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Forum Post: Political ideologies in the United States

Posted 9 years ago on Sept. 29, 2012, 10:11 p.m. EST by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

This Wikipedia article was an eye-opener. Personally, I had mistakenly thought that Libs and Cons were more or less evenly divided in the USA. Not so. Conservatives make up the largest percentage at about 42% (in 2010), moderates at 35%, and liberals only comprising about 20% of the general population. In general, the article indicates that the (R)s are primarily composed of Conservatives (surprise), and (D)s composed of Liberals and some Moderates (there are also some Moderates in the R party as well as they tend to be Independents and will vote either way).

This presents some challenges for OWS. Since the majority of Conservatives are lovers of the status quo and will resist most of what Occupy stands for and is trying to accomplish, the target focus for increased OWS participation should be a concerted effort on the Moderate Independent demographic.

The large Conservative demographic is also cause for concern in that no one should write Romney off as "done for" by a long shot, despite whatever the MSM may be indicating from a polling standpoint. I know it looks like Obama has a lock on it as of this point in time, but a strong performance by Romney in the debates could influence enough Moderate Independents to bring the race to a very close finish (and the R voter suppression effort certainly won't help).

What I'm saying here is that I'm quite fearful that there are "quiet Conservatives" that will vote Romney in November and blow all of the current polling out of the water. Given the demographics, I now consider that a real and present danger, especially if Willard does get his act together the last few weeks before election day (and, of course, there will be a ton of PAC-backed Ads run in the swing states the closer the election day comes, and we all know the sheeple are highly influenced by these ads).

This is no time for liberals to rest on their laurels and declare Obama a certainty for re-election. I strongly urge every Occupy forum contributor to study the link I provided and become familiar with the demographics. We need to know what we are up against, and it isn't pretty.



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[-] 3 points by MaryS (529) 9 years ago

You might like this site: http://www.independentvoting.org/. According to this 40% of voters now consider themselves independent.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago


[-] 2 points by Shayneh (-482) 9 years ago

Wait until you see the Biden/Ryan debate - that's really going to change things - you can be sure of that.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

I assume you think Ryan will bury Joe. Even if that is true, the undecided Independents will be primarily focusing on Obama/Romney, and not the VP candidates. I can't see how a VP debate would have that much impact on the general election (but that's just my personal opinion).

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

You are in an idiotic gaze......................Obama 2012....Get over it.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

There is nothing for me to "get over" as I support Obama. But I do have concerns given the demographics, and polls have been known to be misleading, and elections have turned around before unexpectedly.

[-] 2 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 9 years ago

I can't see how anyone's conscience could have them voting for Obama, or Romney.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 9 years ago

bad boy !
you are not allowed to say the here !


[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Yeah I saw that vid before. Got more than a chuckle out of me when I first saw it.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 9 years ago

If you truly believe that electing Democrats is important, I would be much more worried about the House and Senate elections. Obama will easily win. If the Republicans have the House and are just a few shy of having the Senate too, it will be tough for very tough for Obama to get anything done. Then again, not letting one of these 2 parties have complete control of the Fed Gov may not be the worst thing in the world.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 9 years ago

Right. Obama would have to have a meltdown at the debate to lose at this point. He comes across as an ass when challenged so it isn't impossible, just highly unlikely he can lose it at this point.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 9 years ago

I saw ( about a year ago ) Obama had what was for all intents and purposes - a "news concerence" with ONLY R senators & house leaders in the "audience" asking him questions on whatever THEIR special area was.
I believe it was around 20 Rs beligerantly quizzing him


[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Yes, agreed that the Congressional races are just as important (if not more so). Didn't mean to imply that they weren't, although I can see that I did seem to focus on the Presidential race. Thanks for pointing that out.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

You are a sheep. The bombs are still killing, the banks are still robbing, no need to replace.....

You are a useful idiot.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Yes the two-party system sucks. But we are not at utopia yet. Until then...

[-] 6 points by Gillian (1842) 9 years ago

It won't change unless you and I and everyone else vote with complete confidence in this coming election. Voting for one party or the other simply because it prevents the other candidate/party from winning is handing a mandate to the current leadership to keep doing what they are doing. I have made my decision to vote for a third party- specifically, Jill Stein. I will not cast a vote for Wall Street or any other corporate owned party.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

Consider : "President Jill Stein ?", by Carl Gibson :

"It's estimated that both President Obama and Mitt Romney will draw out anywhere between 45 and 60 million apiece in November, according to 2008 turnout numbers. But according to one USA Today poll, an estimated 90 million people who could vote this year probably won't, as they're disappointed in both candidates and major political parties. What if just two-thirds of those 90 million people turned out for a candidate with a truly bold vision, who isn't beholden to corporate donors or bought party elites ? It would be a colossal upset for the establishment, and a big win for citizens."

