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Friday, January 10, 2014

Townhall: Opinion: Daniel Doherty: Gallup Poll, Liberal Self-Identification on The Rise

Townhall: Opinion: Daniel Doherty: Gallup Poll, Liberal Self-Identification on The Rise

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

I’ve sort of been sensing this since the 2006 mid-term elections that Americans have moved Left. Not far-left, but certainly in the liberal left direction after experiencing five years of the neoconservative Bush Administration with the pre-emptive War in Iraq and another unpaid for War in Afghanistan. With the 2002 Patriot Act, the Bush Administration having four years of unchecked power basically with a united Republican Congress that the country was moving away from this and wanted a check on the Bush Administration and weren’t happy with the Republican Congress.

And as a result the American voters spoke in 2006 and gave Democrats Congress back, both the House and Senate. Seven years later Democrats still hold the majority in the Senate with a 55-45 margin. Americans weren’t saying that they want to go from the neoconservative right and the religious-right, to a more socialist direction on the far-left. But that unchecked power when it goes to far is bad for the country. If I had to testify under oath whether America is a center-left or center-right country, I wouldn’t be able to answer that because I do not know for sure.

But I do know we are a country that likes our personal and economic freedoms and do not want a heavy-handed big centralized government trying to manage our lives for us. But we aren’t anti-government either. We just tend to have a skepticism for big government and only want government to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves and based on this you could make a very good case we are a center-left country. If you look at where the country is now on marijuana and the broader War on Drugs.

Or look at where America is now on privacy, gay rights and so-forth and that we aren’t calling for a big expansion of government in our economic affairs either. That Americans tend to be mainstream with their politics, but so is liberalism in its classical form. This is good news for Democrats, but is also a reminder for the Democratic Leadership when it comes to recruiting, that if you are going to recruit and back the more progressive or socialist even minded candidates, to run for office it better be in areas where they can actually win.

Lets say more far-leftist areas of the country, at least when it comes to the country as a whole, where even big government economics, where a large percentage of the population is even looking for a bigger government even at the federal level in their lives. And that will mostly be in the Northeast, Northwest and the San Francisco Bay Area. But for the rest of the country where the Democratic Party is strong, you want to have center-left Liberal Democrats representing you instead.