Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

New Data: U. S. is a Center-Left Nation

Despite the continual Rightwing talking point, aided by pundits in the mainstream media, that the electiion proved nothing and that “we are still a Center-Right Nation,” yet another study demonstrates that this is false.  Check out the full data and cool charts here.


December 23, 2008 - Posted by | U.S. politics


  1. I don’t understand the relevance of this data. It was Americans surveyed on what they believe. It wasn’t on what the government believes. If you surveyed the rest of the world on what they think the Obama government seems to be promising, I think it would be a centrist position at least.

    On another matter … it is interesting all the fuss about Warren in America. I haven’t heard our media mention him ever – not even now with him as Obama’s choice for some inauguaration role. They report on all Obama’s other movements, choices, even his breakfast choice, but they’ve ignored Warren … who? Nobody has heard of him. I wouldn’t have either but for reading blogs and American news sites. He’s just not important to the rest of the world although he thinks he is.

    Comment by steph | December 24, 2008

  2. Tucker Carlson’s head will surely explode when he sees this…

    Comment by Gene | December 24, 2008

  3. Michael,

    I would say that America is pretty much in the center, neither leftist nor rightest. Indeed, Americans by and large are pragmatic/practical and not ideological. They shift back and forth depending on the situation.

    So, I don’t take any of this very seriously. If yesterday we were center-right and today center-left it just goes to show that we are constantly moving.

    I’ve been all over the place in my lifetime. I’m probably closer to the center than I am to the far left. In fact, I’ve spent much of my life muddling around in the center. That’s why I liked Obama, he got it without triangulating things (Bill C). I never believed that he was the most liberal member of the Senate. How could he be more liberal than Bernie Sanders, who is a Socialist?

    Comment by Bob Cornwall | December 24, 2008

  4. We do change. From c.-1978 to c. 2004, we were shifting to the Right. By the mid-’80s the center itself was defined further right than before. We began shifting leftward (back toward the center) in 2005. We had been nervous about Iraq (though the nation as a whole had not yet turned against it), but the shift really began with Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security (his first real political loss) and then began in whole after Katrina and then the many corruption scandals of ’05 and ’06. Obama is a centrist–with some progressive tendencies and some cautious or even conservative ones. But the times will push him in a more progressive direction as they did FDR. We are beginning a national pendulum swing which will move the center leftward for a generation.

    And, yes, Gene, Carlson’s head will explode. I was surprised it didn’t when Joe Scarborough had to admit that he (Scarborough) was wrong about us being center-right–that had moved and were still moving.


    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | December 24, 2008

  5. Steph, the data does not measure whether or not OBAMA is right, center, or left (by U.S. or global standards), much less the government, but the changing views of the American society. The data itself shows that in some areas, America is more conservative than I would want. Also, I would ask some different questions.

    Even on a global scale, America is moving leftward at a time when many more liberal nations are moving rightward: Holland has become more anti-immigrant. France and Germany now have conservative parties firmly in charge. The Conservatives have won reelection in Canada, although it is a shaky majority that may soon give way to a minority coalition government of Liberals, New Democrats, and the Bloc Quebequois. Even in your New Zealand, Labour has just lost to the Nationalists–moving counter-clockwise to neighboring Australia in which the ironically-named Liberals (actually a conservative party) has been replaced by Labour with strong parliamentary gains by the Greens.

    The point is that all societies are in motion and ours, which has been moving rightward my whole adult life, is moving back toward the center–or even moving the center leftward.

    And, yes, Rick Warren is a non-entity on a global scale.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | December 25, 2008

  6. oh yes I know America is moving left with Australia thank God, and depressingly New Zealand in its ignorant sheeplike clinging to the pathetic mantra of ‘change’ thought they’d try a right wing multi millionaire investment banker who is about as eloquent as George Bush. (At least he believes in man made climate change, is anti war and our Greens actually gained some ground which Labour lost – in fact the new government even want to work with the Greens). But as you recognise I think, by our standards, Obama is about as left wing as Keys (the regrettably elected PM). But moving leftward as opposed to right is definitely a good thing.

    Comment by steph | December 25, 2008

  7. I think we should help the poor. I guess that makes me a Democrat. Humph! You have to admit–that question is pretty bad! Besides, we see later on that 69% say government causes more problems than it solves.

    Comment by James Pate | December 29, 2008

  8. Is America “moving left” or staying center or right? This is subjective at best. A true believer would want to discern in which way the spirit of the Lord is moving – I should think. And Michael please explain how a person becomes a “non entity” on any scale when a human being is made in the image of God. Does demeaning another human being make he who castigates better for having uttered such a phrase ?

    Comment by Paul | December 31, 2008

  9. Silence ? Sometimes that is a form of dialogue.

    Comment by Paul | January 2, 2009

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: