Will US politics get more polarized, what is the result?

According to PEW the fastest growing group of voters in the US were liberals, who are socially and economically left wing. They went from about 10% to 19% of the electorate between 1999 and 2005.

I have no idea if the liberal base is still growing. However all the disaffection about failures of the democratic congress and white house to get reform is probably going to push the democratic party further to the left because unions and progressives will put efforts into primaries and holding centrists accountable.

At the same time the GOP lost power because they were too far right. But the response from the right has been to go further to the right. I think even Gingrich is frightened by what an unqualified extremist Palin is. The right wing media and evangelical base wants to go further right. So support of people like Palin, Toomey and Hoffman is going up. People on the right are openly talking about violent coups while people on the left are trying to create a party more along Kucinich’s mold.

So what is the long term result? What happens in countries where there are 2 major parties that become extreme? Governments made up of communists/socialists vs militant right wing authoritarians usually don’t seem to end up well.

I have an unpleasant feeling that the Democrats won’t move left; I think they are such toadies to the wealthy ( not quite as much as the Republicans, but still toadies ) and so spineless that no matter how far to the left their constituency gets, they’ll keep voting Right. It’s not like that constituency has a realistic alternative, after all. I foresee a polarization between a loony-right Republican Party; a relatively moderate right wing Democrat party, and an electorate than over time regards themselves as more and more disenfranchised by politicians that ignore the desires of the people who elected them in order to pander to the wealthy and the fanatics.

I think that progressives and unions will put their efforts into primaries from the left, and as a result the politicians will move left. That is partly how the GOP moved to far to the right, via using primaries.

I am hopeful that today’s young Democrat will get wiser as he gets older, and drift to the right.

I am fearful that today’s right wing fringe will so damage the GoP that the country won’t elect anybody to the right of John Lennon for a decade or so.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/26843.html The last campaign, internet small donors impacted the political races. This decision which is coming down this week will allow corporations and organizations to open spending floodgates. The impact of big money will be accentuated. It will give more power to big business. Neither the dems or repubs will be able to stand up to their power now. I saw a possibility that the people would wrest some control away from corporations. This decision will end that hope.

My hope is that sanity will break out, and the majority will stay in the center…and that both parties will see this and marginalize the frothing at the mouth crowd to the fringes, where they belong.

Of the two parties, I think the Dem’s currently have the only reasonable chance of throwing off the left wing loonies and moving to the center. It’s a slim chance, mind, but it’s a chance. I think for the foreseeable future the Pub’s are a lost cause.


What “left wing loonies” are they supposed to throw off? They barely have any left wing, much less a loony one.

What you are talking about is another victory for the Republicans, where yet again the Republicans move right and the Democrats follow them. Which will only result in the Republicans moving even farther right and the new “center” being where the Republicans are now. Not some victory for moderation, but just another step in this nation’s slide towards extremism.

I think that the rift will deepen and further create two mutually adverse cultures. You already see it now: we lurch from Bush to Obama, it’s not the nation changing course, but opposing factions gaining a slim majority to seize control for a brief period. I think this trend will continue, side A gets control then loses it to side B who try to undo the work of side A while pushing through their own agenda.

You aren’t seriously asking me this, are you? As I’m sure you are well aware, it’s all a matter of perspective. To YOU they may not look left wing…but then, you think the majority of Dem’s are right wingers, while I see them as centrist or just left of center. The key, of course, is where one defines the ‘center’. Since you and I aren’t going to agree on that, it’s sort of pointless for you to ask me the above, ehe?

Moving to the center is a victory for the Republicans? That’s a fascinating assertion.

How would you tell? To you everything looks right wing after all. Personally, I think the country is moving left…back towards the center.

Uhuh. :stuck_out_tongue:


If the Republican Party continues its move to the far right, the Dems will move a little right and pick up all those centrist voters abandoned by the Pubs. Both parties however will still be beholden to Big Money. The health care debate has made abundantly clear that the folks in Washington, left right and center, are as nothing before big corporate power.

America is both well to the right of most of “the West”, and is constantly moving to the right of itself. And as the Republicans demonstrate, you can’t go much farther to the right than the “center” is now without degenerating into outright lunacy.

Moving the center to the right is a victory; one they’ve accomplished repeatedly. The Democrats have become Republicans for most purposes.

It’s not moving to the left; at most, it’s slightly slowed its drift to the right.