Skip to main content

America has just watched a self-professed liberal Democrat win the presidency by an overwhelming margin and Democrats expand their majorities in the House and Senate. And yet we're all supposed to believe we still live in a "center-right" country.

Pundits are idiots. The American people are starting to recognize that when a political party promotes as its overarching philosophy the idea that government is by definition ineffective, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When Republicans say that government is the problem, they are doomed to make it so. What we saw yesterday wasn't just a repudiation of George Bush; it was a desperate plea for competent and active government.

61% of the country disagreed with Bush's decision to veto an expansion of government-funded health insurance for children (the SCHIP program). 60% would like new government spending to help cover the uninsured (both adults and children). 67% believe the government should be proactive in tackling complex economic problems, while only 33% believe the market can handle economic problems without government intervention.

Entitlement programs such as Social Security are as popular as ever, to the point that no Republican would dare propose cuts in them unless they don't mind getting thrown out of office. Overwhelming majorities believe the minimum wage should be increased and that corporations and the wealthy pay too little in taxes. In other words, the progressive programs that were established between 1930 and 1968, a period of immense economic growth for all Americans, have maintained their status as essential public institutions.

On foreign policy, 67% percent believe we should open up diplomatic relations with countries considered enemies of the United States.

On social issues, 61% support embryonic stem cell research. Only 29% believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Most oppose making abortion less available to women. While most Americans still do not favor gay marriage, that number has been steadily declining over the past decade. A slim majority (54%) favor civil unions for gay couples.

And yet, 41% of the country self-identifies as "conservative," compared to 21% who identify themselves as "liberal."

Sorry to inundate all of you with a bunch of statistics, but I think it's important to understand that the country only leans right when you completely ignore public opinion on specific issues.

Nonetheless, many conservative pundits and "strategists" I have seen on TV claim that the reason they are getting trounced in elections is not because conservatism is unpopular, but because Republicans aren't conservative enough. They say Republicans need to return to the principles of Ronald Reagan if they are to regain electoral majorities. But what they don't realize is that the Age of Reagan is dead, as is the Reagan coalition of conservatives that led it. The conditions that sustained this coalition (racial tension, cultural insecurity, corporate power) do not carry the same weight that they once did, as Barack Obama's election so poignantly demonstrated.

There is a dramatic realignment taking place in America. The myth of the quintessential American as the white, rural, nascar-watching Republican male is disintegrating. It is being replaced by an image that more resembles Barack Obama himself: culturally ambiguous but inescapably American. How fitting, then, that he should come to represent us at this point in time, when America is once again recognizing its status as a proudly liberal country.

Originally posted to evolushawn on Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 05:16 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Single payer medical insurance (0+ / 0-)

    You are right to point out the popularity of the entitlement programs.

    In all the other developed countries the citizens have an entitlement to national health insurance. Here the reichtwingers denounce the plans as Socialistic. But in these democracies, if the people didn't like the programs, they could vote for parties promising to change them. I don't know any important political party in Europe or Australasia that proposes to repeal the health insurance entitlement and replace it with a medical insurance mess like what we have in this country.

  •  The Republicans are where the Democrats were (0+ / 0-)

    in 1968. They have yet to realize that their version of conservativism no longer sells. And much like the Democrats it will probably take them several losses in elections to realize that.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site