Also please see : http://occupywallst.org/forum/us-policy-to-israel-palestine-must-change-by-by-ji/ &

dum spiro, spero ...

[-] 3 points by Gillian (1842) 9 years ago

Thanks for the links.
I've met too many people this year that are refusing to vote. I don't think that is wise but I can certainly understand their frustration. The problem is that our candidates fully expect that to happen without a care in the world and therefore, by not voting, they send absolutely no message at all. Many will say that voting third party sends no message but I don't believe that. Even if Stein were to lose, at least the winning candidate will know where Americans stand and what they expect and perhaps work toward pleasing this group of voters if only to win their vote in the following election.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

You're welcome & re. 'voting' - I get what you are saying. As a real thought exercise, how about a 'Huge Voter Turnout' and agitating for mass 'write-ins' for Stein, Sanders, Nader, McKinney, Kucinich, Johnson etc ?! People need to think 'out of the box' of 'The DemoCrap / RepubliCon Faux-Binary Construct'.

The Entire voting system has been co-opted and The 99% must reclaim it - with 'Manually Counted Paper Ballots' being the bare minimum safeguard against demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy in "The United States of Amnesia" (Gore Vidal, RIP) ! Duopolistic 'Electoralism' (you won't find that in a dictionary but you get what I mean) is broken & voting is only one avenue of change as it as only one aspect or tactic.

The real goal is NOT merely just to change the structure of government -- it is to fundamentally reclaim "The Lincolnian Definition' of "Government OF The People ; FOR the People ; BY The People" and to restore the demoCRAZY deMOCKERYcy that The U$A has become. The US 99% deserve no less. The US 99% struggle really starts properly after this coming November's POTUS (S)Election. 2016 is the real target for The 99% Mass Movement..

dum spiro, spero ...

[-] 3 points by Gillian (1842) 9 years ago

Agreed. I had already decided that I would ' write in " my candidate on the ballot if she wasn't on there. I'm trying to encourage people to do just that but I doubt most will even have the courage. Our leadership isn't the only party guilty of making a mockery of our voting system and our country. The American people who go to the poles for the most superficial, uneducated reasons have perpetuated this. I read a comment the other day about an iphone cover and the woman said, ' I love this cover, it makes me feel so much more sophisticated while I'm checking Facebook". She probably buys a new outfit to wear for the polls too and gets a new election hair color that matches her fashionable bumper stickers and those things give her substance, grit, character and meaning!
There are more of us than there are of the leadership, there are more of us than there are of the one percent. Why are we so ineffective? I'm wearing down and tired of all this nonsense. I'm really really trying to get out of here ( the USA) because I feel like I'm on a sinking ship.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

I read your heartfelt comment & realise that the truth you speak is actually very deeply understood and realised by millions but also unrealised by so many more millions. What we & OWS need to achieve is 'Critical Mass', like a snowball rolling down a slope and we will and can only, achieve this outside the reach of the ambit of The Propagandist Corporate Controlled BS-MSM (ABCNNBCBS-{lame} FUX SNEWzzz et al). We must agitate ; educate & organise ... or vanish and perish as 'free people'.

The first link is for a recent wide ranging interview with Noam Chomsky and the second an interesting article and a thread referencing the 'strategic vote' issue. Take heart 'G' - you are not alone or 'a loan'.

illegitimi non carborundum ...

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 9 years ago

Vote resisters can be utilized as well as all third party voters. FreeDA http://occupywallst.org/forum/free-democracy-amendment/ cuts across all party lines to ensure important demands regardless of who's elected. People who don't vote can still choose not to vote for lack of an acceptable candidate who signs FreeDA. The importance is that all eligible voters, whether they choose to vote in a particular election or not, stand in solidarity in making FreeDA the condition for any candidate receiving their votes.

Exercise power and prevail or remain powerless and perish.

All the people have to do is demand the conditions for candidates to receive their votes. Without such a demand, the candidates will ever remain free to be corporate representatives.

[-] 2 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

Imagine if people could just get a small group of maybe 20 people in congress that werent there for the D/R party, but instead to expose corruption and call these weaklings out for the pathetic records they stand for?

