Where Is Liberalism?

I want to tarnish conservatism and grow liberalism. To date, I have mostly offered ways to do the former. In order to grow liberalism, one of the tasks we must first complete is to find out where liberalism is, and where it stands in relation to conservatism in each of the states. Using CNN exit polls from the 2004 election, I have produced a table that does just that.
The first column shows the difference between the number of liberals as a percentage of the electorate in a state and the number of conservatives in the electorate of that state (Liberal Ideological Margin--Liberal IM). The second column shows Kerry's margin among moderates (Moderate Vote Margin--Moderate VM).
      Liberal IM    Moderate VM       
AL	-29	     -9
AK	-20	     -18
AZ	-19	     +5
AR	-29	     +18
CA	-2	     +15
CO	-13	     +9
CT	+2	     +9
DE	-10	     +25
DC	+33	     +79
FL	-14	     +13
GA	-27	     +5
HI	+6	     +10
ID	-22	     -31
IL	-4	     +17
IN	-28	     +2
IA	-17	     +19
KS	-24	     -9
KY	-24	     -1
LA	-23	     -4
ME	-1	     +12
MD	-4	     +22
MA	+13	     +19
MI	-12	     +14
MN	-7	     +15
MS	-29	     +3
MO	-17	     +6
MT	-18	     -1
NE	-28	     -16
NV	-16	     +12
NH	-9	     +15
NJ	+2	     +6
NM	-14	     +21
NY	+2	     +20
NC	-23	     +1
ND	-20	     -13
OH	-15	     +18
OK	-30	     -12
OR	-7	     +13
PA	-8	     +14
RI	+6	     +28
SC	-24	     +1
SD	-23	     +5
TN	-32	     +17
TX	-29	     +3
UT	-34	     -23
VT	+7	     +23
VA	-21	     +15
WA	-7	     +24
WV	-16	     +7
WI	-12	     +12
WY	-24	     -22
Here are the states where liberals outnumber conservatives:
States where we lead
      Liberal IM    Moderate VM       
DC	+33	     +79
MA	+13	     +19
VT	+7	     +23
RI	+6	     +28
HI	+6	     +10
NY	+2	     +20
CT	+2	     +9
NJ	+2	     +6
That's it. We are clearly in a lot of trouble. I will have a lot of commentary on this information later on, but for now I'll just leave these tables open for discussion.

Tags: Ideology (all tags)

Comments

39 Comments

Blair
Did accomplished something remarkable. He changed the "natural" ruling party of Britain from Conservative to Labour. If only we could do that here.

I was in Britain when he managed to removbe Clause 4 from the labour party constitution. What he accomplished angered a lot of lefites like myself, but it doesn't eliminate the fact that he accomplished it. We have much to learn indeed.

by Chris Bowers 2004-11-10 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Blair
UK politics question:

How likely is it that politics/media in the UK will go the same sad way as it has in the US?  Money, money, money.

by Winger 2004-11-10 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Blair
Don't forget that Blair was given alot of help by the Conservatives.

Almost immediately after the narrow Conservative victory in the 1992 elections, Britain suffered a currency crisis and was forced out of the older, looser version of the European monetary union. The Conservatives lost their reputation as competent managers of the economy and have never regained it.

Then they tore themselves apart over the European integration issue, 5 years of slow-motion self destruction between wingnuts and moderates.

Any chance something like that could happen here? We have to be ready should we be presented with such an opportunity.

by tgeraghty 2004-11-10 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re-Branding
Remember that this is the list of people that call themselves "Liberal" versus those that call themselves "Conservative".  Much of the work to be done is simply the re-branding of the word Liberal.  We need to remind people what liberalism really is and what it is not.  Many disagree with us, but not in the same percentage the numbers above would imply.  At least, that is what I believe.

