What is the dividing line between liberal and conservative? Government. The bigger the better for liberals, smaller and only as much as necessary for conservatives. At least that's in the speeches, both have contributed to our own bloated government. And as in many issues, some go farther to left to extreme statism like the USSR or Nazi Germany, and some farther to the right to libertarianism or anarchy, the absence of government like Haiti with no services, no army, no infrastructure.
It’s not that abortion didn’t happen before 1973 when it was legalized nationally, but now it’s government protected and supported with tax money. Now it’s in the platform of one major party. Now many churches support it, unthinkable when I was growing up. Now it takes the lives of many blacks, females and disabled, people expendable unless old enough to vote as a block.
There's also a religious divide. 92% of Congress say they are Christians compared to only 73% of American adults. That probably reflects the average age difference. Conservatives are more likely to be Evangelical Christians than members of Mainline denominations, and see life as sacred, even if born into poverty or difficult circumstances. At the 50% mark, half to the right, and 39% to the left with 11% uncommitted, eight denominations are Evangelical and two are Mainline. Of the "nones" 26% are Republican, 26% uncommitted, and 49% Democrat. So you can be a liberal in good standing with no religion at all, but might have some push back on that if you are a Conservative. (Pew Research)
It’s not that families didn’t suffer from divorce and children weren’t left with no father before 1964, but now Uncle Sam brings home the bacon and women are told they can do it all--with enough government and no dad at home. Conservatives are more likely to believe that men matter. It is liberals seem to have a war against men, pushing the LGBTQ agenda and advocating for the cis-gender. The income gap is also viewed as a liberal/conservative issue--conservative economics seems aware that it depends on the number of earners in a household, with over twice as many earners in the top income quintile households (1.98) than earners per household in the lowest-income households (0.41). Two is more than 4/10th, but we're in the age of dumbed down math also encouraged more by liberals than conservatives.
It’s not that both liberals and conservatives don’t claim the rights to our constitution. Liberals want a plastic, expanding and growing constitution. Something modern for times of crisis and dysfunction. Conservatives want the one on which our country was founded. Conservatives are much more likely to quote the founders; liberals think that could be racist since a few owned slaves, and prefer some ideological progeny of Karl Marx or Saul Alinsky. (The great lie.)
Both liberals and conservatives acknowledge we have three branches of government for checks and balances, but liberals want a weak Congress with its power shifted to the Executive or to the Judicial. Congress, after all, represents the people through the ballot, and they can’t be as easily controlled from a central location like Washington, DC. It’s disorganized and partisan, as it was designed to be. Conservatives press for a stronger Congress, which has the power of the purse, and that‘s just unthinkable in the White House which sees all tax money as its own. And that’s the case whether a Bush or an Obama is living there.
Liberals want higher taxes to support a stronger central government. Conservatives claim to want more power residing in the corporate world, with more profit going to investors, not to the government directly, but they want to control politicians through their own lobbyists. Both the left and right, liberals and conservatives, accuse the other of being fat cats, made rich on corporate influence and lobbies. Of the top ten in Congress, eight are Democrats, although in looking over the entire list, no one is poor, and after doing their “public service” both liberals and conservatives enter think tanks, corporate boards and lobbyist groups. John Boehner, recently one of the most powerful men in Congress, is now representing Big Tobacco interests. Also, I've never heard of the wealthiest Democrat, so perhaps he doesn't show up much. (List of current members of Congress by Wealth)