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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  • 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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    • @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.

    • @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 Guys Said 59

  • I think Donald has proved Republicans have moved further to the right.

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    • They've moved slightly right, but less than democrats have moved to the left per the research I cited. Donald has governed fairly conservative, but he was a democrat until 5 minutes ago and has many left leaning policies. He's really pretty moderate.

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    • 7d

      @ladsin ure right. But I've heard somebody else mention that he is a conservative populist. Maybe that's why he won? It's not too much of eiather party

    • 7d

      @BrownBratzDoll Well that's why I said he could be said to be somewhat conservative populist. His protectionist policies (trade war with China, anti-illegal rhetoric because "illegals" are stealing jobs, bringing back coal jobs etc) are pretty populist ideas. Populism isn't necessarily a conservative or progressive position, but based on surrounding context he'd obviously lean towards conservative populism.

  • While the Democrats are clearly no longer the Party of JFK, Left/Right can be misleading as some parts of each philosophy as currently defined are more collectivist than the other side's. I think a truer spectrum is from Liberty to Totalitarianism.

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    • Well the that's why I was talking about democrats and republican. Left/Right is a poor descriptor because there's at least one more axis (libertarian authoritarian) I used left in the context of the Pew research.

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    • Sorry. Yes, I misunderstood.

    • There are libertarian leftists and libertarian right wingers. As are there authoritarian versions.

      Libertarian leftists would be democratic socialists, Marxists and anarchists.

      Libertarian right is free market libertarianism.

  • 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...

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  • There should never have been 2 parties in the first place. It just created a rift for no reason whatsoever.

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  • This just seems obvious to me, I mean the point of conservativism is to resist change

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    • And many liberals today identify as progressive. The whole point of progressivism is to try something different, even when things are fine already. It's like being a child and constantly asking for more and more candy. You know it will make you sick at some point and yet you still want that hope and change.

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    • @SirRexington
      Exactly my point. You believe in all that loony Bolshevik communist bullshit. As though that's something new - it's not. I got it wrong, didn't I? You won't be like the Chinese communists, the African communists, or the Russian communists. Somehow you'll get it right. HA!

    • @Servus09 im not a communist...

      Fucking idiot.

  • It seems that both sides are moving more to the extreme points of the spectrum.

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    • Well that a bit of a shorthand, but essentially in the past two decades yes. Except the democrats have done so at almost twice the rate.

  • This backs up many anecdotal experience every conservative has had out there.

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  • Not just in politics, the entire world is radicalizing for some odd reason

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  • There should be a centrist party for centre left and centre right, cuz I'm centre left but sadly share my views closer to the centre right than the lefts are today :(.

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  • Excellent take. I can't believe it, because I was just thinking about this subject today.

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  • We have an outsider and poth parties hate him he is called President Trump. He only wants what is good for the American people.

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  • It's alright, I'm moving farther right in response.

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  • Very misleading. If you actually follow the bills introduced in Congress, you'll find techniques used by "primarily" Republicans that have become commonplace for them. They propose laws with provisions that are so outrageous they could never pass as it, but it forces the Dems to go to far opposite end so after negotiations, the result is somewhat in the middle. It's no different than haggling with a vendor at a market, except that it's "supposed to be about government FOR the people" ... for all the people, not just your party. Hence, compromise becomes an evil word and gets viewed as a sign of weakness. Well guess what guys... you're already weak in the head.

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  • People aren’t becoming more left or right. Idiots are given a microphone and an audience on both sides... just take a look at most of the comments on here. And you have the echo chamber effect.

    It’s like yelp. No one on yelp gives an average review. You only hear from the people who jizz their pants over the thought of that restaurant or people who thinks everything about it sucks ass

    See graph below

    The Democrats Are Moving Further Left

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    • As a result, you have liberal retards sucking themselves off over how terrible conservatives are and autistic conservatives convincing themselves they’re gods give to the world and liberals need to lay in feces

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    • Yes... the bigger issue is letting idiots with opinions have a microphone

  • In my opinion the USA should be split in half. The country is divided anyway.

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  • Isn't that what Americans want? Or do you just want Republicans Lite?

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    • I don't know that Americans want an increasing divide... Who was that one lady that called for women to divorce their husbands because of their political ideology? That actually happened to my father, so I know it's something at least that he didn't want. I'm not saying what anyone should believe, just claiming and attempting to demonstrate that the evidence shows the democrats are moving further left.

  • Oof... This isn't really encouraging.

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  • You're 100 % correct

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  • Lol American politics

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  • Eww. Democrats

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  • Two parties makes distractions so they can pass bills and laws. So john Q pubilc don't know whats really going on. By the time the public knows what happened its to late. It the same game plan that been going on since human started to form governments.

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  • My dick is getting more and more liberal, and her pussy is becoming more and more conservative. In fact my dick is getting more liberal at a faster rate than her pussy is getting conservative. I used to think fucking once a day was enough, but now I want it 3 or 4 times a day. She used to fuck me once a week, but now she fucks me only 3 or 4 times a year. So my dick is a liberal, but her pussy is a conservative. It means it's only a matter of time before I put my dick inside a man's ass, and it's only a matter of time before she stops muff diving her friend Lucy.

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  • You literally had the GOP running all 3 branches of government until a few weeks ago.

    And you want us to think the Democrats are too far left now?

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    • That literally makes no sense. Which party is in power has nothing to do with whether or not their political stances are moving... It'd be like pointing to the Nazis and saying they're not radicalized because they don't have political power. It would make just as little sense.

    • Geez, if I have to explain it to you...

      The country elected three branches of a rightwing party that by many estimates is borderline fascist. It's not the Dems who are moving left. It's the GOP moving right. The net effect is the same, the Dems are getting further away from them. But by God if you don't realise Trump has DRAGGED the GOP even further right then you're blind.

  • It is sad because regular Democrats are ok with me the whole problem is the normal Democrats who are not crazy won't ever aknowledge the fact that the far left people are bad for the country.

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  • Democrat is now a umbrella for communism.

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  • Does anyone else think that the common people are too stupid to vote for themselves?

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  • We had a GOP controlled WH, Senate and House until just a few days ago. To me, the GOP is moving further to the right. The Dems should be writing Trump and the rest of the GOP thank you notes for their electoral successes. I am sure that there are more to come.

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    • Who is in charge tells you nothing about what their political ideology is... If I told you Tim was in charge and now Johnny is does that tell you what their political stances are? Pew shows that both sides are polarizing, but the democrats are doing so more... That's just evidenced on the basis self-report stats.

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    • The erosion of the enforcement of laws to protect the environment, civil rights and voting rights to name a few... Real conservatives may not see Trump as a "real conservative," but right wing elements in this country support him for this nationalistic and not so subtle anti-immigration views. In the past, these same people would have supported Hitler in pre-WW II Germany. His supporters don't give a damn about fiscal responsibility. Most are too stupid to even understand it... or any economic policy at all.

    • Well being anti illegal immigration is certainly not anti-immigration, but there does seem to be a growing populist movement which wants to reduce overall immigration. Is this a response to the open border advocates or did they arise in tandem? Hard to say.

      What erosion of civil rights are you thinking of?

  • Big luck!
    The US starts becoming civilized

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  • the right has moved so far right, that it only looks like the left has moved to the extreme right

    the RIGHT is POLARIZING POLITICS

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