The Democrats Are Moving Further Left

ladsin

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/

The Democrats Are Moving Further Left
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  • strawberrysouffle
    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.
    LikeDisagree 23 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • ladsin

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

    • Sixgun77

      No, having no political parties at all would be ideal.

    • I know Europe is extremely liberal, and views our political parties as "right-wing", but even if you feel that way, I can tell you right now Democrats are far more liberal than they've ever been-even a big change in the past six years.

      However, most people here in the United States of America aren't liberal at all.

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  • BrownBratzDoll
    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.
    LikeDisagree 32 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • Haxxus

      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.

    • EmmaStar

      Exactly, people need to think when they hear all the promises of all the "Free stuff" Democrats are saying they want everyone to get. No, it's NOT really free. That money will have to come from somewhere or someone. An older neighbor that is a retired school teacher told me a Quote one day. (I forget who she was quoting)

      "The problem with socialism is sooner or later you run out of other people's money."

    • No it won't. They'll tell them everything is fantastic and the same streets will be on FB with war breaking out and they'll just assume that means things are good because the magic box said so.

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Most Helpful Guys

  • SketchForger
    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.
    Like 5 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • ladsin

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

  • madhatters4
    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
    LikeDisagree 4 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • ladsin

      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.

    • but two reps are hardly representative of the whole or even sentiment of voters. i mean how many tea party types are there on the right. how many steve kings types?

      i think both sides have significant portions moving more from the centrist or perhaps the issues we have just seem to divide us more than ever. i think what the pew graphs really show is why it is so damn hard for people to find compromise anymore

    • i wonder if it's the people that are moving so far right or left or the issues becoming more firmly entrenched on one side or the other.
      immigration, travel bans, transgender bathrooms, gay marriage, the rise of gun violence and how to address it seem to be issues that were not as prevalent 15,20,30 years ago

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  • nightdrot
    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.
    LikeDisagree 2 People
    • ladsin

      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.

    • nightdrot

      If I might, you are sort of misunderstanding the use of the terms.

      To start, libertarianism is a strand and outgrowth of classical liberalism. It really is all of the left, though the distinctions of "left" and "right" did not come into being until the French Revolution. It refers to where the representatives in the National Assembly sat in relation to the Speaker's chair - supporters of the monarchy and the church sat to the right of the Speaker, supporters of a republic to the left.

      Indeed, in that connection, that gives you some idea of where the United States started its existence. The American revolutionaries were not part of the King George III Fan Club.

      The kind of conservatism of which I partake did arise in the United States, but almost by historical accident. Ironically in the form of the Whig party, whose philosophy was Tory, but whose name came from its opposition to "king" - as he was pejoratively referred to - Andrew Jackson. The country's first populist President, the Donald Trump of his day.

      Suffice to say, Tory conservatism did not endure in a country that lacked its institutional predicates - an established church, an hereditary aristocracy, a monarchy. The party split, and one of its members, Abraham Lincoln, went on to help found the Republican party. Indeed the GOP may have become Tory conservative had Lincoln not been assassinated and the radical Republicans gained the ascendancy.

      The United States was born in the ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment, which are - though were only defined retrospectively - classical liberal, of which radical liberalism and libertarianism are outgrowths.

      Another point. Unless you mean it as a convenient shorthand, conservatism and populism are antithetical. It is terminologically incorrect to refer to "conservative populist movements." They ain't compatible - this being more confusing because populism is not really a schematic philosophy at all.

      CONT.

    • nightdrot

      Anyhow, having bored you to the nth degree with all this philosophical hair splitting - sorry, but it is the bread and butter of political philosophy - I will just add that it was not that the United States was not "pretty left" from the beginning. Rather it WAS left - though, again, the terms "left" and "right" as political categories did not come into being until the later French Revolution.

      You have to trace the ideas back to their starting points. Draw a diagram, and "conservative" and "liberal" started at separate points. By contrast, what Americans call "liberal" and "conservatism" are actually "radical liberalism" and "classical liberalism," respectively, and come from essentially the same point. (Libertarianism also comes from the same intellectual starting point. Populism is a bit of a wild card. Not being a distinct philosophy as such, it tends to graft itself onto circumstances as it finds them.)

