If your novel is about a cross section of America, you must convincingly portray characters from all segments of society. About 20% will be Democrats, 20% Republicans, and the rest, somewhere in the middle. Regardless of which politics you prefer, if your character is to be believed, you better walk a mile in those animal prints or your reader won’t read your book. Best to do it non-judgmentally, too, or you’ll get a big portion of the population angry.
I wrote a post on How to Characterize Liberals (i.e., Democrats). Here are some ideas on Conservatives:
- the purpose of Government is simply to provide for common defense of its citizens, and other basic tasks.
- prefer less government (fewer regulations protecting environment, business, etc.),
- prefer lower taxes.
- In short, they believe in survival of the fittest . . .
- give the people the power to make their own decisions, run their life. Keep government out of it
- Empathizes with the world and its problems, but wants each individual to strive to take care of themselves.
- Wants America to care about the world, but not for it.
- Thinks the American way of life is best for everyone in the world, but doesn’t force it on anyone (giving her/him a snobby, uncaring appearance)
- Is more likely to be pro-death penalty, against homosexual marriage, against gun control and pro life
- Is socially and fiscally conservative–not so openminded with other cultures, and definitely thinks people should spend only what they can afford, no matter the need
- Is in favor of lesser social programs, less-intrusive government and less government spending on social programs
- Likes business and capitalism and the idea that hard work is the way to success
- Answers questions with numbers and facts. Doesn’t believe that ‘numbers always lie’
- When s/he is asked a question, tries to honestly answer it and hopes to persuade the listener with all the data s/he has as proof
- When confronted with a ‘fact’ drawn from a quote or video which s/he doesn’t agree with, s/he can probably come up with the context and how s/he heard it, how it supports her/his opinion
Warning: This isn’t a judgment. These are qualities if found in a character would make him/her authentic as a liberal and would make you like or dislike him/her (depending upon the part s/he plays in the story).
What do you think? Did I miss anything?