Friday, February 08, 2013
The Liberalization Of The United States
But they don't necessarily vote that way, and certainly didn't in the last election. In both the 2008 and 2012 elections, the majority of Americans voted for candidates with liberal ideas. And if you do away with the labels of either "liberal" or "conservative", and just ask people what they think about individual issues, you find that a significant majority embrace the liberal side of most issues. That may not have been true a few years ago, but it certainly is today.
Consider the issue of new gun laws. While right-wingers want to leave things as they are, liberals would like to see new and effective restrictions on gun ownership. And the public agrees with liberals. Between 80% and 90% of Americans want a good background check done on all gun sales -- and a significant majority would like to see the sale of assault weapon and large capacity ammunition magazines banned.
Then you have the issue of immigration. While both liberals and conservatives want a secure border, liberals also want a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living and working in this country. And the huge majority of Americans agree with the liberals, in that they also want to see those immigrants given a reasonable path to citizenship.
Then we have the economic issues. While conservatives want to cut spending and raise no revenue through higher taxes, the liberals want a more balanced approach of spending cuts and higher taxes for the rich and the corporations. Numerous polls have shown that Americans, by a large majority, agree with the liberal position. The public also opposes cuts to the benefits offered in Medicare and Social Security, while conservatives would cut (or privatize) both programs. The public also favors more government spending to create jobs, while conservatives mistakenly think that could be done through tax cuts for the rich (also opposed by the general public).
And the liberal position is favored on social issues. Most Americans oppose politics being preached from the pulpit, are now in favor of allowing same-sex marriage, believe women should be allowed to serve in combat positions in the military, support EPA guidelines for clean air and water, and support the Supreme Court decision on Roe vs. Wade -- all liberal positions that conservatives oppose.
While most Americans may self-identify as conservative, this is not a conservative country. On issue after issue, Americans support the liberal side of those issues. They want a freer, more equal, and more economically healthy country (as liberals do) -- and both their votes and their positions on individual issues shows that. Those on the right won't want to admit it, but we are currently in the midst of a liberalization of America -- and that's a very good thing.