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What Does it Mean to Be a Democrat? ^ | August 8, 2015 | John C. Goodman

Posted on 08/08/2015 4:50:30 AM PDT by Kaslin

On ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Matthew Dowd identified four factions that make up the Republican Party: the Tea Party, libertarians, social conservatives and establishment Republicans. Note that three of these groups are identified almost exclusively by how they think. Arguably the fourth is as well. The Republican Party definitely attracts people who take ideas seriously.

What about the Democratic Party? It’s tempting to say that Democrats are liberal. But did you know that the base of the party – those that are the most reliable supporters of Democratic candidates – are not particularly liberal at all?

According to Pew research, among self-identified Democrats the most liberal are the ones with high incomes and post graduate degrees – a tiny minority. But among blacks, among people who have no more than a high school education and among those who make less than $30,000 a year, a majority consider themselves neither “liberal” nor ”mostly liberal.” Among Hispanics it’s about fifty-fifty. And remember: this was a poll of people who call themselves Democrats.

Matt Vespa, writing at Townhall, quotes New York Times analyst Nate Cohn as saying:

The majority of Democrats and Democratic primary voters are self-described moderates or even conservatives, according to an Upshot analysis of Pew survey data from 2014 and exit polls from the 2008 Democratic primary.

Some of these self-described moderates hold fairly liberal views. But the “mostly liberal” Democrats barely outnumber Democrats with “mixed” or conservative policy views, according to the Pew data, which classified respondents based on how consistently they agreed with Democratic policy positions. Only about a quarter of Democratic-leaners hold the consistently liberal views that would potentially put them to the left of Mrs. Clinton.

Well if liberalism isn’t what unites Democrats, could it be something else, like concern for the least fortunate? You might think so if you are a regular reader of the columns of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. But the facts don’t bear that out either. A study by American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks finds that conservatives are consistently more charitable than liberals. As one reviewer put it:

Brooks finds that households with a conservative at the helm gave an average of 30 percent more money to charity in 2000 than liberal households (a difference of $1,600 to $1,227). The difference isn't explained by income differential—in fact, liberal households make about 6 percent more per year. Poor, rich, and middle class conservatives all gave more than their liberal counterparts.

And it wasn’t just money. The conservatives gave more time, more blood, etc.

These findings are consistent with my own anecdotal experience. For many years I was an attentive viewer of C-Span’s morning show – where callers could call in on a “Democratic” or “Republican” line. Sometimes lines were labeled “liberal” or “conservative.” What I found striking was how rarely anyone on the Democratic or liberal line advocated a position I regarded as unambiguously liberal. I don’t recall a single caller saying we should all (including the caller) pay higher taxes so that we could have universal pre-school or universal long term care or so we could pay for some other government spending project. Instead, I heard teachers arguing for more pay for teachers, seniors wanting more out of Social Security and Medicare, union members wanting trade protection, blacks wanting more for blacks, etc. In other words, what I heard a lot of was selfishness. The Democratic line attracted a lot of people who want government to intervene for their benefit at everyone else’s expense.

Is it possible that raw economic self-interest is what attracts voters to the Democratic Party? Certainly that is one way to view the Franklin Roosevelt political coalition. At Roosevelt’s behest, Congress passed the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which attempted to regulate the entire economy, based on the Italian fascist model. In each industry, management and labor were allowed to collude to set prices, wages, output, etc. Every industry or trade was ordered to conspire to pursue its own interests at the expense of the public. The Supreme Court put an end to the NIRA, but it didn’t put an end to the ideas behind it.

If economic selfishness is what unites Democrats, could that model be in danger of falling apart? Trade unions, occupational licensing, and other attempts to monopolize trades and professions are very much in the Roosevelt tradition. But none of this attracts high income, highly educated liberals who back charter schools in their fight against the teachers’ unions and who back Uber in its fight against the taxi cab monopoly.

