The Political Spectrum - 2007 Edition
When I was in Civics in Junior High School, we were taught a pretty standard political spectrum, as below:
RADICAL LIBERAL MODERATE CONSERVATIVE REACTIONARY
I took an inventory and was on the line between Liberal and Moderate (with a few Conservative opinions to keep em' guessing).
In those days, Marxists were considered Radical, Democrats were Liberal (except in the South), Republican were Conservative and the Klan was Reactionary, with moderates in both major parties. Some didn't include moderates, considering them middle of the road and not a position in their own right.
Things have changed. The Greens are now the Liberal Party, while the Democrats are the Moderates. There are no more Marxists and many things thought really Radical aside from economics are now the law (acceptance of abortion rights and gay rights) or soon to be as the result of Supreme Court deliberations.
The striking change is among the Republicans. The rise of the Religious Right has introduced Reactionaries back into the process. While I am sure some of them are Klansmen at heart, it is no longer PC to self-ID that way. However, they are true reactionaries as the term is defined, as they are opposed to the status quo on abortion, gay rights, civil rights and the list goes on. Since they seek a return to more straight laced days they are not considered radical or liberal. What is really fascinating, however, is their dominance of the Republican Party - particularly in the current Administration. Anyone with a degree from Regent University can likely be considered just a bit Reactionary, don't ya think?
The Conservatives are non-existent, since to be conservative one must favor the status quo. The closest thing we have are the Libertarians and libertarian Republicans, although some may consider these economic reactionaries - so it may be that Conservatives really are MIA after all.