This was the worst post you’ve ever made. You relied on the authoritarian/libertarian crap axis to define the political spectrum (which doesn’t exist!) instead of using the eight-orientation system used by Brian Patrick Mitchell. No wonder you got it dead wrong.
Let me lay it out for you: only half of each party is hard left or hard right. The other half is somewhat in the middle, Rockefeller Republican or New Democrat. This is why you had so many Dems voting for the Iraq war. Now these centrist portions are both split into another two portions which skew along lines of tradition vs reform. This gives you culturally conservative Democrats and culturally liberal Democrats, in addition to the social radicals (liberty focused people) and social progressives (hard-core environmentalists, socialists) which are together frequently figured as social liberals. On the Republican side, you get both cultural conservatives and cultural liberals, but with a leaning towards social conservatism (made up of theists and neocons). While the social conservatives and social liberals dominate politics, the culturalists dominate the business world. It’s just the way American democracy works, and has been since the Reagan Revolution (and abortion) brought the theists into the political spectrum.
When two non-charismatic people (like Bush and Gore) vie for the presidency, the electorate schizms 50/50, as is shown in polls. The deciding factors are, regrettably, outliers of questionable sanity. These hardliners are the people who have given you the mistaken impression of there being dozens, even hundreds of different political perspectives, when in reality there are only a handful of “balanced” perspectives as such. You can always tell these people for their conflation of one of the cultural poles and one of the social poles into a single dominant ideology with its own distinct utopian vision. In market economies like America, hardliners have great power because they can make people react, and this same talent enables them to get attention in the press. They are very fearful and afraid, and as such are willing to work harder and, sometimes, to go farther to gain power.
The cultural conservatives and the cultural liberals differ on how they deal with their left/right splits. Left-wing culturalists in general pay more attention to problems and technological development, while right-wing culturalists focus more on protecting themselves. (Google vs Microsoft evidences the split) However the left-wingers also tend to defer to the right-wingers in a distinctly aristocratic fashion — indeed, this deference was probably the origin, at a mental level, of aristocracy. It remains today in the Blue Dog Dem movement, where you have culturally conservative Democrats who basically obey their right wing counterparts on many issues. Cultural conservative hardliners, like Bart Stupak, are hard-core collectivists who insist on promoting that spirit of deference. (It’s worth noting that Stupak has everything to gain from Dem losses — an exit by social liberals from the congress would remove the barrier to the “old boys club” of backdoor deals, some of which, we indeed saw in the Senate bill before that clause was repealed).
I’m actually quite proud of this congress… the Democratic party at this point is the least corrupt it’s ever been… but we’re seeing how these insane hardliner madmen (and women) are controlling our collective reactions. I swear the hardliners on both sides are all over the media today… you can’t get away from them because the demand for their exposure is too great, and it’s killing the civil discourse. Palin is proving particularly disastrous — not a day goes by that she’s not square on the front page despite not holding any elected office (at present) and that’s something of a disaster because her inability to perceive a difference between culturally conservative back scratching and socialism (or else she’s masking a psychotic obsession with ending all hope). I think America is kinda in danger today, because Sarah Palin is just the kind of person who could succeed in poisoning a country to the point that it devolves into incivility (as is already happening). In the aftermath of the Abramoff debacle millions of voters left the GOP, but these people recollected themselves as Tea Partiers in a spirit of anger over the deficit and the bank bailouts. Now they are going right back to the same corrupt people they threw out in 2006. Worse, the tea parties have a decidedly sociopathic and anti-altruistic character, as evidenced by their opposition to health care reform. This wouldn’t be the first time conservatives made good from opposition to altruistic endeavors — it’s already happened twice in the past. But the real threat to the Dems is not the Tea Parties — it’s Dem hardliners, like Michael Moore, who are determined to punish the Democrats, and take the party back to the radical fringe. (which will ensure that the Republicans remain in power for a long time). Because they won’t be voting, these Dems won’t be canceling out the approximately proportionate right wing hardliner vote, making for a likely defeat come November. But if they do abandon us, then I think we really ought to think about what qualifies a person to vote, because the concept of democracy rests on the firm notion that individuals can exercise proper judgment in the exercise of their rights. A vote isn’t meant to be statement of opinion, but a well reasoned judgment — or at least, that’s what the founders believed. Might be best to, over the long term, kick all the fringe voters on both sides square to the curb. We don’t let crazies inside the asylum vote, nor even prisoners, so why should we let mad people exercise more power than prisoners? Something about that doesn’t make sense.
And we shouldn’t expect the Obama swing-voters to jump over — they are by now subsumed into the fear and furor of the Tea Party leaders, and probably won’t have their heads about them again until the economy is recovered. All in all, it’s a really pitiful state of affairs because it’s an example of Democracy in dysfunction.
Anyway, I think Michael Moore really should reconsider his push to hurt the party, or he might find himself something of a pariah even among his own people come November.
Oh, and the age thing only applies to conservative-leaning cultural liberals. Most of the others have a sense of persistent political identity, but the conservative-leaning cultural liberals (particularly the individualists) are oriented towards one thing and that’s improving their individual lots. They want government to work FOR THEM, NOBODY ELSE. They have a Freudian sense of self, created by countless succeeding traumas and moments of self-realization. It’s pretty easy to figure that a young person feeling they must be completely self-reliant will want more help from, and be more willing to tolerate the existence of, socialist programs. It’s equally easy to observe that the same person would seek to “defend their paycheck” by opposing these programs after they have established themselves. Finally, you could expect that as seniors they would have a somewhat paranoid interest in defending the social security trust fund, especially with all this scary (and ridiculous) talk of social security “running out” by such and such date. But these are hardly universal sentiments, applying only to these particular folk who, despite having an acute sense of where they have been, are sorely lacking a sense of their own natures and as such, lack for any sense of constant self-volition. Still, in a sense you are correct in that this small minority forms the “swing voter” group which decides elections. (the same being the motivation for politicians to promise freebies whenever election time comes up, in an attempt to offer the sweetest deal to the younger members of this group).