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Defining political Left and Right: Why the line is shifting to the left.

 
 
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 03:38 pm
The argument is being made that people on the left are moderates and people on the right are extremists. Of course "left" and "right" are subjective... I think most of us define ourself as near the center.

The objective way to define left and right is to look at the historical trend. I believe that historically speaking the line has shifted significantly to the left. What used to be considered far left is now accepted as moderate, and what used to be considered moderate is now condemned as "far right". Here are some examples.

1. Gay marriage is now accepted (it used to be absurdly left).
2. The phrase "David isn't doing well in my class. I want to talk to their parents" used to be grammatically incorrect. Now professors are threatened with dismissal for using the traditional pronouns.
3. Literature that was once revered is now sexist. Politicians who were once honored are now racist.

I can't think of any way that our modern, hyper-sensitive, continually outraged political culture has moved to the right. Can you?
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edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 04:12 pm
Our country was founded in racism by slave owning men of property. When they proclaimed that all men are free they meant white property owners. I believe a slave was considered three fifths of a person. No woman had the right to even vote. Native Americans were steadily driven away from lands the whites wanted. We declared a Monroe doctrine and used it to bully the nations to our south. When the slaves were freed after the Civil War the whites were given reparations. Ex-slaves received nothing and were hemmed in by gradual Jim Crow laws. Even the amendment forbidding slavery has the loophole that we can imprison millions and profit off their labor. The corporations and the military joined together to propagandize the people for profit. Big pharma and the medical establishment made certain we paid out the ass for medicine. Made no difference if the president happened to be Reagan, Clinton, a Bush or Obama. Even in a pandemic both sides of the aisle are doing pitifully little. There is more but I have to go do something.
maxdancona
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 04:34 pm
@edgarblythe,
So, you are defining yourself as the middle and arguing that the country has been far right throughout its history?

That isn't an objective way to determine the middle.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -4  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 04:47 pm
@edgarblythe,
The word "middle" doesn't have anything to do with who is "correct" in some absolute sense.

The "middle" simply implies that there is an equal number of people to the left and to the right.

Boston is the "hub of the Universe" but we can't claim to be in the middle of the US when most Americans are to the West of us. I could aay that Kansas can't be the middle of the US. They talk funny and they don't even have good lobster. But that would be silly.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 05:26 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Defining political Left and Right: Why the line is shifting to the left.
1. Maybe the line is shifting to the left because the line was previously shifting to the right.
2. This may simply be a correction due to the many previous years of the line shifting to the right.

Quote:
The argument is being made that people on the left are moderates and people on the right are extremists.
1. I personally don't put much stock into political labels.
2. My opinions on particular issues are simply my opinions on particular issues.
3. Issues that are most important to me are simply issues that are most important to me.

4. Based on these labels, I would consider myself on the left.
5. Based on these labels, I would never (argue) or claim to be a moderate, because I am not a moderate.
6. But, as I previously stated, I don't put much stock into the actual labels.

Quote:
Of course "left" and "right" are subjective
Okay. I don't have any problem with that statement.

Quote:
I think most of us define ourself as near the center
1. That is your own assertion of how you think most people define themselves.
2. This is your own opinion.


Quote:
The objective way to define left and right is to look at the historical trend. I believe that historically speaking the line has shifted significantly to the left.
1. Historically speaking the line has shifted significantly to the left as a reaction to the Great Depression
in order to implement the New Deal.
2. Historically speaking the line has shifted significantly to the right during the Ronald Reagan administration.
3. My point is that historically speaking the line has in different eras or periods has significantly shifted to right
as well as the left.
4. It's all relative.
maxdancona
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 06:54 pm
@Real Music,
My point is about the political divide in the US. We are divided into two fairly narrow camps; people agree on a wide range of issues with others on their political side. They insult people on the other political side.

Labels shouldn't matter, but when people refer to each other as MAGAtards or libtards rather than listen to each other... the labels do matter.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 06:58 pm
@Real Music,
I realized when I read you post that I may be oversimplifying my claim that the shift has been to the left. I do think with social issues LGBT issues, anti-coporate rhetoric, immigration, and race issues... the left has shifted to the left. The right has actually become more moderate on some social issues (gay marriage and race).

I am interested in examples of how the "middle has moved rightward. Are you claiming this happened with foreign policy or economics?

In what areas did you see the center shift during the Reagan years. I think the country became more polarized during Reagan. The left didn't move to the right....