I'd love to see a series of commercials that just promoted the word "Liberal".  Something like a picture of George Washington while a voice reads the quote:

As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.
-- George Washington

by Mark Matson 2004-11-10 02:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Re-Branding
Someone on DKos (I seem to have not bookmarked it) suggested a commercial format with a diverse series of people saying "I'm a liberal because..." and filling in the blanks with a whole series of reasons. Your suggestion takes another form, which I'd like to see married with the one just mentioned.  

Something along the lines of:

"I'm a liberal, because I believe in racial justice, just like Martin Luther King."

"I'm a liberal, because I believe that everyone has a right to be free from want, just like Franklin Roosevelt."

...

"I'm a liberal, because I agree with George Washington. He said, 'I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.'"

Run this commerical first. Then run commercials that focus more intensely on each of the historical figures, framed by the same people who linked to them in the first commercial.

by Paul Rosenberg 2004-11-10 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Re-Branding
Great commercial idea!! Needed it a few weeks ago!!
by crowbar317 2004-11-10 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Re-Branding
Yes, I think it's simple branding. Because look at the margin among "moderates." Kerry wins that in all but the most conservative of states. Some of these are people that could be described as "liberal" if they only knew what the word really meant. But they describe themselves as moderate because the word "liberal" hasn't had ANY positive branding done on it at all.

The key to these numbers is not that conservatives outnumber liberals. We already knew that. The key is how many states Kerry won the "moderate" vote. Self-description of labels is an extremely imperfect data point. Obviously many who call themselves "moderate" are willing to vote Democratic.

by BriVT 2004-11-10 03:21PM | 0 recs
Bringing in the liberals
I have a diary on Dailykos about an advertising strategy to get the ball rolling on bringing in new (or at least newly realized) liberals.  You can find it here at:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/10/115511/37

I think that the solution is education (and I don't mean public schools.)  We must tell people that many of their views are liberal.  They think that it means something that it doesn't.

by nanoboy 2004-11-10 02:14PM | 0 recs
Chris,
Have we ever stopped to consider that in all of our discussions regarding realignment and how to generate it, we may be missing part of the point?

Often, realignments don't occur because of a radical change in a party's message in the election in which the realignment begins, but because of a cataclysmic event that discredits one party.

In 1932 and 1968, one could argue that the rhetoric of FDR and Nixon wasn't very radical -- in fact, FDR gave a speech in Pittsburgh where he ironically criticized the GOP for deficit spending -- but the beginning of the realignment occurred because Hoover was discredited to the Great Depression and LBJ/the Democrats were discredited because of Vietnam.

From 1932-1968, the only GOP President elected was a celebrity not elected because of his party, but his personality.  From 1968-present, we've elected two Dems:  Carter (narrowly, for one term, because of stagflation and Watergate) and Clinton (who didn't bring coattails and often won by defining the Dems. as what the GOP wasn't, not by what the Dems. were).

I'm not saying that having these discussions aren't a good idea:  if we ever are going to become the majority party again, these discussions will define us for the 30+ years that we govern.  

But... it won't get us to majority party by itself - nor will a charismatic leader (in fact, minority parties often can win the WH historically by electing a charismatic leader or a general).  What will cause the realignment is something we should rooting against and what we all in our gut think is going to happen:  a horrific 2nd term that causes great damage to our national psyche.

I have a bad feeling about the next four years.  Second terms are always bad and this is going to be a doozy.  We face tremendous challenges, many of them created by the mismanagement of the first term -- many of them long-term challenges such as oil dependence, entitlements/Baby Boom retirees and our relationship with Saudi Arabia.  I have no faith in this current Administration and I have a feeling that the 2nd term is going to bring a realignment.

I hope I'm wrong.  It might be a good thing for the Party, but a horrific thing for the country.

by ChrisR 2004-11-10 02:47PM | 0 recs
I think you are right
And while short term it will be very, very bad for the country, long term it will be very, very good for the country.

A repudiation of Bush and his ilk is a major long term good for the country-and for that to happen, Bush has to make a much bigger mess of things than he already has.

by Geotpf 2004-11-10 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: I think you are right
No, I disagree on this re: short term/long term.

