web analytics
July 2, 2015 / 15 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Believing Red But Voting Blue


What’s the state of the republic one month into the Obama presidency? It’s a state of deep confusion. Here are some polls to ponder. Brace yourself.

Before he was elected president, Senator Barack Obama was ranked the most liberal member of a very liberal U.S. Senate by the non-partisan National Journal, which is famous for its rankings of members of Congress. In short, then, a decisive majority of Americans elected as president the most liberal major presidential candidate in the history of the republic. This was unprecedented.

To many of us, this suggested Americans had drifted to the left. It turns out they have not. Consider some other surveys:

For a long time now, thanks to the Reagan presidency, Americans have called themselves “conservative” rather than “liberal” by a roughly two-to-one margin. In 2000, the year George W. Bush was elected president, 18 percent of Americans said they were liberal vs. 36 percent who said they were conservative (38 percent opted for the moderate label). This has been consistent for quite a while. Generally, self-identified liberals have hovered around 20 percent, while conservatives have ranged in the upper-30 percent, sometimes above 40 percent.

Surely that must have changed in 2008, with the election of Obama.

No. In 2008, despite Obama winning the presidency, 21 percent of Americans said they were liberal vs. 38 percent who said they were conservative (36 percent chose moderate). Although both liberals and conservatives alike picked up small gains, the difference between 2000 and 2008 was virtually identical.

If that seems contradictory for a nation that voted for a man from the far left as president, well, that’s because it is. But that’s nothing compared to the inconsistencies in another poll:

A nationwide survey by Clarus Research Group asked American voters which president should be the model for Barack Obama in shaping his presidency. One would expect Americans to pick a liberal president – since, of course, Obama is a liberal. Perhaps FDR, LBJ or Jimmy Carter. Instead, the top choice was America’s most conservative president: Ronald Reagan.

How could that be? Answer: it cannot. It is impossible.

Barack Obama cannot model his presidency after that of Ronald Reagan. The two are irreconcilable. A large square cannot fit into a tiny circle. You cannot take a president who is a paragon of liberalism and one who was a paragon of conservatism and match them ideologically. That’s not fair to Obama. In fact, Obama would not want to do that, nor would his staff – nor would Ronald Reagan.

If that’s not bad enough, the contradictions get worse when you look at policy issues. Here’s one:

An October Marist poll found that only a sliver of Americans, 8 percent, favor allowing abortion at any reason at any stage of pregnancy. Well, those same Americans just elected a man who is seeking to remove any abortion restrictions whatsoever, including those agreed to by bipartisan legislatures all over America. Senator Obama had a 100 percent pro-choice rating from NARAL and a zero percent pro-life rating from National Right to Life.

That’s one policy issue. I could cite other divergent numbers on taxes and government spending, but I don’t want to send you running for a straightjacket.

Indeed, this is positively maddening. How can Americans believe red and vote blue?

It raises a troubling, indelicate question for both liberals and conservatives alike: Can we trust the American public to vote rationally? That may seem harsh, even condescending, but it is an inescapable consideration given the data.

The data is particularly a jolt to Reagan Republicans. Ronald Reagan frequently declared that you can always trust the American people to make the right decisions. Of course, that assumes a knowledgeable, well-informed public – educated by schools and media that are genuinely balanced in exposing a wide variety of points of view. It also assumes a citizenry that votes according to ideas or ideology.

Apparently, for many Americans, those things did not happen on November 4, 2008.

It also means that despite Obama’s sizable margin of victory, he did not get a mandate – certainly not a liberal mandate. The public, at best, gave him a mandate for some sort of “change,” but not a change to the left.

Where does this leave us this year? Good question.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Believing Red But Voting Blue”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
investing-in-gold_4548807_lrg
What Sanctions? Iran Receives 13 Tons of Gold From S. Africa
Latest Indepth Stories
The Marianne boat, carrying humanitarian aid such, as a single and useless solar panel.

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

Donald Trump

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Rather than asserting Jewish rights on Temple Mount or protecting Jewish lives Israel chooses soccer

Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas

No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.

Increasingly, Sweden is becoming a country where anti-Semitism & supporting terrorism is acceptable.

Rabbi Pfeffer points out that at his site, there are no one-line answers. “We want to show the people we’re interested in their questions,” he says.

The problem with US treatment of Israel did not start with Obama but with birth of Jewish State

The pathetic failure of the Marianne to reach Gaza is the best thing that has happened to Israel since Hamas mis-fired a rocket on its own civilians.

Wonder why Israel has the world’s most insane rules of engagement imposed on its military? Read on..

More Articles from Dr. Paul Kengor

In the 1980s, I was an unrefined adolescent from blue-collar Butler, Pennsylvania. I knew nothing and cared nothing about politics. I had no idea if I was a conservative or a liberal, Democrat or Republican, or much of anything else.

“In Bin Laden Announcement, Echoes of 2007 Obama Speech,” declared the headline in The New York Times.

It’s difficult to find a newspaper that has demonstrated a worse pro-Obama and anti-Bush bias than The New York Times, especially when dealing with the War on Terror.

Former president Jimmy Carter told NBC News last week that his work at home and abroad has been “superior” to other presidents.

“I feel that my role as a former president is probably superior to that of other presidents,” Carter assessed. “Primarily because of [my] activism and the injection of working at the Carter Center and in international affairs, and, to some degree, domestic affairs.”

The huge “9/12” protest in Washington was the latest expression of discontent over President Obama’s leftward policy thrust. The discord is evident from the Tea Party movement to the chaotic town halls on health care reform.

What if an American president, on his own initiative, under no demands from staff or from supporters or opponents, set out to spend an unprecedented amount of money on AIDS in Africa, literally billions of dollars, at a time when the nation could not afford it, citing his faith as a primary motivation and, ultimately, saved more than a million lives?

Every American, obviously, has heard of Ronald Reagan, and Reagan historians have heard of Bill Clark. Clark was Reagan’s close aide, who, more than any other, laid the foundation for Cold War victory.

What’s the state of the republic one month into the Obama presidency? It’s a state of deep confusion. Here are some polls to ponder. Brace yourself.

Five years ago, George W. Bush finished the last good year of his presidency.

Things were looking up. The Democratic front-runners seeking their party’s presidential nomination lauded the historic accomplishments in Iraq, particularly Saddam Hussein’s capture.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/believing-red-but-voting-blue/2009/02/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: