GOP’s 30-year spin job is over: Why we are not a center-right nation

tags: GOP

Joshua Sager is a political blogger at operating out of Boston, MA. He has a degree in political science from Boston University with a minor in earth science and writes on a wide variety of political, economic, and social issues.

It is a persistent belief among many in the political and media establishments, fed by decades of right-wing propaganda, that the United States is a “center-right nation” that finds progressives to be far too liberal for mainstream positions of power. 

If you look purely at electoral outcomes, those who assert this appear to have a fairly strong point. The last several decades of federal politics have been dominated by center-right policies and truly left-wing politicians have been largely marginalized (e.g., Bernie Sanders). Even Clinton and Obama — the last two Democratic presidents who, theoretically, should be leftists — are corporate-friendly moderates who have triangulated during negotiations with Republicans to pass center-right policy compromises (e.g., Obama’s Heritage Foundation-inspired ACA or the Clinton Defense of Marriage Act compromise).

While electoral results may support the idea of a center-right nation, looking beyond electoral politics — which involve a mixture of policy choices, party politics, fundraising and propaganda — and focusing purely upon raw policy preferences leaves us with an entirely different picture.

Here is a compilation of polling data from various reputable American polling organizations, describing the policy preferences of the Americans people over the last year...

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