Could you elaborate your point?
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 08:28 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I realized when I read you post that I may be oversimplifying my claim that the shift has been to the left. I do think with social issues LGBT issues, anti-coporate rhetoric, immigration, and race issues... the left has shifted to the left.
1. I am asserting that recently the middle has been shifting to the left.
2. I am asserting that recently the middle has been shifting to the left on kitchen table economic issues.
3. I am asserting that recently the middle has been shifting to the left on health care related issues.
4. I am asserting that recently the middle has been shifting to the left on implementing higher taxes on (wealthy) individuals.
5. I am asserting that recently the middle has been shifting to the left on on implementing higher taxes on (super wealthy) corporations.
6. I am asserting that recently the middle has been shifting to the left on the the infrastructure bill.
7. I am asserting that recently the middle has also been shifting to the left on the Reconciliation infrastructure bill.
8. I am asserting that recently the middle has been shifting to the left on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act
9. I am asserting that recently the middle has been shifting to the left on the For the People Act voting bill.
10. I am asserting that recently the middle has been shifting to the left on Climate Change.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 08:32 pm
@Real Music,
So you are agreeing with me that middle is shifting to the left. That's cool, but I was kind of hoping you would have a point that I haven't considered.
Real Music
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 09:01 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
So you are agreeing with me that middle is shifting to the left. That's cool, but I was kind of hoping you would have a point that I haven't considered.

1. Actually I am asserting that the middle has recently been shifting to the left on the issues I spelled out.

2. It was my understanding that you are asserting that the left has been shifting to the left with no mention of the middle shifting to the left on the issues I spelled out.

3. Am I wrong about you not making any mentioning about the middle shifting to the left on the issues that I spelled out?

4. I am not referring to the left shifting to the left.

5. I am specifically referring to the middle shifting to the left on the issues that I spelled out.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 09:42 pm
@Real Music,
I think I understand your point. I am not sure it makes sense.

The middle is not a group of people. The middle is a position. That is why Edgar's proclamation that he is the middle is nonsense.

Say I am standing near the middle of a crowd of 1000 people. There is no reason there needs to be a person standing at the middle of a crowd, the middle is defined by where the crowd is standing, but maybe based on the distribution of the crowd no one is standing at the exact middle.

But if I am standing near the middle, and then I step 50 yards to the East...well no I am no longer in the middle. I moved 50 yards, but the middle didnt move very much.

Now, if EVERYONE in the crowd moves 50 yards to the left, then you can correctly say the crowd has moved 50 yards to the left.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 09:50 pm
@maxdancona,
In my opinion about what is happening in the US...

1. The far left is moving significantly to the left. We now have people trying to get people fired over pronouns and attqcking white.peoplemfprmweqring dreadlocks

2. The moderate left is moving to the left.

3 The people who were near the mide are moving to the left.

4. The people in the moderate right are feeling threatened and moving to the right.

5. The far right is not changing. McCartyites were as crazy as the alt right is now.

Since more people are moving left than right the mide is moving ton the left.

Since the moderates are moving in opposite directions, there are very few people with positions near the new middle.
0 Replies
 
Real Music
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 09:50 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I think I understand your point. I am not sure it makes sense.

The middle is not a group of people. The middle is a position. That is why Edgar's proclamation that he is the middle is nonsense.

Say I am standing near the middle of a crowd of 1000 people. There is no reason there needs to be a person standing at the middle of a crowd, the middle is defined by where the crowd is standing, but maybe based on the distribution of the crowd no one is standing at the exact middle.

But if I am standing near the middle, and then I step 50 yards to the East...well no I am no longer in the middle. I moved 50 yards, but the middle didnt move very much.

Now, if EVERYONE in the crowd moves 50 yards to the left, then you can correctly say the crowd has moved 50 yards to the left.

1. Excuse me.
2. This post of yours is you trying to change the subject or to distract from my two previous post.
3. Sorry, that gibberish nonsense you just posted about the 50 yard line was a complete waste of time.
4. Your attempt to distract and misdirect will not work.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 13 Aug, 2021 10:06 pm
@Real Music,
Do you think that "the middle" refers to a group of people? Or does it refer to a position. If you believe that if you are the middle today you will be the middle tomorrow....then of course you will think what I am saying is gibberish.

Don't confuse "middle" with being "correct". Being middle simply means equal numbers of people to the left of you as there are to the right.
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 05:57 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
It is my belief that people who look an issue honestly realize that there are valid points on both sides.

This vapid statement says absolutely nothing. What constitutes a "valid point"? The intensity of belief? Logical consistency? Scientific proof?

Take a subject like abortion. I have no doubt that people in the christian right really believe it is murder. They obviously have the right to believe that. And not condoning murder might be seen as a valid point. But that doesn't justify restricting the freedom of people who believe the choice is the right of every individual woman. The validity of one's personal belief doesn't give him the right to compel others to adopt that belief themselves. No one is arguing that abortions should be mandatory, but on the one side, people are arguing that the practice should be outlawed entirely. The middle position, the right to individual choice, is considered extreme by one side.

