The Democrats Are Moving Further Left

In this question I asked yesterday Is Now The Time For A Third Political Party To Rise In The US? I apparently made a pretty controversial statement that was called out by quite a few people like @linds34 @Kalinka_ and @goaded so I thought I'd briefly address it in a myTake.

The controversial statement was "essentially the Democratic Party has moved very far left, and the Republicans span most of the spectrum." I think it's important to clarify that by this I mean that the democratic party is polarizing on the left, and the right is doing less of this.

Polarization

The first issue I want to address is to demonstrate that we are in fact living in a more polarized climate today than we were a few decades ago. This is always a pretty controversial statement with people hyperbolically stating "we've never been more divided!" With the obvious retort being that we fought a Civil War before. I think that this retort is poignant especially with one of the most controversial campaign ads ever being the Daisy advert in the 1960s which depicted a young girl and the threat of nuclear warfare. However when I'm talking about the increasing polarization I'm talking about within my own lifespan. Pew has run a poll on this topic consistently since my birth year and I think their findings are quite telling.

The Democrats Are Moving Further Left

As you can see by the graph Dems and Repubs both had many shared political values in 1994, in fact far more than they differed. Now however that gap has clearly widened.

Who's Moved?

I believe that the claim we're becoming increasingly polarized is a fairly uncotroversial claim and I seem to not receive much pushback on it. I presume then that the biggest contention people will have with my aforementioned statement is that it's the democrats who are moving further left which has predominantly resulted in this divide. I can understand this sentiment as the typical response is that both parties have become more polarized and less ideologically diverse so it seems unfair to blame any one party. However these Pew results seem to clearly vindicate my statement.

The Democrats Are Moving Further Left

The Democrats Are Moving Further Left

As can be seen by both graphs the Democrats have moved moved further than their Republican counterparts at about twice the rate. Of particular import I think the first graph showing the difference between mixed republicans and democrats is particularly telling.

I think that's about all I'll write for today. It's admittedly short, but I think it gets enough of the point across. It's important to remember here that I'm not arguing that the Republicans policies are better, or that they aren't also becoming more polarized, just that the left is doing so more.

I also think this Op-Ed piece from CNN is a pretty good take on the situation

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/27/opinions/democrats-should-not-tack-left-cunningham/index.html

Full report from Pew can be read here http://www.people-press.org/2017/10/05/the-partisan-divide-on-political-values-grows-even-wider/


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  • If most of Americans are stupid enough to fall for t hug e left extremist propaganda. America will look like Detroit. We will be screwed for life. Look at venezuela.

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    • I agree. If you do what other people do, you'll have their results. If you follow their steps you'll end up in the same place. It's common sense. I've said before some people are so open-minded their brains have fallen out.

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    • @curiousnorway Denmark is a market based system with purportedly higher economic freedom than America if I recall correctly. They just have massive social welfare programs. This is why pretty much everyone pays the government over 50% of their earnings.

      I can't think of any communist or socialist society that's done well. Obviously we've got Venezuela, USSR, China under Mao etc.

    • @ladsin, that's true. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland are social-democracy, not pure socialistic or communistic. But their model are inspired of both socialistic and capitalistic ideas. I think they're successful countries with a good system.

  • Dude, to european standards, both of your parties, at this very moment, are right-winged. So apparently, democrats used to be even more right-winged than they are now.
    I'm still waiting for the day a left winged party comes into existence and people get the chance to vote for leftist ideas, 'cause I wanna see what Americans actually think, not whether the right-wingers choose more or less radical, and how many people just decided to go with the 'least bad' option. The big advantage of having lots of parties is that more people will actually cast their vote, and parties will be forced to cooperate, thus representing the “average“ of what people want, not just the ideas of one party that got slightly more votes than the other party.

    At least, that would be ideal democracy.

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    • That didn't seem to have a lot to do with this, but thanks.

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    • @EnglishArtsteacher. The Democrats are no where near as liberal as they used to be. The Democrats were most liberal from the1930s to1970s, when they programs to create jobs and the poor. Today most of the Democratic party leaders are moderate conservatives (see Clinton's and Obama).

    • @MicroMan77 The programs created the poor, all right...

Most Helpful Guys

  • i don't think growing gaps means moving further left or right or simply an entrenchment in ideology. but leadership overall is (both sides) pretty moderate. if the leadership reflects the voters i would suggest that there hasn't been a significant change

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    • Well according to pew the democrats are moving further left, what they call “liberal” and the conservatives are moving right “conservative”. its just that the democrats are doing it faster. I’d agree that generally the older policy makers are more centrist or moderate, but that’s not the case with the fresh faces we have now. Just look at Tlaib and AOC for examples. I don’t think they’ll be able to accomplish much because they’re asking for insane things, but they’re being heralded as the new thought leaders for the Democratic Party, so I have to trust what the democrats are telling me. (As I’m not a democrat)

      Republicans have some similar wacky things, that’s why I just said it’s a matter of gradation. Sessions arguing for a new religious liberty task force being one such example from the Republicans.

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    • 6d

      @bamesjond0069 i don't think that is true at all. democrats didn't move in order for the alt-right to rise up. i think it's not really necessary for one party to move in order for the other party. i think circumstances in society dictate these moves more than politics. "nationalism" or simply the "make america great" idea (regardless of nationalist or globalist ideals has grown out of fears of illegal immigration, terrorism, refugees, the shuttering of old jobs that provided so many with reliable and decent paying jobs particularly in rural america, the shrinking middle class with a growing poor socioeconomic class, etc.

