Could I really be delusional? I have prided myself in being a fairly good predictor of elections and predicting the direction the country is moving in (zigzagging) for years. After I wrote the DailyKOS diary “America Is A Liberal Nation. A Liberal Wins On A Liberal Message” about Bill de Blasio running a decidedly Liberal campaign in the New York Mayoral Race, I was humbled by some of the comments on DailyKOS
Good for De Blasio and NYC.
But the fact that there was a liberal outcome to a Democratic primary in New York City does not tell us that overall we are a liberal nation. Wish that were true, but come on.
by doc2 on Wed Sep 11, 2013 at 05:01:00 PM CDT
Liberals don’t win a lot of national
We might wish they would, but they don’t. When Democrats nominate liberals, voters nationally tend to defeat them. Bill Clinton won two terms but a good sampling of liberal Democrats did not prevail in the primaries against him to win nomination. Same with Jimmy Carter. And Carter’s landslide defeat by Ronald Reagan speaks for itself. I’m delighted by De Blasio’s first place finish Tuesday night but don’t see it as evidence that the nation as a whole is nearly as progressive as we wish it to be.
by Remediator on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:07:31 AM CDT
Then someone on my personal blog wrote:
T Purrnell says: September 12, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Maybe it’s not so much that America is a “Liberal” Nation as it is that the extreme right has managed to get their extreme agenda into the Republican spotlight often enough (through the new media access of the internet) to make moderates look liberal. I would like to think that America is a Liberal Nation, but I think that’s just one way of looking at the situation.
A list that picked up the RSS feed sent out the message in their email.
America Is A Liberal Nation. A Liberal Wins On A Liberal Message.
This is NYC, after all. Is the author wearing rose colored spectacles?
Are Liberals so down on themselves that they cannot see the spark looking for the kindling? Come on my brethren. You must be the kindling.
I am in Texas, a state whose base is Liberal but votes deep Conservative for very structural reasons. I have seen a beautiful petite baby boomer, State Senator Wendy Davis, light a spark in Texas that lit the kindling that is now waiting for the twigs. I have seen Battleground Texas enter Texas reaching people with little difficulty so much so that Republicans express their fear overtly.
But my potential personal vindication came in an article today by Peter Beinart in The Daily Beast titled “The Rise of the New New Left.” It’s a rather long article but the analysis in the article is spot on. Three paragraphs rang out.
The argument between the children of Reagan and the children of Clinton is fierce, but ideologically, it tilts toward the right. Even after the financial crisis, the Clinton Democrats who lead their party don’t want to nationalize the banks, institute a single-payer health-care system, raise the top tax rate back to its pre-Reagan high, stop negotiating free-trade deals, launch a war on poverty, or appoint labor leaders rather than Wall Streeters to top economic posts. They want to regulate capitalism modestly. Their Reaganite Republican adversaries, by contrast, want to deregulate it radically. By pre-Reagan standards, the economic debate is taking place on the conservative side of the field. But—and this is the key point–there’s reason to believe that America’s next political generation will challenge those limits in ways that cause the leaders of both parties fits.
America’s youngest adults are called “Millennials” because the 21st century was dawning as they entered their plastic years. Coming of age in the 21st century is of no inherent political significance. But this calendric shift has coincided with a genuine historical disruption. Compared to their Reagan-Clinton generation elders, Millennials are entering adulthood in an America where government provides much less economic security. And their economic experience in this newly deregulated America has been horrendous. This experience has not produced a common generational outlook. No such thing ever exists. But it is producing a distinct intragenerational argument, one that does not respect the ideological boundaries to which Americans have become accustomed. The Millennials are unlikely to play out their political conflicts between the yard lines Reagan and Clinton set out.
If Millennials remain on the left, the consequences for American politics over the next two decades could be profound. In the 2008 presidential election, Millennials constituted one-fifth of America’s voters. In 2012, they were one-quarter. In 2016, according to predictions by political demographer Ruy Teixeira, they will be one-third. And they will go on constituting between one-third and two-fifths of America’s voters through at least 2028.
A broke retiring baby boom generation will demand more from the state. Much of that funding will eventually come from those that have been pilfering the working middle class for decades. If Liberals personalize the narrative as de Blasio did for their respective geographies I am sure they will win.
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More liberals might be elected if gerrymandering were outlawed as it should be. Liberal values are the majority opinions out there from a lot of what I’ve read.
Robert Watcher Thompson says
I’m going to have to agree with your detractors on this one. I live in Tennessee and am not one that the Right Wing targets for persuasion by any stretch. Still, because of discussions I get into and public activity by churches and political groups I can tell that the hard Right has as good a hold here as they did in the ’80s. The Left has moved very visibly to the left, but neither the Right nor the public have..
The major problem with liberalism is that it ignores fiscal reality. It is impossible to do everything that liberals want government to do without raising taxes and you cannot endlessly raise taxes, even if you are only doing it to the top bracket.
Egberto Willies says
Unfortunately while that is the narrative, it is only under fairly liberal rule where we had sensible budgets with either balance, surplus, ot slight deficit. The numbes are irrefutable,
A balanced or surplus budget is hardly ever sensible. Given the amount of foreign debt we have (say 3.5%) we would have to run a deficit of >3.5% minimum. And in reply to Ed, it is quite possible–even recommended–for gov’t to do other things and not have to raise taxes. It is time that people become literate on economic matters. We are not revenue constrained: in essence, our taxes do not fund the gov’t. So many people still think we have to raise a trillion to spend a trillion. Ain’t so.
Richard Short says
A local election in a liberal city CANNOT be the canary. The analogy is like sending a canary down a known toxic tunnel, and when it dies you determine all mines are unsafe to send people into.
Egberto Willies says
You miss the point. New york has not elected a liberal for decades. This may be the first and the prose explains.