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Surprise! I'm a liberal!

I took the Pew Center's poll, and that was the result. Some interesting true facts:

Liberals represent 17 percent of the American public, and 19 percent of registered voters.

This group has nearly doubled in proportion since 1999, Liberals now comprise the largest share of Democrats and is the single largest of the nine Typology groups.

Liberals are second only to Enterprisers in following news about government and public affairs most of the time (60%). Liberals’ use of the internet to get news is the highest among all groups (37%).

Interesting.

I can't really think of any historical parallels for being a liberal in a situation where a conservative movement first stole an election and then began to replace Constitutional government with authoritarian rule--including the classic tool of authoritarian governments everywhere, torture.

Can anyone think of a historical parallel?

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Submitted by xan (not verified) on

and they said I was a Liberal anyway. Thanks a lot, Pew, I'll remember this when the guys with the pitchforks and torches shows up to cleanse the land of my heathen ass.

Actually the questions seemed to me to be the very essence of "moderate" stances even if you voted the hard-left proposition on every one. I was subtly trying to nudge their estimate of where the middle resides back in a sinister sort of way.

I mean, question 11, the choices are "Business corporations make too much profit" and "Most corporations make a fair and reasonable amount of profit" with a range of five degrees between the two.

Where's the choice of "Businesses which are convicted of actions against the public interest should be seized, their assets confiscated and redistributed to those who have been harmed, and their executives imprisoned"? That I would consider maybe just a teensy bit on the radical side, at least for rhetorical purposes. "Make too much profit" versus "should be put up against the wall and shot"? Now there's a choice for ya.

Clearly I have been reading too much over at Walled-In Pond of late.... heya Woody. :) [waves]

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Submitted by leah on

Hey, Xan, if you have some time, give us more analysis in a post - fascinating that Pew, which is clearly seen as a "liberal" think-tank, mirrors the same push-of-the-center-to-the-right in its framing of a test like that; no wonder liberals are only 17 or 19 % of the political population; how would "conservatives" rate if they were called the extreme right-wingers that they are?

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Submitted by chicago dyke on

for the same reasons xan does. but it does tell one a lot about pew. and polling in general- it's all in the questions, and one can generate any pre-desired results with the right sort of wording.

there are days when i wish i had the reach of a polling organization, so i could put questions like xan's before a large number of americans. i've been sure for a long time that there are far more "radicals' like me than any of these sorts of polls will ever reveal.

Submitted by lambert on

... That the percentage of liberals is growing.

And I would bet that the pull is coming from the left. When we get "Death penalty for corporations that murder" into the questions, that will be a great victory.

Otherwise, as Xan says, it's a great example of the Overton Window in action...

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi