Skip to comments.America Isn't Destined to Be More Liberal
Posted on 01/24/2014 6:02:57 PM PST by Kaslin
In a recent Washington Post op-ed, left-wing activist Steve Rosenthal sounds a lot like other wishful thinkers arriving at a comfortable partisan conclusion. America, he writes, is only a few years from a full-blown progressive electorate. "A close examination of U.S. attitudes in the past decade-plus," Rosenthal contends, "reveals that the United States is steadily becoming more progressive."
It seems to be widely accepted by the media that demographics, GOP ineptitude and internal division, and a generational shift on social issues place the American voter on an enduring leftward course. Is this inevitable? Well, about as inevitable as Karl Rove's durable Republican majority.
You don't have to be a stickler for academic rigor to appreciate that an 825-word column with a few links to some Gallup polls is not really a "close examination" of anything. But you don't have to be a historian to understand that the electorate, though hardly immune to terrible ideas, is, in the end, stubbornly moderate with little use for philosophical consistency. Which is to say, no one knows what the future will look like.
Voters not only have conflicting ideological views but also change their minds on those issues all the time -- and oftentimes for no good reason at all. We are irrational. We are mercurial. We're irresponsible. And when we're not, events that "change everything" (9/11 and the Great Recession come to mind) tend to blow up these alleged electoral trajectories we're on anyway. And let's not forget voter backlashes, religious awakenings, economic booms and busts, political scandals, charismatic leaders, and technological advances, all of which can disrupt lines on the graph.
That's just broadly speaking, of course. Even if we accepted Rosenthal's facts in the short term, a person could use his piece to make a rather compelling case that the nation is trending more libertarian than it is progressive.
A cultural shift is not always an ideological one -- or at least not always the one you imagine. Our norms are always evolving. Immigration, pot legalization, same-sex marriage and "big business" are the issues that Rosenthal claims portend progressivism's triumph. Yet most of these are only incidentally progressive. Marijuana legalization or support for same-sex marriage is far more likely caused by a growing "live and let live" mindset than it is any burst of leftist idealism. And if the "live and let live" mindset starts bleeding into other areas of American life -- say, education, health care and religious freedom -- the left is in trouble.
In the end, the progressive agenda demands that you trust the state to control economic outcomes -- an idea that is yet to be proved especially popular among Americans. Will it be? Who knows? But right now, what does seem to be growing is skepticism toward government, especially among the young. When Gallup asks about what people "think the most important problem facing this country today is," it doesn't bode well for the left that a plurality of people -- independents, Republicans and Democrats -- say it's government. Fifty-three percent of Americans claim to believe government does "too many things." (Forty percent think its powers should be expanded.) Add to this the fact that according to Gallup, a record number of Americans (42 percent) are rejecting partisan labels and identifying as political independents. Sounds as if there's a growing number of voters with a libertarian disposition -- though most would never articulate it that way.
And right now, the unpopularity and struggles of Obamacare -- the most notable political accomplishment associated with the progressive left -- make it tough to imagine any electorate signing off on another national technocratic adventure in the foreseeable future. The Obamacare debate has made it nearly impossible to do anything in Washington (a triumph for libertarian governance). Judging from the polls, the voters Rosenthal claims are turning hard left seem to be more amenable to supporting reforms that loosen, rather than expand, federal control over health care. What makes anyone believe a more progressive alternative would be popular?
But like many folks on the left, Rosenthal is forced to make a big leap. He contends that a shift on social issues and the electoral success of (a now-unpopular) Barack Obama prove that the entire progressive buffet is destined for widespread approval. Guess what. It doesn't work that way. Support for gay marriage does not mean support for unions. (Unions, one of the backbones of political progressivism, have never been less popular in practice.) Pot legalization does not mean we're ready to nationalize energy policy. And support for immigration reform doesn't mean people are prepared to "make everything owned by everybody" as a writer in Rolling Stone suggests. And though I certainly don't believe we're about to privatize Social Security, to believe that the philosophy of the electorate is on a fixed leftward arc -- which seems to be conventional wisdom these days -- is premature.
