Are the American people becoming more politically liberal?

According to this article, that conclusion is strongly supported by a recent study of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, “Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007”; as well as by other recent surveys.

Is there any reason to think otherwise?

If it is true – why? Why the change in political attitudes in America over the past 20 years?

And what can or should the politicians do about it?

Keeping dreaming, BG. Keep dreaming.

Keep whistling past the graveyard, John.

Yeah, the Republicans have fucked up big time with their so called ‘president Bush’ and their ‘culture of corruption’. Rejection of that, and anything associated with it, necessarily produces a liberal shift. It doesn’t mean anything though, because they’ll go scrambling back to the GOP as soon as it starts pushing untainted candidates.

In their book The Emerging Democratic Majority, John Judis and Ruy Teixeira point to lasting demographic trends:

But, the polls in question did not ask about people’s partisan preferences, but their opinions about public policy as such. If the GOP “starts pushing untainted candidates,” those candidates will still be running on policies more and more Americans find unappealing.

Dude. Of course Americans want all those liberal policies enacted-- they just don’t want to pay for them. This is just like that poll that showed an overwhelming number of Americans were willing to up their taxes by $500 to have universal healthcare. Wow. I’d love to pay only $500 for healthcare.

The US is too big a country, and our governmental system is set up in such a way as to make change extremely difficult. If you see any significant shifts in either direction, it’s going to be at the state level, not at the federal level. You just can’t get a “liberal” agenda thru the Senate. Aint’ gonna happen.

Are they? Yes, but slooooowly, so very, very slowly. And as impatient as I am for change, and Lord knows I am, I must confess that may be for the best. Radical and sudden change offers too many openings for the opportunist and the demagogue. Talk to the center, listen to the center, move the center.

But people’s policy preferences depend on whether the policies are being pushed by people they like, or dislike. A thoughtful analysis of the implications of a particular policy comes in there as well, but you need only look as far as the threads about ‘good things Bush has done’ to see how important the identity/party of a policy’s proponent is to the acceptance of a policy.

Even without a partisan tilt in the poll questions, party identification will show up in the responses.

You mean like the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Civil Rights Act of 1968, Job Corps, VISTA, Food Stamps, Head Start, Medicare and Medicaid, the National Endowment for the Arts, various Environmental acts, and so on?

Yep, that’s exactly what I mean. How many of those programs were implemented in the last 25 years? None.

I misunderstood your statement. I thought it was general and not confined to more recent history. Sorry.

From the OP:

Well, I don’t see any latter-day equivalent of Huey Long on the political horizon just yet. Don’t expect to, either.

I look at voting trends, not public opinion poll trends for sweeping issues like this.

Americans routinely get fed up with those in power and then look to the other party for answers. If those polls were correct, the Republican party would be pretty much wiped out of existence at the national level. Funny how that hasn’t happened though.

When reality doesn’t match up with your premise, you would be wise to re-examine your premise instead of thinking that there is something wrong with reality.

Truly excellent advice, John! Isn’t that so often the case with people who ignore the clearly obvious political truths?

It won’t happen. The Pubs have too many institutional advantages locked in place – and too many wealthy backers. But they may be reduced to a semi-permanent minority as they were in the FDR years.

I’d say that characterizes one George W. Bush very well. He has his mind set up as to the way things should be, and when they don’t turn out that way he blames something else.

The problem is defining liberal. Both parties are fairly economically liberal. The conservativism of George HW Bush economically was pretty classically liberal, and the policy of his son’s Neo-Conservatism is pretty neo-liberal.

I also think people are getting weary of caring about homosexuality and other such trivial differences.


If you trend from 1776. :slight_smile: