Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
27 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Religion, Sex, and Politics

Subject: America: Center-Left nation? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-l-borosage/the-center-l...

Borosage makes an interesting rebuttal to the conservatives who argue that the US is still a "center-right" nation. They support this claim with the self-identification statistic: more people identify as conservative (34%) than liberal (22%), with the rest (44%) self-described moderates. 34>22, so center-right rather than center-left.

As Brosage points out, however, ""Moderate" isn't a place holder, as voters who describe themselves that way have attitudes on the issues of the day." He then goes through a broad range of fundamental issues where self-described liberals think one thing and conservatives the opposite and shows a strong majority of moderates favor the liberal position.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Boykin
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
For BJ.....
Avatar
mb
Here's a post I did on another thread. After reading your article, I dont feel that I have anything else to say on this matter.

RE: 'Left' and 'Right'-

The idea that the 'average' American voter is 'central left', or 'central right' is ridiculous. What is real are people, who make different choices and have different preferences.

SOME voters are able to express these preferences in terms of an ideological framework- Anarchism, Libertarianism, Socialism, Conservativism. These people are generally much more politically active than the average Joe, however.

MOST voters, however, have just general feelings. "I think that Abortion is pretty wrong". "I wish my schools were better". "I think that Rich People getting a tax cut when I'm barely making ends meet is wrong". But the thing is, these feelings are just that- feelings. They are connected to the individual's life and world view, but not (usually) into any form of coherent 'ideology'.

This means that when ONE issue starts to stand out over another, it looks like people are drifting in one way or another. Right now, the economy is hurting, so the feelings of people revolve around the question of "what will the Government do to fix the economy?"

How do you 'measure' feelings like this, in terms of a political ideology? You can't- because the American people don't usually HAVE an ideology.

Thats why I reject the graphs and data used by political scientists to try and 'fix' how Americans feel about the different ideologies in American politics. The most common political ideology of Americans is APATHY- they don't 'feel' that politics is important to their lives. When they do, its because one or two issues REALLY bugs them, and they will vote accordingly.

But the idea that the American people are 'left' or 'right' is just a rhetorical technique to try and justify one side winning an election, or to attack the other guys for being 'extremist'.

Darilian
13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think you're right (which is presumably why far more people identify as "moderate" than as "liberal" or "conservative"), but that's not really the point of the article. He's talking about where Americans stand on a wide range of issues, and pointing out that most Americans fall on the "liberal" side rather than on the "conservative" side. It doesn't mean they're individually really liberal rather than moderate but rather that when it comes down to the issues (on which a party ultimately runs) the notion that the country is basically center-right on issues is false.

One interesting question was on why the Republican party lost -- too conservative, or not conservative enough. Liberals and self-described moderates strongly agreed that they were too conservative, while conservatives felt they weren't conservative enough. I suspect that this belief, combined with the fact that it was the more moderate Republicans that lost their seats in the recent election, is likely to push the party further from the center before it can readjust and move towards it.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Boykin
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
For BJ.....
Avatar
mb
Unless they can come up with a coherent program that ties all of the disparte elements together.

In my opinion, that was the HUGE advantage of Obama as a candidate- his own 'personal story' helped tie together all of the disparate threads of the Democratic Party. But the 'Obama Myth' (Read Ian Kershaw for where I got this) acts as a hub for the radically differing elements of the Democratic Party to come together- just as the 'Reagan Myth' tied the GOP into the 'Reagan Coalition'.

Personally, I think its a terrible idea for a Party to try and use a PERSON to rally around. Far better to do so around an IDEA. Thats why I think that Gingrinch's 'Contract with America' was a MUCH more powerful political force- it allowed the GOP to rally around a set of programs to LEGISLATE around. When you rally around a President, you're stuck with the problems of having to work with/around Congress. But if you can actually unite Congress around some ideas, you can actually ACHEIVE some things. The fact that Gingrinch and the GOP House reached to far to fast and lost power doesn't deny that it was an incredible achievement- comparable in some ways to Johnson's Great Society (albeit from a different ideological perspective).

Darilian
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenneth Bailey
United States
Ypsilanti
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I think the reason why the Republicans lost is because they are seen as pandering too much to the moneyed interests of this country. I mean look at the tax cuts they propose - capital gains, divedends, etc. Granted because of the proliferation of 401K's these things benefit the working classes somewhat, but not nearly as much as someone who can tie up his money in investments and use the proceeds to pay himself. It's pretty sad when some someone like Kerry's wife pays about a 15% tax rate and most middle class folks are hit with a roughly 50% tax rate (when you factor in all taxes). But when you bring up issues like this you are accused of class warfare.

4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Boykin
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
For BJ.....
Avatar
mb
Oh, I agree....

If the government is broke (like it is now), you can't go around and say "We all need to cut back to get through this" and then call for tax cuts for just ONE group of people over another.

I understand the reasoning for the Republican tax cuts on the wealthy- and if the debt was more manageable, I wouldn't mind so much. If we decrease the debt, we open up access to credit for middle and lower class Americans, which gives them opportunity to succeed. I can then support reducing the tax rate on the wealthy- people shouldn't have a 'disincentive' for success.

BUT- we HAVE to take care of the debt first. I don't want to INCREASE taxes on the wealthy- I think there is a lot of Government spending that we should look at cutting before raising ANYONES taxes- but its unseemly to be calling for debt reduction and then lowering ONE tax bracket and not anyone elses. It just looks bad and is REALLY difficult to explain politically, no matter HOW much economic sense it might make.

Darilian
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Darilian wrote:
Unless they can come up with a coherent program that ties all of the disparte elements together.


Absolutely...but the point of the article (again) is that those disparate elements aren't conservative.

A program based on the fact that the majority of Americans think that government regulation does more good than harm, that gays should generally be accepted rather than discouraged, that believes that our security depends more on building strong relationships with other nations than it does on our military strengths, that worries more that we'll fail to make needed national investments than that we'll spend too much, etc., is going to be a program that resonates with liberals rather than with conservatives.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
nothing but static
New Zealand
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Centre left? you're having a laugh.

America is right-far right.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jorge Montero
United States
St Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
I'll take Manhattan in a garbage bag. With Latin written on it that says "It's hard to give a shit these days"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
muntmeister wrote:
Centre left? you're having a laugh.

America is right-far right.



The people are further to the left than they realize. That's the whole point.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Boykin
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
For BJ.....
Avatar
mb
Left, right....

WE'RE the ones with the GUNS.

Darilian
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pat R
United States
Peculiar
Missouri
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think Americans can easily be put in any particular box. People float around too much. Unless something drastic, like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor happens, we drift with whatever is on the tube atm.
Clinton could not keep his pants up, so people went right.
W has made a mess of things, so people went left.
It's not a real movement. It's a reaction.
6 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
William Boykin
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
For BJ.....
Avatar
mb
lizardbaby wrote:
I don't think Americans can easily be put in any particular box. People float around too much. Unless something drastic, like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor happens, we drift with whatever is on the tube atm.
Clinton could not keep his pants up, so people went right.
W has made a mess of things, so people went left.
It's not a real movement. It's a reaction.


Bravo!

Interesting study done in the 1990's (and I don't have a copy of it, so you'll just have to trust me on this).

In that study, they gauged people on how they viewed their own politics- Hard Right, Right, Moderate Right, Moderate, Moderate Left, Left, Hard Left.

Then, they tested these people on basic political facts of the late 1980's, early 1990's. (Who is the Vice President? Who is the Speaker of the House? What does NAFTA stand for?) Basic questions of fact.

The results? The people who knew the MOST, were the ones on the extremes. Moderates scored APPALLINGLY.

Simply put, most Americans, who call themselves Moderates, really don't pay attention to the details of the political process. Generally, the ones who know a lot are the ones who CARE- and those people have a tendency to be very Partisan.

This means that there is NO 'center' in America. The idea that Americans are drifting one way or the other is meaningless- because most Americans aren't even looking at politics in that way. The extent to which they are, its on a VERY one or two issue basis- some 'lightning rod' that really polarizes them one way or another. The idea that there is some 'consensus' in the middle is incorrect- the consensus in the Center, if it exists at all, is a consensus of APATHY.


The frightening thing, for me, is that the things that can polarize us the most have a tendency to be quite superficial....and easily manipulated. But thats another story entirely....

Darilian
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Brooks
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chad_Ellis wrote:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-l-borosage/the-center-l...

Borosage makes an interesting rebuttal to the conservatives who argue that the US is still a "center-right" nation. They support this claim with the self-identification statistic: more people identify as conservative (34%) than liberal (22%), with the rest (44%) self-described moderates. 34>22, so center-right rather than center-left.

As Brosage points out, however, ""Moderate" isn't a place holder, as voters who describe themselves that way have attitudes on the issues of the day." He then goes through a broad range of fundamental issues where self-described liberals think one thing and conservatives the opposite and shows a strong majority of moderates favor the liberal position.


Ha Ha Ha. Centre Left? Really?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ombwiri wrote:
Ha Ha Ha. Centre Left? Really?


*shrug*

Wherever one talks about "the center" there are going to be some who say it's far left and others who say it's far right. I think the article itself is a lot more interesting than arguments over exactly where the political center lies.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pat R
United States
Peculiar
Missouri
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
The frightening thing, for me, is that the things that can polarize us the most have a tendency to be quite superficial....and easily manipulated. But thats another story entirely....


