the otherwhirled

where nothing is real, and nothing else is sacred.

Why a Conservative America is a Myth

I have long wished I had the time to investigate information that I've understood subjectively for decades. However, I don't have that time, and I'm not trained to do such an investigation properly. Luckily, the Campaign for America's Future is quite capable of doing so, and their recent report on their findings of a decidedly progressive majority among US voters is a "must read", in my humble opinion.

The report is very thorough and complete, and the sources are basically unimpeachable nonpartisans. Read it for yourself, whether you're a Republican, a Democrat or a political agnostic, and I believe you'll find a wealth of information and background that is presented very objectively.

So, I encourage you to read:

The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth

The report itself is a good-sized PDF available for download from the website.

cross-posted to Clean Cut Kid

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2007.06.13 - Posted by | opinion, politics

6 Comments »

  1. […] Why a Conservative America is a Myth […]

    Pingback by Wednesday - WordPress PoliSci « oldephartteintraining | 2007.06.13 | Reply

  2. Hello: I am not a conservative (at least not anymore) but one can hardly call this report “objective.” Campaign For America’s future, for one, is a partisan ideological group. And as partisan ideological groups on the left and the right both do, this survey is loaded in a manner that is guaranteed to produce the outcomes that it desires. This is done by the wording and emphasis of the questions, and aversion of issues that are harmful to the left. Case in point: the gay marriage issue. It states that “only 3% of Americans stated that gay marriage is the most important issue to them.” OK, what about people for whom gay marriage is #2? Or the people that have gay marriage #2 to abortion? When I used to roam the right wing circles during the “Contract With America” 90s, they would have this joke where the mainstream media would do “polls” and “surveys” where the questions would be something to the effect of “do you support fully funding MediCare and Social Security or do you support kicking old ladies out of their wheelchairs down the stairs?” and then run and “report” that “an overwhelming majority of voters support the liberal/Democratic positions over Republican/conservative ones.” Another example: minimum wage. Ask people if they support a living wage, they will say yes. Inform them that a living wage may cause inflation, kill small businesses (thereby helping big business), and increase unemployment among the least skilled, and support for a living wage drops dramatically. Then you have the school voucher issue (which I oppose unless religious entities are barred from participating). The typical question is “do you support an unproven voucher scheme that would divert resources and the best students from public schools, or would you rather fully fund public education”? (Even then the level at which education is considered to be “fully funded” is never given.) For the record, I do agree that conservative America is a myth, but misleading efforts such as these are not the least bit helpful, because were the “liberal/progressive America” true, you folks would win more elections, especially in the south and midwest.

    Comment by healtheland | 2007.06.19 | Reply

  3. thank you for your comments, healtheland.

    however, i readily perceive that you did not read the report in full, discounting it as unduly partisan, and thus deciding that investigation wasn’t necessary. the report addresses the very issue of how a largely non-conservative populace manages to elect a conservative president, just as it details the actual questions used in its surveys, which unsurprisingly clash with your assumptions. you indeed may not be a conservative anymore, but you apparently still think very much like one.

    a quote from the report:

    To measure public opinion on controversial issues, we turned to the most reliable, nonpartisan research available. Baseline information comes from the American National Election Studies (NES) maintained by the University of Michigan and the General Social Survey (GSS) maintained by the University of Chicago. We tracked trends through the longest period of time possible, often for decades. We also used data from the Pew Research Center and Gallup, organizations known for quality polling and free of partisan influence. Wherever possible, we used questions that were asked the same way year after year. To fill gaps with additional texture and detail, we turned to polls by organizations such as CNN and The New York Times.

    Furthermore, instead of assessing the momentary and changing aspects of public opinion—perceptions of the two parties, opinions on specific pieces of legislation, or approval of particular political figures—we chose to examine the fundamentals. This report focuses on issues that define the differences between progressivism and conservatism, the underlying beliefs about the role of government, our economic system, individual rights, and a host of other factors that shape political debate.

    Comment by commander other | 2007.06.19 | Reply

  4. commander other:

    To you I may appear to think like a conservative simply because I do not think like a progressive either. Clarifying: I did not join the progressive side, I merely left the conservative one. As for things like “how a largely non – conservative populace manages to elect a conservative president”; I have read such things before. (Just like I used to read all of the “analyses” of why Bill Clinton got elected and why Congress and the state governorships were solidly Democratic.) What they always ignore is that while America may not be as conservative as a George Bush or Ronald Reagan, it is not as liberal as a John Kerry or Al Gore either. It really is the same sort of thing where both sides simply refuse to deal with the fact that a large portion of America disagrees with them on key issues, and that even on some of the issues that they agree, they agree for different reasons. Until one half (or more accurately 1/3) steps up and discards the notion that it is appropriate to just ignore what the other half (again, or accurately other 2/3) thinks and feels that it is not only appropriate but the right and honorable thing to do to impose its views on them, then things are never going to change.

    Comment by healtheland | 2007.06.19 | Reply

  5. oh, i understand now.

    i’ll take the hit for implying that non-conservative equals progressive. that is obviously erroneous, and i apologize for that. on the other hand, by virtue of your own statements and mischaracterizations, not to mention a visit to your website, i sincerely doubt any rational person would label you as anything other than “conservative.”

    however, the argument “I have read such things before. [….] What they always ignore is that while America may not be as conservative as a George Bush or Ronald Reagan, it is not as liberal as a John Kerry or Al Gore either.” is seriously facile, and does a discredit to the intelligence you otherwise appear to possess. you are judging one study based on your anecdotal assessment of other ones, and have yet to even do so much as to imply that you’ve bothered to take the time to read the thing you are attempting to rebut. a comparison of apples to oranges would be more legitimate.

    but that’s okay, healtheland. we (progressives) don’t expect serious discourse from conservatives of your particular bent, no matter how they describe themselves or attempt to mischaracterize their obviously intolerant principles. i guess you moved from “conservative” to “steadfast protector of conservative demagoguery,” and i guess that to you, that’s a big step forward.

    kudos.

    Comment by commander other | 2007.06.19 | Reply

  6. “What they always ignore is that while America may not be as conservative as a George Bush or Ronald Reagan, it is not as liberal as a John Kerry or Al Gore either.” That was pretty much healtheland’s only point. That guy really does need to learn how to communicate in a clear, concise manner. Perhaps when all the conservative poison seeps out of his brain he will acquire that skill.

    Comment by notquitesilversurfer | 2007.07.03 | Reply


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