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Is the country moving right? Maybe left?
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miko33 Offline
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Is the country moving right? Maybe left?
Or in reality - not at all. Interesting read. It appears that our elected officials are doing a poor job of addressing the ideals of the majority of the country. From what I can see, it's worse now than it has ever been in recent history. Compromise is a dirty word in today's political climate, and compromise is ultimately what the majority of the electorate want. It's why politicians make a mad dash for the "independents" - who appear now to be the new moderates as more people leave both parties due to ideology.

https://news.stanford.edu/2017/12/20/pol...ed-voters/

Quote:Despite widespread perceptions of rising political polarization in the United States, the American public is no more polarized than it was before the Reagan era, according to a Stanford scholar.

Morris Fiorina, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, studies elections and public opinion. He recently published the book, Unstable Majorities: Polarization, Party Sorting and Political Stalemate, which draws on his prior research and a variety of new data on the American electorate. He is also the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science.

Quote:Are voters more polarized than ever?

No. Although pundits and politicos make that claim every day, it’s not true. If we take the electorate as a whole – without slicing it by partisanship, region or anything else – the public doesn’t look any different than it did in 1976.

Polarization is the grouping of opinion around two extremes. No matter how we measure public opinion, this has not happened. In 2016, more Americans classified themselves as moderates than as liberals or conservatives; moreover, the numbers are virtually identical to those registered in 1976. The distribution of partisan identification flatly contradicts the polarization narrative: self-classified Republicans are no larger a proportion of the public than in the Eisenhower era, while self-identified Democrats are a significantly smaller proportion than in the 1960s. Forty percent of today’s public declines to identify with either party.

Positions on specific issues support the same conclusion – the public favors a middle ground between the parties. On abortion, for example, the Democratic platform position is “any time, for any reason,” while the Republican position is “never, no exceptions.” The public says “sometimes, for some reasons.”
12-22-2017 09:23 AM
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RE: Is the country moving right? Maybe left?
(12-22-2017 09:23 AM)miko33 Wrote:  Or in reality - not at all. Interesting read. It appears that our elected officials are doing a poor job of addressing the ideals of the majority of the country. From what I can see, it's worse now than it has ever been in recent history. Compromise is a dirty word in today's political climate, and compromise is ultimately what the majority of the electorate want. It's why politicians make a mad dash for the "independents" - who appear now to be the new moderates as more people leave both parties due to ideology.

https://news.stanford.edu/2017/12/20/pol...ed-voters/

Quote:Despite widespread perceptions of rising political polarization in the United States, the American public is no more polarized than it was before the Reagan era, according to a Stanford scholar.

Morris Fiorina, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, studies elections and public opinion. He recently published the book, Unstable Majorities: Polarization, Party Sorting and Political Stalemate, which draws on his prior research and a variety of new data on the American electorate. He is also the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science.

Quote:Are voters more polarized than ever?

No. Although pundits and politicos make that claim every day, it’s not true. If we take the electorate as a whole – without slicing it by partisanship, region or anything else – the public doesn’t look any different than it did in 1976.

Polarization is the grouping of opinion around two extremes. No matter how we measure public opinion, this has not happened. In 2016, more Americans classified themselves as moderates than as liberals or conservatives; moreover, the numbers are virtually identical to those registered in 1976. The distribution of partisan identification flatly contradicts the polarization narrative: self-classified Republicans are no larger a proportion of the public than in the Eisenhower era, while self-identified Democrats are a significantly smaller proportion than in the 1960s. Forty percent of today’s public declines to identify with either party.

Positions on specific issues support the same conclusion – the public favors a middle ground between the parties. On abortion, for example, the Democratic platform position is “any time, for any reason,” while the Republican position is “never, no exceptions.” The public says “sometimes, for some reasons.”

In 1976 the Democrats nominated a “born again” Sunday school teacher (Jimmy Carter) from Georgia and the Republicans a country club moderate (Jerry Ford) from Michigan. Ford carried California and Connecticut. Carter carried Texas and Mississippi. It’s hard to imagine that today.

For all the talk about "inevitability" and "permanent majorities," you just need to look at the map of the 1976 election. It looks to be almost the exact opposite of 2000-2012.

I think the nation has become more conservative on average. Can you imagine a president implementing wage and price controls as Richard Nixon did? But that conservatism is tempered by a much more libertarian bent on social issues.
12-22-2017 12:37 PM
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miko33 Offline
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RE: Is the country moving right? Maybe left?
(12-22-2017 12:37 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(12-22-2017 09:23 AM)miko33 Wrote:  Or in reality - not at all. Interesting read. It appears that our elected officials are doing a poor job of addressing the ideals of the majority of the country. From what I can see, it's worse now than it has ever been in recent history. Compromise is a dirty word in today's political climate, and compromise is ultimately what the majority of the electorate want. It's why politicians make a mad dash for the "independents" - who appear now to be the new moderates as more people leave both parties due to ideology.

https://news.stanford.edu/2017/12/20/pol...ed-voters/

Quote:Despite widespread perceptions of rising political polarization in the United States, the American public is no more polarized than it was before the Reagan era, according to a Stanford scholar.