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 9 years ago

That is a very pleasant thought ! Stein, Sanders, Paul, McKinney, Nader, Kucinich, Johnson and others, actually working for the interests of The US 99% !! However, this can 0nly happen with The Mass 99% Movement pressing from the ^bottom up^, imo. As John Adams (2nd US President - 1797-1801) said :

  • "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people" & ...

Please also consider : http://ni4d.us/ .

per ardua ad astra ...

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 9 years ago

A thousand twinkles on your courage and wisdom to vote your own conscience instead of the corporate conscience.

Write in votes are only valid if the candidate is registered for that state. For example, Rocky Anderson isn't registered in California, so you can't vote for him even if you want to. The vote will not be counted. Check to make sure your candidate is eligible in your state before you vote.

[-] 1 points by Gillian (1842) 9 years ago

Yes, you are correct and thanks for clarifying. There are states that will alllow you to write in though even if the candidate is not on the ballot. Stein for example is a ' write-in' in 4 or 5 states. You can check the map here: http://www.jillstein.org/ballot Stein is on mine- hard to believe but true. I was elated!

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

Until then play the game and be a pawn....

Raise hell

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Staying home and pouting like a spoiled child because you don't have anarchism-DD-Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious-utopian-whatever yet isn't going to get you to the goal. Obama is political Christ compared to Romney. Mitt Rob Me would try to put America in a Plutocratic dictatorship if he could (and probably seal the fate of Occupy permanently btw). So Obama buys time for Occupy to grow and progressive policies to at least have a chance (maybe). Do you really think you would be better off with the Mitwit?

Come clean and explain yourself.

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

No I dont. I dont think anything would be different. The whole reason the R got Mittens as a person shows what a sham it is.

I wnat my thing.. You want yours.... And The sheep will follow D/R so guess what that means...more fascist nonsense...great job.

Just shows what a great bullshitter Obama is

[-] 2 points by Gillian (1842) 9 years ago

H, it's defeating to view the election as all or nothing. It's important to use your vote to send a message. There are other options for voting besides D/R. Sure, it may seem like a futile task- sort of like expecting an alcoholic to admit they have a drinking problem. However, you don't need to be an enabler of the dysfunction simply by voting. Maybe there are other candidates that have ballot access in your state that you approve of. They deserve a chance and you can give that to them with your vote. Even if they lose, you've sent a message that you're not going to play the D/R game anymore.

[-] 3 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

G, what is the best possible way for progessive policies to be implemented? Answer: all D congress and D prez. Then you might stand a chance (maybe) of getting Glass-Steagle back, reverse Citizens United, abolish the Fed, and all the rest like that. Any votes for 3rd party (4th, 5th, ?) drain votes for possible Dems/Libs and prevent them from getting into office to try to reverse the Con policies. Until the US can transition out of the two-party system into a parlimentary system where multiple parties can gain seats in the legislatures (like the rest of the free world btw...we are so antiquated it isn't funny) we need to keep as many Dem/Lib seats as possible and pray/demand that they impliment policies/laws that will work toward the greatest good for the greatest number of people (my mantra) rather than the greatest good for the smallest number of people (today's reality).

[-] 2 points by Gillian (1842) 9 years ago

This is a tough call depending on how you look at it. If we vote Dem, all we've done is given permission to both parties to continue behaving the same way and of course they will. They aren't going to change and why should they? The system works well for them. A therapist told me once in re: to my husband, ' Why should he change when you give him everything he needs and wants. His life works well for him, he's happy. He's not the one with the problem, you are because you keep doing the same thing and expecting him to behave differently". All that the candidates want or need are our votes so that they can get their 'promotion' and after that, they don't give a hoot what happens to us until the next election when they patronize us with another round of meaningless bumper sticker rhetoric and half-ass legislation. Obama is a good man but he's no Moses. He's been in office too long to do anything radical and even if he tried, he would end up kowtowing to the R's and wall street. As much as I like Obama, he is truly ineffective against the R bullies. He got my vote the first time around because I believed he really would end the corporate money in politics and I believed him when he pointed out how bad NAFTA was for our country. But, now he's neotiating NAFTA in the Pacific? Let's just give away more jobs and destroy even more American businesses. I don't know what he's thinking Undie. I think he's so trapped in this current dysfunction that he's just trying to survive and score points while doing it like the rest of us without stirring the pot even more. He's still trying to solve the same issues that he inherited 4 years ago and he's still the same man with the same mindset. He's going to bankrupt me and many other small businesses with his forced health insurance that no one still has any idea how much they will be paying. This is also going to result in an expanded IRS to enforce, regulate, and impose penalties and interest on non-payers. What in the hell was he thinking? He just handed Big Med, Big Pharma and Big Insurance a HUGE subsidy while also requiring Americans to pay for the same poor quality medicine. All this half-ass everything is simply not good enough and we deserve better.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Yes, Obama has not performed as well as I would have liked either. Maybe I'm dense, but I still fail to understand how voting for someone in Green party, Lib party, or any other minor party is going to help. Those parties don't stand a snowball's chance in hell of having any kind of impact. So isn't that just throwing a valuable vote away just to satisfy your moral code? There is a practical nature to politics that trumps idealism.