    • 6d

      @madhatters4 I don't think that populism is necessarily far right policy. Nor do I agree alt right is actually on the right. It has far more in relation to the left but for whatever reason they don't want to associate with the left, id assume because they just hate the left so much. The enemy of my enemy sort of thing.

  • It's mainly due to online culture, and how the unsavory deeds of another political party become such a Meme overnight. President Trump and Hilary Clinton are pretty much perfect examples of that. Whoever was able to get the most online attention, was viewed as what the political party represents.

    Antifa and Neo Nazis are another example of internet culture simply consuming the extremes and internalizing them. Then those who view it from either side become increasingly repulsed by the opposing side.

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    • The political divide and the internet most certainly have something to do with each other.

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What Girls Said 14

  • Those Pew results show what people perceive, not what is happening. Republicans spend all their time criticizing Democrats for being too liberal, which leads people to think that is so. Somebody like President Eisenhower would certainly be a Democrat today.

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  • 6d

    In my country literally anyone can start a political party and be elected, so I don’t know why you guys are acting all difficult having only two parties. It is too few, and only causes two groups to be hateful towards each other. When there’s many political parties it doesn’t cause that much hate

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    • 6d

      Yeah that's part of the problem with a two party system

  • I disagree with the two-party system, but I don't think that there should just be three. First past the post doesn't work well. You should be able to have a first choice, second choice, third choice, etc. Splitting the Democratic party in two with the current isn't exactly going to be fair for liberals as Republicans would always win as there would be two liberal parties. It wouldn't stay one for long either.

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    • I would not say split the Democrats in 2 but definitely get someone famous like Jesse Ventura and start a third party that is moderate but not a joke like Libertarians or others make this party just as strong as the other 2 parties and make it about standing up to the extremism that is on both sides.

    • 4d

      @MeatLoversPizza Sorry, but I don't know who that person is. And like I said, a third party would never work in the United States. It would split the liberal vote the two parties would likely fuse quickly. If the parties didn't, it would lead to constant conservative victories which would be a lose/lose for both the liberal parties. Allowing things like collations to form would be a quick solution.

      And this graph doesn't exactly represent everything. As politics naturally will slowly drift left, regardless of how hard conservatives push against that. (In a general sense). This is why things like republics exist and we (generally) have racial tolerance. Conservatives in the past were against those but now they aren't. So it's not really just the democrats that are moving left, it's that the Republicans aren't moving with them. (The third image is a good example)

  • I wonder what America would look like if it was over 90% left wing. Doesn’t seem like we’re too far from that reality.
    Good take ☺️

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    • Most Americans would be outa work and paying all the money they do get from the government just to survive or to prop up the millions of illegal migrants they want to let flow across the border like water. OK, I'm not a Trump fan per se and maybe the wall he is holding the line on isn't the best answer but we need to take our security seriously. (sorry I know that was off topic but I think it fit what your saying.)

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    • @SirRexington Such were the promises in Russia and China and Venezuela. The problem is that Socialism makes almost everyone equal - by making them ALL poor, except the ruling elite, who live well (similar to the American middle class).

      Meanwhile, the vast majority barely survive, and there are literal famines where people starve to death by the millions.

      Do a little research. Talk to someone who lived behind the Iron Curtain in the 50s-80s, or in China before the 90s, or Venezuela now. What changed in those countries? They eventually embraced capitalism, and their lifestyles have risen dramatically. 20 years ago, folks in China were lucky to have a bicycle - today there are millions of cars. The difference is night and day.

    • @MrOracle, it really depends which type we're talking of here. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland have a form of socialism; social democracy and they turned completely fine. Not all socialistic ideologies are bad.

  • I mean, I don't really find this surprising, nor at all undesirable (but I'm pretty liberal, so duh). Like, it's in the name. Conservatives stick to traditional, and thus static values, while liberals think things should change. And on most social fronts, I'd say change was highly necessary and desirable- abolishing slavery, supporting gender equality, establishing equal rights for people of all races and sexual orientations, that kind of thing. And to be fair, in that sense even many conservatives have shifted leftwards, though not as many as liberals since the change was largely driven by liberals.

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    • Who do you think abolished slavery? Hint: it was this brand new political party started by Abraham Lincoln...

    • @MrOracle Republicans used to be liberal. Things have changed a bit since then.

      "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." Lincoln's First Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1861.

      https://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln97.html

      "The Rockefeller Republicans, also called Moderate[2] or Liberal Republicans, were members of the Republican Party (GOP) in the 1930s–1970s who held moderate to liberal views on domestic issues..."

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockefeller_Republican

    • @MrOracle Buddy, you seem to be making the miatake of conflating "liberal" with "Democrat" and "conservative" with "Republican". As @goaded pointed out, that's deeply historically ignorant. So, maybe next time before making some smug comment about historical fact running counter to someone else's claim, you A) actually make an effort to understand the context of the history you're talking about and B) properly read how that claim was stated. Otherwise, you'll just end up looking historically ignorant and politically naive, as you managed to do here.

