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Political Ideology

There are two basic ways to think about political ideology. On the one hand, political ideology may be thought of as a higher level aggregation of political preferences, not a preference on a specific issue like social security or abortion, but as the glue that holds various issue preferences together. Thus, modern liberalism, for example, indicates support for increased government spending not just in one area but broadly including education, health care, and food stamps, for example. Similarly, an ideological conservative prefers a generally smaller role for government in all of the above areas. Christopher Ellis and James Stimson refer to this aspect of ideology as operational ideology; it indicates the actual array of political attitudes and issue preferences that individuals hold. Alternatively, ideology ...

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