With climate change, what are the "valid points on both sides"? At one time there were those who believed in manmade climate change and those who rejected it, claiming that it was a hoax, or that measurable warming trends were caused by other factors, such as solar cycles. Valid points on both sides? Eventually the data became too compelling to be rejected so one side had to shift a bit and say that while it was occurring, it was happening slowly and we could adapt and extra CO2 in the atmosphere was a plus. But subsequent measurements have shown that the rate of warming is increasing even faster than predicted. Was this one of those valid points that we were compelled to consider when addressing climate change?
Now that fires are raging in Siberia, the Mediterranean, the Amazon, and the American west what idea will become the valid point to balance the call to limit the percentage of atmospheric CO2? Is allowing a few more tenths of a per cent increase to reduce the cost to industry a valid point?


Quote:
An objective look at a complex issue doesn't tend to lead to the extremes.

That totally depends on the particular issue. In the covid pandemic, one extreme says vaccines aren't necessary, may be toxic, and shouldn't be used. The other side says we must vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible. An objective look, by those knowledgeable enough to do so – people familiar with the medical science, suggests that the first position allows the virus to replicate and mutate into more dangerous variations, and that the second position is the best was to protect public health.

When it comes to climate science, those who could look at the issue objectively were harassed, mocked as "alarmists", or ignored. Simply believing that the phenomenon was a real problem was seen as "extreme".

Quote:

You can't take an absolute, one-sided view of an issue without ignoring real facts.

In some situations you can. If I discover that my house is on fire I'm not going debate the wisdom of leaving the structure or staying there. It's a one-sided issue based on my knowledge of real facts – I'm out the door.

Quote:
Reality doesn't fit into simple ideological narraties.

Yeah, like your belief that people who look an issue honestly realize that there are valid points on both sides.

Quote:
What used to be considered far left is now accepted as moderate, and what used to be considered moderate is now condemned as "far right".

Some of this is just the natural evolution of culture. Leftists didn't cause many of the changes you mention and some people on the left have been slow to accept some of the examples you provided. The thing is that liberal people, once they detect a cultural change, are more likely to accept or even embrace that change as opposed to reactionaries. I'm not thrilled with the changes in grammar or the condemnation of revered literature. But this is just part of living in a society for 60 - 70 - 80 years. You see the change even if you didn't cause it. You may not like it but you live with it. The next generation grows up accepting it.
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 07:13 am
@maxdancona,
What you and others like you would consider "the middle", Max...

...would be considered very far to the right in most developed countries these days.

Our "moderate liberal" would be considered almost right wing...in most developed countries. Our extreme liberal might be considered liberal in most of those countries...but not extreme. Our present-day right wing would be considered "institutionalize them for the sake of your country and the world" to most of the developed countries of the world.

The situation created by the election of Joe Biden is not truly indicative of our nation shifting to the left...any more than a rainy day is indicative of climate change.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 07:31 am
@hightor,
You are making a couple of basic logic errors. The first is that you are confusing scientific facts with value judgement.

Your argument about abortion is based on your belief that right of choice of "every single woman" is more important than the survival of the fetus. If the life ended by abortion is more important than the right of the woman, than a abortion should be prohibited.

This is a value judgement. There is no scientific experiment possible to tell you which of these things is more important. Science can tell you that abortion stops a beating heart. Science can tell you that making abortion illegal means an increase in the death of women.

Burn making a value judgement based on these facts is subjective process that science just can't do. There is no scientific.experiment possible to tell you what is "justified".

Each side starts with their ideological position and then hunts for just the facts that support their predecided position. That isn't scince.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 07:38 am
@maxdancona,
You are making the same error; confusing value judgement with facts on the other issues too.

Science can tell us that vaccines are safe and effective. I know how they did expeiments to test this. This is an objective fact.

Science can't tell us whether we should force students to get vaccinated. This is a value judgment between the right of students to refuse a medical treatment versus the need of the commhnity to respond to a crises.

There is no scientific experiment to balance this or to tell us whether mandatory shots are justified. That is a value judgment.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 07:43 am
Anyone who calls Biden a leftist is seriously deluded.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 14 Aug, 2021 07:46 am
@Frank Apisa,
1. I am not sure I agree with your assessment, even for "developed" countries. There are trends in Europe... European countries influence each other, but I am not sure that counts. You may be right, but if you had an objective measure I suspect the difference would be between Western Europe vs America.

2. Of course if you measure a different crowd you will find a different "middle" position.

3. I am curious about your use of the term "developed" countries. This would likely exclude most people from Muslim nations and traditional African cultures. Would this exclude Russia, China, Iran?

This seems like an arbitrary distinction to make.
 

 
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