06 December 2009

Political divisions and political reality (2)

This posting by Bradley Smith at the Frum Forum is written from a conservative viewpoint, but merits reading by anyone interested in politics. It looks behind the commonly-cited statistic that more Americans self-identify as conservative than as liberal, to focus on what people actually believe about specific issues, rather than on what label they apply to themselves. Many people who claim such a label actually disagree with some, or even many, of the political stances associated with that label.

When this is taken into account, it turns out that there are more across-the-board liberals (that is, people who take the liberal position on pretty much every issue) than there are across-the-board conservatives. However -- and this is the real point -- both groups are much smaller than the surveys on self-identification would suggest: 12% to 15% of Americans are "pure" liberals, while 8% to 10% are "pure" conservatives. The great majority, even if they call themselves one thing or the other, lean different ways on different issues.

The message could hardly be clearer. A ruthless commitment to ideological purity -- such as is being pursued now by the teabagger right and hinted at by some on the left as well -- is the royal road to alienation of the vast center and crushing electoral defeat. And that goes for either party.

5 Comments:

Blogger (O)CT(O)PUS said...

Sometimes I think Americans are the most vocal, opinionated, in-your-face people on the planet ... especially when the subject is about politics, religion, designer clothes, politics, pop music, shoe size, or politics. The tea bagger putsch certainly reminded us how a tiny rabble can maketh a mighty noise. In times like these, I wish silence were more golden.

Of course, I should talk!

06 December, 2009 21:11  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

We're a people that's willing to stand up and be heard, that's for sure. Still, I'd rather have a society where people are too activist than one where they're too passive. Better heard than herd.

07 December, 2009 03:29  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

Boy oh boy Mr.Infidel ... you sure know how to pick em ...dont you?!! :)

What a piece in Frum Forum! As far as the breakdown and trying to dissect this bloody mess! My compliment's to this Morris Fiorina on this. I had to read it twice to even be able to get a understanding of it. It just make's me polar as well ...as far as "what a confusing mess" ... but "how great American Politic's really are ... and how we voice so loudly when our back's are to the wall". I am somewhat lost politically. I cant even claim a bloody party if I wanted to. Those these day's on the left may call me a hatemonger simply because I speak up too much for American concern's and less about these other countries and cultures, and call these extreme muslim's "flea bearded raghead's" (which in my opinion is deserving considering what they call us and especially our women and culture)and want to guard my 2nd amendment right's and support the NRA ... those on the right think I am ultra liberal and a screaming socialist, because of my strict enviromental stance,being pro-choice,for national health care,and am pro same sex marriage! I'm f'd if I do and f'd if I dont Bubba!( I feel like Obama).

I love your phrase ..."royal road to alienation" and also in your last comment of "Better heard than herd" especially! :)

As far as like Fiorina say's on a "return to normacy" ... well I am personally ready for a new look, but at this point will settle for whatever I can get that's close to decent and less BS. And would love to see more "defending American's interest's" as well. I get just a bit sick and tired about intervening in these countries issue's abroad ...who are as alien to us and our way's as space alien's... and want to do nothing but fight, support extreme religion's in their government's, and do pretty much nothing (unfortunately unlike some of their ancient intelligent civilised ancestry) but such for either out of choice or because they allowed some ratshit ragtag gang of religious hoodlum's take over their land. I'm a spiritual man for instance ...but loathe religion...period... or even talking about my spirituality for that matter, and am a tad sick of these American fundamoralist's who want to monitor and regulate our morality domestically, we need to monitor and regulate their asses once and for all and remind them of the principle's that founded this great nation, and define "democracy" for them since they dont seem to understand what it mean's.And just because you pray a half a dozen time's a day and go to church dont make you a good American, so they shouldnt think so goddamn grand of themselve's.

Thank You Sir .....

07 December, 2009 05:44  
Blogger (O)CT(O)PUS said...

Infidel753: "Better heard than herd."

Difficult to achieve when the aim of the game is to out-shout, drown-out, and overpower opponents rather than engage in civil and respectful dialogue, and the time-honored art of consensus and compromise.

When the public debate turns abusive and ugly, I do not see how such behavior can be considered "democracy in action." More like thuggery and brown shirt tactics, in my opinion, and it angers me to the extent that I am quite ready and eager to push back in kind.

07 December, 2009 08:24  
Blogger TRUTH 101 said...

Everyone wants to be important. What easier way to get some applause than tell a herd of like minded simpletons that you want low taxes and less government?

07 December, 2009 13:32  

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