One must continue to push back on the fallacy that America is a center-right country. It is not. America is a Progressive country, and we can prove it.
For too long, too many have allowed Republicans to put into our lexicon that America is center-right. To move forward, one must dispel that fallacy. A few years ago I wrote the article “America Is A Center-Left Country While American Voters Are Center-Right” among others where I closed as follows.
America is a Center-Left country irrespective of statements by those who would want to institute policies that are definitely not beneficial to the middle-class. For the last 30 years, most of our policies were far Right or Center Right policies. Its effect on the wealth, income, and employment of the middle-class has been devastating. It has caused the outsourcing of our manufacturing base. It has pilfered the middle-class by transferring an inordinate amount of wealth to the top 2%. Most importantly it has endangered our national security by making us more dependent on others and less able to be a self-sufficient nation.
A few years ago Marty Kaplan at HuffPost wrote the piece “Center-Right Hype vs. Center-Left Data” where he concluded given the data the following.
The country leans to the left. The center leans to the left. Center-right is losers’ wishful thinking; center-left is where the country says it stands.
Elizabeth Warren pointed out the reality that America is, in fact, progressive at the 2015 Netroots Nation Conference. Her speech was one of the best she has given on the subject.
New York Times’ Eric Levitz wrote a more recent comprehensive piece that proves the reality that America is a Progressive nation holds true.
The Democratic Party has learned to stop worrying and love “big government” liberalism. The party’s top presidential prospects are advertising their ardor for socialized medicine, free public college, universal child care and paid family leave.
Even the party’s moderate senators are now pushing for the same kind of public health insurance option that their centrist predecessors killed in the early Obama years. And the party’s 2018 platform — the consensus agenda that ostensibly unites all Democrats, from Joe Manchin of West Virginia to Bernie Sanders — calls for vigorous antitrust enforcement to prevent mega-corporations from rigging the economy against working people.
The party’s resident “sensible centrists” are horrified: “Has the entire Democratic Party forgotten the words ‘George McGovern’?” they cry. In column after column, they have been imploring their co-partisans to remember a fundamental fact: America is a center-right nation, where nearly 70 percent of voters are moderate or conservative, and just 25 percent are liberal. Over the past eight years, Democrats lost sight of this inconvenient truth — and lost control of more than 1,000 state legislative seats, the House, the Senate and the presidency.
This argument may sound coolheaded and pragmatic. But its core premises — that American voters are hostile to progressive economics and have punished the (increasingly left-wing) Democratic Party accordingly — actually rest on ideological conviction, not empirical evidence.
Levitz identified all of the studies and data that dispels the notion of a Center-Right America. He then pointed out the obvious.
The Democratic Party has failed to translate the popularity of progressive economics into electoral success for a variety of reasons. The most fundamental is the one we’ve already observed: Most voters cast their ballots on the basis of identity, not policy. …
Democrats have all kinds of ways of addressing this problem. One would be to cultivate the class identity of white voters by embracing populist rhetoric that paints “the billionaire class” as an out-group they can define themselves against. Another would be to invest more resources into registering nonwhite voters. …
Embracing a more conservative economic agenda, however, would solve none of the Democrats’ problems. At a time of historic inequality, rampant corporate consolidation and environmental crisis, the case for more robust redistributive social programs and public-interest regulations is strong. When centrist Democrats claim that making such a case is electoral suicide, they reveal less about the American public’s stubbornly center-right convictions than about their own.
In other words, Democrats buying into the Center-Right nonsense are mostly describing their proclivities. I discussed this phenomenon in the piece “We are being played by the Democratic Establishment & Republicans alike” that pretty much explains why the establishment of both parties is comfortable accepting that status quo.
Going forward, push back on anytime any indication is given that America leans Right. It does not. Make sure you inform your sphere of influence and encourage them to do the same.