Is America Shifting Left?

by Sal on September 27, 2008

in Culture,Election 2008,Politics

Michael Barone makes the case in a recent article that this coming election may be an inflection point in American politics, much as the 1930s when there was a shift towards the idea that government could solve problems, and again in the 1980s when there was a shift to the idea that government is the problem.  I have utmost respect for Michael Barone as a political analyst, but I think he is missing the mark for several reasons.

  1. In the 1930s, there was no “new media” to combat Roosevelt’s move towards socialism.  Even though the New Deal did not work, and probably prolonged the Great Depression, Roosevelt’s vision of hope gave Americans reason to believe that the Government was helping them.  Today, Americans don’t have the patience for a 7-year downturn, and the New Media would combat such a downturn based on big-government intervention. 
  2. Even in the current economic crisis, Americans still do not trust big government.  A newly-released Rasmussen poll shows that only 24% of the public support the government’s bailout plan
  3. The Battleground poll, even today, shows that just under 60% of the public consider themselves very conservative, conservative, or somewhat conservative.  It is this reason that Democrat’s consistently have to run in the center or even center-right to win elections.  Barack is now positioning himself as a moderate, even though his record shows just the opposite.  Even Clinton, although a liberal, ran as a centrist on the phrase “The Era of Big Government is Over.”

Even if Obama wins the election this year, the fully-Democrat controlled government would be subject to such radical liberal excess that we have not seen since the Carter administration, which would most likely cause a backlash in 2010 and return Congress to the Republicans. 
Is Americ

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike September 27, 2008 at 4:24 pm

One symptom of our 24-hour news cycle is that people tend to overstate things while failing to see the big picture. I think this is a perfect example. In a year that is supposedly one of the most pro-Democrat years in memory, their candidate has reversed his positions on meeting with Ahmadinejad without preconditions and pretends to support conservative positions such as tax cuts, spending reductions, gun rights, and judicial restraint. This tells me that his internal polls show a conservative country.

Democrats winning a 6-year off-year election in 2006 and Barack Obama holding a small lead in 2008 is no more a Democrat realignment than Bush’s 3-point victory in 2004 and the 1994 elections were a Republican alignment.

Party identification rarely changes. This is nothing more than people failing to see the forest for the trees.

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