Obsession with moderates is excessive

(Cross-posted from Think it Through.)

The rising number of political independents has led to the misguided conclusion that we need to change party primaries so that our choices in general elections are more “moderate” politicians not tied to the bases of either of the two parties. Instead, we need more varied voices within the two parties.

The proportion of independents reached a plurality after the 2008 elections and has remained the largest chunk of the electorate.  The latest Pew Research Center poll has 31% of Americans identifying as Democrats, 22% as Republicans, and 37% as independents. The three-year jump in the number of independents has come at the expense of both parties, but more from Republicans than Democrats.

You often hear that this potential party de-alignment is good for the country because it will bring more political “moderates” to government and these moderates supposedly always find better solutions to national problems than those who follow a core ideology of right or left. But, when you talk to voters, the people who call themselves political moderates are often less knowledgeable about issues and solutions to political problems. They place themselves in the middle of the road because they do not know or care enough about issues to ride on one side or the other.

There's more...

Obsession with moderates is excessive

(Cross-posted from Think it Through.)

The rising number of political independents has led to the misguided conclusion that we need to change party primaries so that our choices in general elections are more “moderate” politicians not tied to the bases of either of the two parties. Instead, we need more varied voices within the two parties.

The proportion of independents reached a plurality after the 2008 elections and has remained the largest chunk of the electorate.  The latest Pew Research Center poll has 31% of Americans identifying as Democrats, 22% as Republicans, and 37% as independents. The three-year jump in the number of independents has come at the expense of both parties, but more from Republicans than Democrats.

You often hear that this potential party de-alignment is good for the country because it will bring more political “moderates” to government and these moderates supposedly always find better solutions to national problems than those who follow a core ideology of right or left. But, when you talk to voters, the people who call themselves political moderates are often less knowledgeable about issues and solutions to political problems. They place themselves in the middle of the road because they do not know or care enough about issues to ride on one side or the other.

There's more...

Obsession with moderates is excessive

(Cross-posted from Think it Through.)

The rising number of political independents has led to the misguided conclusion that we need to change party primaries so that our choices in general elections are more “moderate” politicians not tied to the bases of either of the two parties. Instead, we need more varied voices within the two parties.

The proportion of independents reached a plurality after the 2008 elections and has remained the largest chunk of the electorate.  The latest Pew Research Center poll has 31% of Americans identifying as Democrats, 22% as Republicans, and 37% as independents. The three-year jump in the number of independents has come at the expense of both parties, but more from Republicans than Democrats.

You often hear that this potential party de-alignment is good for the country because it will bring more political “moderates” to government and these moderates supposedly always find better solutions to national problems than those who follow a core ideology of right or left. But, when you talk to voters, the people who call themselves political moderates are often less knowledgeable about issues and solutions to political problems. They place themselves in the middle of the road because they do not know or care enough about issues to ride on one side or the other.

There's more...

The 2010 Midterm Elections, and the Black Shift Republican

By: Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

Republican strategists often refer to the African-American community with a tone of hopelessness. Blacks are just so, so amazingly Democratic. No matter what the Republican Party does, these people think, the black vote inevitably ends up giving Democrats more than 85% of the vote. Even when the Republican candidate himself or herself is African-American, the black community still votes around 80% Democratic. This hopelessness is especially pronounced in the age of Obama, an individual to whom the black vote is uniquely loyal (as the first black president).

It is true that blacks vote very, very Democratic. In other ways, however, they behave quite like other groups of voters.

Take the 2010 midterms elections. These were a disaster for the Democratic Party, which took a pounding and lost the House of Representatives. The Democratic share of the vote plummeted, hurt by a weak economy and unpopular policies:


Democratic Republican Margin 2010 House Elections 44.8 51.6 6.8 2008 House Elections 53.2 42.5 10.7 2008 Presidential Election 52.87 45.6 7.27

In this rightward shift, everybody voted more Republican than in 2008. Every region of the country was redder. Women voted more Republican. Men did. Republicans did. Independents did, especially so. Democrats did too. With regards to ethnicity, Americans of every race and nationality voted more Republican. Hispanics did. Asians did. Native Americans and Pacific Islanders did. Whites did, very much so.

