Proud Conservatives Vs. Embarrassed Liberals

In U.S. politics, we like to believe that everything is balanced; if the Republicans are doing something bad, the Democrats must be doing it too. Outside of the extremely partisan, news commentators will generally be sure to mention that if there is corruption on one side of the aisle then the other side must be up to some dirty tricks as well. If they don’t express that assumption, they fear they may sound biased, and I think that viewers feel more comfortable with the idea that politicians are all tainted regardless of their party affiliation.

Of course the world is not in perfect balance, and there are ideological reasons that explain why one party would engage in unethical actions more often than the other to achieve political goals. For example, if one party ascribes to the belief that the ends justifies the means, while the other party believes that moral ends cannot be achieved by immoral means, there will naturally be more political shenanigans perpetrated by members of the former party.

One of the most striking imbalances in modern U.S. politics is that between the more extreme wings of the two major parties. While Republicans will fight with each other over who is the stronger and purer conservative, Democrats will generally play to the middle. The word “liberal” was all but excised from the vocabulary of Democrats back during the Bush Sr. – Dukakis race. One of Bush’s strategies was to accuse Dukakis of being a liberal, as if to equate the word with “communist.” Near the end of the race, under pressure from his supporters, Dukakis tried to recapture the positive connotations of the word “liberal,” but by then it was too late. Now, if you hear the word “liberal,” it’s mostly used as an accusation by “proud, strong” conservatives. Politicians on the left have opted for the less tainted “progressive” to describe themselves.

In 2010, this imbalance – proud conservatives vs. embarrassed liberals – is more extreme than ever. We have been witnessing a string of primary defeats of traditional conservative Republicans by more extreme Tea Party backed Republicans. On the other hand, progressive Democratic challengers have not yet been able to displace many moderate (conservative by yesterday’s standards) Democrats. One could say that this bodes well for the Democrats in a general election because it indicates that the Democratic base is happier with their incumbents than the Republican base and that the Republicans are fielding candidates so extreme in their politics that they are unlikely to garner much support in the middle. That would be a reading of the situation that is pretty generous to Democrats. Another reading is that Democrats are making the same mistake they make perennially, of trying in vain to get moderate Republicans to vote for them by watering down their stands on issues, while the Republicans are recreating themselves as a party that clearly stands for a set of principles.

Perhaps one of the most telling signs of the imbalance in attitudes that Democrats and Republicans have about political strategy, is that an endorsement from right-wing politician and failed Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is sought after and valued while no Democratic candidate would care for the endorsement of one of the most progressive members of Congress (and failed Presidential candidate) Dennis Kucinich.

It is frustrating for progressives who are not politicians to watch all this going on. It appears that Democrats cede the terms of the debate on nearly all issues to the Republicans, which puts them on the defensive, and are even shy about holding strong progressive (or, dare I say “liberal”) views. This gives the Democrats very little to run on – they already used up the “We are not George Bush” campaign strategy, promising ill-defined “change.” That was a winner in ’08. But now the Republicans are redefining themselves as a party that is not George Bush either – it’s further to the right. If Democrats would just step back and remember that the vast majority of Americans agree with them on all of the major core issues of their party’s platform, they could run as proud, strong liberals instead of as scared, embarrassed fake-conservatives.

Click the following daisy to be transported to a post about the biological basis of extremism:


12 Responses to Proud Conservatives Vs. Embarrassed Liberals

  1. Ben Hoffman says:

    As Abbie Hoffman once said, “The problem with liberals is they have to see all sides of an argument.” Or something like that. 🙂


  2. Doreen Van Assen says:

    The change we do not need is for the liberal to turn into a conservative. In general change is scary and unwanted at first. People take comfort in sameness. Unfortunately, there is this scary uneasy period of change; I like to call it the cocoon period. Be patient let things settle and the cocoon will become a beautiful butterfly. It seems to me the conservatives do nothing but try to destroy the cocoon before it can even change when change is clearly needed. Everyone is so selfish. Basic economics says you must give up something to gain something. I give up steak dinner for ramen noodles just to make it to the next payday nothing gained. The only deficit decreased is that I survived and did not starve. Buy low and sell high. Change jobs for more pay because I can not survive on only five cent per hour raise in a years time. Five cents does not even buy one raymen noodle.


  3. Doreen Van Assen says:

    Give enough assistance for the poor to be able to get off welfare so they can contribute. Without enough assistance you are worse than doing nothing. The poor stay poor. No one can retire. And the rich stay stagnant not increasing anyone’s wages. I lived on pennies in my gas tank eating one hotdog a day without the bun in the homeless shelter in a room next to a real crack whore during Lpn school. In arkansas tea money 162 dollars a month has a 24 month maximum lifetime benefit. You can not get anything if you have a job making more than 162 dollars a month. So I went to college full time on that for a year then went to work then back to college paying cash money out of pocket for an associate’s degree. My taxes that I have paid back have quadrupled what was given me. You could say the government got a return on the investment. You have to spend to make sometimes.


  4. Doreen Van Assen says:

    Practical nursing certificate 2004, Associate degree of Nursing 2006


  5. Doreen Van Assen says:

    6 years experience as a dialysis nurse acute and chronic. I save lives that’s what I do. 4 10Hr days a week. It makes me smile:-)


    • Doreen Van Assen says:

      There is a secretive program called WIA workforce investment act. That was the only assistance I had for college tuition during practical nurse school. It is a very good program. It funds job training for the ones needed to be filled in the job market. Back then it was nursing and engineering and teaching and child care that it funded. I do know each person accepted is on an individual basis. High test score played the influential role in me becoming accepted other than that I don’t know it was all kept secrete.


  6. Doreen Van Assen says:

    If it wasn’t for the little bit of help no telling where I might be today. Dead maybe? And who would of even cared? Today I am a functioning member of society with goals I may or may not reach. I am happy to be me whatever. 🙂


  7. c’est vraiment des bargos les gars des guignols, d’ailleurs j’ai vu sur un site télé : qu’il y a un sondage sur l’avis politique des guignols. et jeme demande s’il sont vraiment de gauche ou pas ?


  8. Anti Galau says:

    Anti Galau…

    […]Proud Conservatives Vs. Embarrassed Liberals « Daisybrain[…]…


  9. […] More politiphisizing: Proud Conservative vs. Embarrassed Liberals GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]


  10. […] One of the most striking imbalances in modern U.S. politics is that between the more extreme wings of the two major parties. While Republicans will fight with each other over who is the stronger and purer conservative, Democrats will generally play to the middle. READ FULL POST […]


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