Lauren Windsor: Why is it that conservatives, who tout their morality and fiscal responsibility, are so liberal with the stewardship of our planet’s resources; so liberal with their interpretation of empirical evidence; so liberal with scientific facts?
Survey Saturday: With upwards of ten thousand Occupy protesters flooding through downtown Oakland yesterday to close shipping facilities there and organizers here in Los Angeles planning a full teach-in weekend with the likes of Robert Reich and Robert Scheer, the Occupy Movement has the world’s attention.
Bernard A. Weisberger: The current situation is evidence of the crashing failure of liberal America to stand up for its forgotten principles of some sixty years ago, and its decision to chain itself to a Democratic Party now under the leadership of “centrists” or “moderates” who in fact occupy the terrain once held by the vanished race of liberal Republicans.
John Blue: Chattel slavery may be gone for good, but today’s economic slavery may be little better; with the too-high unemployment and foreclosure rates and union membership ever declining, a lot of people “owe their soul to the Company store” and who among them is so bold to challenge their bondage?
John Peeler: “Winner-Take-All Politics” provides a well-documented analysis of how the United States government, since the 1970s, has systematically enriched the top one percent of the country at the expense of everyone else. Written by distinguished political scientists, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, the book shows how big business interests ratcheted up their national organizations to defend their interests in national policy debates. In addition to employing far stronger lobbying, these interests created think-tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, designed to challenge the liberal conventional wisdom of the New Deal and Great Society and replace it with an explicitly conservative, free-market-oriented way of thinking.
John Peeler: I suggest that as bad as things are, economically, politically, socially, they are not bad enough to permanently shift the way we think, to force changes in what we consider to be common sense. Such a fundamental reshaping of the political landscape has occurred only a few times in our history.
Berry Craig: The poll numbers hint at the biggest GOP edge: the U.S. is the most conservative country in the Western democratic world. “Liberal” — which means centrist or center-left in other industrial democracies — is as far left as mainstream American politics flows. The U.S. is the only industrial democracy that doesn’t have a significant democratic socialist or social democratic party.