  • Thanksfor a fairly well thought out treatment of the political posturing in the US. I am a political lefty, just so you know. I am not so concerned about the polarization in our country as I am about the growing authoritarian movement worldwide-of which the current mobster president is only a symptom. Said one politician "The politics of fear and resentment … is now on the move. It’s on the move at a pace that would have seemed unimaginable just a few years ago. I am not being alarmist, I’m simply stating the facts. Look around – strongman politics are on the ascendant."
    This is the scariest phenonoma for me. The US will survive this current president. I fear though that the globe will not survive the rise of strongman governments.

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  • Beautifully Done, hun.
    Further Left and Righty Out the Door with More... xx

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  • Both sides, in my opinion, have extremes.

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  • 6d

    Glad everyone is aware and watching.

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  • Okay. Thanks for the information.

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  • Well, the government had to give people a side to fight for. If both sides remained similar, no one would argue as much about who comes into power, and we wouldn’t have the heated, pointless debates we have today.

    Also, it makes sense that they’re moving to the left (with the republicans now remaining in place), since we couldn’t really go more right than we were. And the liberals definitely needed to become more left if they were to own up to their name.

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    • uuhh.. there is a VERY long ways left to move to the right. As things are now it's very slightly right of center.

  • So true. Dems are way too left for me now. And the same for Reps--they moved way too right in 2010 and are just as bad. What happen to good days of middle ground? :(

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    • 6d

      There never were good days of middle ground. The reason is compromise is just as bad if not worse then just giving in to the other side. For exampled im a principled conservative. I think it corrupts people morally to give them free services with no strings attached. That doesn't mean im against charity but i think you need to be doing the right things in life and then a little help is good. Welfare as it exists and has always existed in this country is 100% pure evil and should be done away with. Now how do you square that away with someone who believes in universal basic income who thinks its moral to give everyone money even if they want to use it to buy drugs and gamble its their business and they are owed the money anyways? There is no compromise to be had. There never was and there never will be.

    • 5d

      @bamesjond0069 The 1950s and the late 1960s to the 80s, there were compromises and parties working together to make deals.

    • 5d

      Compromises are bad. See obamacare. Now we have it yet its defunded. Perfect compromise right? Not many people liked those "deals". Very few things are supported by both parties. Most of what your thinking of is just stuff that passed in spite of one party being against it. Its always been very heated in congress since the very beginning. I can't even think of an issue that there really is middle ground to even compromise over. Most issues are all or nothing. Can we have half abortions? Half a war? Half a wall? Half a universal basic income? Technically we can kinda do these things half way but its useless if you dont do these things all or nothing.

  • Further left with the politics they sell but they are as corrupt and greedy as the republicans. They are left of republicans and not by much and still right wing.

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  • I'm not American so can't vote. But I am not exteme left or right.

    I don't beleive in abortion
    I beleive in freedom to individual
    I don't beleive the wall would help and we should help People but be sure it's safe so control.
    I support LBGTQ but I don't support transpecies, transobjects and trancerace or transage.

    I would say I'm more left.

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    • Those are actually conservative positions.

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    • The solution to people being poor or repressed in other countries isn't to bring them all into the US, but that's exactly what "open borders" would lead to. What needs to happen is for people in those countries to reject socialism and authoritarianism and embrace the rule of law. This would allow trade with the rest of the world, and TRADE is how their standard of living is improved in the long run.

      As long as there is endemic corruption and socialists promising free stuff that they can't afford, they'll keep killing their economies and then wanting to flee to better places - where they'll try to repeat the same thing that ruined their own country.

    • @MrOracle i wanna help People and I want them to come in the country because there are really Nice People from middle east but ofcorse there are dangerous ones and those we should leave out of the country

What Guys Said 59

  • This is an outstanding bit of analysis - which is why I am now going to quibble with it. Sorry, but you knew that was going to happen.

    To start, at the risk of being persnickety, as a matter of political philosophy, to the extent that the American political parties are ideologically coherent - which is not much - both American parties tend to the left of the spectrum in historical terms.

    The GOP is closest to classical liberalism. Its central tenet is the idea that governments functions are limited and are designed to secure man's natural rights.

    The Democrats come closest to radical liberalism. Please note that "radical" here does not mean its contemporary definition - i. e. extremist. Rather it harkens back to the Greek, meaning "to the root of."

    The radical liberals agree with classical liberals that government must be brought into conformance with, and thereby maximize, natural rights. However, they argue that differences in wealth and power in society make this problematic. They therefore argue for a democratically elected but notionally disinterested government that seeks - through a transformative welfare state - to redress the imbalances in society and thereby maximize liberty.

    However, even ignoring the historical pedigree of both party's animating principle, the dirty little secret is actually that both parties are moving left as Americans understand that term. To be sure, the Democrats are embracing a more activist welfare state than they were as recently as Bill Clinton's presidency.

    However, look at the GOP. Speaker Ryan wanted to work on entitlement reform. The President would have none of it, nor in truth would large swathes of the party. The President has become protectionist - which would have horrified the Reagan era party. Ditto the party's stance on immigration - Reagan had amnestied illegals in 1986 and spoke in his Farewell Address of a city on a hill open to all with the determination and courage to reach it.

    The list goes on. To be sure the wild card in this is populism. Which is not, strictly speaking, a schematic philosophy, but is rather an attitude characterized by hostility to elites, distrust of established institutions, a ferocious opposition to hierarchy and complexity, and an almost deification of the common man. In short, anything but conservatism, historically understood.

