Thursday, October 23, 2008

America is a Liberal Country

Preach it, Cenk Uygur:

Watch, I'll outrage you even more -- the United States of America is a liberal country.

Compared to some Western European countries, we could be a little more liberal. But compared to the rest of the world, it's not even close. We are one of the bastions of liberalism. In fact, the United States has almost always led the world in being progressive. We created the United Nations, we rebuilt our enemies through the Marshall Plan, we pushed for human rights throughout the world, we established the idea of freedom of speech and of the press, and the list goes on and on. We are a liberal country and proud.

Now, these last two elections will show that a short-term flirtation with the conservative movement was a gigantic failure. We gave the country over to our conservatives for the last eight years -- and we hated what they did with it.

That's because Americans are not fundamentally conservative. They believe that when there is a disaster like Katrina, we should help one another and it is the government's job to be there for its citizens. They believe it is the government's job to regulate the markets (which simply means to establish some fair rules by which everyone has to play) so that the free markets are not left unfettered. They believe that first strike wars in foreign lands turn out to be a bad idea. They don't like torture. They believe in a minimum wage. And they fundamentally believe in a social safety net, as established in programs like Social Security.

Since the national press has been brainwashed by the conservatives for several decades now, it will take them some time to adjust to this. But adjust they must, because the Democrats will have control over Congress for along time to come if any of these projections are accurate. I know it's really hard to get it through their heads, but James Dobson does not represent us, Nancy Pelosi does. How long and how forcefully can the American people say that before the press acknowledges it?
Well, to be fair, a lot still self-identify as conservative. But the real story always gets missed there by lazy reporters: they're liberal, but won't acknowledge it because the press has demonized it. They call themselves "moderates" or "centrists" because the label "liberal" is sullied; many call themselves "conservative" simply because it's been redefined as "virtuous" in American elite political culture.

But that's the thing.If Cenk is right—and he is—Americans are by-and-large liberals. That means that a "moderate" is a liberal. The "center" is liberal. They aren't "liberal extremists" because being liberal isn't "extremist!"

Good to remember when you hear some idiot bleating about "moving to the center" or some such thing. Liberals, progressives, we are the center and they are the extremists. Don't forget that.

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