug/15/liberalism-political-economic-different-ideologies)
Conservative vs. Liberal Beliefs Compiled by the editors of StudentNewsDaily.com (2010)


Visit the TADL Main Library to browse the CONSIDERTHIS: collection of books, located in the first floor lobby bookshelves, near the Hot Titles.



March 10
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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Main Library (Traverse City)
610 Woodmere Ave
Traverse City, MI 49686 United States
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McGuire Community Room