Why the liberals will lose tomorrow

This article is a great analysis of American politics since the 60’s. It identifies 3 major movements: liberal progressivism, moderate progressivism, and conservatism, and shows conclusively that liberal progressivism always gets rejected or repudiated because white working-class voters hate it, and why they hate it. It is funny to me how the liberal progressives never learn that their problem is not that the voters were fooled by their opponents, but that the voters actually do understand their policies and reject them anyway.

The moderate progressivism of Democrats like Bill Clinton and the RINOs who infest my region of the country is of course also bad, and even the “conservatism” of the Republicans ascendant this year (well-represented at www.nationalreview.com ) still shares too many progressive assumptions. There needs to be a 4th movement further to the right ( www.alternativeright.com is one place to see what this might look like), because the “center” moves leftward. This tendency is so obvious it can be seen from the names of the movements — moderate progressivism still progresses, while conservatism conserves what is already there and resists further leftward movement, but to move the USA to the right substantially, explicitly rightist movements need to become more powerful. At least things will move in the right direction tomorrow. You have to move the Overton Window to the right gradually in order to keep the voters with you; large shifts in what is politically acceptable only occur after social, economic, or military disasters, and although I know that some commenters who don’t like America’s influence might regard that as the most reliable way to end up with a saner world, as an American I can’t give up on regular politics yet.

(Yes, I know the left-right axis has limited usefulness in political analysis, but in this particular case it is useful enough to facilitate making my points.)

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About Polymath

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7 Responses to Why the liberals will lose tomorrow

  1. Doug1 says:

    That was a good article, though rather long winded in the last third or so. This is the core part of it:

    Since 1960, Democrats have simultaneously controlled the White House and Congress with large supermajorities four times: 1965–66, 1977–80, 1993–94, and 2009–10. In each of the three previous instances, Democrats suffered landslide reversals in Congress within four years of obtaining their supermajorities. They will do so again this year. The only time they did not also then lose the presidency was in 1996, when the triangulator Bill Clinton was reelected. Is this a coincidence?

    Well that and his answering the “why” question by pointing out that in each of those periods of overwhelming Democratic control of Washington, the left wing of the Democratic party, or what he calls liberal progressives as opposed to moderate progressives, pushed through or tried to push through rapid social change that the normally Democrat leaning working class thought too much too fast and/or too disruptive.

  2. Fortitudine Vincimus says:

    Whatever happens, I really think the Republicans will achieve little by any victory.

    Obama will be able to place the blame for any lack of progress squarely on their shoulders, whereas the Republicans have no viable contender for Obama. There is no one who can match him in eloquency, so Obama will still sing his siren song in 2012.

  3. FV, if the Republicans’ agenda is to roll back Obama’s excesses, then “lack of progress” is not something they should be afraid of being accused of. Far too much of liberal political argument over the last few years has the following fallacious logic:

    1) Something must be done to solve problem X
    2) Y is something
    3) Therefore Y must be done to solve problem X

    And if you think Obama is eloquent you have not been listening. That shine has long since worn off. He is a loser and people know it.

    Doug1, in support of my point that the liberal progressives never figure out that the voters really do understand what they want to do and reject it anyway, I offer this article, which I had to read twice to be sure was not a hoax:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/campaign/126805-obamas-final-narrative-a-negative-melange-of-historic-proportions-

    The emphasis on “narrative” here, as if all that matters is how you tell the story and not what story you are telling, shows that it still hasn’t sunk in how fundamental and substantive the voter dissatisfaction is.

  4. rebelliousvanilla says:

    The American ‘conservatives’ want to conserve the status quo. Nothing new here, move along. With every member in Congress being a GOP member and the president being a Republican, nothing would change. The US would still be bankrupt and still demographically doomed with no way of changing anything. And I don’t see how white working class people hate progressivism – the whole Beck rally and the I’m not racist people at the tea parties reak of progressivism.

  5. White working class people hate liberal progressivism, that was the well-researched conclusion of the article. They hate elites imposing rapid changes, denigration of their values of patriotism and public order, and socialist tinkering that ruins economic growth and the connection between hard work and economic reward. This is why they have turned against the Democrats recently. That doesn’t mean they hate moderate progressivism, which is an important distinction. The conservatives are benefiting from this, but as I said, they to have stop “conserving” and start moving the country purposefully to the right. This does not have to be done all at once — the most salient issue today, which is the real engine behind the tea parties, is that the government has gotten too big and needs to be radically reduced. This is a good start, the Republicans should not repeat the Democrats’ mistake of trying to accomplish everything they want immediately. I predict that 2012 will see rightward movement on race and gender issues as well although there will continue to be a focus on the economy as there has been this year. It’s possible the economy and financial system are too far gone to fix without a collapse, in which case the great political task will be to explain convincingly to people the real reasons for the collapse.

  6. Fortitudine Vincimus says:

    Interesting you say that, PM.

    I guess the media here are giving me a raw deal!

  7. rebelliousvanilla says:

    Polymath, the Democrats have a more right wing view of gender and race. Equality is a leftist concept. It’s just that they’re the party of women and nonwhites so they get goodies for the people who they represent. lol

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