    Populism is, in the milieu of the American political culture at the moment, driving both parties to the left, with the Democrats moving farther and faster only insofar as they started on the left. This viewed in an American context and allowing for the fact that both parties are really coalitions and thus not always ideologically consistent or unified.

    The reasons for this are sociological, economic and demographic, but the paradoxical effect is to create the polarization that you rightly point to. This may seem counterintuitive but it has a fascinating historical parallel.

    The National Socialists and the Communist were ferocious enemies. Both came - as the word "socialist" in National Socialist suggests - came from the left of the political spectrum.

    What then accounted for their ferocious antipathy was the fact that they were fighting over ideological purity and were fishing for the same supporters. This gave an added ferocity and bitterness to their rivalry.

    So now, the Democrats were the party of the lower middle income and blue collar voter until Mr. Trump stole them away for the GOP. So now the GOP fights to keep them and the Democrats to win them back - of course without losing their other supporters.

    The result is a ferocious and intensely bitter rivalry that is then both effect and cause of the vitriol of contemporary American politics. This is not then an argument of opposite sides, but rather of a feuding family quarrel. Often the bitterest kind of argument among kin and within cultures.

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    • It's good to be nit-picky. I was going to contend your comment about America having been pretty left from the beginning, but the next sentence it looked like by left you were talking about Libertarian. If that's the case I agree.

      The point about the right having moved left over the past several decades is a good one, but it's going to obviously be difficult because of conflicting views. As you pointed out with the protectionist policies of the rising conservative populist movements. The most shocking part of this research to me was to see how close both parties were in the early 1990s and how much they shared ideologically and politically compared to today where there's an increasingly shrinking amount that we ideologically agree with. That seems pretty dangerous to me.

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    • P. S. By the way, as an aside, I don't fault you at all in this. Even I have a hard time conveying meaning when it comes to these terms.

      You'll note, for example, that often when i write the first time I refer to the words "conservative" or "liberal" I'll add something like, "as Americans understand that term/those terms." If I mean conservatism historically understood I might write, "classical" or "Tory" conservaitism, and so on.

      It is often hard, when writing to a general audience, to convey the distinctions in a way that does not seem tedious or verbose. My only point to you is that you need to be clear in your own mind what the distinctions are and the pedigree of the ideas.

      The problem, again, with the model is that it is using specific ideas interchangeably, as if they meant the same things, when they often don't. Indeed, a funny aside, American liberals used to be called progressives until that idea became associated with things - eugenics for example - that had unpleasant associations.

      Things stayed that way until, beginning during the Reagan years, the word "liberal" seem to become a sort of trendy epithet. At that point a lot of American liberal politicians began calling themselves progressives, again, seemingly unaware of the associations that had attached to that word in the past.

      Like I said, lots of moving parts. Bottom line, the model is a tool of convenience. However, it is - upon closer inspection - of relatively limited utility in understanding the ideas it is utilizing.

    • Cool, thanks

  • Graphs are very interesting. It looks to me like there are a bunch of issues where both republicans and liberals moved left between mid 90s and 2005 or so, and then the republicans moved right again while dems kept moving left.

    That said I think what's perhaps most interesting is that my -perception- which i'd have to research or look at to see, is that it seems like the democrats in power ended up being run by the actual liberal (i. e. relatively centrist) part of the party, while the left were shut out, while the republicans seem to have been taken over by … well the Trumpian/breitbart wing.

    I think it's absolutely true in -attitude- that democrats are moving left. They're more interested in things like medicare for all, for instance. And they also are moving left on issues around identity politics and rights for minority groups.

    My question is … if the republicans haven't moved, why do they suddenly have a bunch of trade protectionists convinced immigration is the biggest issue in America in charge?

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    • Well you're talking about the most recent trends which of course we don't yet know much about. There's a pretty big schism even within the Republican party with the never vs always Trumpers (ie Romney writing a slam piece against Trump last week). It's true that in America both parties have moved towards the left as can be seen with Republican acceptance of homosexuality, government regulation in business, protectionist policies, etc. They've just done so at a slower rate and recently have started moving more conservative as (I think) a backlash to far more rapid movement of the Democratic party to the left.

      Who's currently in power within the Democratic party is really a crap shoot at the moment. Sure Nancy Pelosi is currently speaker of the house, but how much media coverage is she getting as being the ideological thought leader of the Democratic party compared to someone like AOC?

  • From my personal experience, and from what it looks like in the data you posted, and elaborated on, Democrats are definitely more liberal than they ever have been. As a matter of fact, they are much more to the "left" than they were even since the 2012 Presidential Election. From what I can tell, Republicans haven't changed much at all in my lifetime. Hell, I remember in 2004 when George W. Bush was running for re-election, one of his biggest issue points was preventing illegal immigration.

    If you ask me, as a moderate who actually leans a little liberal, it's quite stupid for Democrats to move to the left. We are a right-leaning country. Even many people who vote Democrats are moderate, or right-leaning. Admitting you're a Socialist is basically social suicide (pun intended). I teach a school where 99 percent of the student population derives from poverty in the urban city. A vast majority of them tell me they are Democrats, or want to vote Democrat, and pretty much all of them loath Donald Trump, or anyone who is a Republican. And even then, many of them are still conservative on abortion, and gun rights, despite being liberal on socioeconomic issues, the war, and immigration.

