Thread: The political Spectrum
09-16-2004, 07:20 PM #1
The political Spectrum
According to Mike Rosen 850 KOA Denver: good stuff
The political center is valuable turf. Americans are leery of extremists. That's why politicians, interest groups and media types are so fond of mushy terms like ``moderate.'' When we talk about liberal bias in the media, we're talking about a crowd that clusters around the left center of the political spectrum. When media liberals protest that there are others further to their left, they're correct, of course, but so what. Yes, the late Gus Hall, perennial head of the Communist Party USA, was to the left of The New York Times editorial board, but that doesn't make the Times middle-of-the-road, much less conservative. Colorado is south of Wyoming but it's still considerably north of the equator.
Discerning consumers of news, opinion and political rhetoric filter what they read, see and hear. They're sensitive to the source. It's important to know where someone sits before he tells you where he stands. So here's a little drill, the point of which is to show gradations in ideological positioning along a continuum from left to right, with 1.0 being far left, 9.0 far right, and 5.0 smack in the center. I was assisted by my radio listeners in the relative placement of a sampling of people, publications and groups. Any such exercise is subjective, of course, and complicated when you lump together a hodgepodge of economic, defense, foreign policy, domestic and social issues to come up with a single, numerical rating that reflects an average score. Consider this a starting point for discussion:
1.0 - Communist Party USA, Socialist Workers Party, Cord from Boulder.
1.5 - Mother Jones, Maxine Waters, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Earth First!
2.0 - Democratic Socialists of America, The Nation, The Progressive, Molly Ivins, Michael Moore, Bernie Sanders, Ralph Nader, PETA.
2.5 - Los Angeles Times, James Carville, Elinor Clift, National Education Association, Children's Defense Fund, People for the American Way, Environmental Defense Fund, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Alan Colmes, Diana DeGette, Ellen Goodman, Dianne Carmen, Mike Littwin.
3.0 - NPR, E.J. Dione, Maureen Dowd, Bill Moyers, Sierra Club, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Dick Gephardt, Tom Daschle, Wellington Webb.
3.5 - PBS, The Denver Post (editorials), Brookings Institution, Time, Newsweek, Mark Udall, Dick Lamm (old), Bill Clinton*.
4.0 - The Denver Post (news pages), CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, George Stephanopolous, Bill Clinton*.
4.5 - Rocky Mountain News (news pages), U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Wall Street Journal (news pages), Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, Bill Clinton*.
5.0 - Brian Lamb, Jeff Greenfield, John McCain, John Breaux, William Cohen, Olympia Snowe, Elizabeth Dole, Jesse Ventura, Chuck Green, Dick Lamm (new), Bill Clinton*.
5.5 - Ben Wattenberg, Zell Miller, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Bill O'Reilly, Rudy Giuliani, Bill Clinton*.
6.0 - George W. Bush, Brit Hume, Fox News Channel, Scott McInnis, Jack Kemp, George Will.
6.25 - Mike Rosen.
6.5 - Ronald Reagan, Wall Street Journal (editorials), Weekly Standard, Peggy Noonan, Rocky Mountain News (editorials), Vincent Carroll, Bill Owens, Wayne Allard.
7.0 - William F. Buckley Jr., National Review, Heritage Foundation, Rush Limbuagh, Sean Hannity, Mona Charen, Linda Chavez.
7.5 - Joel Hefley, Tom Tancredo, Bob Schaffer, National Rifle Association.
8.0 - Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, John Birch Society.
8.5 - David Duke, Michigan Militia.
9.0 - KKK, Aryan Nation, Timothy McVeigh.
* Bill Clinton's position subject to change based on daily polling data.
I'd place the ever-shifting American mainstream, now, slightly right of center, somewhere between 5.0 and 5.5, with the Left Coast and the Northeast at about 4.0, and most of those counties colored in red that George W. Bush carried in 2000 at about 6.0. But then again, a liberal once told me that labels don't mean anything anymore. The only people who still use them, he said with a straight face, are those ultraconservative right-wingers.
09-16-2004, 07:43 PM #2
Wow, O'Reilly and Clinton are both a 5.5
09-16-2004, 07:47 PM #3
I think thats a pretty good representation of where all those people stand. How about the other 40-50 people and things he talks about. Bill Clinton is listed from 3.5- 5.5 BTW. On some issues he is rather conservative... (Nafta)
09-18-2004, 04:52 PM #4Associate Member
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- Aug 2004
I agree this was pretty good, though I would have put Noam Chomsky as a 1.0, maybe Maxine Waters as well and I don't understand why only lunatics and racists groups are 8.0 and above. I guess it's the co-opting of the label "conservative" by extreme groups and people. In reality a conservative is more closely aligned with Liberatarians than christian-fundamentalists and the KKK.
A conservative believes:
- Government control of the economy should be minimal. Equal opportunity and legal business practice should be guaranteed though.
- Strict criminal law and sentencing are necessary.* Freedom and rights cannot be compromised. A strong emphasis is placed on the individual
A Libertarian believes:
- Government control of the economy should be minimal.
- As long as actions do not harm others, they should be legal. Freedom and rights cannot be compromised.
I don't see how any of the groups or people listed 8.0 and above actually fit into any of the beliefs of groups to the Right.
Also, to show the spectrum from Left to Right as I believe it to be:
Still, very interesting to think of in this fashion.
Last edited by chances; 09-18-2004 at 04:54 PM.
09-18-2004, 05:36 PM #5
They put left stuff much further to the left than they are, and they put the right stuff much more moderate than it is.
09-18-2004, 05:45 PM #6Associate Member
Originally Posted by saboudian
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- Aug 2004
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