Monday, February 24, 2014
Making Nixon Do It
Loomis has a good piece about the frame that Nixon was liberal. I understand the attraction, but it's pretty silly. And really, the way he governed is a decent example of how millions of people create space for elected officials.
I think this applies to Obama, too, who "evolved" on marriage equality because of reality on the ground, fostered by people doing the right thing collectively. So his administration stopped defending DOMA, extended Federal benefits to all marriages, etc.
He ain't no liberal, either. But liberal/progressive policy is generally popular, not to mention correct from where I sit, so what else can we do to help a center-right kinda guy govern more liberally?
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But liberal/progressive policy is generally popular, not to mention correct from where I sit, so what else can we do to help a center-right kinda guy govern more liberally?
When it comes down to it, people need to feel comfortable actually voting for liberal/progressive policy supporting pols as well as more comfortable embracing said policies once they are labeled as "liberal" or "progressive". I, for one, know people who will support liberal and progressive policies provided they are not described as such, but who will in no-way vote for a "liberal".
Politicians pay attention to what wins them votes (and gets them money to run campaigns to get votes) and not necessarily what people say. If a politician knows that support for liberal policies does well in opinion polls but also knows that people don't vote for "liberals" and anyway the money to run campaigns is not going to liberals, which way do you think said politician will break?
So what to do? I don't know. But whatever it is, we must be careful that our efforts are not merely to increase popularity of liberal policies -- they are already pretty popular. The issue is translating suppport for particular policies into support (both financial and electoral) for candidates who support such policies. And I suspect the change will be evolutionary -- as politicians see examples of candidates taking slightly more liberal stands doing well, they will take more liberal stands and there will be a drift to the left.
Posted by: DAS | Feb 24, 2014 1:15:25 PM
we must be careful that our efforts are not merely to increase popularity of liberal policies -- they are already pretty popular.
That's exactly where I'm at. How do we do that, to build the support and real action, as well as apply pressure to Congress and the prez?
Posted by: NTodd | Feb 24, 2014 3:43:34 PM