Even more stunning is the recent Obama administration broadside against occupational licensing. It points out that one of every four jobs in the country requires a government license and reflects the concern of economists that these laws protect the producers, not consumers, and that their effects are eerily similar to medieval guilds.

At the state and local level, Republicans appear to have been as bad as Democrats in yielding to these special interest pressures. For Republicans, this is inconsistent with their free market rhetoric. However, for Democrats, it’s consistent with the Roosevelt model.

There is a potential rupture within the Democratic Party that has been largely ignored by the pundits.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: demonraticparty; franklindroosevelt; ideology; liberalism
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1 posted on 08/08/2015 4:50:30 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

To me the democrat party is summed up by:
1. The ends justify the means
2. Abortion

Their leaders also have a malignant desire to control other people

2 posted on 08/08/2015 5:00:41 AM PDT by OldNukeDaddy
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To: Kaslin

And they all support baby killing otherwise they wouldn’t vote Democrat.

3 posted on 08/08/2015 5:03:04 AM PDT by A message
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To: Kaslin

The’re MO is very simple. It’s all about ME!!!

4 posted on 08/08/2015 5:05:45 AM PDT by mothball
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To: Kaslin

Democrat means you’re uninformed on history and economics. It’s about emotion and hypocrisy. It’s being void of logic or common sense.

5 posted on 08/08/2015 5:10:36 AM PDT by albie
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To: OldNukeDaddy

3. ....Liars.

6 posted on 08/08/2015 5:13:04 AM PDT by Squantos ( Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet ...)
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To: Kaslin

“did you know that the base of the party – those that are the most reliable supporters of Democratic candidates – are not particularly liberal at all?”

Because they’re not liberals.
They’re authoritarians, using a “liberal” facade as a political tool to persuade opponents to tolerate Leftist views until enough power & positions can be achieved to impose their narrow-minded totalitarian will upon everyone else.

“Liberalism”, as a colloquial understanding, is a lie.

7 posted on 08/08/2015 5:14:10 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (The world map will be quite different come 20 January 2017.)
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To: OldNukeDaddy

I think abortion is #1 for democrats.

8 posted on 08/08/2015 5:14:31 AM PDT by samtheman (Trump/Cruz '16)
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To: albie

I saw a bumper sticker recently with the words “I am everything the right hates.” The left typically associates the right with hatred, but the left is generally far less tolerable to different perspectives as a group. The person probably relishes in that he is or she: naïve, anti-military, pro-baby killing, anti-religion, dependent on government, can name all the Kardashians but no more than ten former U.S. presidents, pro-homosexuality but anti-traditional family, self-centered, open borders and “no person is illegal,” pro-quotas, hypocritical with world policies and as such blame the USA first, etc.

9 posted on 08/08/2015 5:14:53 AM PDT by ConservativeStatement ("World Peace 1.20.09.")
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To: OldNukeDaddy

I tend to agree. Reducing political convictions to the simplest influence, abortion is at the apex. The next is the gimmedat culture. These two dominant imperatives are not in danger of being eroded in influence. They are a get out of jail card and a pass go gift.
After these two pillars of liberal social conscience, gullibility seems to be the most common denominator among liberals, the willingness to believe whatever position is advanced as long as it comes from a liberal icon.

10 posted on 08/08/2015 5:15:50 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (This is a wake up call. Join the Sultan Knish ping list.)
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To: Kaslin
Allow me to explain what it means to be a democrat through interpretive dance (click on safe link):

11 posted on 08/08/2015 5:19:12 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: Kaslin

Democrats are for democracy thats why their called democrats..

Democracy is the political disease that causes socialism..
Communism and Fascism are both Socialism..

Democracy is Mob Rule by mobsters... always in every instance..
Democracy despises FREEDOM... it is slavery.. serfdom.. always..

Socialism is at WAR with Freedom..
It’s about control... like Islam.. <- which means submission..
And has Mullahs(by other names) to control everything..

Socialism is exactly like Islam.. a Caliphate..
With a strange God... Givernment becomes GOD..