[-] 3 points by Gillian (1842) 9 years ago

The green party may not be as popular to the status quo as D or R but trying to convince me to vote the same as I always have and expect a different outcome simply doesn't make sense- especially since neither Dems or Reps ever support sustainable long term solutions. I'm voting for the green party is because their ideas are sustainable. The green party is the only party that is not paid for by corporate lobbyists and so if you want an independent thinking party, then don't vote D/R. Obama wants to cut Medicare, Medicaid and SS to pay for the national debt and yet he won't hold banks accountable and jail CEO's for tanking the country? Bush admin was never held accountable. As always, our leaders make the hard working citizens clean up and pay for all their irresponsible reckless behaviors. You can watch Jill Stein on CSPAN here and hopefully she can answer some of your questions: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/308477-3

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

Its amazing how the MSM has brainwashed the public into following the herd at all costs.

Everyone is determined to run off the cliff, so I guess we should all just join in? haha.

[-] 2 points by Gillian (1842) 9 years ago

No, I don't think so. I'm not voting 3rd party for moral reasons. Actually, I'm doing it because I like Jill Stein and what she represents and I feel good about voting for her. However, I've had to wrestle with this because I'm in a swing state and my Obama vote has more impact striking against R's. However, that's the wrong reason to vote and just once again exemplifies how we've been reduced to mindless lemmings too many times. By voting 3rd party, we are sending a message to the elected official what we are intelligent voters who are commanding something different and a whole lot more from our elected officials and our government. The time is now. We have got to give ourselves a big voice, a powerful voice and we can't do that with the usual D/R vote. "They" don't believe we have any power, certainly not anymore than they do. It's time to show them that they are wrong. You're right, it's safer to vote Obama. But, it's only safer in the current system , short term. Long term, we need to begin a radical change with this election and I believe that the third party vote can get the ball rolling. Nothing is going to change until we command it. I know that the thought of a R winning is difficult to swallow but let's really imagine the outcomes...Would it be any worse, any better or much of the same? Another 4 years of this same shitty government is just too much!!! We need to really change things up and the only way to do that is with a third party vote NOW. ENUFF IS ENUFF!!! Besides, if by some miracle, Stein were to win, at least we would have someone who is truly on our side who will listen to us. You know who I think would make a really good president is Michelle. She doesn't seem like someone who would take any shit off anyone. Obama says she's not patient enough but he's too patient, he's like a Zen monk and that's why I love him as a human but as president, he needs to become a Samurai Warrior!

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

You make a convincing argument, but the question you are not answering is How, How, How? This has been tried many times before in the past. Remember Ross Perot? I voted for him, so I was pissed off with 2-party even way back then. After that, I wised up and realized the destructive nature of 3 or more parties in a 2-party system. I say, get progressives in office anyway you can that will enact progressive legislation and vote it in, then, eventually, if progressives stay in power long enough they might actually get constitutional amendments passed and even transform the system (gasp) into that which is more reflective of what We The People want.

I have yet to hear from any advocate of "don't vote" or "vote 3rd party" convincingly explain how such actions can be successful or beneficial to the country. Your argument is convincing, but you're short on how it is going to help.

[-] 0 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 9 years ago

In time the democrats will discover that the real pragmatists can be found in the lower class. We have to play dumb most of the time.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

What are you all about? Do you expect to just snap your fingers and, Presto! suddenly everything is kittens, ice cream, and perfection? Yes, everyone is disgusted with the state of things today. Even Washington and the politicians are disgusted with it. They are just as trapped within a dysfunctional system as you are. Evil predominates because money and influence predominates. But this is reality, not fantasy, and big boys and girls face reality and work to change things as they find them. They don't see a pile of shit and say "Well, that's a pile of shit and it stinks and I'm not going to get shit all over me so I'll just point at it and tell everybody 'hey, don't go near that big pile of shit over there'". No, adults roll up their sleeves and work with what they have shoveling shit until they can change what exists into the reality they want to have. Doing nothing means net change = zero. Can't you see that?

