Friday, January 25, 2013

When The "Far Left" Becomes The "Moderate Middle"

There has been a lot written about the president’s inaugural address and conservatives are still apoplectic about his left-wing, progressive, liberal, socialist, communist, Marxist remarks.  In his recently published opinion piece, noted conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer referred to the president’s address as an “uncompromising left-liberal manifesto.”
There is no question that by traditional standards the president’s agenda is aggressively progressive. 
It is also enormously popular among the electorate.
Every single issue that the president discussed in his inaugural address has a favorability rating in excess of 55% in the national polls.  Climate change, immigration reform, abortion, women’s health issues, gay marriage, gay’s in the military, equal pay for equal work, strengthening entitlements  and investments in education, research and infrastructure are all viewed  positively by Americans. 
Even the president’s policies on the ever toxic topic of gun control are popular.  According to the just released ABC NEWS/Washington Post opinion poll, 53% of Americans view Obama’s gun control plan favorably, 41% oppose.  Universal background checks on all gun purchases polls at 92% favorability.
The president ran on these issues…and won by an overwhelming margin.  He won because he listened to the nation…not to just a small sliver of constituents back home.
The country’s demographics are changing. Women, Hispanics, blacks and young voters now hold sway over the direction of the country.  The collective “we” in “we are all in this together” has replaced the emphasis on the “I” in “individual and personal success.’  Individual freedom, opportunity and achievement is still important…but not at the expense of those less fortunate.
Republicans refuse to recognize this seismic change.  They believe that they are right on policy…it is just their messaging that needs a bit of tweaking.
And what exactly is their policy?  What is their vision for the future?
They will tell you that we need to reduce spending, cut the debt and deficit, reduce the size of government…and then get the hell out of the way.  That’s it…that is their vision.  On all other matters they are silent.  Unfortunately for them it is not a vision shared by a majority of the American people.
What was once the "far left" is now the "moderate middle."  That which was once considered radical left wing ideology is now within the main stream of our political discourse.       


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