12 posted on 08/08/2015 5:21:30 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited (specifically) to include some fully orbed hyperbole..)
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To: Caipirabob
Hmmmm THIS .... received in my FB page this morning, is probably going to get a workout today ...

13 posted on 08/08/2015 5:22:39 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true.)
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To: OldNukeDaddy

Add to that...

They are knee jerk reactionists and bleeding heart libs who would save a pet or a tree before they would a human life
They are selfish, self absorbed narcissists and spoiled brats that thrive on pleasure and comfort even if others have to provide it for them
They are disrespectul, arrogant, and rude and there is no wisdom or common sense in them
They are genuises in their own minds and more educated than you therefore they feel they should make your decisions for you despite their inability to see the bigger picture and its unintended consequences
They make rash decisions based on emotion rather than facts, logic, or reason
They are full of pride and unable to admit when they are wrong
They are liars and deceivers hellbent on getting their way no matter what it takes

14 posted on 08/08/2015 5:24:35 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: ConservativeStatement
I agree.

I was at a neighborhood party once, and a "Liberal" neighbor was going on about how churches should be forced to marry homosexuals, and rich businessmen should be forced to pay more taxes, and how corporations should be forced to cleanup pollution, and how oil companies should be forced to lower the cost of oil, and on and on and on.

I spoke up and said that maybe government had already become too powerful.

"You!" she spat. "You! You're a Republican! All you want to do is control people! I know your game! You just want power so you can boss people around!"

I said: "No, I want to be left alone. That's what it means to be a Conservative. It sounds like you're the one who wants to force a lot of people to do a lot of things."

She called me a vile name and stalked off.

Hatred? Lack of tolerance? Ignorance? Authoritarian? It was all right there. That's the Left.

15 posted on 08/08/2015 5:25:27 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Henry Bowman where are you?)
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To: Kaslin

I know what it means to be a DenocRat. Right now I think it’s more important to define what it is to be a Republican. And FOX’s farcical debate clouded that issue.

16 posted on 08/08/2015 5:25:55 AM PDT by ZULU (Democrats are paleosocialists)
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To: Kaslin

As a DemoRat just take one subject. The economy-—do they have serious ideas about balancing the budget? Reducing Govt spending? Fixing Social Security? Reducing taxes and smothering regulations on small business?
No nothing of substance except petty name calling about them being victims of the evil rich while they glorify their own 1%er elitists. Dems are either conflicted morons or hack leftist believers. .or godless immorals who hate the light of truth.

17 posted on 08/08/2015 5:27:19 AM PDT by tflabo (Psalm 1)
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To: Kaslin

There are many reasons people vote for Democrats, but one not mentioned here is the sports-mind mentality of “They are my team”.

Like some Patriot fans, we have some Republicans and many Democrats who will support their guy regardless what is right or wrong.

18 posted on 08/08/2015 5:27:30 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Scott Walker - a more conservative governor than Ronald Reagan)
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To: Kaslin
The Democratic line attracted a lot of people who want government to intervene for their benefit at everyone else’s expense.

I think this is a very good one-sentence definition. A Democrat's support for - or at least acceptance of - the unlimited abortion license fits with this: they want the benefit of irresponsible sex at the expense of the preborn baby's life.

19 posted on 08/08/2015 5:28:24 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("All the time live the truth with love in your heart." ~Fr. Ho Lung)
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To: Kaslin

Good article.

Around me, white Democrats that have jobs - a minority of national Democrats, for sure, but a large minority - are strongly pro-Trump.

White Democrats that have jobs have GOP-phobia for a number of reasons, some of them well-justified.

It is much, MUCH more promising to go after those votes that it is chasing “Hispanics” and other FSA cadre.

Of course, winning them permanently might require the public execution of Karl Rove, but, as Lenin said, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

20 posted on 08/08/2015 5:31:22 AM PDT by Jim Noble (You walk into the room like a camel and then you frown)
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