Democratic operative Steve Rosenthal argues that America is becoming more liberal. Do you think he is right?
He cites the opinion shifts on “marriage equality,” immigration reform, the legalization of marijuana, and distrust of big business. I would say that such issues may suggest that America is becoming more libertarian. But that’s hardly the same as old-school liberalism, much less being authentically “left wing.”
New Deal Democrats, labor unions, and socialists didn’t have much to say about these social issues. They did distrust big business, but so do a lot of conservatives these days. And libertarians–always opposed by the hard left for its individualism and its opposition to collectivist solutions–hang out today with the conservatives. Gay marriage, marijuana legalization, and other causes are arguably only successful today because so many conservatives, for better or worse, have joined the liberals in supporting them.
I don’t see much revolutionary populism, distrust of capitalism, or calls for state ownership among the masses today.
The left is excited about the prospects for “income inequality” as a political issue, but I predict that cause goes nowhere.
But maybe I’m wrong. Let’s see.