Monday, June 29, 2015

Proudly Liberal

Americans have always supported "liberal" policies and programs, ranging from huge majorities for Social Security and Medicare through strong majorities for infrastructure spending to bare majorities for taxing the fuck out of the rich.

We've just been reluctant, for the past 40 years, to call ourselves liberal in the face of massive anti-hippie hate, lies and shaming.

But that's over.

Forty-seven percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents now identify as both socially liberal and economically moderate or liberal.

This is compared with 39% in these categories in 2008, when there was last an open seat for their party's nomination, and 30% in 2001.

I don't think the political establishment knows what to do with this. Ever since the late 1960s it has been an article of faith that the country is conservative and that liberal is a dirty word.

*These things are fluid, of course, and what people mean when they identify as liberal or conservative may be very individual. But there is something significant in the fact that Democrats are no longer afraid of the liberal label.

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