America is destined for 70 years of slavery and concentration camps as far as we can tell right now.
I think it is destined to be Greece in due time. A fair number of Americans think the US can play a sort of world police, keep Social Security and Medicare going at their current rates and maybe even expanded and expand multiple other federal spending projects as well. Regardless of the political ideology they claim, America will lose its status as a leading military and scientific and intellectual and social power and get pushed and kicked around by everyone else. So it does not matter whether or not the US is destined to be liberal.
America isn’t going to survive if it gets more liberal. It baffles the mind that the American people allowed our politicians to give us something as outrageous and unworkable as Obamacare. Even socialists should be able to look at Obamacare and realize that it is a disaster that can and should destroy Socialism. It will eventually be as difficult to get decent medical care in the US as it is to get toilet paper in Venezuela.
“America Isn’t Destined to Be More Liberal”
The fact that Obumbo, the Marxist, was reelected tells me otherwise. Add to that the rapidly expanding black and immigrant population.
You forget all of the polling shoss that people were against Obamcare except for the left people and they are the ones in charge. So the left wing bastards voted yes for it anyway how can you stop that? My point is I do not think politicians are listening to the people anymore they are just acting.
America is destined for a Greece-esque civil war between communists and patriots.
As Christianity is exorcised from public life and children are indoctrinated into Marxist ideology through the education bureaucracy, society becomes more liberal. Insidious, but their perfidy is succeeding.
One thing we know about evil empires. They end.
Well, part of the blame is that the people depended on the institutions, rather than themselves, to call upon the Lord for them. It’s not enough for In God We Trust to be printed on our money. It’s also needed for it to be printed on our hearts.
Having spent a good part of the previous two days at a maternity hospital (one in a nice part of town, not the city charity ward) I have to think it’s not Republicans who are having kids.
The demographic tide is strongly against us. That doesn’t portend well for the future.
Love these debates because they bring out all the FR surrender monkeys, the DU infiltrators and the liberal jackasses who hate American patriots.
Those are the liberals with the greater hope. The ones with less hope are visiting the abortion facilities.
It’s right to “hate American patriots” when they try to set themselves up on a higher pedestal than God themselves.
Now as soon as they accede God His rightful place, then there is no more need to “hate” them.
At least on abortion, the younger generation is becoming increasingly pro-life.
“It will eventually be as difficult to get decent medical care in the US as it is to get toilet paper in Venezuela.”
I lack knowledge of the toilet paper supply in Venezuela but I expect that soon decent medical care in this country will be as rare as blizzards in Key West.
The numbers for abortion these days are actually fairly small and continuing to trend downward.
The economics of having offspring in the Era of Baraq are quite favorable. That’s why folks in the lower socio-economic groups are reproducing in large numbers.
That is good news in general because it affirms God’s grace in a way the old abortion-prone generation didn’t.
And to whom is this shift in attitude bad news?
I hope, not to you or I.
There is a God in the world and He is quite busy teaching lessons. It is we worldlings who say “the world will go on as it ‘always’ has.”
Hence the need to set up some large Galt Gulch areas.
I mean... can you allow for a God so powerful that He even uses Barack Obama to do good? Even if Barack Obama himself is quite unclear?
You can go gulchify if you want.
I’ll get the gospel gossiped all over, so to speak.
Let’s see which one brings the greater prosperity.
American government is ALWAYS generational. The ‘60s-’70s protest kids are the movers and shakers at the moment, but they’re fading ... More conservative and pragmatic Reagan-era kids are beginning to be heard more and more every day. Time moves on.
The problem is we are using 40% fake money to fund the robust entitlements that make these folks comfortable.
My strong belief is that at some point, the markets will choke on this, and things will turn sour in a bad way.
I tend to agree. It’s a fad that came, that disappointed, and now it’s leaving.
We could have a challenge here.
Militating against the fiat money boom is a fracking boom (for just one thing).
I very much hope you’re correct.
I just had a grandchild born Wednesday.
I also can’t say much for it’s proprietary information. But I know of another technology that could be poised to make America richer. I am not yacking because I owe the secret to the company I am working for right now.
