The Results Are In: Americans Are Now More Closely Aligned With Progressive Ideas Than at Any Time in Memory

This in from the No Shit Department, via AlterNet:

This week, a new report released by the Campaign for America's Future and the media watchdog group MediaMatters attempts to finally bury the idea that the U.S. leans rightward. It takes a comprehensive look at the political landscape in which we live and a look forward at America's shifting demographic profile -- all of which reveal a citizenry that is anything but center-right and will only continue to trend in a more progressive direction, leaving modern conservatism increasingly isolated in its ideas.

The study gathered public-opinion data from a number of respected, nonpartisan polling outfits, findings from the (huge) National Election Study series and official statistics on ethnicity and gender to make the case. Among the findings:

  • On what may be the key difference between liberals and conservatives today -- the role of government -- more than twice as many people agree with the statement, "there are more things government should be doing" than believe the Reaganite adage, "the less government, the better."
  • In 1994, more than half of Americans said, "government regulation of business usually does more harm than good" and fewer than 4 out of 10 thought "government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest." That's been flipped on its head during the 15 years since -- today, fewer than 4 in 10 believe regulation causes more harm than good.
  • A majority (55-70 percent, depending on how the question is worded) believes it's the government's responsibility to provide health care to all Americans; fewer than a third of those responding to a CBS/New York Times poll thought health insurance should be "left only to private enterprise."
  • Almost 2 out of 3 Americans believe the taxes they pay are fair, and that the very wealthy pay too little in taxes; almost 7 in 10 believe corporations don't pay their fair share of taxes.
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