Amen Brother.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken
United States
Crystal Lake
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ignore what the parties say and how people self-identify. "Liberal" has become almost a slander that says "You're a bleeding heart, weak-kneed, closet communist that hates our nation." It was so horridly abused in the '90s and early in this century as a symbol of weakness that we've forgotten what it actually means.

Instead, go visit the [url="http://www.norc.org/homepage.htm"]NORC web site[/q] and look at the research that's been published using that data. Studies on that data have demonstrated that more Americans are liberal than they think, and that we're trending in that direction over time. The study is now bi-annual, but was conducted annually in the past.

Personally, I think "Conservative vs. Liberal" is as dumb as "Democrat vs. Republican." When we slap a label on something or someone, it usually means we're glossing over a great deal of the actual substance in favor of some shallow, inaccurate, horrid stereotype.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M@tthijs
Netherlands
Venlo
flag msg tools
This user is outstanding in mediocre videogaming
badge
Did you visit my www.kobudovenlo.nl? It has game info
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Darilian wrote:
Left, right....

WE'RE the ones with the GUNS.

Darilian

"In war, it doesn't matter who is right, only who is left."

(don't know who I quoted, but think it's a great one)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Probably America is today a middle-Liberal nation, but it doesn't make it center-left. Most American Liberal positions are quite rightish for me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken
United States
Crystal Lake
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HeinzGuderian wrote:
Probably America is today a middle-Liberal nation, but it doesn't make it center-left. Most American Liberal positions are quite rightish for me.


Sort of important to have the context, though. Compare the US to China and we're way, way left. So it's probably best to keep the comparisons to a single country.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trey Stone
United States
Texarkana
Texas
flag msg tools
May the bikini be with you!
badge
I destroy SJWs!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Way left? You consider China a "right wing" country? Compared to us?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken
United States
Crystal Lake
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Do they have the right to free speech? To organize politically freely? To petition their government without fear of reprisal? To practice their religion as they see fit without government intrusion? To...

I think you get the point. I'd call them distinctly "right" despite the name they've applied to their chosen system of government. Then again, the USSR was as well.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trey Stone
United States
Texarkana
Texas
flag msg tools
May the bikini be with you!
badge
I destroy SJWs!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Correct me if I misunderstand, but it seems to me you are saying the right-left scale is measured by freedom vs totalitarianism. I don't think that's the case. You can have right and left wing dictatorships as well as free societies.

"Right/Left" describes the relationship of economics/civil liberties/corporate/government values/protections/allowances. For example, China is largely a dictatorship still, but definitely "left wing" due to it's Communist idealogy (though not nearly as much as it used to). The dictatorships of Hitler, Mussilini and some of those that occured in Central and South America could be termed "right wing", most often identified by the very cozy relationship between powerful corporate interests and the dictatorship in question.

Just some thoughts...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Stephen Sanders
United States
Henderson
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
DNA results:Scottish, Dutch, English, Irish, German, French, Iberian Peninsula = 100% American!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
tstone wrote:
Way left? You consider China a "right wing" country? Compared to us?


To help clear up the 'right' and 'left' designations, I suggest reading "Liberal Fascism," by Jonah Goldberg.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Taylor Liss
United States
Quincy
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
lizardbaby wrote:
I don't think Americans can easily be put in any particular box. People float around too much. Unless something drastic, like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor happens, we drift with whatever is on the tube atm.
Clinton could not keep his pants up, so people went right.
W has made a mess of things, so people went left.
It's not a real movement. It's a reaction.


"As a nation, we are not one that acts, but one that reacts."
~Said by my highschool English teacher Edgar "Uncle Ed" Tatro

Darilian wrote:

"In war, it doesn't matter who is right, only who is left."

(don't know who I quoted, but think it's a great one)


Correct quote is

"War does not determine who is right - only who is left."
~Bertrand Russell
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
M@tthijs
Netherlands
Venlo
flag msg tools
This user is outstanding in mediocre videogaming
badge
Did you visit my www.kobudovenlo.nl? It has game info
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
caltexn wrote:
tstone wrote:
Way left? You consider China a "right wing" country? Compared to us?
To help clear up the 'right' and 'left' designations, I suggest reading "Liberal Fascism," by Jonah Goldberg.
Designation.

That's the word. Means you throw a lot of issues on one heap, issues which in some cases cross each other, in others have no connecton whatsoever, you kick it a few times and suddenly you have a 1dimensional scale of a 3- or 4dimensional reality, with one direction called left and the other right.

I'm no expert, but I suspect other books from other experts (is he? On what?) will give other definitions.

And even then, if such a scale could be made in a workable way: which is left and which is right on that 1D-scale is partially determined by the point from which it is viewed. I.e.: for a 'leftish' country (and an non existing average Joe in it) countries which seem 'right-winged' can be pretty left winged for a country with a rightish culture.

So I think this is one thread that'll never reach a conclusion.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.