Short term decisions in responses to crises -- if managed horribly -- have long-term consequences.

For example:  our response to Iraq has probably done us great harm in the War on Terror and brought many to OBL's side than wouldn't have already been there.  It is the classic case of what not to do in responding to asymmetrical warfare:  overreact in a ham-handed fashion which may cause those on the fence (the Arab street) to go to the other side.

Look, I've given up on the fact that our only message in 2008 and beyond will be:  look, we're the damn grownups here who will clean the mess created by others.  There won't be any money for social programs, we'll be the side most trusted to scale back entitlements and we'll be the side most trusted not to screw up foreign policy.

by ChrisR 2004-11-10 02:58PM | 0 recs
Of course
Everybody over here now thinks he's as bad as Bush due to his support for the war in Iraq.
by Geotpf 2004-11-10 02:50PM | 0 recs
Telling
Chris your numbers tell the real story. 7 states plus the District have a positive LIM. Therefore, moderates are the key to success. They certainly are here in the very red state of Utah. In addition to moderating, telling our story more compellingly and linking our policy positions with our values is also necessary. To throw out a few examples: there is a distinction to made between being pro-choice and pro-abortion. One can support traditional marriage without being unjust to same-sex partners, etc. A lot is to be gained by letting states regulate marriage- this is the conservative stance. Sure some state amendments go too far by seeking to deny all of the close to 1,100 benefits that accrue to married couples, but people in the U.S. value personal freedom. There are also issues that are far too politicized. Fetal stem cell research comes to mind. It is not a miracle cure and there really is no meaningful distinction to be made between "therapeutic" cloning and "reproductive" cloning. Fetal stem cells are not a a miracle cure. Another distinction to be made is between values and dictates. Robert Reich's "Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America" is a good place to start.
by UtahDem 2004-11-10 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Telling
How much better can we really get among moderates, however? I think we have done a great job to build what is pretty consistently a lead of 8-10 points. Can we really hope to further improve on that?
by Chris Bowers 2004-11-10 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Telling
Chris:

Part of it is improving with independents and moderate repubs, but the other goal is to not lose the ones we have to a Pro-choice, pro-green Repub like Arnold.

The 2008 Repub might not be an idiot.  We could be really screwed.

I think we fight hard on crucial issues like Choice and the Morning After pill.  But guns kill us.

A platform of education (fixing crappy urban schools and crappy rural schools), opportunity, no discrimination (in any direction) and personal freedom could win for us.

I work in the electric industry and spend mountains of time dealing with rural landowners and my peers in the industry.  While I'm trying to get them to "green" up by showing them how doing the right thing makes economic sense (it really does). I spend a lot of time listening to the leaders of Rural America.

We need to make finding endangered species less of a disaster and more of a bonus.  We have an opportunity with renewable energy and global warming to connect to rural people.  It will take work but it can be done and will pay off in the long run.  Global Warming is horrible for hydropower, consistent rainfall patterns, and the eastern seaboard.  It also means stronger hurricanes.  At the same time, renewable energy means more rural jobs.

Sometimes, you don't have to win them all or even half.  You just have to make it non-embarassing for someone to be a rural Democrat.

And good job making myDD so cool!

by beeste 2004-11-11 04:25PM | 0 recs
If by Liberalism
You mean those Hollywood elites telling me how to raise my children, scaring my kids have to death with their violent movies and constant supply of sex and skin.  Why then I say I'm against it!

But, if by Liberalism, you mean, the elixir of freedom's march, that ideal all mean hold in their bosom to think, to live, and to in all ways be free, why then, ladies and gentlemen, I say I'm for it!

So, just exactly what did you mean by liberalism?

by flavorflav12 2004-11-10 03:28PM | 0 recs
What is the definition?
If you listen to the right, liberals:

  • Appease foreign threats and are against the military
  • Support welfare as a way of life (non-corporate, that is)
  • Want to destroy common "values"
  • Support the environment at the expense of jobs
  • Tax and Spend
  • Think the government can solve all problems

I prefer to think of it much differently, i.e. liberals:

  • Support an intelligent foreign policy and strong defense
  • Support a social safety-net for those that are unfortunate enough to fall through the cracks
  • Support equal rights for all
  • show that we can improve the environment and have economic growth at the same time
  • Are more fiscally responsible than so-called 'conservatives'
  • See the government as an instrument to improve the lives of common people and a guardian of the underpriviledged

The key is messaging and it's consistency.  The right owns the presidency and both houses of congress.  It has used talk radio and 'chain letter' email to make it 'legitimate'.  Simply put, the left needs to find new avenues to get the message out.
by pkelly 2004-11-10 03:41PM | 0 recs
Re: What is the definition?
Do you think using language which admits of opposites is a problem as well?  Rhetorically, I can think of no worse strategy for a party of people's coalitions like the Democrats.  Liberal originally had no opposite, the GOP eventually made it an opposite to "conservative".  Which, logically, it isn't, but in today's political rhetoric, it is.  What if we simply used new language.  They would then have to come up with new opposites?  Remember "populist"?  What's the opposite to that?  An "un"populist?  Not terribly inspiring.  Or what about, "progressive"?  Who isn't progressive today?  Problem with that word is admits of the opposite "traditional" too easily.  I'm thinking out loud here so feel free to jump in!  
by flavorflav12 2004-11-10 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: What is the definition?
This is an interesting thought.  Let the far-right keep bashing liberal whilst, under their noses, a new term, say "progressive," takes hold and shatters the old stereotypes.

Anyone know the origin of 'conservative'?  Seems like it's been around forever, but I have to think it became popular sometime in the 70's.

by pkelly 2004-11-11 05:37AM | 0 recs
converting moderates.
Some comments on the above numbers.  In most of the states, moderates voted for Kerry over Bush, except for AL, AK, ID, KS, KY, LA, MT, NE, ND, OK, WY.  In all of these states, far more people self-identified as conservatives.  We're probably toast in these states, even long term, but they only add up to 63 electoral votes and 22 Senate seats.

In the following states, Kerry moderates are enough to close the gap between liberals and conservatives: CA, DE, IL, IA, ME, MD, MI, MN, NH, NM, OH, OR, PA, WA and WI (a total of 196 EVs).  Together with the states where liberals already outweigh conservatives that amounts to 275 electoral votes, barely enough to win a presidential election, even if we run a perfect race.  So, we need to convert some conservatives to liberalism, if we're going to put states like Florida, West Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona consistently back in play.  

This only confirms what the nationwide numbers already told us:  we need more liberals.  Although it may appear to help us focus on which regions to concentrate our efforts, if we can't come up with messages that help us with rural voters in Tennessee, I don't see why we would stand a chance in West Virginia with the same type of voter.  

by gunnar 2004-11-10 03:42PM | 0 recs
Hey!
You figured out my next post! Now I have to think of something else to write. :-(

Well done!

by Chris Bowers 2004-11-10 03:55PM | 0 recs
realignment either way, I fear
A catastrophic economic collapse, on the model of Argentina over the past several years or the UK in the late 1970s, would probably bring realignment in our favor, though of course the human costs wouldn't be worth it. Further terrorist attacks on the mainland US (or in AK or HI) would bring further alignment, or realignment, towards the bad guys, because they're the party of strong, violent leaders, and because they're the party in power in wartime. But what happens if a Bush second term includes both?
by accommodatingly 2004-11-10 03:46PM | 0 recs
branding conservatives
Could we also make the word "conservative" as toxic as conservatives have made the word "liberal"?  What is a conservative today: supports unilateral wars, economic policies that guarantee jobless recoveries from recession, fiscal drunkards.  We should start challenging people when they say there conservative: as in "oh, you're for jobless recoveries and fiscal insanity?"  When they splutter say, "well you're not really a conservative then, are you."
by Pudentilla 2004-11-10 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: branding conservatives
Yes, call them corporatists.  But say with a southern draw like you got marbles in your mouth: "corp-ruh-tists".  As in, "they don't want a government by the people, they want a government by the corporation, damn corpruhtists!"
by flavorflav12 2004-11-10 03:57PM | 0 recs
Why is Germany a left-wing country?
I invite an answer.
by Paul Goodman 2004-11-10 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Germany a left-wing country?
The only answer I can think of is scary.
by Chris Bowers 2004-11-10 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Why is Germany a left-wing country?
I have been looking into election results from 1920's germany.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1930-ger/elect.htm

