Crooks and Liars: Opinion: Richard Eskow: The Populist Moment
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
It is hard to describe America from an ideological standpoint as a whole. Because we are such a huge and vast country and then you throw in all of our political diversity. We are a country by American standards that goes from Communists, Marxists Socialists, Democratic Socialists and Social Democrats on the Far-Left, to Neo-Confederates and Christian Theocrats on the Far-Right. With Liberals on the Center-Left and Conservatives on the Center-Right. But with also Progressives on the Center-Left and Conservative Libertarians on the Center-Right. so we have a lot of political diversity in this country.
I believe the best way to judge America politically in general if you want to do that would be to go to the issues and where America stands on them. And go issue by issue, category by category to economic policy, social policy, national security and foreign policy. The two easiest ones to judge would be economic and social policy things that Americans think about all the time. Because it affects our everyday lives all the time. And even though I’m a Liberal I’m going to paraphrase Mr. Conservative Barry Goldwater. To say that Americans tend to want big government out of their wallets and living rooms, as well as bedrooms, as well as boardrooms and classrooms.
America tends to be an anti-big government country except for some very Socialist areas in the Northeast and Northwest and the Bible Belt. But America tends to like that old Barry Goldwater phrase about big government. And tend to want government out of their economic and personal lives. Instead of having government trying to run their lives for them. Which is basically the definition of big government. Government trying to do too much for the people and run their lives for them.
I’m not saying America is anti-government or pro-government, but anti-big government. We like our schools and roads, bridges, infrastructure in general. As well as paying to help people who are down on the luck and need a handout as well as help getting up. And we are even willing to pay for those things as well as aid other countries who need that aid as well. But we don’t want government trying to make decisions for us that we can for ourselves. Meaning trying to run our lives for us.
Base on this I would describe America as a classically liberal country and not Libertarian. Which is different and if more Americans actually understood what a Liberal is and what liberalism is, more Americans would be self-described as Liberals. Because most of us want good schools and infrastructure in general and will pay those things because of what we get in return for them. But we don’t want taxes so high to pay for government to take care of us. Or to have government try to make our personal decisions for us either.
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