Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Conservative America - A Fable!

By Jeff Simpson

One of my favorite writers, David Sirota, has been documenting lately how the reality of America is that we are NOT a right leaning Conservative country(emphasis mine). 

Conducted by the University of California's David Broockman and University of Michigan's Christopher Skovron, the survey of nearly 2,000 legislators from across America documents politicians’ perceptions of their constituents' views on hot-button issues like universal health care and same-sex marriage. It then compares those perceptions with constituents' actual views.
The juxtaposition reveals a jarring truth: Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers hugely overestimate the conservatism of the very people they are supposed to represent. In all, the report finds that “conservative politicians systematically believe their constituents are more conservative than they actually are by over 20 percentage points, while liberal politicians also typically overestimate their constituents’ conservatism by several percentage points.” Ultimately, that has resulted in a political system inherently hostile to mainstream proposals and utterly unrepresentative of public opinion.
The first obvious question is why: Why do politicians - aka people who are supposed to be professional experts in representing others - so misunderstand their own communities?
Broockman and Skovron argue that one answer has to do with the prevalence of right-leaning mythology. Citing “Richard Nixon’s pronouncement that a 'silent majority' of Americans backed his policies” and “Sarah Palin’s suggestion that a latent 'real America’ supported her,” the researchers correctly note that there remains “a folk theory among conservative politicians that the American public is considerably more conservative than it seems at face value.” This theory is undoubtedly fueled by a Fox News-ified media that pushes such inaccurate fables.
 Then Sirota wirtes a case study on how the Colorado Democratic Party was able to turn the formerly red state - BLUE! 

 1. The first state in the Intermountain West to embrace serious gun control
 2. The home of Focus on the Family legalizes civil unions
 3. Rejecting Tancredo-style politics and allowing children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates
 4. An anti-fracking uprising in the middle of oil/gas country
 5. A historic victory for drug policy reform
 6. A major reevaluation of the death penalty and failed “tough on crime” policies
 7. Expanding funding for public education and healthcare
 8. A huge vote against corporate money in politics
 9. A decimated and demoralized Republican Party

 In light of those words, Americans should be looking at what’s happening here to know what could soon be happening all over the country. If “as Colorado goes, so goes the nation,” then this square state is a glimpse into America’s potentially much brighter political future.

There you go, a 9 point plan to turn the book title of Scott Walkers new book from "unintimidated" to One term wonder.   The question is will the Wisconsin Democratic Party embrace a progressive future or continue with the right leaning, consultant listening too, minority status?  



  1. Americans want laws to slow down the spread of guns to criminals. Republicans don’t understand that laws can make it harder for criminals to acquire guns.

    Americans want government out of their private lives. Republicans want to legislate morality.

    Americans cheer for the underdog who is willing to work hard. Republicans think non-whites want to game the system like Republicans do.

    Americans want clean air and water. Republicans will sacrifice the environment for money.

    Americans don’t want our prisons and the huge costs involved incarcerating victimless crimes like marijuana possession. Republicans want to punish and punish.

    Americans want strong public schools and access to health care. Republicans call that socialism.

    Americans want fairness at the ballot box. Rich Republicans feel it is their birthright to buy elections.

    Americans want to stop the lies and hatred. Today’s Republican Party lives off lies and hatred.

  2. Sirota's point #8 is what we need in every state, and then many of those other efforts can be gained. Baby steps, and we'll get there. My impatience makes it harder to believe it can become reality, but Colorado gives me great hope.

  3. Agreed- A hard stand against big-money corporatism and the hollowing out of the middle class isn't only a good thing to believe in, it's a WINNING MESSAGE. Most working Americans know they have gotten screwed over in the last 30 years, but politicians rarely tell the people WHY they've been screwed (trickle-down BS that has funneled money into profits and CEO salaries and away from the people who made it happen).

    Sometimes it's because the politicians are bought, but often it's because the corporate lobbyists skew the perceptions of both the people and what politicians think the people want. A clear, economically populist message will break through the wall of noise, and would make the Dems the majority party in this state for a generation after Walker's failures.