Did I miss a memo?

October 22nd, 2008

Where is the idea that Barack Obama is going to govern as a centrist come from?

Entry Filed under: Politics

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Debunked  |  October 22nd, 2008 at 10:28 am

    You must have missed the memo that Democrats are far closer to “centrist” on the complete political spectrum than Republicans are.

  • 2. elliot  |  October 22nd, 2008 at 10:30 am

    That’s sort of a broad brush, don’t you think, De?

  • 3. Debunked  |  October 22nd, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Not at all. It’s simple fact.

  • 4. The Asian Badger  |  October 22nd, 2008 at 10:49 am

    I don’t know where you got that idea. Who’s your pharmecist? Maybe that will give us a clue.

  • 5. Debunked  |  October 22nd, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Everybody likes the idea of being a moderate. Too bad not everybody can actually be one.

    Especially when moderate is an absolute point against relative view points. Democrats are left of Republicans. Republicans are right of Democrats. But where is the true middle?

    And for that, you need an agreed upon political spectrum as a basis upon which to plot the ideological points of each party. And that’s really the point of contention. But I think everybody can agree that completely pure laissez-faire capitalism is about as far right as you can get and complete government control of the economy and all means of production is about as socialist as you can get.

    The Democratic party is considered right wing in most true liberal countries – such as Canada or UK. Why do you actually think this is? This is for a reason.

    Because the Democratic party is actually fairly centrist overall on the broad political spectrum. Yes, they’re left of American conservativism. But that’s because America is a relatively conservative nation.

    Despite conservative propaganda, nobody can truly state that Democrats are in favor of a completely government controlled economy any more than Republicans are in favor of a completely laissez-faire economy. Indeed, Democrats tend toward some social programs that aid the basic needs of humanity according to Maslow’s hierarchy, and not really much more, on the foundation of societal good. Republicans tend toward more business (i.e. capitalistic market) control these on the foundation of profit. Outside of these basic needs, Democrats are pro-capitalistic business, but with a regulatory setting to promote fair practices. Republicans are pro-capitalistic business and claim regulations hinder economic growth.

    No, Democrats are not setting out to take over Microsoft. They’re not trying to take over Hewlett Packard. They’re not looking to overthrow Exxon or BP. What they are looking to do is promote fair business practices in the economy while retaining those needed benefits for everybody. This moves them left on the political spectrum, but by no means makes them socialist. It’s debatable if they’re even truly left of center on the complete political spectrum. If they’re not even left of center, then it’s guaranteed they’re more centrist than Republicans. For the sake of argument, I’ll place them left of center. But a much larger and stronger core of Republicans is much more extremely right wing versus the Democrats extreme left wing core. That also has to count for something.

    Now, socially is a different facet of the centrist argument. That is, anarchist vs authoritarian. And, in this scenario, I’ll say that Republicans and Democrats tend to be about par for the course. Democrats tend to favor gun control, Republicans tend to favor more freedom here. Republicans tend to be anti-abortion, Democrats tend to favor the right to choose. We could go back and forth, but I’ll put both as fairly centrist in this argument. I might even concede that Democrats are a bit more pro-freedom than Republicans here, making them a bit less centrist socially. But, then I’m going to assume that Republicans will disagree which will only move Democrats back toward the center.

    Now, if you had said centrist in respect to the spectrum only between Republicans and Democrats, then I might have agreed with you. But on the broad political spectrum, as I stated, Democrats are more centrist than Republicans.

  • 6. Debunked  |  October 22nd, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Ugh, browser hiccup on my essay. Please delete the first message if possible…

  • 7. elliot  |  October 22nd, 2008 at 11:28 am

    That’s a GREAT argument.

    Of course, I was referring to the political spectrum in the United States in my post and I still think Obama will try to govern to the left of America’s political center, but your point about the broader global scale is terrific.

  • 8. elliot  |  October 22nd, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Deleting comments is always possible, though rarely practiced here. ;)

  • 9. Kate  |  October 22nd, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Would you be surprised if I said I’d prefer right of center, rather than left of center? :P

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