Skip to comments.When Liberal Leaders Confront a Centrist Nation
Posted on 08/13/2009 5:54:45 AM PDT by markomalley
There are more conservatives than Republicans and more Democrats than liberals. That's one of the asymmetries between the parties that helps to explain the particular political spot we're in. The numbers are fairly clear. In the 2008 exit poll, 34 percent of voters described themselves as conservatives and 32 percent as Republicans; 39 percent described themselves as Democrats but only 22 percent as liberals.
It's been this way for a long time. The premise of John Kenneth Galbraith's "The Liberal Hour," published in 1960, was that conservative politicians wanted to identify themselves as liberals, as supporting Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, when it came time for elections.
But as in his description of the economy in "The New Industrial State," Galbraith was telling us how things had been, not how they would soon be. By the late 1960s, with riots blazing in big cities and rebellions roaring on university campuses, the balance shifted away from liberals and toward conservatives.
The result is that the two parties have offsetting political advantages. Democrats tend to win on party identification. Republicans tend to win on ideology. Democrats don't have to appeal to as many independents as Republicans do. Republicans don't have to appeal to as many moderates as Democrats do.
But the Democrats have a problem here. The party's leadership currently tilts heavily to the liberal side. Barack Obama is from the university community of Hyde Park in Chicago. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is from San Francisco, and important House committee chairmen are from similar "gentry urban" locales -- Henry Waxman from the West Side of Los Angeles, Charles Rangel from a district that includes not only Harlem but much of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Barney Frank from Newton, Mass., next door to Boston.
(Excerpt) Read more at rasmussenreports.com ...
Centrist is a complete misnomer. It’s only centrist when you average it out. The average of 100 and 0 is 50, but you wouldn’t think of 50 as properly describing 100 and 0. We aren’t a centrist nation. We’re a divided nation, with two incompatible groups—leftists and conservatives. We need to either get rid of liberalism, or split up the country and let nature sort it out.
Good point. No matter who is in power, 50% of the country is going to be pissed off.
“the Republicans have been winning the battle for public opinion”
Here Barone misses the boat. He makes a distinction between “conservative” and “Republican”. Then he gives Republicans the edge in the above quote. The TeaParty and anti-Obama movements do not come out of the Republican leadership. In many cases the GOP leadership has tried to climb on the TeaParty bandwagon and been thrown under the bus.
The fact is that most GOP congressmen are not from “the suburbs”. They are from “the beltway”. They are as out of touch as are the Democrats.
A separate problem is control of the language. The terms “conservative” and “liberal” mean different things to different people. For some it is a label about economics. For some it is a label about social issues. For many it is not about ideology, but about optimism vs pessimism. About “We can do it/si se puede” vs “we can’t do it”.
The biggest mistake of most GOP leaders is to accept the way the Dems/liberals control the language.
The DemoKluxer Nazis think *they* own *us*!!!
Pretty much. Actually, it’s probably around 30-35% on either side. The actual middle is made up of people with no clue. They are the idiots that voted for Obama because “it was time for a change.” These are the idiots who can’t tell you who the Vice President is, and can’t identify any of the first ten amendments to the Constitution. They are simply fodder for the hucksters who run things. They’ll vote for either party, depending on their mood.
I agree. Conservatives are fighting the libs. Republicans—especially the leadership—are standing on the sidelines, save for a few good eggs in the House, and maybe one or two in the Senate.
I’m not too keen on splitting the nation, with all that implies. Rather, I say we do a death-match cage style. The best men win. I’d give them less than a week...
They’re not liberals, they’re leftists. And their main tactic is the demonization of their opponents.
I concur - and I think it’s very worrying. The last time the nation was this divided was back in the 1850’s, and look how THAT panned out. The problem is that Republicans stroke conservatives and democrats stroke liberals now embody two completely different and divergent philosophies of what America is, and more importantly, what it should become. I frankly do not see how a consensus or even a compromise between them can be successfully achieved.
and yet their vote is worth exactly the same as yours.
That's an interesting quote in that virtually all of our problems come from leftists and RINOs and the laws they made.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.