Author Topic: Are we living in a Conservative Era?  (Read 132 times)

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Offline Id82

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Are we living in a Conservative Era?
« on: October 17, 2018, 11:54:37 pm »
I got into a discussion with my very conservative father in law who told me that Barack Obama was the most liberal president he has ever seen, and I thought really? More liberal than FDR or LBJ? He then went on to say blah blah blah Obamacare is socialized medicine and repeated some fox news talking points, but it got me thinking. Is the country just in a conservative era, and what would it take to shift the overton window back into a liberal era?

I would like to think that the country was a liberal shifted country from 1933 to 1982 after the election of FDR until the election of Ronald Reagan where the country shifted from another conservative era after the stock market crashed and a lot of liberal policies, high taxes on the wealthy, five democratic presidents and a democratic dominated congress occurred. Even the two Republicans elected (I don't count Ford since he pretty much just finished out Nixon's term) in that time passed things that would be considered liberal. Eisenhower expanded the highway systems and even Nixon created the EPA. The democratic party shifted from having conservatives in their party to being very liberal.
But it seems like after the baby boomers and young gen xer's came of age, and increased anger from Southern states after the civil rights act was passed, the country voted in Reagan in a huge landslide and changed the country from liberal to conservative. Nearly forty years later the country has had three Republican presidents and two Democrats, and one could argue that Clinton and Obama were pretty center. There's some progress that has been made but it's had to fight against a strong renewed religious right and fiscal conservatives that dominate the political discussion with low taxes for the wealthy and corporations. 9/11 happened which turned US conservatives from somewhat accepting to highly xenophobic and paranoid, and now nearly forty years later since Reagan we have Trump in office with increasing deficits, recordly low taxes, increasing income inequality, very strong religious right representation in government, catering to corporate needs over people's needs, an emboldened nationalist sentiment and liberals have been demonized by a very fringe Right wing. It would seem like it's hard to be a liberal in America right now. Every progress that people want to be made or need to make is shot down by corporations.
But just by looking at history political dominance shifts, and it seems to happen every thirty to forty years or so.

My question would be would you agree we are living in a conservative era of the United states, and if so when do you predict things might shift to the other side? What would it take to shift things politically to the left to a new era? Another great depression that would finally wake American's up? An incoming increase in Millennials entering office who generationally have been pretty liberal compared to their parents. Or a strong Millennial president that finally excites and unites the country around them?
If you can't tell I'm very interested in political shifts.

Offline dpareja

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Re: Are we living in a Conservative Era?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 12:02:46 am »
Oh, hi, Buckley v. Valeo.
Quote from: Jordan Duram
It doesn't concern you, Sister, that kind of absolutist view of the universe? Right and wrong determined solely by a single all-knowing, all powerful being whose judgment cannot be questioned and in whose name the most horrendous acts can be sanctioned without appeal?

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Being required by someone else’s religious beliefs to behave contrary to one’s sexual identity is degrading and disrespectful.

Offline Skybison

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Re: Are we living in a Conservative Era?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 12:41:56 am »
Well I'll have more to say on this later, but it's important to remember that of the seven elections the US has had in my lifetime, the democrats won the popular vote in six.  The republicans far rights ideology isn't really all that popular, the rules of the game are just heavily rigged in their favor.

Offline davedan

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Re: Are we living in a Conservative Era?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 12:54:33 am »
I think the change in the evangelical vote is really interesting. When the evangelicals abandoned Jimmy Carter (who was evangelical and a guy who I think represents the better aspect of Christians) to give their vote to Reagan (who was a Hollywood actor) they sold their soul.

In all appears to be about abortion which wasn't even a major Christian issue until the late early 80s.

Offline dpareja

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Re: Are we living in a Conservative Era?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 01:51:35 am »
It was partly abortion (though evangelicals were pro-choice, once upon a time) but also partly racism; see Coit v. Green.
Quote from: Jordan Duram
It doesn't concern you, Sister, that kind of absolutist view of the universe? Right and wrong determined solely by a single all-knowing, all powerful being whose judgment cannot be questioned and in whose name the most horrendous acts can be sanctioned without appeal?

