The Autumn of the Left

According to Battleground Poll results over the last ten years, conservatives are about sixty percent of the population, liberals are roughly thirty-five percent, and all the others -- moderate, don't know, and refused to answer -- are consistently about five percent. 

Not all polls show the same results as the Battleground Poll. Many polls, which reveal only a slight amount of information on their internals or which switch the questions that the polling organization asks to fit the current needs of the left, show smaller percentages of Americans as conservative (but also smaller groups of Americans as liberals).  Gallup, one of the oldest polling organizations, has shown the same ratio of conservatives to liberals (roughly two to one favoring conservatives) and that this ratio has stayed the since at least 1992.

Gallup has just updated a poll which I wrote about last August: the ideological breakdown of each of the fifty states. The August 2009 Gallup Poll showing the state-by-state breakdown had the hyper-bland title "Conservatives Label Prevails in South." Gee...who would have thought that? The real story came from looking deeper at the data, which Gallup made available, and the real title of the poll results should have been truly dramatic: "Conservatives Outnumber Liberals in Every State of the Union."  

One year later, in August 2010, Gallup has published a new poll which should have been entitled "Conservatives Outnumber Liberals in 49 of the 50 States" -- only in Rhode Island, where 32% of Rhode Islanders call themselves liberals and 29% call themselves conservatives -- do conservatives not outnumber liberals. (The poll was entitled "Wyoming, Mississippi, Utah Rank as Most Conservative States," which I am sure shocked many political pundits.)

Every poll shows more or less the same ratio of conservatives to liberals in America (about two to one favoring conservatives). No one, however, seems to feel that this means much of anything. Some conservatives even question the validity of these numbers by saying, "The people who call themselves conservatives really do not know what the term means." I think differently.

The institutional stranglehold that the left has on American society is almost Orwellian in its breadth and intensity. Why would anyone in America willingly call himself a "conservative" when the left has so insidiously smeared conservatives with the failed leftist malignancies of National Socialism and Fascism? Conservatives, to the omnipresent organs of leftism, are like Dalits in India: untouchables, loathsome and despised. So the upper-caste leftists think nothing of privately joking about Rush Limbaugh in agony or gratuitously smearing Fred Barnes or Karl Rove as racists. Leftists are simply terrorists. Many closet conservatives, I suggest, are too frightened to be open and honest about what they believe.

What would that mean, if it is true? It would mean that the number of Americans who embrace the stupendous folly, the conspicuous malice, the selfish childishness, the sneering mendacity which struts around us wearing the label of "liberal" or "progressive" is even smaller than we have suspected. Maybe no one, anymore, is fooled by its bogus promises. Maybe the left in America today is like the Communist Party in the last decades of the Soviet Union. We know from many books and interviews that no one in the Soviet Union, except very young children or certifiable lunatics, believed in Marxism at all. They professed the soulless dogma of Marxism out of fear, out of lust for power, and out of habit.

Maybe the left in America today is no more truly serious today than the Communist Party members of the Soviet Union were thirty years ago. If that is so -- and I think, in part, it is -- then these poll results are truly powerful. It means that all the firebrands, the scourges, the torments which the left uses to keep us in chains and in fear are losing their sting. The Tea Party members simply accept, as a matter of course, that they will all be called fascists, racists, and morons -- and no one cares anymore. 

If that is true, then although we seem to be in the middle of hot battle, we are really near the ridge of great victory. The left in America, like the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, seemed immortal. Then it was all blown away, collapsing before little more than a soft autumn wind. Gallup, no haven for conservatives, tells us that conservatives outnumber liberals in every state but Rhode Island. Battleground, whose polling is conducted by a bipartisan team, tells us that sixty percent of Americans, year in and year out, call ourselves "conservative." Smile: We are winning.

Bruce Walker is the author of a new book:  Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life.
According to Battleground Poll results over the last ten years, conservatives are about sixty percent of the population, liberals are roughly thirty-five percent, and all the others -- moderate, don't know, and refused to answer -- are consistently about five percent. 

Not all polls show the same results as the Battleground Poll. Many polls, which reveal only a slight amount of information on their internals or which switch the questions that the polling organization asks to fit the current needs of the left, show smaller percentages of Americans as conservative (but also smaller groups of Americans as liberals).  Gallup, one of the oldest polling organizations, has shown the same ratio of conservatives to liberals (roughly two to one favoring conservatives) and that this ratio has stayed the since at least 1992.

Gallup has just updated a poll which I wrote about last August: the ideological breakdown of each of the fifty states. The August 2009 Gallup Poll showing the state-by-state breakdown had the hyper-bland title "Conservatives Label Prevails in South." Gee...who would have thought that? The real story came from looking deeper at the data, which Gallup made available, and the real title of the poll results should have been truly dramatic: "Conservatives Outnumber Liberals in Every State of the Union."  

One year later, in August 2010, Gallup has published a new poll which should have been entitled "Conservatives Outnumber Liberals in 49 of the 50 States" -- only in Rhode Island, where 32% of Rhode Islanders call themselves liberals and 29% call themselves conservatives -- do conservatives not outnumber liberals. (The poll was entitled "Wyoming, Mississippi, Utah Rank as Most Conservative States," which I am sure shocked many political pundits.)

Every poll shows more or less the same ratio of conservatives to liberals in America (about two to one favoring conservatives). No one, however, seems to feel that this means much of anything. Some conservatives even question the validity of these numbers by saying, "The people who call themselves conservatives really do not know what the term means." I think differently.

The institutional stranglehold that the left has on American society is almost Orwellian in its breadth and intensity. Why would anyone in America willingly call himself a "conservative" when the left has so insidiously smeared conservatives with the failed leftist malignancies of National Socialism and Fascism? Conservatives, to the omnipresent organs of leftism, are like Dalits in India: untouchables, loathsome and despised. So the upper-caste leftists think nothing of privately joking about Rush Limbaugh in agony or gratuitously smearing Fred Barnes or Karl Rove as racists. Leftists are simply terrorists. Many closet conservatives, I suggest, are too frightened to be open and honest about what they believe.

What would that mean, if it is true? It would mean that the number of Americans who embrace the stupendous folly, the conspicuous malice, the selfish childishness, the sneering mendacity which struts around us wearing the label of "liberal" or "progressive" is even smaller than we have suspected. Maybe no one, anymore, is fooled by its bogus promises. Maybe the left in America today is like the Communist Party in the last decades of the Soviet Union. We know from many books and interviews that no one in the Soviet Union, except very young children or certifiable lunatics, believed in Marxism at all. They professed the soulless dogma of Marxism out of fear, out of lust for power, and out of habit.

Maybe the left in America today is no more truly serious today than the Communist Party members of the Soviet Union were thirty years ago. If that is so -- and I think, in part, it is -- then these poll results are truly powerful. It means that all the firebrands, the scourges, the torments which the left uses to keep us in chains and in fear are losing their sting. The Tea Party members simply accept, as a matter of course, that they will all be called fascists, racists, and morons -- and no one cares anymore. 

If that is true, then although we seem to be in the middle of hot battle, we are really near the ridge of great victory. The left in America, like the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, seemed immortal. Then it was all blown away, collapsing before little more than a soft autumn wind. Gallup, no haven for conservatives, tells us that conservatives outnumber liberals in every state but Rhode Island. Battleground, whose polling is conducted by a bipartisan team, tells us that sixty percent of Americans, year in and year out, call ourselves "conservative." Smile: We are winning.

Bruce Walker is the author of a new book:  Poor Lenin's Almanac: Perverse Leftists Proverbs for Modern Life.