Does the US really have a "Left Wing"?

Congrats, wolfpup, on yet another frenzied leap to refute arguments not made.

Left-wingers in the U.S. are left-wing based on U.S. standards which is what counts in American politics.

Attempts to paint oneself as centrist or even right-wing “because Europe!” don’t fool most people, notably voters.

There are people in the US who do want to abolish capitalism and all the rest of that. They don’t hold any seats in Congress, but that’s probably as much an artifact of our electoral system, that makes it very difficult for third parties to win any elections. Take any country where those left extremists do hold seats, and I expect that you’d find that they’re still only about the same faction of the total population as here.

So you’re saying that American politics is governed by American standards? Say it ain’t so! :astonished:

Way to miss the whole point, however. This is just a variant of the “American exceptionalism” argument beloved by conservatives, because “we don’t care what the rest of the world is doing” avoids embarrassing conclusions like having to acknowledge being the only country in the developed world without universal health care while being burdened with the highest costs, or the one with the worst rates of gun violence, etc.

The point being that looking at other developed countries for context and for policies that lead to good outcomes is a much more constructive strategy than isolationism and some sort of “exceptionalism” fantasy. The only reason that certain voters reject such comparisons is, as I said, because of how unfavourable many of them are. They seem to be mostly Republicans; Fox News watchers who have been brainwashed into believing that most of Europe (and Canada and Australia) are poverty-stricken communist hellholes.

I’ve never actually got the point of this by global standards sort of comparison. Left and Right are relative on the basis of the center of politics in each country. The US’s center may be farther to the right than European countries, but when discussing US politics it makes sense to discuss in terms of US definition of terms. Otherwise, you get meaningless stuff like the US has two right wing parties.

It depends on the purpose of the discussion. If the purpose is to answer questions like “why is the US the only developed country in the world with no universal health care system and no visible hope of ever getting one?”, then comparisons to global standards and policies is helpful. It allows one to make useful observations like the fact that in the past 50 years the Democratic Party has been drifting to the right, while the Republican Party has been drifting into right-wing extremism that has now descended into outright denial of basic facts, like facts about COVID, about masks, about the vaccines, about health care, about climate change, and of course the “stolen” election of 2020.

OK, fine, let’s just look at our own standards.

Bill Clinton was arguably to the right of Richard Nixon. And yet we call Clinton (and Hillary Clinton, while we’re at it) a liberal.

Speaking as an American who has been living in Europe for a few years, this is in fact exactly the right way to perceive U.S. politics, and brings a lot of clarity.

FRANCIS: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?
REG: He’s over there.
P.F.J.: Splitter!

The US has two pro-corporate neo-liberal parties that mostly differ on social issues. But I’m not sure that is unusual by developed-world standards. Actual socialism tends to be more popular in poor countries.

My mainstream European country has Communists elected to its parliament.

Which country is that?

See here.

I thought i acknowledged that in the OP.

I think the “global standard” for what is right or left wing is better than “domestic relativism” argument because, as it causes confusion. What is a Chinese person who wants free speech, gay rights, anti-sexism, anti-uygher genocide? But still likes the one party rule of the CCP, just wants a change in some policies. Are they Chinese right wingers? because they are to the right of the bulk of the CCP?

Socially Liberal Capitalist and Socially Conservative Capitalist is more accurate in my opinion.

Why do you characterize someone who wants free speech, gay rights, anti-uyghir genocide and anti-sexism as right wing?

I don’t.

But in the context of “domestic relativism”, a Chinese person who advocated for those things would be to the right of the left wing CCP. Therefore, right wing in the context of domestic PRC politics. Isn’t that what most of you are saying?

On what basis are you making that characterization?

Liberal democratic values are to the right of leftist communist values.

That does not make them “Right Wing” in the context domestic American politics, but is does in the context of the global understanding of the terms right and left.

Except that throughout this thread you’ve been defying « left » and « right » in terms of capitalism and socialistic ownership of means of production.

Gay rights, anti-sexism, etc have nothing to do with ownership of the means of production, so shouldn’t be either « left » or « right » by that standard. Now you’re introducing another metric to define right and left, that has nothing to do with property and economic systems.

You’ve also said that we shiulddn’t define « left » and « right » by US values, but now you’re okay with using « western liberal values » to measure politician line-ups in China. Why is it okay to use western liberal values to assess ideology in non-western countries?

I continually have made the distinction between Liberal and Conservative/Left and Right.

All this discussion really does is demonstrate that a single-dimensional left-right continuum is not fit for purpose.