So did blacks:


Democratic Republican Margin Black Vote: 2010 House Elections 89 9 80 Black Vote: 2008 House Elections 93 5 88 Black Vote: 2008 Presidential Election 95 4 91

Now, this table obviously shows that blacks still voted very Democratic in 2010. The point, however, is that – like everybody else – blacks also shifted Republican in 2010. The presence of President Barack Obama did not magically prevent Republicans from gaining black votes in 2010.

It is true that Republicans gained less amongst blacks:


2010 Republican Improvement From…
2008 House Elections 2008 Presidential Election Overall 17.5 14.1 Blacks 8 11

Partly this is because blacks are a highly Democratic constituency. When the nation as a whole shifts Republican, highly loyal Democrats move less rightwards than the average. Partly this is due to Mr. Obama’s popularity amongst blacks.

Without this rightward shift in the black vote, however Republican victories in Illinois or Pennsylvania’s senate races would have been a lot closer – or turned into losses altogether. The same holds true for close Republican victories in the Ohio and Florida gubernatorial elections. Democrats would probably hold a handful more House seats, from North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district to Alabama’s 2nd congressional district.

If Republicans had done the same amongst blacks as they did in 2008, Democrats would have won a number of races they lost. The Republican gain amongst blacks played an important part of their overall national victory.

 

Georgia Is Not a "Show Me Your Papers" State

From the Restore Fairness blog-

Guest blogger: Azadeh N. Shahshahani, National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project Director, ACLU Foundation of Georgia.

Co-authored with Omar Jadwat, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. Cross-posted from Huffington Post.

This week the ACLU and ACLU of Georgia along with a coalition of other civil rights groups filed a class action lawsuit challenging Georgia’s discriminatory anti-immigrant law inspired by Arizona’s notorious S.B. 1070. The Georgia law authorizes police to demand “papers” demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops and makes it unjustifiably difficult for individuals without specific identification documents to access state facilities and services. The lawsuit charges the extreme law endangers public safety, invites the racial profiling of Latinos, Asians, and others who appear foreign to a police officer, and interferes with federal law.

The Georgia law criminalizes everyday folks who have daily interactions with undocumented individuals in their community, making people of faith and others vulnerable to arrest and detention while conducting acts of charity and kindness.

Paul Bridges is one such person. Mr. Bridges, one of our clients in the case, is a long-time supporter of the Republican Party and is the mayor of Uvalda, Georgia, a town of approximately 600 people in Montgomery County. Because he speaks Spanish and is a well-known presence in the community, Mr. Bridges often assists with interpretation in schools, doctors’ offices, court and other settings. He also provides transportation to undocumented individuals so they can go to church, the grocery store, doctors’ appointments and soccer tournaments in nearby towns. If the Georgia law goes into effect, Mr. Bridges and the undocumented individuals traveling with him will be at risk of criminal prosecution.

Paul J. Edwards is another plaintiff in our case who believes strongly in helping all individuals in his community regardless of their immigration status. Mr. Edwards is a devout Christian, and as part of his religious commitment, he transports people, including those who are undocumented, to places of worship and to locations which provide medical assistance. Under the Georgia law, he would be subject to criminal liability for assisting, transporting and harboring these undocumented individuals.

In the words of Anton Flores, Executive Director of Alterna, a faith-based organization that provides a variety of social services to the Latino immigrant community, under Georgia’s law: “we will be forced to wrestle with the new law that contradicts the mandates of our faith tradition as well as having to fear religious persecution and social pressures because of our programs and activities.”

The criminalization of these acts of hospitality, faith, and conscience is misplaced and poses an undue burden on Georgians’ every day interactions with their friends and community.

Georgia is not a “show me your papers” state nor one that believes in making certain people “untouchables” that others should be afraid to assist, house, or transport. We expect that the courts will block this fundamentally un-American law from implementation.

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org.

 

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