    My point being, if Democrats want people to take them seriously here in the United States of America, they need to quit throwing out the "liberal" card.

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    • If Democrats want to be taken seriously they need to actually put in place efficient programs to assist those stuck at the bottom instead of kissing up to mega corporations.

      Democrats don't care about the people, they just care about their money. Course Republicans aren't any better.

    • @SirRexington There is this too.

      But I was just saying from an issues standpoint.

    • The polls are showing that the United States is moving more to the left on topics like weed, LGBTQ rights, ending the wars, Medicare for All, an Universal Gun Background Check, etc

  • I agree on the premise. Admittedly I skimmed this because I'm feeling lazy so I won't contest the details. I'm not sure if you wrote this or not but it's my impression that many of the displaced liberals have aligned themselves with the right, rather than remain in some vacuous indeterminate party. It's not obvious to me that the creation of a new party will do much good unless the ones who are in that political special hell are comparable in numbers to conservatives. I don't think people on the right would jump ship for some new party if it looked or smelled anything like the progressive liberals they wanted nothing to do with. It seems more likely to me that there'd be a divide of something resembling a 45/30/20/10 ratio of right/new/progressive/independent split between voters in that scenario. Obviously you can shift the numbers but the point I wanted to get across is while the right may be weakened by the new party, unless the new one is comparable in numbers all it'll do is ensure that the right wins the popular vote. I also don't imagine the electoral college will be kind to some new party, although I don't have anything to base that on apart from general skepticism so take that for what it's worth.

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    • I took the information from Pew research. I personally think the left is moving further left and this is leading to a rebounding from the right (as can be seen with the rise of populist conservative movements all over Europe). The point about dividing the political base is poignant, but I'd like to see a more adversarial system as opposed to our two party system.

  • odd. Another research site seems to conclude the opposite:

    The Democrats Are Moving Further Left

    legacy.voteview.com/...tical_polarization_2014.htm

    meh

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    • Meh... I'm not sure how reliable "voteview" is, I tried checking out their study, but it started to get a little more wild. I'd have to spend more time than I'm really willing to do at the moment. I may come back to it later.

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    • Well sure, and that's one contention many people have raised in that America as a whole is a pretty conservative country. Even our democrats are pretty conservative (by European standards) hence why I tried to just talk about it within the context of recent American history. This of course isn't entirely accurate as we're currently having a massive amount of virtue-signaling legislation/ talks which I presume will never actually happen. AOCs greed deal, Calif declaring itself a sanctuary state, NY talking about medical care for all etc.

    • Yeah, I suppose therein lies the flaw with this sort of study (or at least with using the method that pew used) - using "how many align with liberal policy" as a basis only works if you define "how liberal is liberal policy." And they haven't.

  • Both party have been going toward their respective polar ends. However, as of this second, the people who are in control of the Democrat party are still very well moderate with some liberal tendency. Clinton, Obama, and Hilary were all moderates who were hesitate on becoming more liberal out of fear of losing the American people or trying to appease Republicans. The last true liberal President that we had was probably LBJ or Carter.

    As for the graph well I see some problems within it all ready. First of all, Republicans in 1994 were in the deep trenches of conservationism, while Democrats were trying to be their less extreme counterparts. Over the past 20 years, Republicans fell deeper into conservatism while Democrats rightfully start to shift into the more liberal territory (where they belong). While the graph show Democrats are further to the left now, keep in mind that Republicans were already further right in 1994. The fact they manage to move even further to the end is something that should not be ignored.

    Another issue I have with this graph, is that it only starts collecting data in 1994. By 1994 Republicans had already completed their big shift to the right. Had there been data like this from the 1950s to present day then you'll see a much larger shift to the right from Republicans.

    If Eisenhower, Gerald Ford or Nixon ran for President in 2019 under the modern day Republican party they would be politely escorted to the DNC or Libertarian Party. The values they had (especially Eisenhower) would not align with modern day Republicans.

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  • Democrats and liberals can't control their anger. They move further to the left so they can be louder and gain more attention. The more violent and louder someone is, the more attention they receive. I absolutely hate the left. But that doesn't mean I'm an extremist on the right. I consider myself center - right because there are things that I don't care about. But more and more democrats have gone crazy which keeps them moving to the extreme left. They are danger to our country and the world.

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  • Well as I said in your other take the US political spectrum is skewed
    The democrats are approaching centrist stances and the republicans are still extremely right wing
    Yes of course there are actual left wing people on the democratic side but as a whole no
    Had Obama run for office anywhere in Europe his politics would have labelled him slightly right wing

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    • Sure? But I don't really get what that has to do with talking about American politics. If, for example, you and I were talking about chicken then you came out of nowhere and said "yeah but chicken isn't beef" I'd be confused as I am now.

