What is the difference between Liberal and Democrat?
The word Liberal is an ideology, while Democrat refers to the Democratic Party. Despite this, one can be a self-proclaimed Liberal without being a Democrat and a Democrat can have many different ideologies.
Traditionally, Liberalism has favored points of view that support equality and freedom. This includes gender equality and freedom of speech. It has also favored the idea of progressive taxation and a strong social safety net.
Modern American liberalism is rooted in Keynesian economics, and it places a high importance on institutions that fight inequality. These include public schools and healthcare, as well as environmental protection.
As a political party, the Democrats are a left-leaning political group that supports democratic socialist ideals. This includes supporting a higher minimum wage, Medicare for all, and free education. They believe that a government should play an active role in helping people through financial assistance programs.
The Democratic party has several caucuses that organize members by political ideology, including the Blue Dog Coalition, New Democrat Coalition, and Congressional Progressive Caucus. The Blue Dog Coalition includes conservative Democrats, while the New Democrat Coalition includes moderate Democrats and liberals. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has been led by a number of prominent liberal Democratic lawmakers, including Representatives Alan Grayson (FL), John Conyers (MI), Barbara Lee (CA), Jim McDermott (WA), Cheri Bustos (IL), and Keith Ellison (MN).
Currently, the largest Democratic-oriented group is the Democratic Mainstays, who are loyal party supporters and have moderate leanings on some issues. The youngest Democratic-oriented group, the Outsider Left, voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden last year and is very liberal on most issues.