Quote from: Supreme Court of Canada
Being required by someone else’s religious beliefs to behave contrary to one’s sexual identity is degrading and disrespectful.

Offline SCarpelan

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Re: Are we living in a Conservative Era?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 11:21:54 am »
As a crude simplification you can look at the situation since the end of the cold war as the right winning on the economical front and the left winning on the cultural front. Both situations have caused a hegemony in their respective spheres where even center left has been promoting the interests of capital instead of labor and the center right has at least given lip service to minority rights and even the more conservative elements have had to use dog whistles instead of direct racism/sexism/etc. These hegemonies are now breaking and there is a backlash against both.

To me it sounds like the conservatives in the US live in an alternative reality built by the talk radio, Fox News and more lately ultra-conservative new media. While Obama and both Clintons are typical products of these hegemonies the propaganda machine has built them as radical socialist threats to the 'Murrican way of life.

Offline Art Vandelay

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Re: Are we living in a Conservative Era?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 11:38:04 am »
If by conservatism, you mean prioritising the interests of the elites over the rest of society, that's easy. Between campaigning being impossible without huge sums of money to throw around, and lobbyists being a thing, it's incredibly difficult for anyone not corrupt to have even the slightest chance of getting elected. Add in media that is wholly owned and therefore run in the interests of said elites further stacking the deck against non-corrupt politicians and it's hardly surprising things are so fucked Stateside.

Offline Id82

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Re: Are we living in a Conservative Era?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2018, 01:19:35 pm »
Well I'll have more to say on this later, but it's important to remember that of the seven elections the US has had in my lifetime, the democrats won the popular vote in six.  The republicans far rights ideology isn't really all that popular, the rules of the game are just heavily rigged in their favor.

It may not be popular but it's winning where it counts which is generally the states with less populations spread out with lower educated older white voters, and these are the people who tend to vote in the mid terms as well. Which I think is pretty much what you're saying. At some point in the past, states where hard labor work is valued more over an education shifted favor to the Republican party, which is probably why we've had Republican presidents who speak at lower grade levels because if he talks like I do then he has to care for my needs. Mean while these Republican leaders are making their daily lives more difficult for them.

I think the change in the evangelical vote is really interesting. When the evangelicals abandoned Jimmy Carter (who was evangelical and a guy who I think represents the better aspect of Christians) to give their vote to Reagan (who was a Hollywood actor) they sold their soul.

In all appears to be about abortion which wasn't even a major Christian issue until the late early 80s.

I would also say that Nixon's southern strategy played a lot into this as well as the civil rights act passed by LBJ. Jimmy Carter might have been seen as a last hurrah by Southern democrats before they completely shifted to the Republican party with that goes the large amount of evangelical voters who live in the Southern states. I think the political shift of southern democrats to southern republicans is a major reason why we have a conservative leaning country.

As a crude simplification you can look at the situation since the end of the cold war as the right winning on the economical front and the left winning on the cultural front. Both situations have caused a hegemony in their respective spheres where even center left has been promoting the interests of capital instead of labor and the center right has at least given lip service to minority rights and even the more conservative elements have had to use dog whistles instead of direct racism/sexism/etc. These hegemonies are now breaking and there is a backlash against both.

To me it sounds like the conservatives in the US live in an alternative reality built by the talk radio, Fox News and more lately ultra-conservative new media. While Obama and both Clintons are typical products of these hegemonies the propaganda machine has built them as radical socialist threats to the 'Murrican way of life.

I think what is happening is White are realizing that they are heading towards a minority in the states. Especially White cisgendered men who have all of the power and have had all of the power since the countries founding. So while there has been some progress on the cultural front I think it's only strengthened conservatives in the states to fight back this forseen decline in white power in the country. I think Barack Obama scared a lot of white people which is one reason we have Trump.

I think scared white people, emboldened religious right, strong right wing talking heads and the rich able to control fiscal policy is making the country conservative.

I've been reading a lot about what they call the Great Progression which is the period from 1930 to 1980 in which there was strong progressive taxation and equal growth along with equal pay, and the period now that they call the Great Regression which started in the 80s which has seen huge wealth inequality due to globalization and the wealthy being able to control Washington. It's pretty interesting because the last time we've had wealth inequality this great was right before the great Depression.