    • 7d

      The point is that you are painting them as far left but they are nkt
      Left barely exists in American politics
      The reason you perceive republicans as spanning more is simply that they haven't moved their right wing stance and democrats simply have become less right wing
      But even that is not quite correct because conservatism isn't right wing per se liberalism is they are the oldest political theories and in modern times usually are on the same side left is socialism liberalism's polar opposite and there is progressivism which is conservatisms polar opposite and socialism and progressivism often go together
      Now there was a political theory referred to as socio liberalism it is obvious from the name a hybrid inherently centrist which is what large parts of the Democrat platform is based but because socioanything is dirty words you still just refer to them as liberalism and then call actual liberals libertarians
      The point is that your starting point is completely off so any argument you make based on that cannot work
      Much of what you see as left is not left which again is socialism but rather progressivism
      Perhaps the problem lies in the retention of the two party system it makes for a black and white type of political thinking

    • 7d

      Well no. I think the Republicans span more of the spectrum based on the graphs you can see that I posted above. Look at the peak and tail ends of each side and you can see that the republicans span a broader swath of ideological positions. I think this is largely because many people who have always been on "the left" have been pushed to joining the republicans by the polarization of the democratic party. That's pretty much what happened to me, but I still wouldn't say I'm republican. I'd call myself libertarian or independent because I don't like the Republicans either.

  • None of this shit means anything. There is no "left" or "right" or "center." There is simply following logic, reason, evidence, facts, and common decency in order to solve complex problems that require complex solutions. And either someone does that, or they don't. Period.

    Political labels are meaningless garbage.

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    • That's nonsense. Left/right up/down there are several descriptors of varying political ideologies.

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    • Utilitarian ethics is hardly the only morality. It also has massive problems. The communist regimes that lead to the deaths of millions in the 20th century were utilitarian. I presume that you wouldn’t say they were therefor moral.

    • No. I wouldn't. I also didn't say anything about utilitarianism-- you brought it up.

  • i think relative to multy party governments, they are still relatively close together. i'm still wondering how america can still survive on this "turd sandwitch vs giant turd" system. you need some more political diversity so people can actually have a meaningfull vote.

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    • If you're referencing South Park, it's "Giant Douche vs Turd Sandwich" lol, but that is what this past election boiled down to

      Personally I think a Libertarian party would have the best chance of being successful because they would appeal more to the swing voters and independents

  • Even if the American democrats have moved slightly more to the "left", they are overwhelmingly in the right-wing.

    Liberalism will always defend religion, private property and hierarchy, and that's what classifies it as right-wing.

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    • By European standards? Maybe, certainly not by American standards as demonstrated above.

    • Americans live in their own world. They can call their position whatever they want, it will always remain right-wing.

  • I have seen reports where the Republicans have moved so far right they are pulling Democrats right. The problem isn't which party has moved more right or left. The problem is the two parties are not working together.

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    • The Republicans have moved a little to the right, but far less so than the democrats have moved to the left as I demonstrated with the research from Pew.

    • 7d

      I read your claim and saw your source. Then i stated have heard about research states the opposite. I go on to state the i feel blaming which side is gone more right or left is pointless. As both parties have both move away from the center and are not working together.

    • 7d

      Alrighty.

  • We need to understand that it is the voters moving further left. Those in power within the DNC are still a bunch of neo-liberal war loving centrists or center right.

    Also what is considered left in America is not considered that far left anywhere else. So the polls are already skewed. Most Americans are not socialist although more people are favoring it more than traditional capitalism. Most Americans do like the idea of universal healthcare however, something America believes to be socialist even though it is not inherently socialist...

    I might also like to add that people on the right have moved much further to the far right. Social conservatism and far right economics are making a comeback amongst the right and amongst people who hate SJWs, who are not far left by the way. They are liberals. Leftists don't like them either as far I've noticed.

    People are seeing the shortfalls of capitalism and it's negative impact on so many Americans. Capitalism is in it's final stages I believe before we start to become forced to shift to a more egalitarian society. Will we become communists, in the truest sense of the word? Probably not. But we are going to be forced to implement better redistributive policies if we want America to truly keep up with itself.

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    • It's not skewing the results to compare like to like. I used to be fairly left wing. I took the political compass again and wound up slightly right wing. Does it skew the results that my views are different than someone else's? No...

      No. The conservative party hasn't moved "much farther right". Quite to the contrary they've been primarily moving left over the last several decades. Over the past decade-ish though they've moved slightly further right, but at half the rate that the democrats are moving left as I demonstrated by showing the results of the Pew research.

      Your last statement is just an assertion that you think it's good that democrats are moving left, that may or may not be the case, but it's not relevant as that's not what I was addressing here.

  • Like I said in your question, I reject the premise that opinions that changed over a 23 year period necessarily represent a movement left, right, or any other way, but that the correct answer to many of those questions have changed.

    Additionally, it's possible that Democrats got tired of pretending to consider things that have been shown to be wrong, over and over again, like trickle-down economics.

    Looking at the ten questions, questions 1-4, and 7 (and, to a lesser extent, numbers 5 & 10) show an interesting pattern. The Republican position moves significantly towards the Democratic position until some time between 2002 and 2006, then suddenly reverse course and shoot upwards.

    Why was the Republican party moving left until 2002?

    It's almost as if someone started telling them what to believe (which roughly coincided with Newt Gingrich doing an about-face on climate change, for an example).

    2. Government wasteful: One side is fairly consistent, the Democratic position in 2017 was the Republican position in 2000. Apparently it started getting wasteful with a Republican in charge?

    3. Poor people getting something for nothing: No longer true, like I pointed out, there are work requirements for benefits that weren't there in 1994, but were introduced later, so a lower proportion believing it is simply a rational response to reality, not a movement to the left.

