Former Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum: “It is not conservatives who have turned American politics into a culture war battle. It is liberals.”
Kevin Drum, a former Mother Jones writer, had a post on July 3 that popped up on our radar, then dropped off. But it’s worth mentioning, if for no other reason than it confirms what we already knew: Democrats have become radicalized, Republicans have remained pretty much the same.
That is not the media narrative. Radicalized Republicans is the media narrative.
From Drum’s post, If you hate the culture wars, blame liberals:
On Thursday I posted a series of charts that all documented a similar theme: Since roughly the year 2000, according to survey data, Democrats have moved significantly to the left on most hot button social issues while Republicans have moved only slightly right.
This wasn’t meant to be a rigorous scholarly analysis. And you can argue about margins of error, question wording, choice of topics, and so forth. Still, the gaps are too big and the trend too consistent to ignore the obvious conclusion that over the past two decades Democrats have moved left far more than Republicans have moved right …. [chart]
I’ve made this point many times before, and I want to make it again more loudly and more plainly today. It is not conservatives who have turned American politics into a culture war battle. It is liberals. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise: Almost by definition, liberals are the ones pushing for change while conservatives are merely responding to whatever liberals do. More specifically, progressives have been bragging publicly about pushing the Democratic Party leftward since at least 2004—and they’ve succeeded.
Now, I’m personally happy about most of this. But that doesn’t blind me to the fact that “personally happy” means nothing in politics. What matters is what the median voter feels, and Democrats have been moving further and further away from the median voter for years: [chart]
Law Professor David Bernstein, responding to the article, pointed to the radicalization of academia as one culprit:
In 1990, academia was mostly liberal, with a loud but relatively small minority of leftists, and a quieter and small but significant minority of conservative. Now, the hard left is much bigger, mainstream liberals still a plurality, and conservatives virtually extinct.
— David Bernstein (@ProfDBernstein) July 3, 2021
Here’s Drum’s summation, pointing to the precarious position DEMOCRATS are in because of their relative radicalization (again, not the usual narrative):
Here’s the nickel summary of all this:
- Since 1994, Democrats have moved left far more than Republicans have moved right.
- This has produced lots of safe states in liberal places like California and Massachusetts but has steadily pulled Democrats farther and farther away from median states like Iowa and Ohio.
- Recently, white academic theories of racism—and probably the whole woke movement in general—have turned off many moderate Black and Hispanic voters.¹ Ditto for liberal dismissal of crime and safety issues. Hispanics in particular moved in Trump’s direction despite—or maybe because of—his position on immigration and the wall.
- Democrats will remain on an electoral knife edge forever unless they can pull themselves back toward the center.
Democrats are far more radical than during the Obama years. The Culture War is far more intense now because Democrats and Leftists smell blood in the water, using the full prosecutorial and police power of the state for a repressive political agenda.DONATE
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