Morris Fiorina, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, studies elections and public opinion. He recently published the book, Unstable Majorities: Polarization, Party Sorting and Political Stalemate, which draws on his prior research and a variety of new data on the American electorate. He is also the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science.

Quote:Are voters more polarized than ever?

No. Although pundits and politicos make that claim every day, it’s not true. If we take the electorate as a whole – without slicing it by partisanship, region or anything else – the public doesn’t look any different than it did in 1976.

Polarization is the grouping of opinion around two extremes. No matter how we measure public opinion, this has not happened. In 2016, more Americans classified themselves as moderates than as liberals or conservatives; moreover, the numbers are virtually identical to those registered in 1976. The distribution of partisan identification flatly contradicts the polarization narrative: self-classified Republicans are no larger a proportion of the public than in the Eisenhower era, while self-identified Democrats are a significantly smaller proportion than in the 1960s. Forty percent of today’s public declines to identify with either party.

Positions on specific issues support the same conclusion – the public favors a middle ground between the parties. On abortion, for example, the Democratic platform position is “any time, for any reason,” while the Republican position is “never, no exceptions.” The public says “sometimes, for some reasons.”

In 1976 the Democrats nominated a “born again” Sunday school teacher (Jimmy Carter) from Georgia and the Republicans a country club moderate (Jerry Ford) from Michigan. Ford carried California and Connecticut. Carter carried Texas and Mississippi. It’s hard to imagine that today.

For all the talk about "inevitability" and "permanent majorities," you just need to look at the map of the 1976 election. It looks to be almost the exact opposite of 2000-2012.

I think the nation has become more conservative on average. Can you imagine a president implementing wage and price controls as Richard Nixon did? But that conservatism is tempered by a much more libertarian bent on social issues.

Not in today's world; however, in that time period the U.S. did not have the energy reserves needed to maintain the economy like we do today. That plus the cold war practically gave the gov't a license to pull all sorts of crap in the name of national security.
12-22-2017 12:53 PM
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RE: Is the country moving right? Maybe left?
History says we swing right and left constantly by redefining what right and left are.

In many ways Nixon was to the left of Obama, Eisenhower to some degree as well. Teddy Roosevelt favored busting up large companies and locking up vast swathes of the country from commercial exploitation. Franklin Roosevelt had a lot of big government safety net programs that were virtually all tied to work (CCC, WPA, Social Security).

But the country stays polarized.
12-22-2017 02:08 PM
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aTxTIGER Offline
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RE: Is the country moving right? Maybe left?
The extremes are moving farther apart. The center is just now starting to rebuild after 2 decades of being ciphered off by the far left and far right. Basically, despite people claiming to be "independents" today, far fewer people are actually independent in voting trends than a generation ago.
12-22-2017 02:12 PM
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Is the country moving right? Maybe left?
(12-22-2017 02:12 PM)aTxTIGER Wrote:  The extremes are moving farther apart. The center is just now starting to rebuild after 2 decades of being ciphered off by the far left and far right. Basically, despite people claiming to be "independents" today, far fewer people are actually independent in voting trends than a generation ago.

Establishment Republicans and Establishment Democrats are the center. They just aren’t good at winning primaries right now. They agree on a lot of stuff government should do they just disagree on how much despite agreeing it should be done. Merged, they’d win most elections.


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12-23-2017 07:53 PM
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RE: Is the country moving right? Maybe left?
I don't think the electorate is moving much at all in either direction. I think most people are pretty unwavering in their beliefs once they get to a relatively mature age. The big changes occur in the relative importance of the issues. There are some issues I lean left/libertarian on (especially social issues), but they just aren't important enough to me to have any meaningful impact on my vote. I'm not going to vote for socialism because the capitalist in the race believes earth is 6,000 years old or marijuana dealers should go to jail or the Egyptian pyramids were built to store grain. While those positions are laughable, they are so inconsequential to my life that when the left kicks and screams over them, it actually insults my intelligence to the point that I get more motivated to vote.

That said, the relative importance of issues change. For instance, hypothecally speaking, if Trump were to actually start throwing gays in camps or reinstating Jim Crow laws, the relative importance of civil rights would go up and would motivate me to vote against those actions.
12-26-2017 09:42 AM
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