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

I kind of get it, but if something is covered in shit, wouldnt it make more sense to try to gain momentum for something new?

Id rather work on new foundations than rehab a house covered in poo.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Realistically, how is that going to happen? I am being sincere, and agree with you. If there were a way, abandoning the shithouse might make perfect sense. But what is the plan of action, and how can it realistically come about?

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 9 years ago

name calling is the first sign of dementia
please go see your doctor

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 9 years ago

It is sad that Americans think the only political choice is between a right wing candidate and a far right wing candidate.

But that should not be surprising given that American society is owned and ruled by the right wing and they have no interest in promoting left wing ideology that says their ownership and rule is unjust and unfair and the root cause of all the problems in the world.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

That is absolutely true. Unfortunately, it is political fact that the USA is a Center-Right country. Those are the voters that rule the day in elections. So the Left has always been a minority voice. Really a shame. Plus, the Conjob propaganda of Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, and others ruled the day and pushed the country even farther Right in times past. For a long time, I lamented that there was no Left-counterpart voice to challenge their AM-radio Con spew. Then we finally began to see shows like Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and the rest of MSNBC and Current TV, so at least there are some voices out there now to try to balance and challenge a formerly unchallenged Rightwing. Hopefully, with time, we might see a shift from Center-Right to Center-Left. I'm an idealistic person, so that is my fervent hope.

So now you know why it is so damn difficult to get any progressive legislation passed in this country. So nothing changes much, and then things get worse over time, and then you have people who get pissed off enough to form Occupy. But Occupy needs a LOT more numbers, better organization, and (dare I say it) leadership before it can become as effective as it needs to be to make a significant impact in a meaningful way.

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 9 years ago

MSNBC are certainly to the left of Fox. But they are right wing. They advocate capitalism, privatization of the planet and its resources, total privatization of the market, and all the exploitation, inequality and unfairness that comes with it.

MSNBC is owned by a huge corporation run by billionaire investors who want to continue to benefit from capitalism's right wing system.

I am left wing because I do not believe in capitalism. Capitalism is barbaric. I think it should be replaced with socialism. Far left wing would be something like the venus project who think we should get rid of money, make everything free and make work completely voluntary.

Lawrence O'Donnell calls himself a socialist. But I doubt any socialist would agree with his definition of socialism. What he advocates is welfare capitalism, not socialism.

There is zero debate in this country as to whether we should have capitalism. The only debate is how much welfare we should give to the people getting ripped off by capitalism.

If Americans understood that the left is not an ideology of taking money from the hard working and giving it to the lazy, if Americans understood that the left is an economic system where workers get paid 100% of the income since they do 100% of the work and you get paid based on how hard you work, not based on how lucky or unique you are, which would increase most worker income by more than 400%, most Americans would be on the left.

The right knows this, that is why they only fund media that promotes right wing ideology like msnbc, cnn and fox.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

I can see your point of view about MSNBC not being Left because it is owned by a corporation, and that corporations function within capitalism, and that capitalism is owned by the Right. But to use that logic to define the shows that I have seen on MSNBC and Current as being Rightwing...well, I think that is a bit of a stretch. Just watch Rachel Maddow, Chris Mathews, The Young Turks, Martin Bashir, Ed Schultz, Jennifer Granholm, Eliot Spitzer, and others and you will see that they are vehemently fighting for the Leftist/Liberal cause. If, in your mind, all of capitalism is Rightwing, then that is your right to believe that. But if you think that there has not been a resurgence of defending the Left in this country which, for a very long time, was almost completely absent from the political discussion landscape, you are sadly mistaken. Liberalism was for a time so successfully demonized by Conservative propaganda that it became a dirty word in America. No one would dare even speak the word. At least now Liberalism is once more speakable in public.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 9 years ago

The right wing is free market capitalism. The opposite of the right wing and their capitalism is not capitalism with some welfare. The opposite of the right wing and their capitalism is the left wing and socialism.

You are being duped by the 1% if you think otherwise.

The day anyone on MSNBC goes left wing and starts advocating an end to capitalism and the rule of the 1% is the day they get fired and the day that MSNBC - their 1% employer - issues a press release saying they are too radical and out of touch with mainstream America.

