Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Center Right or Center Left?

Like many Americans, I don't consider myself ideological, and in survey after survey, I often end up right where I'd expect - moderate. That's why I'm a "recovering Republican" and a "disappointed Democrat." I'm part of the trend in Colorado, especially in the sixth district, of unaffiliated, independent voters. Colorado (and I), in that regards, are about as purple as can be. Though while the GOP likes to declare emphatically that America is a conservative country - or center right - to be more specific - and while some polls show the country moving slightly to the right, there is an ambiguity to that desire for ideological dominance. As EJ Dionne points out:

It’s important to note that there is a debate over what these ideological labels actually mean to voters. And polls that give respondents the chance of calling themselves “progressive” produce a substantially larger number on the left end of the spectrum, since many who won’t pick the “liberal” label do call themselves “progressive.” A study earlier this year by the Center for American Progress found that when progressive and libertarian were offered as additional options, the country was split almost exactly in half between left and right.

That discrepancy is key to the debate - and one that will never truly be addressed by what George H.W. Bush calls "the cables." [???] The reality is that whatever the parties want to say about the leanings of the country, the voters are choosing Democrats lately because the GOP just seems to have nothing to offer. This is more well articulated by David Brooks, but I get the gist of it.

Realistically, voters seek out what is real and valid in their lives. They support what works and they abandon what doesn't. That's pretty much the way it should be.

4 comments:

Darren said...

As someone who scores (on every internet quiz I've ever taken) as barely right of center, I don't see you as a fellow centrist--or if you are, you're on the other side of center. Lots of loaded words in this post; perhaps you don't even notice them.

mazenko said...

Barely right of center? Now, that truly surprises me. And I couldn't see you as a centrist after reading even a few posts from Rightontheleftcoast. I do enjoy it, but the majority of your posts do not seem centrist to me. Can you think of some examples?

Though, I concede that we agree on a fair amount. I'd probably say I'm on the progressive side of center - I'm fiscally conservative, though I think the progressive income tax is fair and appropriate. I'm also libertarian on social issues, which can skew internet quizzes based on the source and wording of questions.

Ultimately, I think I'm a pragmatist, and I'd say you are as well. We both want what works, and would rarely criticize either ideology when it it, in fact, working.

Friends of Narnia said...

hehe, no offense, but you seem slightly more of a lefty than a righty to me... =P that's just what you seem to be... ;) haha, i'm definately a "righty." =)

~Queen Lucy~

Darren said...

I'm sure it *does* surprise you--because I see you as far more left than a centrist, so I'm much further to the right than you are!

I think people assume I'm much more to the right than I actually am because I argue *passionately*. And I *despise* leftie ideology. But that doesn't make me a far-right-wing ideologue. Expecting our legislators to comply with the Constitution, and not stretch or contort it, *shouldn't* be a far-right-wing view.

I definitely get "centrist points" for my moderate views on social issues. I'm a political/economic conservative, not a religious/social one.