Well, the two would tend to cancel one another out.
So the pendulum has stopped and about to return?
Not for many decades, I don’t know if it ever will
Evidently there wuz more that wanted it than didn't!
Are you still killing your unborn?
20. Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous
21. that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."
4. Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom--both young and old--surrounded the house.
5. They called to Lot, "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them."
6. Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him
7. and said, "No, my friends. Don't do this wicked thing.
Isaiah 3:9 The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.
2 Peter 2:13b Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.
49. "`Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
50. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.
1. But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
3. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
5. if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
6. if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
7. and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men
8. (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)--
9. if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.
10. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings;
11. yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord.
12. But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
13. They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.
But there IS hope!!!
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9. Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived:
Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10. nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
If you could NOT change, you would be in most pitiful shape...
Don’t go there on Monday!
The diagnosis is confirmed; but will America take the medicine?
2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name,
shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face,
and turn from their wicked ways; ,
then will I hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin,
and will heal their land.
quote “a person could use his piece to make a rather compelling case that the nation is trending more libertarian than it is progressive”
The electorate is becoming more Libertarian.
I’m not familiar with the author.
His lack of basic political knowledge is astounding.
America has imported 20 million Socialist voters since the Reagan Amnesty in 1986.
The only thing that has kept America “moderate” is poor voter turn out by immigrants and other Hard Left voting blocs.
When those groups have the same turn out as native born whites, the game is up for Conservatives.
America is now a Progressive nation.
The only thing left to determine is how radical it will be.
But values may not be changing despite the fear of statism.
There is currently no prevailing moral compass in leadership, and unfortunately that has a negative impact on society. The trend to libertarianism is a red herring — no one should conclude that’s an improvement except for the singular rejection of statism. We need to see movement towards conservatism which is the Country’s greatest need, and the Left’s greatest nightmare.
It's the same way with politicians who live in DC. Everyone around them is a lib, so the whole country must be. Therefore, they think they need to become more lib so they can get re-elected.
Steve Rosenthal? Neither am I, but then I don't read the Washington Compost.
Or do you mean David Harsanyi? Where have you been? I have posted numerous articles by him from Townhall.com over the years
From Wikipedia: David Harsanyi is an American journalist. He is a nationally syndicated columnist and senior editor at The Federalist. He is a former editor at Human Events and opinion columnist at The Denver Post. His writings on politics and culture have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, Washington Post, National Review, Reason, Christian Science Monitor, Jerusalem Post, The Globe and Mail, The Hill, Sports Illustrated Online, and other publications.
Harsanyi's column is nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate. He is author of Obama's Four Horsemen: The Disasters Unleashed by Obama's Reelection (Regnery) and Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are Turning America into a Nation of Children (Doubleday/Broadway). He left his position writing op-eds for The Denver Post to work for Glenn Beck's website, TheBlaze.
“Dont go there on Monday!”
Which one? Venezuela if I have diarrhea or Key West without snowshoes?
OK, I’m sorry.
The author is obviously well known and has credibility on political and Conservative issues.
But I still vigorously disagree with his idea that “Americans” are a clearly identifiable group with common goals and common values.
That said, it's a valid analogy. God fills the world full of analogies, including from Old Testament practice. And the "land" that needs to be healed is now in our own hearts, including yours. All of us, including you, need to see the doctor. The garbage man is a secondary concern.
Which... by the way... is why the idea of trying to baptize America at a “social” level failed. What WILL succeed is individual gospel ministry. But sometimes old, even “conservative,” ideas that are not actually godly need to die.
I see the issue as needing a fundamental refactoring.
America, as the whole world, is a scene of spiritual battle.
To see salvation’s flowers bloom and fruits grow in America, we can NOT rely on a political methodology. Not even “conservatism.” If your “conservatism” does not include a heart acceptance and embrace and love of God, then it isn’t any better in the end than a “liberalism” that has the same fault!
It turns out to be historical accident that “liberals” have dropped the God ball worse. “Conservatives” have the ball still, kinda sorta, but they tend too much to pine for a fiat application of God to society. That will not work, and never has during New Testament times (which includes now).