A Guide to Basic Differences Between Left and Right

From human rights to gender and diversity, here's a guide on how the left and right disagree.

By Dennis Prager Published on January 16, 2017

Source of Human Rights

                Left: government

                Right: the Creator

Human Nature

                Left: basically good (Therefore, society is primarily responsible for evil.)

                Right: not basically good (Therefore, the individual is primarily responsible for


Economic Goal

                Left: equality

                Right: prosperity

Primary Role of the State

                Left: increase and protect equality

                Right: increase and protect liberty


                Left: as large as possible

                Right: as small as possible

Family Ideal

                Left: any loving unit of people

                Right: a married father and mother, and children

Guiding Trinity

                Left: race, gender and class

                Right: liberty, In God We Trust and e pluribus unum

Good and Evil

                Left: relative to individual and/or society

                Right: based on universal absolutes

Humanity’s Primary Division(s)

                Left: rich and poor; strong and weak

                Right: good and evil

Ideal Primary Identity of an American

                Left: world citizen

                Right: American citizen

How to Make a Good Society

                Left: abolish inequality

                Right: develop each citizen’s moral character

View of America

                Left: profoundly morally flawed; inferior to any number of European countries

                Right: greatest force for good among nations in world history


                Left: a social construct

                Right: male and female

Most Important Trait to Cultivate in a Child

                Left: self-esteem

                Right: self-control

Worth of the Human Fetus

                Left: determined by the mother

                Right: determined by society rooted in Judeo-Christian values

Primary Source of Crime

                Left: poverty, racism and other societal flaws

                Right: the criminal’s malfunctioning conscience

Place of God and Religion in America

                Left: secular government and secular society

                Right: secular government and religious society

American Exceptionalism

                Left: chauvinistic doctrine

                Right: historical reality

Greatest Threat to the World

                Left: environmental catastrophe (currently global warming)

                Right: evil (currently radical Islamist violence)

International Ideal

                Left: world governed by the United Nations, and no single country is dominant

                Right: world in which America is the single strongest entity

Primary Reason for Lack of Peace in Middle East

                Left: Israeli settlements in the West Bank

                Right: Palestinian, Arab and Muslim denial of Jewish state’s right to exist

Purpose of Art

                Left: challenge status quo and bourgeois sensibilities

                Right: produce works of beauty and profundity to elevate the individual and society


                Left: ideally universally abolished, except for use by police, the armed forces and registered sportsmen

                Right: ideally widely owned by responsible individuals for self-protection and the protection of others


                Left: intrinsically significant

                Right: intrinsically insignificant

Racial, Ethnic and Gender Diversity at Universities

                Left: most important

                Right: far less important than ideological diversity

Black America’s Primary Problem

                Left: racism

                Right: lack of fathers

Greatest Playwright

                Left: entirely subjective; there is no greatest playwright

                Right: Shakespeare


                Left: not the answer

                Right: sometimes the only answer


                Left: wrong, except when directed at the political

                Right: wrong, except when directed at evil


                Left: all equal

                Right: some are better than others

America’s Founding Fathers

                Left: rich white male slave owners

                Right: great men who founded the greatest society

Purpose of Judges

                Left: pursue social justice

                Right: pursue justice

National Borders

                Left: a relic of the past

                Right: indispensable for national survival

View of Illegal Immigrants

                Left: welcomed guests

                Right: illegal immigrants


                Left: intrinsically valuable

                Right: made for man


Dennis Prager’s latest book, The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code, was published by Regnery. He is a nationally syndicated radio show host and creator of PragerUniversity.com.


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