Mainstream America, of course, is only right wing because the 1% - who own all the media - will never allow them access to a media that promotes left wing ideology.

The right wing want mainstream America to think that the alternative to their rule is not an end to their rule but their rule plus a few concessions.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

I think you and I are getting hung-up on the definition of the word Left. You are advocating a much more radical definition of it, and I am using it within the context of the political environment as we see it in the US. Certainly Socialism advocates within a capitalistic country would be labeled Leftist (which, btw, I have advocated many times on this forum that I favor Social Democracy as is practiced in Sweden for example). But the use of the word Left is commonly used in our society to describe those with opposing viewpoints (Left vs. Right) and to define those goals that the Left in this country advocate. So I think we are getting hung-up on semantics here.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 9 years ago

Semantics are important.

If the republicans were labeled as further right wing and the democrats as right wing, the public would have a very different opinion about whether the democrats are truly the opposing viewpoint to the republicans.

They would be asking where the left viewpoint is. And the 1% doesn't want the public to start asking for a genuine opposing viewpoint to their rule over society.

Sweden's social democracy is not socialism. It is welfare capitalism. It is a society ruled by the 1% with some concessions.

Socialism, and left ideology, is an end to the 1%'s illegitimate rule. It is an end to their capitalism.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

This is interesting. Please explain your personal definition of Socialism in some detail if you would. Do you advocate the dictionary definition of it, or some type of modified Socialism? Many people equate Socialism with Communism as a political, not economic, governance model. I personally believe they are wrong to do that. But we have Social Security and other "welfare" programs already functioning in our capitalistic society. So this definition of Socialism between you and I needs clarification if we are to continue our discussion.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 9 years ago

I explain what socialism is in this post:


American libertarian socialist Benjamin Tucker defines socialism best: It's simply a system where workers get paid the full value of what they produce.

It's summed up in the socialist slogan, "To each according to their contribution" which means income in the economy is allocated based on how much labor you contribute.

Socialism is defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as, "a stage of society in Marxist theory between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done."

Karl Marx in explaining socialism in Critique of the Gotha Program wrote, "Accordingly, the individual producer receives back from society - after the deductions have been made - exactly what he gives to it. What he has given to it is his individual quantum of labor."

Socialism is a worker revolution that seeks to abolish capitalism because capitalism exploits workers which means it only pays them a tiny fraction of what they produce.

In capitalism, half of all the income that workers produce gets paid to a small handful of gamblers who got lucky investing in the market like bankers and entrepreneurs, as shown here, and most of what remains gets paid to a small handful of people who have bargaining power merely because they are unique like athletes and celebrities.

The vast majority of the workers who produce everything - the engineers, doctors, construction workers, factory workers, miners, farmers, teachers - have to fight over the little income that remains.

Even though worker productivity is $65 per hour, as shown here, which is enough to make every worker wealthy, most workers are broke because they only get paid a tiny fraction of the $65 per hour they produce. Most of that $65 unfairly gets paid to the lucky and unique.

Because of capitalism's exploitation, 50% of Americans are living in or near poverty, according to the latest census.

So socialism is an economic system which pays workers 100% of the income, since they do 100% of the work, which pays no income to investors since they do no work, and which pays you based on how hard you work, not based on how lucky or unique you are.

If we allocated income this way:


Communism is a hypothetical stage society will reach, theorized by Marx, once it develops the technology to eliminate scarcity and automate all undesirable jobs. In a fully automated society that no longer has scarcity, you no longer need money or property or government.

If we can produce everything everyone wants, you no longer need money to ration goods and services. People can take all they want. And if we can automate all the jobs nobody wants to do, you no longer need to pay people to work. Work can be completely voluntary.

No society has ever achieved communism. We do not have the technology to achieve it. Perhaps we will in the future. The Venus Project is a group that thinks we can achieve a form of communism today.


Most socialists in the West gave up on the hope of seeing socialism in their lifetime. Getting society to change its economic system is obviously a monumental task. So now they call themselves social democrats and other terms and advocate a reform of capitalism instead of socialism.

Because of this, unfortunately, many people today now mistakenly think that socialism is a reform of capitalism.


The basic strategy of socialists is to educate workers on how they are getting exploited and how they do not need to pay most of their income to investors and the unique and to then organize them into a single union so they have the power to change the economic system through a strike and refusing to work for capitalists.

This strategy is summed up in the famous slogan, "Workers of the world unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!" from the Communist Manifesto.

The IWW, which Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine is a member, is an example of that single union strategy.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Thanks for that. Looks like you're about as hopelessly idealistic about Socialism as I am about eliminating money as I indicate in my blog here.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 9 years ago

Your blog didn't say it wanted to eliminate money. It said it wants to pay workers hourly and price everything based on labor costs. Did I understand your blog correctly?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

No, that's not what I said. Actually, I think you and I have had this conversation before. Labor vouchers aren't money, under the strict definition of money. I've had people disagree with me about this many times, mostly I think because they don't fully grasp the concept after growing up with and being exposed to money all their lives.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 9 years ago

Yes, this conversation rings a bell!

Since labor vouchers are what is used to pay for goods and services, it is money.

There is no difference between paying someone 1 labor voucher for each hour worked or $1 per hour.

They are both being used as a medium of exchange, a store of value and a unit of account.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Couldn't reply to your last comment, so am replying here.

If you look at the article, Labor vouchers are to Socialism, what Money is to Capitalism as indicated here:

"Labour vouchers (also known as labour cheques, labour certificates, and personal credit) are a device proposed to govern demand for goods in some models of socialism, much as money does under capitalism."

You said -- "You don't have to ban the sale of used goods or gifts or capital equipment (people should be able to buy a tractor if they want)."

Under the electronic labor voucher system, secondary markets are still possible, though limited. I can't get into all the detail here in this comment. You'll just have to wait and read my book (provided I ever finish it :)

The more I get into replacing money entirely with electronic labor vouchers, the more I see how much fairer it is and how much more difficult it is (almost impossible) to abuse than the current money system. It is my personal dream, one that I doubt will ever come true. I think you and I would like to achieve the same thing, but we are approaching it in two different ways. Both are attempting to create a more egalitarian society. Applause to you for that effort.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Nothing is exchanged between human parties as with money today. The LV is issued by central computer(s) to both parties. No exchange happens between humans.

Here is a quote and link where it came from.

"Unlike money, vouchers cannot circulate and are not transferable between people. They are also not exchangeable for any means of production hence they are not transmutable into Capital. Once a purchase is made the labour vouchers are either destroyed or must be re-earned through labour. Therefore, with such a system in place, monetary theft would become impossible."


[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 9 years ago

You can use regular money and just ban the collection of unearned income and ban the purchase of used goods and ban the giving of gifts. It would then work just like a labor voucher.

Although you want to ban unearned income, you don't want to stop people from buying used goods or giving people gifts! So you have to make your labor voucher transferable.

I don't know who wrote that wiki article. But the purpose of labor vouchers is to allocate goods and services based on how much labor you contribute.

If you contribute 1 hour, you get 1 hour's worth of production in return (before taxes).

In order to accomplish that, all you have to do is ban the payment of unearned income (income from investing like profit, rent or interest). Income can only be paid to people in exchange for working.

You don't have to ban the sale of used goods or gifts or capital equipment (people should be able to buy a tractor if they want).

If you buy a car for $30k, you should be able to resell it and get back up to $30k for it. You would just ban the collection of any amount over $30k since that would be unearned income.

[-] 1 points by Krypton (73) 9 years ago

What's the percentage of non-critical -thinkers? They can really screw it up for everyone.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Wish that were measurable. I'd be really curious to know that.

[-] 1 points by gsw (3398) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 9 years ago

Lots of quiet conservatives, along with low information others.


[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Pretty good. Wonder how close that is to the truth? An exaggeration to be sure, but the principle is sound don't you think?

[-] 1 points by gsw (3398) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 9 years ago

I would venture there is a few percent who aren't all that in to politics, who may determine election, in addition to quiet conservatives, voters suppression, etc.

I saw something about F ox "News" how in 2000, election was called for Bush, way before there could have been enough ballots counted, and then ABC, CBS, NBC etc called as well for Bush.

The new thing is Fox News is complaining liberal media is manipulating the polls to discourage conservative voters.

But there are some apolitical people, somehow, who may determine Presidency, who don't know who they will support.

We need to keep Senate out of hands of Koch brothers.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 9 years ago

"...We are up against..." both parties answering to big monied interests. The political break-down that you came up with proves to me that we have to keep our movement about right versus wrong, not left versus right if we want to get the 'numbers' we need.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Yes, I agree. I have concluded that too long before I saw the break-down.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 9 years ago

From what I saw 34% were conservative and 44% were liberal voters. Where in the article did you get the 42/35/20 numbers?