 For clarity, in America, we form our coalitions before the election (the two parties). In Germany they do it afterwards. Thus we cannot see the growth of Fascism electorally as it is masked by the Republican party as a whole.

As you can see, there is a fungal seed there that can mushroom in a hurry given the right conditions.

For additional clarity, here is a link to democracy in its final hour.

http://history1900s.about.com/library/holocaust/blhitler15.htm

by Paul Goodman 2004-11-10 05:46PM | 0 recs
So then
What are the implications here, in terms of gaining the support of moderates?

Do you become more ideological to inspire them, as well as the base, or move to the center so you don't spook moderates off? Same question goes for dealing with conservative states.

My instincts say we need to can the consummate moderate stuff - across the board - because it's a clear opportunity for the party to find its soul and emerge with renewed verve and coordination. The polity will be expecting it, essentially. That way, too, we can hold ground for true ideological liberals in conservative territory. But I'm a rookie; I don't quite know what to do with this dilemma we're in.

by Kimberley 2004-11-10 04:22PM | 0 recs
The Definition of Liberal
Webster's defines liberal as:

"Generous..Bountiful..Tolerant.."

Webster's defines conservative as:

"Preservative..disposed to maintain existing views..Moderate...Cautious"

I prefer the first definition to the latter, regardless of the label.

But isn't the conservative/liberal tag just another play on words by the GOP, like reform, which means elemination (Social Security reform, tort reform, welfare reform,tax reform).

To me, liberal means "to each his own." Let every person run their own life in whatever way they see fit, while also helping those who are unable to help themselves, for whatever reason.

Of course, letting people run their own lives is the conservative platform according to them.

So, if conservatives believe their own platform, then they are actually liberal by definition, whether they like it or not.

by crowbar317 2004-11-10 06:13PM | 0 recs
Rebranding is Nice But Unnecessary
As a liberal, I think rebranding the label would be great but I do not believe it is necessary in order to win majorities in swing states.   The "L" word may still hurt in permanently red states but Kerry was right to say that labels are losing their meaning, at least in states within our reach for a national majority.  Swing voters are pragmatists not ideologues.

I advocate substituting the term "progressive" as a meaningful replacement for "liberal."  It carries positive connotations for most people and seems a much smaller leap for moderates who don't want to be demonized by the right but who want to identify themselves as something more than wishy-washy bumps in the middle of the road.  

This is consistent with my view that the party should return to its roots as the party of "progressive populism."  We dominate when we are perceived as the party that can advance the lot of the many in concrete and positive directions. Our record on this is proud, solid, and real.  We are the party of Social Security, workplace safety, civil rights, and a safe environment.  We must now also make it clear that we will be the party that will not send the people's sons into harm's way without just cause.

