What is a leftist in politics?

A person with radical left-wing political views

A leftist is a person who has radical views on the left side of the political spectrum. While great variation exists in Leftism, the main tenant is social equality (often referred to as "socialism"), which is achieved through robust government regulations and high taxation of the rich to help the poor and disadvantaged.

The term comes from "Left" (the left-wing of the political spectrum), which is an idea borne from the French Revolution in the late-1700s. The "Left" and "Right" labels corresponded with where people with liberal or conservative ideas sat in the French Estates General (a legislative assembly).

In modern American politics, the term is primarily used to refer to radical progressives in the Democratic party. It is often interchanged with "liberalism" but is different, being farther on the left side of the spectrum. Some prominent issues important to Leftists include social and economic equality (LGBTQ, feminist, and civil rights movements), environmental conservation, distinct separation of church and state, and anti-nationalism, which some label as Marxist and "Globalism."

Conservatives often use "leftist" to label radical Democrats, such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). You will typically see the term on social media during the election season, in political news articles and blogs, and hear it on 24/7 cable news channels.


Leftists are ruining this country!
OK, boomer
Karl Marx, one of the most well-known leftists
Karl Marx, one of the most well-known leftists

Related Slang


Updated November 10, 2020

Leftist definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Leftist" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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