Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Conservative I Am

There is some buzz around a recent poll released by Gallup. The claim is that "Conservatives are the Single-Largest Ideological Group."

Victory!!! Hooray!! I toooold you we are a center right nation!

Not so fast. There is some data to look at and Gallup does provide that, but as Digby ellaborates nothing really has changed. One thing to point out is that the question asks simply, "How do you describe your political views, very conservative, conservative, moderate, liberal and very liberal?" It is important to note because not many will readily admit that they are "very" anything let alone politically "very" anything. When asked that question I am sure Michael Moore would call himself a liberal and Bill O'Reilly would call himself a moderate. It is a question with little of no substance despite the argument. Yet there will be those that will run with it like wild-fire.

Victory!! Hooray!! Center right nation!! GOP GOP GOP!!

Hold up. Gallup adds this important anecdote:

There is an important distinction in the respective ideological compositions of the Republican and Democratic Parties. While a solid majority of Republicans are on the same page -- 73% call themselves conservative -- Democrats are more of a mixture. The major division among Democrats is between self-defined moderates (40%) and liberals (38%). However, an additional 22% of Democrats consider themselves conservative, much higher than the 3% of Republicans identifying as liberal.

The breakdown is simple when asked Democrats carry a broader range and amongst them differing views while conservatives are solidly Republicans and vice versa. What does this all mean? Well really not that much, we already knew that. When you phrase the question in this matter you get this result. However, another particular part of interest is that those questioned in the demographics of 18-29 and 30-49 seem to be promising. Someone who is 29 is not that far off from being 30, if you get where I am headed. It is no wonder the push during the election was to "Get Out the Vote" and "Rock the Vote." The shift might be coming.

The pattern is strikingly different on the basis of age, and this could have important political implications in the years ahead. Whereas middle-aged and older Americans lean conservative (vs. liberal) in their politics by at least 2 to 1, adults aged 18 to 29 are just as likely to say their political views are liberal (31%) as to say they are conservative (30%).

I recently argued with my uncle who is a centrist that the political spectrum could shift. He argued that the only way to govern is from the center. I argued yes that might be true to date, but history has never shown that the center can not shift, realign or dramatically change. The Gallup poll when looking at the younger demographics show promise for what I see as a shift of center. The fringe in the Republican party isolates itself, the Republican Party begins to look more like the Clinton Democratic Party and the Democratic Party begins to be Progressive. I might be drinking the "hope kool-aid" or maybe from my experiences and those I know lead me to believe it could happen.

Finally I want to add that the word conservative is not considered as devilish as the word liberal, in effect I could be considered conservative rather simply...example:

I am conservative when asked about military spending
I am conservative when asked about my future children and their future deficit
I am conservative when asked about the government infringing on my rights to wield a ninja sword
I am conservative when asked about whether CEO's receiving TARP money should get bonuses; I vote zero bonuses
I am conservative when asked about privacy, I want my privates private
I am conservative when asked about politicians and their mistresses, do you really need more than one?
I am conservative when asked about the Lakers winning more championships
I am conservative when asked about water, we should conserve

It is clear that I am in a lot of ways conservative.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message.

cross-posted at Asian Pacific Americans for Progress

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