    5. Fair and reasonable amount of profit: Big corporations are earning record high profits and often keeping them offshore.

    6. Black people are mostly responsible for their own condition: More awareness of inner city problems, perhaps?

    7. Immigrants are a burden: Both parties think that's less true than it was, Democrats more so than Republicans.

    8. Homosexuality: I think that's old people dying off in both parties (and Republicans being a decade behind the times!)

    9. Peace through military strength: 1994 was just after the successful Kuwait war, and the US was still helping Bosnia (the intervention in Haiti was also in support of democracy, and successful); in 2017 the US military had been stuck in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria for many, many years, and I don't think anyone can claim it's made the world more peaceful.

    10. Regulations hurt the economy: Both party's voters moved in opposite directions. I don't suppose there's any proof?

    As a further indication of the differing perceptions of reality between the parties (and their representatives):
    The Democrats Are Moving Further Left

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    • Sure? I didn't argue that either party was right. In fact I stated the opposite. The argument was simply that the Democrats are moving further left... Not that they're wrong to do so.

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    • OK, I get that, but why the turn-around after 2002, do you think?

      Flicking through the whole report (http://assets. pewresearch. org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/10/05162647/10-05-2017-Political-landscape-release. pdf), I noticed this, as well (page 99):
      Political affiliations:
      1994, R: 30.1%, D: 31.5, I: 33.5
      2002, R: 30.4, D: 31.4, I: 29.8
      2016, R: 25.4, D: 32.0, I: 36.5.

      That looks, to me, like about 1 in 6 people stopped considering themselves Republican, which would make the remainder's opinions count more. (If, previously, 50% of Republicans thought something, and 1 in 6 left, who didn't agree, that would change the percentage to about 59%, right? It's one opinion per 84 "new" Republicans instead of one per 100 "old" Republicans.) What do you think?

    • Are you asking why I think the Republican’s mean scores have moved right? If that’s your question I’d say what I said in this take that both parties are polarizing the Democrats are just doing so faster. Why they are doing so I’m sure has a lot of factors involved, but the rise of the internet may be one of the largest.

  • They are communists now, trying to control free speech, trying rid US of Christians, trying to undermine the constitution , especially gun ownership. Spying on people. Creating hoaxes like Global Warming to control peoples lives, and take their money. . Higher Taxes to give money to people who refuse to work. They want same pay for everyone whether they have a degree or not.. Ruining health care. Punishing achievement. They would like to sports with no scores or trophies.

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    • @Kalinka_ no I'm certainly not a trotskyist. I'm closely alligned with a libertarian socialist. And I support socialist market economies.

      Socialism and communism inherently reject command economies... It's just a substitute for corporations. The government becomes a monopoly.

    • The government has a monopoly on everything but, surprise, their priority is the well-being of its population as opposed to profits at all costs.

      Socialism doesn't reject Command Economies and there's no economy in communism.

  • Yep.. The left has lost their damn minds.

    They won't be happy until tens of millions, or more, people are being murdered to support their ideology.. again.. Just like Socialist Germany did, and Russia, and China etc..

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  • It's called a "purity spiral."

    Pretty soon, the last of them will be locked up in a bunker somewhere, killing each other with their bare hands over who's really the least racist.

    The Democrats Are Moving Further Left

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  • This was an inevitability. The democrats, since the neoliberalization in the 80's, have not been left enough to satisfy their base or meaningfully different enough from republicans to satisfy their base or intrigue non-voters.

    It's about damned time the Democrats become a more left party. I'm tired of having two right wing parties to choose from here.

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    • Most people aren't liberals, even people who vote Democrats.

      If Democrats want to win more voters, they need to be slightly liberal, not a true "left-wing" party.

    • @EnglishArtsteacher Democrats are sort of damaged by the idea of 'another McGovern.' Really that's fallacious.

      When we go left, people come out. When we put up a republican-lite against a republican, the electorate seems to want the real thing every time.

      If we want more success, we should head left. You know what gets people out to the polls? Medicare for All. You know what doesn't? "Access to healthcare".

      The reality is that we are too big tent of a party right now, and we choose to spite our most reliable core base, the left, to appease the liberals and the centrists. How about instead of scraping the bottom of the barrel on people who like, what? 90's third-way neoliberalism? and tap into our best potential base, which are the disenchanted progressives who are barely get out to vote because the current system seems unappealing to them.

  • Actio-Reactio. If one side pushes into a more extreme point of view the opposition will as well. Not surprised to see this - and it lowkey confirms that the agitators come fromt he extreme left-wing this time.

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  • A liberal party or a centerest party would be nice. The left as we knew it became authoritarian and started painting the 'straight white male' as the same thing a 'Jew' was for Hitler... identity politics is a joke to most of us normal people.

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  • In the 60s the rank-and-file in the Democratic party were working class white males. The Democratic party then was a little more left-leaning than the Republicans, but not too different. Today, America is much more ethnically and socially diverse, and the Democratic party reflects that change. The Republican party, on the other hand, is still dominated by rich white males, which is why they haven't changed as much.

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    • The Democratic Party is dominated by freeloaders, which is why they changed.

