Cyberhippie, on Mar 19 2004, 01:36 PM, said:
Why is Kerry left? what definition of democrat is 'left'?
i've never understood why a certain political leaning is left or right
I've never understood the left/right thing either. Right is supposed to be conservative (for limiting change), left is liberal (presumably for change) from a social point of view. Fiscally, conservative (right) is supposed to be for limited spending, and the liberal (left) view likes to spend lot's of money.
Fiscally, the liberal part (democrats) comes from the absorbtion of socialists who believe it's the government's job to take care of everybody and redistribute the wealth.
Socially, the conservative part (republicans) comes from the Christian Coalition types taking over the Republican party in the early 90s and trying to limit social reforms, which is ironic considering it's the party of Lincoln.
Political realities change on a decade by decade basis.
These days, democrat politicians are assumed to be left, republican right. Doesn't track in reality and that's a problem both parties have. The majority of people in both parties are in the middle and reality is more of a matter of degree than some of the characatures we see in political races.
Nothing about Kerry is really left, especially since all his positions have a duality to them. But the assumptions is he's left because he's a democrat and all the baggage that comes with that. I'd be happier if he was 'left' because then I'd at least have a clue about what he's actually going to do.
EDITED TO ADD:
My opinion is most Americans are actually fiscally conservative and socially liberal, of course that depends on region and individual. But very few are truely and unequivocally aligned with what either party is trying to do. And of course both go to extremes to get attention and 'diferentiate' themselves, thus turning off the majority.
Edited by StarDust, 19 March 2004 - 02:05 PM.