It turns out liberals aren’t that liberal

This is not surprising at all.

This paper suggests that there are consistent patterns in how different groups of individuals perceive their relative ideological position..for example, the more educated on average believe themselves to be more left wing than their actual beliefs on a substantive issue might suggest.

The paper’s from England, but I’m sure it works everywhere. It’s really difficult to be left wing in the West. I roll my eyes over anyone calling Barack Obama a socialist (or a “secular-socialist” if you’re Newt Gingrich and/or don’t know how to use a hyphen), but conservatives who call Obama a socialist are engaging in a politically motivated rhetoric (or politically-motivated-rhetoric if you’re Newt Gingrich), so I can almost excuse them. They might believe that Obama is a socialist, but that makes them stupid. However, they can’t let us in on whether they actually believe that he’s a socialist because that would ruin the illusion.

On the other hand, liberals who are disappointed in Obama for being too conservative just give away the illusion that they knew what liberal was before or show how conservative they are for thinking that Obama was ever very liberal in the first place. A true liberal would have recognised that Obama was never going to satisfy their liberal desires since Obama would never have looked or sounded that liberal to them in the first place. I’ve known a few actual liberals and they are less disappointed in Obama since they knew that anyone who earns the Democratic party nomination could never have been that left wing in the first place, so the true liberals were merely expecting a slightly left of center president to begin with.


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