In a new post at the Northwestern Chronicle, writer Alex Entz uses a metaphor involving a popular TV show to compare how liberals and conservatives view society.

The Difference Between Conservatives and Liberals

In a recent column in The Daily Northwestern, regular columnist Joseph Misulonas accidentally revealed the cornerstone of the differences between conservatives and liberals.

Misulonas was discussing “GOP TV” when he wrote of the show Breaking Bad that “The show portrays drug dealers as narcissists and sociopaths who deal drugs as a way to garner power, ignoring the socioeconomic conditions that force many people to deal drugs.”

That one sentence reveals more about the differences between liberals and conservatives than do the dozens of academic articles you’ve undoubtedly “read” for political science classes at Northwestern.

To conservatives, society is best characterized by freedom. People are born free, live free, and die free. People are agents, not molds of ideas and culture; they make decisions with the best available information to help them reach their dreams.

Here’s the core truth: conservatives are optimists. Conservatives are the ones at the Northwestern football games who are still wildly cheering when we’re up by only two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Conservatives are the ones who believe people are brilliant, are innovative, are inspired. They see the world as a place where people make themselves what they will be. Everyone has a dream; whether it is to be a farmer or an investment banker, we are the ultimate arbiters of whether or not those goals are achieved.

Liberals, on the other hand, often see life quite differently. While they also believe that everyone has dreams, they tend to believe that many people don’t have the ability to achieve them unaided. To liberals, people are playthings of culture, small puppets buffeted around by powers much larger than them. Dreams are often unachievable for reasons outside of our control. And to this end, government is justified to bring a person’s dreams to reality.