A majority of the public agrees with us on these issues and understands that they are big and more important than posting the Ten Commandments in schools.  Republicans (or at least conservatives) have fought us tooth and nail on almost every significant step towards progress, and now they are recklessly endangering our troops.  John Edwards was on the right track.  Add in a populist appeal to protecting our sons from stupid wars and we should be in good shape, perhaps even in some of those red states.

by jmckay 2004-11-10 06:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Rebranding is Nice But Unnecessary
As I've written elsewhere, substituting "progressive" for "liberal" doesn't work, because our opponents will be quick to slap the "L-word" on us, no matter how much fancy footwork we use to get away from it.  It will merely make us look like we agree with them that liberalism is something shameful, and are trying to deceive voters by pretending we're something we're not.
by JDWalley 2004-11-10 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Rebranding is Nice But Unnecessary
Having lived most of my life in the midwest, I just don't think the "L" word is playing for the Republicans like it used to, at least not with swing voters.  They voted against us because they were scared to death and Kerry's message on terrorism was dense and ineffectual whereas Bush's message was simplistic but clear.   The 45% who respond to the "L" word were never going to vote for Kerry even if the "L" word were completely rehabilitated.  The 10% in the middle will never call themselves liberals, but they might start identifying themselves as "progressive" if it were a choice on a polling question.  This surely puts their self identity closer to the dems in just about any matchup, and reinforces their alliances better than simply calling themselves "moderates."
by jmckay 2004-11-10 07:00PM | 0 recs
definition of liberal
We need to tweak the message of the Democratic Party but I am not sure left wing ideology is the answer.  We need to build a big tent again and bring in independents and moderate republicans.
While doing this we must also work on destroying
conservative leaders in the media
by ncpatriot04 2004-11-10 06:18PM | 0 recs
"A whole lot of trouble"...? No...
If we're looking at "growing liberalism," the fact that we're leading in so few states is not, in itself, bad news.  After all, those states are already liberal, and increasing the percentage of liberals there is really like carrying coals to Newcastle.  Our concern should be building liberal majorities in states where we're currently the minority, but by a close margin.

For example, here are the states where the "conservative advantage" is in single-digits:

ME    -1    12   
CA    -2    15   
MD    -4    22   
IL    -4    17   
WA    -7    24   
MN    -7    15   
OR    -7    13   
PA    -8    14   
NH    -9    15   

You may note that we took all of these states in the past election.  While they may have a numeric edge to conservatives, in practice, they can genenerally be counted in our camp, and it might not take all that much work to tip the first column in our direction, either.

Then, there are the states in which the moderates swing liberal in about the same or greater percentage as the conservative lead over liberals:

DE    -10    25   
NM    -14    21   
OH    -15    18   
MI    -12    14   
IA    -17    19   
WI    -12    12   

In other words, these are states where the "moderate" block is really pretty solidly liberal in practice, if not in realization.  A better job of reframing (pace Lakoff) the liberal case should be able to bring these states into greater balance.

Finally, here are some states where, while we're clearly behind, our advantage in the moderates places us closer to tipping the balance than it might seem (although I think Florida is beyond the pale as long as Jeb holds the election machinery):

FL    -14    13
CO    -13    9
NV    -16    12
VA    -21    15
WV    -16    7
MO    -17    6

In each of these states, we may not only have to re-frame our positions but explicitly moderate some of them.  I would think, in partiuclar, that Colorado might well be within reach.

So, aside from the 8 states or voting territories we now control, we have a serious shot at anywhere from 9 to 15 additional states, and at least a chance of picking off one or two others.  Given that most of the remaining states have little more than a handful of congressional districts and electoral votes, I would say the demographics are on our side, if we put a smart and determined effort into "selling" liberalism.

by JDWalley 2004-11-10 06:32PM | 0 recs
liberalism
One of the ways to grow liberalism is to either participate in or encourage progressive Christianity.  I'm not religious, but I have no trouble identifying with the values of tolerant and generous Christians.  They are well-positioned to take on the wingnut "christians" and expose them for the fraud that they are.
by global yokel 2004-11-10 07:08PM | 0 recs
Conservatives Who Are Programmitic Liberals
One indication that liberalism in fact is far more popular than liberalism as a label comes from conservatives themselves.

It's a well-established fact that most ideological conservatives and self-described conservatives are none-the-less supportive of maintaining the welfare state and other forms of government spending--or even increasing such spending.