    • @Liam_Hayden - Every new generation of Democrats feels the need to go 'one up' on their predecessors. Hubert Humphrey was a fire-breathing liberal in the 50s. By the 70s, he was the stodgy old guard. Jimmy Carter would probably now get called a reactionary among current Democrats. The Democratic party is now dominated by hard-line feminists, SJW's, soy-boys, and Black Live Matter people.

  • Both Democrats and Republicans have moved considerably farther left.

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    • Both have moved left, "considerably" is a relative assessment I guess.

    • How about 200% farther left for Democrats and 150% farther left for Republicans.

  • Also you have to remember that at one point Democrats were mostly the "conservative" party and Republicans "Liberals". In my opinion it's just like everything else it changes. Be cause the only thing that is turely constant is change. I also believe that a chart like that has meaning but not to the full scope of that's going on. Because there are more than two ways to look at something. Just because I am Republican does not mean that I agree with honestly either side. There all a lot of stuff that I think both sides could do differently to end up with something that is more of a middle ground. But it's like relationships all that is based on communication and compromise. Something we as a society do not do very well. We have our views and to a lot of us our view is right. There is no real giving and getting anymore

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    • Well it made a lot more sense that we were able to communicate and compromise a lot more in the 1990s through early 2000s as both parties shared most political values in common. Just look at Hill-dog, Schumer, and Obama talking about illegal immigration and border security a little more than a decade ago and you can see that both sides were deeply concerned about it. Now today both sides have far less in common and thus far less room for common discourse and agreement. When one side is arguing for increased border security and the other that ICE are human rights violators that need to be disbanded what compromise can be had?

  • If you look at the polls on topics like same sex marriage, weed, taking care of the environment, wars, etc. Most Americans are liberals

    The politicians are still stuck in the 1950s

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    • Well yes, both sides are far more liberal now than they were in the 50s. That's why I was talking about the past two decades.

  • There are plenty of political parties. People just continue to vote party line rather than on issues like it’s a match up at the Superbowl rather than decisions that need to be made to manage the operation of a business.

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    • You interlinked them, so fair game... The only other question you asked is who moved? The answer to that is obviously both the Democrats and Republicans have changed their marketing tactics. The major shifts started with George W. Bush with a large push to bring the religious right into the fold then piggy backing on 9/11 he utilized xenophobia to create a state of fear and push jingoistism. Policy wise he enacted a bunch of clusterffuckery to strengthen central government power with the patriot act and the beginnings of a transformation plan for the middle east (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran) via armed conflict wiping his ass with the constitution as he went.

      Then Obama pulled some cult like charismatic hope train crap to confuse the worried masses that were backlashing to Bush’s over reach of power and pushed race politics into the for front. Policy wise he aligned himself with the jingoistic direction of bush and continued the plans for transformation of the middle east via arm conflict and enacted some neo-corporatism policies that forced citizens to buy corporate services or be unjustly and unevenly taxed.

      Then Trump jumped on the racial politics initiated by Obama but played to the majority and increased the volume on jingoism and xenophobia while simultaneously adding protectionism to the mix. We’ll have to wait until his term ends to judge his over all policy.

      As far as voters are concerned, in all the confusion and fear they’re taken to the extremes looking for answers from anyone that will offer them because the people in power are not representing them well.

    • I linked the question to show where this myTake came from. This myTake was just showing the evidence for my assertion from the other question. No worries.

  • I disagree, first I think its important to take a look at the leadership.
    The leadership of the Democratic party is closer to the center than the leadership of the republicans who have moved their platform to the right, so while they do cover more the fact is that those in power are attacking things like seperation of church and state, advocating for a wall on the southern border, clearly not doing a thing about the white supremacists in their ranks, allowing corporate lobbying to run roughshod over actual people, and calling everything remotely left of center as marxism
    2. What I have personally seen is that the shift that covers the newer non leadership wing of the democratic party is much more recent, whereas the Republican party has been moving right for a while and while it is slower, its also been going on for a while.

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    • I'm not sure that there's any evidence to back your position. In regards to political leadership both sides are pretty moderate. This is just a result of having to bargain. We've had border walls/ barriers for quite a while. In 2006 a bill passed with resounding approval to build something like up to 700 miles of border fencing. It just hasn't happened yet. Yes the Republican party has it's problems, but I'm talking about this polarization. Recent policy proposals from the left that are quite radical and arguments like the abolition of ICE, 100% renewable energy in a decade, etc. Some of that stuff has become quite rampant. Thus when talking about who has become more polarized or moved more in recent decades I think the best way is to look at the research like that of Pew.

  • I'm fairly moderate in my political approach but I too have noticed the democrat party as a whole seem too radical into their liberal policies compare to what they were when Clinton was president which I really don't know what was going on anyways back then.

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  • FUCK NO!! The dems would be considered a Conservative party in most other developed countries and the republicans are borderline fascist at this point

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    • Either you didn't read, or your reading comprehension is shit. Which happened?

    • I think your brains aren't worth shit.

    • @MicroMan77 Much thought. Such wow.
      Me: "I'm speaking specifically about in an American context"
      Other: "Yeah, but in a European context..."

  • Democrats are exactly the worse that could happen to the US now. They're so deep into the PC culture that if they came into power tomorrow, it would be a giant SJW shitfest.
    You think what we see today is unbelievable? Wait until the Democrats have the power to force it everywhere.
    I don't live in the US, but here we already have the same ideas spreading.

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