Long time readers know that I’ve wrestled with defining the difference between left wing and right wing thought. I finally got some help, starting with Arnold Kling (who seems to be wrestling with the same issue himself) and ending here, a blog I must read more! Here is the money quote:
Libertarians believe (roughly) in markets as smarter than other options when solving problems.
Conservatives believe (roughly) in tradition as smarter than other options when solving problems.
Progressives believe (roughly) that there are important/essential problems currently unsolved, with the subtext that markets and tradition have not solved them, and they should be solved now/soon.
This is a gross oversimplification, but incredibly useful. I believe that the majority of people have some inclination toward all three views. It would be useful to examine issues from all three perspectives.