The very first presidential election that I participated in was in 1980. At that time, I voted for Reagan. However it didn’t take long for me to realize that something was going on with the Republican Party that wasn’t quite right. There seemed to be something a little off. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what the problem was, but I knew it was something.
A couple of years ago, I finally figured out what I had sensed back in the 1980s. Starting in the late 1970s the conservative movement decided that they wanted this country to be more conservative than it is.
(The conservative movement, which is largely corporate, and the Republican Party are not the same. The conservative movement put into a long-range, over the generations, plan to move this country to the right and make it more conservative. The Republican Party deals with the here and now. There is no group or dynamic on the left that is anything like the conservative movement. The liberals don’t have an agenda to turn this country to the left as the conservatives have one to turn the country to the right).
We have always been told that this is a “center-right” country. It isn’t and never has been. This country has always been a “center-left” country. The center-right meme is a lie cooked up by the Republicans so the American people, not wanting to be different, would identify themselves as conservative. It would then be easier to make the country more conservative if it already thought it was part of the way there.
However, if you dig down into the polls where most Americans identify themselves as conservative, you will see that their views are actually liberal. With the conservatives and Republicans beating into America’s head that this was a center-right country, and with Reagan and his bunch making the word liberal a bad name, it was no wonder people began thinking of themselves as conservative.
Political Scientists put together a study that tracks the liberalness, and the conservativeness of our presidents, and our legislators.
Note to Republicans and conservatives. Since you and your party don’t believe in science or facts, you can just quit reading here since the rest of this article is filled with factiness and sciencey things.
This graph is a screen shot so it is a bit hard to read. Sorry about that.
In the above graph the yellow line is the political center. The red lines on top are the Republican presidents, and the blue on the bottom are the Democratic presidents. The numbers on the bottom are from 1945 – 2011.
As you can see the Democrats begin at 0.4 on this scale and the Republicans begin at 0.3 so the two parties were 0.7 apart. Now as you go to the right, you can also see that the Republican presidents become more and more conservative over time. However, so do the Democratic presidents. Truman was at 0.4 and Obama is now at about 0.3. The most striking thing to me though, is the fact that in 1945 the two parties were 0.7 apart, they are now 1.0 apart.
This graph here shows the House of Representatives also from 1945 – 2011. (The Senate one was harder to read because it contained additional information because of the Senate rules, though it is the same).
The yellow line is again the center, the light blue line is the moderate Democrats; the dark blue line is the left wing of the Democratic Party. The light red line is the moderate Republicans and the dark red line is the right wing of the Republican Party.
From just after the Civil War until 2011, the left wing of the Democratic Party has stayed pretty much the same. The moderate Democrats have gotten a little more liberal over the past 30 years, but not by very much.
The Republicans, however, have gone way right wing. Where the extreme right wing of their party was in 1975 is where the moderate Republicans are now. Remember, the conservative movement began right around the late 1970s. That is when the Republicans took their hard right turn.
So, when people say that our country is more polarized than ever; they are correct. When they blame both parties however, they either don’t know what they are talking about or they are lying.
One more branch of government to go: The Supreme Court. I don’t have a graph for this one, though I do have an article in the New York Times talking to Justice Stevens’ about the Supreme Court’s move to the right.
“WASHINGTON — When Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and his colleagues on the Supreme Court left for their summer break at the end of June, they marked a milestone: the Roberts court had just completed its fifth term.
In those five years, the court not only moved to the right but also became the most conservative one in living memory, based on an analysis of four sets of political science data…
…Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired in June, had his own way of tallying the court’s direction. In an interview in his chambers in April, he said that every one of the 11 justices who had joined the court since 1975, including himself, was more conservative than his or her predecessor, with the possible exceptions of Justices Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
Read the rest of this article here:
Court Under Roberts Is Most Conservative in Decades
So what did we learn today? The conservative movement has succeeded in moving all three branches of government to the right. The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are in no way the same. The Republicans with help from the conservatives have a long-range right wing conservative agenda. The Democrats don’t because they are not engaged in subterfuge like the Republicans.
The next time someone says: “The parties are the same.” You now have proof, scientific proof, that that is wildly inaccurate to say the least.