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Thursday, September 20, 2007

106 - Reason To Cheer, Part II: If Americans Hold Progressive Views, Why Don't They Describe Themselves As Progressives? Here's Why…

Mainstream poll after mainstream poll has consistently shown solid majorities of your fellow citizens -- often 2/3 or more -- endorse all of these progressive positions:

--the government should provide more, not less services
--the government should take care of those who can't take care of themselves
--the government should guarantee health care for every American
--the distribution of wealth in this country is unfairly concentrated
--the wealthy pay too little in taxes
--the minimum wage should be raised
--there is a moral imperative to pay workers a living wage
--undocumented immigrants should have a path to citizenship
--Democrats reflect the nation's moral values more than do Republicans
Together, these constitute bedrock progressive principles and policies.

The mystery in question here arises, when Americans are asked to describe themselves as liberal, moderate or conservative.

If more than half, often 2/3 or more of Americans espouse these progressive positions, shouldn't 2/3 or more of Americans describe themselves -- given the choices liberal-moderate-conservative -- as liberal?

They should, but they don't.

Two organizations have been asking this question for decades.

In short, National Election Studies found 23% liberals, Harris only 18%.

If you told your friendly local right-winger, that Americans hold overwhelmingly progressive positions on most every issue, your friendly local right-winger could throw the Harris and NES polls back at you.

So how you should you respond?

Here's how.


For details, listen to the podcast! You'll learn about self-described conservatives who actually hold progressive positions. And in fact, you'll hear in his own words, a self-described ultra-conservative realizing that he supports many positions that are progressive. How does this happen? Under gentle but probing questioning by yours truly.

(PS: Right-wingers, if you want to write in to me, fine, but at least do me the courtesy of listening to the podcast first. Please don't respond just on the basis of the brief preview above. Thanks!!)

Jack Clark 4:02 PM [+]
Post #3496786486300494018

Comments:  This section is for listeners. To receive a reply from Jack Clark, you should call the comment line.

I am a Canadian "Right Winger" an avid and greatful Fox News Enthusiast. Fair and balanced reporting at last. If you and your readers want all the things you describe why not move to Canada. Fewer democtrats in America would be a good thing for the security of our Canadian and US way of life. Leave the adults in charge of the world and move to Canada where you may be considered to the right of many Canadians. "The US far left" is the equivalent of the tail trying to wag the dog. It simply falls on it's own weight. This is a law of physics. It is not your fault. Dennis Miller evolved into a Republican. There is hope for the rest of you. Please join us? We are right!
posted by Blogger swooperman  12:08 PM   [+]
I could only stomach so much of that kind of misguided verbal self-delusional diatribe.

Thinking that a "main street" poll is even a hint of what the general population believes just goes to show how the speaker is willing to only take statistics that agree with his view and spout them as factual and impartial.

To imply that military family survivor benefits were somehow a liberal instigated idea is insane. Receiving "benefits" (just money) for the surviving family that should have been provided by the deceased soldier is not a "liberal" position; it's a basic moral one that both the left and right have no problem supporting.
Nearly your entire list of supposed "liberal" benefits (clean water, safe medicine, clean air, food standards, public education, and the FDIC ["FDIC Insurance" is reasonably redundant]) are also supported and required by the "conservatives" too. It's hard to live somewhere without such things because the workforce would be sick, weak, dumb, and poor and financial stability couldn't exist, even for the "people who unfairly hold a disproportionate amount of the wealth” (read: people who have generally taken a risk, over-worked themselves to get started, provided jobs to non-risk takers, actually make the money to pay the nearly all of the taxes in the US [personal, corporate, employee, SS], and have reaped the rewards of their risk taking / innovation / sweat equity)

Again, calling the interstate highway system a “liberal concept” is very deluded. The interstate highway system was a military invention to allow their equipment fast access around the US in time of war. If we were attacked on land by a foreign military force, just see how quickly the military would shut down the “liberal” interstate highway system for their exclusive use, as it was originally designed for.

Next thing you know, the “liberals” will claim the internet was one of their concepts for people to get access to information and communication. Of course, we all know (except probably for the incredibly deluded speaker and other liberals that really can’t claim many major positive accomplishments by the left) that the underlying technology and concepts of the internet was yet another invention of the military originally called the DARPANET.

Social Security is a liberal concept that they can claim success on implementing. Of course, it is one of the most ineffective, poorly run and deployed government controlled financial programs ever! The amount of money people receive is barely subsistence when it starts and becomes even less of a real living income stream over the years as inflation increases the cost of living faster than SS compensates for it. Plus, as more liberal politicians continue to discover other reasons to dip into SS rather than using it for its original purpose (only to provide retirement income to contributors after they reach retirement age), the moral upper ground in even this most sacred plank of the liberal platform is becoming so rotted that even they are starting to back away from it.

The liberals have a whole basketful of wonderful, pie-in-the-sky ideas that sound so warm and fuzzy but they don’t seem to understand what it would take to put any of them together in a coherent way that might actually work. Again, the difference between feeling it’s a good idea and knowing if it’s an idea that can work and what it takes to make it work.

As the saying goes, “If you’re not a liberal when you’re young, you have no heart. If you’re not conservative when you become an adult, you have no brain.” Which are you?
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  1:56 PM   [+]
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Great podcast - a must listen to
Jack Clark documents the right's wars on the poor, civil liberties, the right of workers to organize at work and obtain a decent working wage and work conditions, and against other countries who refuse to accept American domination. Jack provides all the sources so that you can see for yourself how the right is out to enrich itself at the expense of everyone else. Great job, Jack!
Submitted By: magyarbill
awesome show
Clark always backs up his statements against the right wing with fact and data, which gives him all the more credibility. As conglomerate media controlled by politics clouds the mainstream news media, Jack Clark, along with NPR and Democracy Now! have become my primary news source. Awesome podcast!
Submitted By: jgates118
In-Depth, Meaty, Hardcore Knowledge
This podcast is not just entertainment, humor, chimp-bashing, or gee-whiz recap of the weeks events. Instead, it hits hard and in-depth on the world economic situation and how right-wing policies impact the poor and less advantaged all over the world. He examines Americas support of the World Bank, IMF,multinational corporations, etc., and connects the dots. This is a podcast for grown-ups. He gives good reasons why the right wing is NOT living up to its precious Bible, without putting down the Bible. As a Jesus-loving Christian and moderate Democrat, I respect this podcast for its subject matter. The grown-up manner of the speaker is just icing on the cake. He IS funny, but hes not trying to be, he just has a deadpan delivery but doesnt have to make jokes to make it interesting. The facts make it interesting and devastating.
Submitted By: ebrenn1
A Breath of Fresh Air
Jack Clarks Blast the Right podcast is truly a breath of fresh air when it comes to political commentary. Jack is not like some commentators who simply climb on their soap box and state their own opinions as fact. Instead, Jack welcomes competent challenges to his way of thinking, and with logical analysis and sound research, debunks the lies, distortions, and self-deceptions of the right wing. I strongly recommend Blast the Right for people who seek the truth and care more about the long term health and well-being of the whole citizenry than the short term personal gain advocated by modern conservatives. Listen as Jack carefully shows how the high-sounding "God and country" rhetoric of the right wing is really just a smokescreen for policies that ultimately lead only to the increased misery, suffering, and death of the less fortunate for the particular benefit of the wealthy and the well-connected. And, if you find yourself in agreement, return to Podcast Alley to place your vote! Thanks!
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