I heard an excellent discussion this morning between conservative and liberal scholars. The moderator asked the representative from the American Enterprise Institute "why are you a conservative?" The answer was:
I believe in individual liberty. A government should only have the powers required to protect personal freedom. But that freedom must not be allowed to go so far as to hurt other individuals in the society, hence liberty and justice for all.
Then the moderator asked the representative from Progressive Policy Institute "why are you a liberal?" The answer was:
I believe a society is only as strong as each individual's sense of responsibility to the community. A government must be entrusted with the power to implement policies that cultivate and nurture such a culture of activists.
The more I reflect on these answers, the better I like them!