      As to the parties of the 90s and today. Again, the differences now are more apparent than real. Again, this is really an argument between two related strands of liberalism.

      The Democrats of the 90s were adjusting to realities of a country that had been dominated by Reagan conservatism - read classical liberalism. We've done this before - see also the Eisenhower GOP. You'd be surprised how much it overlapped with the Democratic party. This all being blurrier because the parties are coalitions.

      If your head is not swimming - kudos - the fact is as I say, we've been here before. The FDR Democrats gained the ascendancy. The Eisenhower-Nixon-Ford GOP follows. Then the FDR order collapses and the Reagan GOP gains the ascendancy. Bill "the era of big government is over" Clinton Democrats follow.

      Throwing all of this into even more confusion is as the economy moves from manufacturing/extractions to service/high tech base, populism is throwing a spin into both parties. (Even then, we've been here before - Andrew Jackson, William J. Bryan.)

      Lots of moving parts.

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  • 0112358
    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?
    Like 2 People
    • ladsin

      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?

  • linds34
    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.
    LikeDisagree 13 People
    • ladsin

      Uhh... republicans telling democrats that democrats are too liberal leads democrats to set report more liberal ideological statements?

    • linds34

      What is considered liberal and conservative changes over time. For example, Republican President Nixon created the EPA, and saying we want clean air & water would have been uncontroversial until recently.

    • ladsin

      I have no idea what that has to do with democrats and republicans reporting their own views on a scale.

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  • ForteExe
    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.
    Like 1 Person
    • ladsin

      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.

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

    The Democrats Are Moving Further Left

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

    meh
    LikeDisagree 3 People
    • ladsin

      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.

    • normalice

      yeah...

      although, I would point out that the graphs you posted seem to have a 'cap,' of sorts. i. e. the x-axis in the first graph seems more about "how many align with liberal policy" rather than "how liberal is that policy". The former can be, at most, 100%, whereas if there was some way to quantify the latter (which the source I posted seemed to try to do) it could go off to infinity or whatever..

    • ladsin

      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.

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  • EnglishArtsteacher
    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.
    Like 3 People
    • 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.

    • HeyThere94

      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

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  • Starrk
    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.
    Like 1 Person
    • Well said. I don't see Nixon not being a republican though..

  • SkipStop
    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.
    Like 2 People
  • Aynsof
    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
    LikeDisagree 3 People
    • ladsin

      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.

    • Aynsof

      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

    • ladsin

      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.

  • genericname85
    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.
    Like 3 People
    • 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

  • RachelleDraws
    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.
    Like 2 People
    • 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.

    • @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)

  • Kalinka_
    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.
    LikeDisagree 2 People
    • ladsin

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

    • Kalinka_

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

  • janna_jcb
    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
    Disagree 1 Person
    • ladsin

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

  • SirRexington
    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.
    • ladsin

      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.

  • Anon-ymous1
    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.
    Disagree 1 Person
    • ladsin

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

    • Yes... I'm aware that people think there are. And, for the reasons I stated, it's nonsense.

    • ladsin

      It's a fact that ~13% of Americans live in poverty in the US.

      How does that fact lead to any policy proposals?

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  • goaded
    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
    • ladsin

      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.

    • goaded

      Isn't the implication of that, that the Republicans are just sticking with outdated opinions? (And, looking at the Pew graphs without the first two data points (1994/8?), show a generally larger movement?)

      The Democrats Are Moving Further Left

    • ladsin

      Well by definition conservatives tend to want to conserve tradition and the like. The Republicans are our "conservative" party.

    • Show All
  • Caunsos
    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.
    Disagree 1 Person
    • ladsin

      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.

    • Caunsos

      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.

    • ladsin

      Alrighty.

  • DamnSam
    I think not bc there is no final thing in the middle...

    Look
    Left extreme final: everyone is safe, enough food for all, no problem dont getting solved...
    Right extreme final: im good, I have all, everyone who is not me is dead and not my problem...
    Disagree 1 Person
    • ladsin

      Well that’s just nonsense.

  • Jager66
    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..
    Like 2 People
  • DanoMR98
    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.
    LikeDisagree 3 People
    • 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.

    • DanoMR98

      @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.

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