First of all the two are not their opposites, they are however the only two views largelly accepted in america, even though liberalism is starting to get 'dirtied down'.
Libertarians believe in the freedom of individuals, that you are where you are is the consequence of what you have chosen, and is generally a spin off from Adam Smith and Co
Conservatism is the emphathis on wisdom from the past, maintaining that what has been done before could not have been 'all that wrong', and is often based on religious morals, and the importance of a moral authority, where Liberalism generally prefers self moderations.
I saw a pretty good talk on thisYo
However they confuse Libertarian with Socialist awell, since the left in America is generally a mix of the two, but they ofcourse don't want to call themselves Socialists because of the negative assosiations of that word.
Oh, and 'left wing' is not at all the correct word, considering the blatant questions etc.
Well, the definitions of the words have definitely become a little bit nebulous. Personally, I kind of embrace the "economic conservative" side of things. When it comes to morality I tend to be libertarian about things, which means less regulation on stuff like free speech, or drugs. I put that down to wanting less government interference. To me, "There oughta be a law" is a liberal attitude. Could be wrong though.
Also, i believe in decentralization as much as reasonably possible. I think that local governments can make better decisions on how to handle their problems.
For example, I think that a liberal policy would be to have, say, a national standardized school program with a bunch of benchmarks and standard education units for distribution to every school equally, probably through some bureaucracy called the National Schools Administration or something.
A conservative policy would be to take the same amount of money used to buy all those standard education units, distribute it as best they can among the regional school boards, and then the school boards can hire new teachers or build a new gym or buy whatever it is that they need. The conservatives would then figure out how much money they saved by not having a National Schools Administration, and cut taxes by that amount.
To me government is a necessary evil, and individuals or smaller groups can handle their problems a lot better and more efficiently than any government bureaucracy.
Social conservatives are a little bit of a different story. I do think that any changes to laws should be very carefully considered, because laws may have unintended consequences. The fewer laws made regarding morality the better, I think. Fewer laws = more conservative, in my view, but obviously that's not always how it is looked at.
The drinking will continue until morale improves.