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Sun Jun 16, 2019, 03:10 PM

Democrats Aren't "Moving Left". They're Returning to Their Roots.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/11/04/elections-2018-democrats-history-liberal-progressive-socialist-222187

Be advised: “Democrats are in danger of going too far left in 2018.” So warn Republicans like Mitt Romney and ex-Democrats like Joe Lieberman and public personae as diverse as James Comey and Howard Schultz. In recent months, the pundit class has determined that the party’s leftward lurch heralds the rise of a “liberal tea party”—a movement that could very well unmoor Democrats from their longstanding center-left traditions, in close imitation of the spiral of events that caused the Republican Party to turn sharply to the right in recent years.

What’s fueling this argument? For one, more Democrats have rallied, either noisily or cautiously, around such policy innovations as “Medicare for all,” universal college and a universal basic income. That a smattering of Democratic candidates have elected to call themselves “democratic socialists” has only fueled the claim that such programs are “socialist.” “The center is Harry Truman and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, not Eugene Debs and Michael Harrington,” warned New York Times opinion columnist Bret Stephens recently. (Debs and Harrington were self-identified socialists.)

But there’s something wrong with this historical interpretation: Truman strongly supported single-payer health care. Moynihan supported a universal basic income in the 1960s. Dating back to World War II, Democrats sought to make a government-paid education available to as many Americans as possible. If Democrats are marching to the left, that road leads directly back to platforms and politicians who, in their day, commanded wide support and existed firmly in the mainstream of political thought.

. . .

What pundits today decry as a radical turn in Democratic policy and politics actually finds its antecedents in 1944. With the country fully mobilized for war, President Franklin Roosevelt called for “a second Bill of Rights … an economic bill of rights” that would entitle all Americans to a “useful and remunerative job,” “the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation,” the “right … to a decent home,” “the right to adequate medical care” and the “right to a good education.” His speech found partial inspiration in a report by the National Resource Planning Board, which advanced the necessity of a “socially provided income.”

. . .

To be sure, Democrats never came close to delivering on the promise that FDR established in 1944. It was always an aspirational goal—a North Star that would compete with the gravitational pull of political reality. As well, a booming economy between the mid-1940s and mid-1970s demanded that liberals recalibrate their ambitions and propose a more patchwork system of support for people who had been left behind.

In fits and starts, from the 1970s onward, a new generation of Democratic leaders moved their party closer to the center. From the Watergate babies of the 1970s, many of whom rejected the party’s traditional anti-monopoly stance and big-ticket spending agenda, to the Democratic Leadership Council—whose crowning moment came with the election of Bill Clinton in 1992—Democrats continued to pay homage to FDR even as they trained their sites on a more modest set of policy aspirations.

In this sense, it is true that many Democrats are moving back to their roots. And those roots lead to policies that commanded broad support—and to leaders who commanded broad popularity—in their day. . . .

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Reply Democrats Aren't "Moving Left". They're Returning to Their Roots. (Original post)
CousinIT Jun 16 OP
RKP5637 Jun 16 #1
delisen Jun 16 #2
marble falls Jun 16 #3

Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 03:28 PM

1. K&R! Quite true!!! n/t

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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 03:51 PM

2. Reagan won 18-29 yr olds in 1984. In 1980 Carter & Reagan split this vote

In 1980 there was a third party candidate, Anderson.

There was a rightward turn among younger voters in the 1980s, It was not the leaders moving the country right in the 1980s--it was the electorate, and younger voters were buying into what Reaganism was selling.

Politicians are not necessarily "leaders." They are often followers of an electorate that becomes more conservative.




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Response to CousinIT (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 04:14 PM

3. And if we tack a little further left, that's OK, too.

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