Conventional wisdom says that the American public is fundamentally conservative – hostile to government, in favor of unregulated markets, at peace with inequality, wanting a foreign policy based on the projection of military power, and traditional in its social values.
But as this report demonstrates, that picture is fundamentally false. Media perceptions and past Republican electoral successes notwithstanding, Americans are progressive across a wide range of controversial issues, and they’re growing more progressive all the time.
This report gathers together years of public opinion data from unimpeachably nonpartisan sources to show that on issue after issue, the majority of Americans hold progressive positions. And this is true not only of specific policy proposals, but of the fundamental perspectives and approaches that Americans bring to bear on issues.
Nor is the progressive majority merely a product of the current political moment. On a broad array of issues, particularly social issues, American opinion has grown more and more progressive over the past few decades. In contrast, it is difficult to find an issue on which the public has grown steadily more conservative over the last 10, 20, or 30 years.
That’s why the Republicans have to fight so damn dirty to stay in office. It’s an uphill battle; they’re desperately holding a progressive electorate at bay.
So why don’t we have Democratic majorities all over the place? Well, largely because the Democrats are also funded by rich corporate elites, just like the Republicans… So they can’t take advantage of popular support without losing their own funding, and thereby (through the magic of a media concentrated in the hands of a few huge corporations) losing any ability to capitalize on the support of the progressive majority.
If you start actually talking like a progressive, mainstream American, big media will make sure your voice is effectively silenced. Ask Kucinich.
Will the internet change this? Remains to be seen.