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November 12, 2002

Democrats- Too Liberal, Not Progressive Enough

Conservatives are circulating a poll that the majority of Democrats think the party is too "liberal." Funny thing is that a lot of lefties like me think the party is too liberal and not populist enough, but we mean that it's not economically leftwing enough.

And guess what, not only Dems but the population as a whole is still to the left of most Dem policy, especially the weakass version presented in this election.

Take prescription drugs, which the Dems refused to push hard--

  • 60% of the population agree that Medicare should be expanded, only 36% want the GOP plan of private insurance subsides.

    On other issues:

  • 77% of voters favor raising the minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $8 per hour.
  • Depending on the question, 50% to 65% of Americans are favorable towards unions. Only 28-32% share the GOP's hostility.
  • Only 37% of Americans support repeal of the estate tax, which can drop to 27% with fuller information on who benefits.
  • 77 percent of voters want tougher environmental laws and stricter enforcement. 74% think global warming is a real problem and should support the Kyota treaty.
  • 73% of Americans want trade agreements to include labor standards to life workers rights in other countries. (Old poll but couldn't find more recent ones.)

    Lot of other similar issues out there, but the lesson is clear. The American people are looking for far more clear progressive stands by the Democrats on a range of these issues.

    If the Democrats push marginal "liberal" changes, the GOP will energize their supporters on bullshit cultural issues like the confederate flag in Georgia.

    But if the Dems get less liberal and more bold, there is plenty of room for a very progressives agenda to appeal to the American people

    Posted by Nathan at November 12, 2002 10:47 PM

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    "Too liberal and not populist enough." That's exactly what I've been saying, till I turn blue.

    The party needs to return to its economically populist roots.

    Posted by: Paleo at November 13, 2002 11:48 AM

    I'm with you.

    How can this message be framed so it becomes part of the struggle for the soul of the party?

    Seems like a class-based message. The issues that lose are limousine-liberal pets. The issues that win are working-class and "middle-class" ones, whatever that last phrase means.

    Posted by: Bob Haugen at November 18, 2002 12:24 PM

    I believe the message needs to be framed in terms of corporate corruption and, more importantly, government corrupted by corporate power. The average American is more likely to respond to this message than to an attack of "the wealthy."

    Posted by: Paleo at November 19, 2002 01:16 PM

    Does "for the middle and working classes" automatically translate to "attack on the wealthy" for you?

    For example, single-payer health care...

    The attraction is better health care for me.
    Yes, I dislike the insurance companies, but to attack them without getting better health care for me is bad political medicine.

    Posted by: Bob Haugen at November 21, 2002 01:50 PM

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