Quoting from an article I wrote in July:

[In 1964], Hadley Cantril and Lloyd Free conducted a landmark survey, published three years later in the book "The Political Beliefs of Americans." One of their key findings was that almost half of self-described "conservatives" were liberals as far as supporting social spending. The same went for conservatives they identified by ideological beliefs. Beginning in the 1972, the General Social Survey (GSS) has repeatedly produced similar findings. Looking at cumulative results in seven issue areas, more conservatives usually wanted to raise spending, rather than lower it. This was true every time for education (22-0), the environment (22-0), health care (22-0), and social security (14-0), and most of the time for aid to cities (19-3) and defense (14-8). The conservatives only split decision came on aid to blacks (11-11). But when you add in those who want to keep spending the same, self-described "conservatives" who favor cutting spending are a minority every time.

It's not just limited to spending issues, either. While most conservatives can be rallied to vote against gay marriage, as we just saw, that's just one side of the coint. A substantial majority of conservatives just think that homosexuality should be a private matter--not something that government should try to punish--despite the fact that only a third of them personally accept it.

Findings like this are little-known to most liberals, thus contributing to a false sense that we are a tiny minority in our beliefs. That's simply not so. We are a small minority in correctly labelling our beliefs. And that's something we've got to work on changing.

by Paul Rosenberg 2004-11-10 09:56PM | 0 recs
We should stop calling them "moderates"
Republicans like John McCain and Arlen Spector call themselves moderates to imply that even though they hold progressive views on abortion, gay rights and other issues, their conservative bona fides are still in good order.

But this is no longer true. To get elected, President Bush had to yank the GOP so hard to the right that its political center has fallen off the map.

For example, in OK, Sen.-elect Tom Coburn's worldview is far to the rightward extreme of his party, even compared with Sen. Don Nichols, whom he is replacing. Same in SC, where Jim DeMint is miles to the right of Sen. Lindsay Graham or even Strom Thurmond in his later years - and in NC where Sen.-elect Burr is a genuine wingnut compared with Sen. Liddy Dole.

The time has come to remove the fig leaf of "moderation" from the progressive Republicans. We should start calling them what they are: Liberals.

The best way to reclaim the word "liberal" from the GOP smear-masters is to redefine it - or re-redefine it - as a description of a degree of idealogy on the spectrum of political views.

Used in a sentence: Anyone to the left of Tom Delay is more liberal than he is.

It would be relatively simple to redefine these Republicans - as easy as it is for GOP pundits and pols to consistently refer to our party as the snarky-sounding "Democrat" Party. All we have to do is substitute "liberal" for "moderate" in every reference to Republicans.

Examples:

"Liberals in Congress like David Dreier and Mark Foley..."

"Pres. Bush flip-flopped in the last week of the election and came out with a liberal position on civil unions..."

"The most popular figures in the GOP are Arnold Schwarzennegger and Rudolph Guilliani, both of whom are liberal Republicans."

by xeno 2004-11-11 03:24AM | 0 recs
Liberal-Truths.com and Conservative-Truths.com
Hi there.

This is my first posting here.  This actually ties in with something I am starting to work on.  I have registered liberal-truths.com and conservative-truths.com (and several variants of these) and starting January 3, 2005 I am planning to post various truths that people may not be aware of.  I first got the idea by reading a dailykos article about how conservatives divorce more than liberals and that born-again christian conservatives have the highest rate of divorce of all conservatives.

The websites are not active yet, but within a month they will start beta-testing.  Please feel free to email me suggestions for various truths for inclusion on the site.

Thanks.

-Derek

by derekcbart 2004-11-11 05:14PM | 0 recs
war made no Liberalism!
War!!!!

But, if by Liberalism, you mean, the elixir of freedom's march, that ideal all mean hold in their bosom to think, to live, and to in all ways be free, why then, ladies and gentlemen, I say I'm for it!

So, just exactly what did you mean by liberalism?

Thanks...

by poiy1130 2005-09-03 10:50AM | 0 recs

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