Liberal vs Democrat is a political term that describes the ideologies of two different groups. A Democrat is someone that belongs to the Democratic Party which is one of two main political parties in America along with the Republican party. A Liberal is someone that adheres to a set of political beliefs called Liberalism which has its roots in the Enlightenment period when liberal philosophers like John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau advocated for human rights, free speech and a regulated market economy. A Liberal typically supports the rights of all people and favors a government that protects individuals’ liberty, promotes social equality and encourages public participation.
The most prominent example of a Liberal in American politics is Barack Obama who served as President from 2009 to 2017. His Liberal beliefs were seen in his support for the Affordable Care Act which sought to expand healthcare access, his commitment to civil rights including LGBTQ rights and his pro-labor policies that helped establish the Blue Collar Caucus in Congress.
Liberals are more inclined to support the current democratic system and seek change through reform rather than revolution. They believe that societal hierarchies and institutions are unjust and may call for more radical societal change than leftists. In contrast, leftists criticize Liberals as failing to achieve social change and being corrupted by power. They advocate for rapid welfare state expansion that redistributes wealth and power to working-class and marginalized groups and may support a more radical form of democracy such as socialism.