The terms liberal and Democrat are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. Liberal refers to a political ideology and Democrat refers to a party. When using these terms, it is important to understand the distinction between them in order to properly convey your political beliefs and ideologies.
A Democrat is someone who is a member of the Democratic Party, one of two major political parties in the United States. Democrats tend to be more liberal than Republicans, supporting a wide range of social issues including equal opportunity, environmental protection, and gun control. They are also more likely to support a larger role for government in economic issues, supporting regulations and social welfare programs. Republicans, on the other hand, are more conservative than Democrats, preferring a smaller role for government in economic issues and advocating for lower taxes.
There are several different types of Democrats, each with its own unique views and beliefs. Progressive Left Democrats, for example, have very liberal views on virtually every issue and support far-reaching change to address racial injustice and expand the social safety net. Democratic Mainstays, on the other hand, are unshakeable Democratic loyalists with moderate views on some issues. Outsider Left Democrats, the youngest typology group, are frustrated with the political system and the Democratic Party, but remain very liberal in their views.
It is also important to remember that not everyone who is a Democrat or a liberal fits neatly into these categories. For example, some third-party candidates may hold a mix of liberal and conservative views.