Joseph Farah is really close in today's piece on the political spectrum.
Starting at any point on the spectrum, moving to the right is increasing liberty and moving left is increasing order. So in the usual left to right progression, the spectrum is best described as the "liberty scale." Moving to the right is the order of increased liberty.
What is the center point? The center point is "ordered liberty." Since the correct definition of "conservative" is "fidelity to the principles of the Declaration of Independence," it should be understood that conservatives are at the center point.
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To the left of center are the socialists, communists, totalitarians, etc.; to the right of center are the libertarians and anarchists, just as Joseph says.
Thus socialist are leftists, but conservatives are not rightists. The socialists call the conservatives rightists because the center is to the right of the left, and because socialists consider "rightists" to be a smear.