The Washington Post: Opinion: Andrew Cohut: Are Democrats Getting Too Liberal?
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
This is where political labels, that is, labels that only describe one's political ideology, get people into trouble when they don't understand what the labels mean and what that political ideology is about. I agree with Andrew Cohut of the Washington Post that yes, the Democratic Party has obviously become more liberal and that has been the case since the George McGovern reforms to the Democratic Party in 1972 that brought in more ethnic and racial minorities and more women as well as gays and Northerners. But has the DP become too liberal? What does Mr. Cohut mean by that?
Today the Democratic Party is very liberal on social issues, believing in a wide range of personal freedoms for individuals, and it uses the United States Constitution to make the case for ideas like marijuana legalization, equal rights for gays, privacy, free speech including hate speech, right to organize, and Freedom of Assembly. Now even many Democrats who are in favor of the Second Amendment believe that constitutional common sense gun control should be part of that as well. And Liberal Democrats, especially younger people, do not like being told by government or anyone else how to live their own lives as well.
Today the Democratic Party is also very liberal on economic policy, because we want to see the private enterprise system work for everyone and not just people born to wealth. We are not calling for less economic freedom; we are actually calling for more economic freedom for every American, not leaving people at the bottom or bare middle to struggle without the ability to move up. Which is why we are always speaking in favor of ideas like new infrastructure investment and job training and education for low-skilled working adults, low-skilled non-workers, and laid-off workers who need to develop new skills to move to the middle class.
I just laid out for you the center of the Democratic Party. We are called the center-left party because we are a liberal party not a social democratic party, even though we do have social democrats in the party who want to take America much further left economically and politically toward Europe, which does not favor our Constitution and would either change it or get rid it of altogether, scrap our federalist system, and move to a social democracy and perhaps even a unitary government. However, the social democrats do not run the Democratic Party today. The Liberals and Progressives, the center left, does.