I heard a lot of that over past several years and questioned the basis for that assumption. It appears to come from the 2004 exit polling of Americans who "According to the network exit polls, 21 percent of the voters who cast ballots in 2004 called themselves liberal, 34 percent said they were conservative and 45 percent called themselves moderate, But is there a mistake common to political elites: assuming that ordinary people look at politics the same way they do.
They would be right if everyone who talked to a pollster understood the words "conservative," "liberal," and "moderate" in the same way people in Washington do. Political elites tend to believe that, like them, voters understand the issues that define contemporary liberalism and conservatism, and that if they call themselves "moderates," that means they must have a clearly defined ideology that resides midway between the positions of the Democratic and Republican parties on the major issues of the day.
But, on Tuesday, Americans chose as their next president an African-American named Barack Obama who campaigned on a near-universal health-care plan, allowing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, and a move away from the belligerent foreign policy of the past eight years. Republicans, and some journalists, had spent months (falsely) saying Obama is the single most liberal member of the U.S. Senate -- and maybe even a socialist. The American people responded by electing him in a landslide.
This, naturally, is very good news for the Republicans, according to many pundits. It proves once again that America remains a "center-right" nation.
Right about now, you're probably scratching your head, wondering how the election of the "most liberal" member of the Senate, a man who campaigned on a promise of near-universal health care, could possibly be described as evidence of a conservative country.
To be sure, it requires some creative thinking.
NBC's Tom Brokaw, for example, looked at county-by-county election results and concluded that counties carried by John McCain account for greater land mass than those carried by Barack Obama. This would be meaningful, if only fields and streams and rocks and trees were conservative voters. But they aren't: They are fields and streams and rocks and trees. They are neither liberal nor conservative; they tell us nothing about the nation's political leanings. People tell us something about the nation's leanings -- and more people voted for Barack Obama.
Then there's CNN's John King Wednesday night. Just try to follow his logic:
KING: Without a doubt, the electorate voted for Barack Obama, but still perceives him to be a liberal. And one thing you don't want to do when you win an election like this, a sweeping election like this, is alienate the people here in a place like Cincinnati. Why? George W. Bush carried that county four years ago. You don't want to drive them away.
So, Barack Obama is making inroads in communities that not too long ago voted Republican. The last thing you want to do if you want to keep them four years from now is to alienate them with a liberal agenda.
That simply does not make any sense. John King says Barack won a "sweeping election" even though the electorate "perceives him to be a liberal" -- so he better not pursue a "liberal agenda" or he will "alienate them."
Later that same night, King added that Obama "does not get a mandate to be a liberal." Again, this is pure nonsense. John King says voters perceive Obama to be a liberal. John King says Obama won a "sweeping victory." And yet John King says that Obama's sweeping victory among an electorate that considers him a liberal does not constitute a mandate to be a liberal. This is illogical, self-discrediting foolishness.
At least King was considerate enough to debunk his own absurd conclusions in near-real time. Conservatives making similar claims were not so kind.
Several in the media have claimed that President-elect Barack Obama won the election because he ran as a conservative and that notwithstanding Obama's victory, the United States is a conservative country.
In claiming that Obama ran as a conservative, these media figures ignore the central components of his platform, including repeal of tax cuts for the wealthy, near-universal health-care coverage, and redeployment of troops from Iraq to Afghanistan.
Democracy Corps, a Democratic polling group, released a poll
on November 7 that showed strong support for the positions that Obama has articulated on these issues.
The poll also included questions that provided a direct choice between the position taken by Obama on a given issue and that taken by Sen. John McCain (without referring to Obama or McCain) -- with the more progressive choice echoing Obama's position and the more conservative echoing McCain's.
For most questions that juxtaposed a clear progressive view with a clear conservative view, the progressive position was more popular.
A list of positions Obama took on major issues during the campaign makes it clear that he did not run as a conservative, and the Democracy Corps poll results rebut the claim that Obama ran as a conservative and that the United States is a conservative country.
A synopsis of these results are linked here
as are the preceding paragraphs lifted from the link, verbatim for continuity sake.
So considering that Obama campaigned clearly as a man who calls for the following
1. Repeal the Bush tax cuts for those making over 250,000 dollars and cut taxes for middle class families and anyone making under 200,000 dollars.
2. "Make health insurance affordable and accessible to all Americans." Seventy-two percent said this was at least "near the top" of their priorities.
3. "End the war in Iraq responsibly and redeploy our troops from Iraq to Afghanistan."
4. "Repeal tax breaks that benefit companies that move jobs overseas."
5. "End dependence on foreign oil by 2025 by requiring one quarter of U.S. electric power to come from alternative energy where new investments will create new jobs."
6. Make job-creating investments in America's aging roads and transportation systems and stimulate new economic activity.
It is hard not to consider that having mainstream political pundits, as well as Obama’s past political foes continue to call America a center-right nation is just an act of blowing smoke up the asses of a gullible America public specifically to mold “conventional wisdom” that does not conform to objective reality for maintaining economic and social status quo.