Politics Magazine

Democrats Favor Moderation While GOP Wants Extremism

Posted on the 27 February 2019 by Jobsanger
Democrats Favor Moderation While GOP Wants Extremism
Democrats Favor Moderation While GOP Wants Extremism
The charts above are from a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. It was done between January 9th and 14th of 1,505 adults. The sample included 736 Democrats and 657 Republicans. The margin of error was 4.3 points for Democrats and 4.5 points for Republicans.
It shows that, by a gap of 13 points, a majority of Democrats want their party to be more moderate. The opposite is true of Republicans. While they are already on the extreme right, by a 20 point margin, a majority of Republicans want their party to move even further to the right.
While I am a progressive (liberal), I like the results of this survey. That's because I am also a pragmatist. I want to win in 2020, and neither party will do that by being viewed as an extremist party. While both parties would like to believe that they have enough members to win an election, it is just not true. The election will be decided by who the Independents support, and most of them are moderates.
This does not mean Democrats must give up hope of passing a progressive agenda. I think those moderates would support a lot of progressive ideas. They just don't want "radical change". That idea scares them.
Most of the Democrats running for president would happily support and sign laws that would raise the minimum wage, fix our healthcare system, help students afford college (or trade schools), strengthen labor unions, protect Social Security and Medicare (and fix their future funding problem), fight global climate change and protect the environment, and increase taxes on the rich and corporations.
And the public would also support them, as long as the ideas are explained to them as helping ordinary Americans. Preaching radical change would be a mistake. We do need a lot of changes, but we can only get them by winning the next election -- and we do that by convincing the moderates that we are not the party of extremism. The Republicans are the extremists. Democrats are just the party with rational solutions to the country's problems.
Moderation is not a dirty word. In the United States, it's the path to success.

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