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 9 years ago

I have no idea which numbers are correct on the political break-down, but given the fact that conservatives have been successful in vilifying the term 'liberal,' I suspect that many of the people who classify themselves as moderate are really quite liberal in their thinking.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

4th paragraph from the top where it says "The size of ideological groups varies slightly depending on the poll. Gallup/USA Today polling in June 2010 revealed that 42% of those surveyed identify as conservative, 35% as moderate, while 20% identify as liberal.[2] In another polling in June 2010, 40% of American voters identify themselves as conservatives, 36% as moderates and 22% as liberals, with a strong majority of both liberals and conservatives describing themselves as closer to the center than to the extremes."

[-] 1 points by gsw (3398) from Woodbridge Township, NJ 9 years ago

Paragraph 4

The size of ideological groups varies slightly depending on the poll. Gallup/USA Today polling in June 2010 revealed that 42% of those surveyed identify as conservative, 35% as moderate, while 20% identify as liberal.[2] In another polling in June 2010, 40% of American voters identify themselves as conservatives, 36% as moderates and 22% as liberals, with a strong majority of both liberals and conservatives describing themselves as closer to the center than to the extremes.[3] In a 2005 study, the Pew Research Center identified nine typological groups. Three groups were identified as part of each, "the left," "the middle," and "the right." In this categorization system, "the right" roughly represents the Republican base, those on "the left" the Democratic base and those in "the middle" independents. Within the left are the largely secular and anti-war "Liberals", the socially conservative but economically left "Conservative Democrats", and the economically "Disadvantaged Democrats" who favor extended government assistance to the needy[4]. In "the middle" are the optimistic and upwardly mobile "Upbeats", the discouraged and mistrusting "Disaffecteds," and the disenfranchised "Bystanders." The right compromises the highly pro-business "Enterprisers," the highly religious "Social Conservatives" (also known as the Christian right), and the "Pro-Government Conservatives" who are largely conservative on social issues but support government intervention to better their economic disposition.[4]

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 9 years ago

Thanks for the location.

The table above it under "Typological groups" has completely different numbers. I think Underdog should look at some more sources to verify the numbers.

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 9 years ago

OWS isn't supporting anyone so why is this a challenge?

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

True, OWS isn't supporting anyone. But it is undeniable that the progressive nature of OWS implies a strong tendency toward liberalism vs. conservatism, because liberalism supports change and conservatism supports the status quo. It was this desire to understand the demographics of liberals, moderates, and conservatives in the US that led me to the article I provided in the OP. As I indicated, I was a bit surprised by the statistics, and the more I dug into the article the more interesting it got, especially the data indicated in the tables.

I personally will always vote liberally as I am a lifelong progressive, but that is just my one tiny voice and, of course, I do not speak for Occupy at all.

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 9 years ago

Conservatism hasn't really been about status quo since like the 50s.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

So the Wiki article is a crock in your view? Did you read all of it in detail? Appeared pretty balanced to me (but then I admit it is Wiki, still... it's not like it is liberal propaganda or something).

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

Stop mixing conservative with Fascist

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

The article says conservatives are Fascists?

[-] -1 points by yobstreet (-575) 9 years ago

Well it's interesting because although it mentions the "Pew Study" which maintains that higher percentages of liberals have college educations that does not appear to hold true; conservatives had higher percentages of college educated and also much greater percentages with incomes above 75k.

The idea though that to be "conservative" means to conserve is blatantly false and I'll tell you why - Americans all live very similar lifestyles and those lifestyles are anything but static. We all live in the old European model or style of housing - housing has changed very little in 400 years; we all drive cars; we all seek employment; we all eat two, three, or more meals a day, we all roll out of bed in the morning, shower and shave... we wear similar dress, we adorn ourselves in a similar manner... we're very very similar with only minor variations regardless of ethnic background or economics, and if not, we're trying to get that way. Conservatives are not at all about the status quo, they're about improvement, and moving forward along logical lines. When the Left decries the conservative as "status quo" they're essentially asking, why won't you let us introduce our new ideas? And the conservative response is always they same - it's because you have not thought it through; your analysis is flighty, based on some untruth; we will not move forward, we will regress. The conservative wants to move forward at all costs. Because if we don't we will perish as a people.

Those that are "liberal," and there are very few, are generally liberal for a reason - college educators, for example, are trying to attract from all demographics; they do attract from all and therefore often find themselves in a much younger, multicultural environment; there is therefore much greater need to extend pluralism, to be more liberal. This is also true, of course, of students. And of people working in cities. And of people who are self-employed - money only comes in one color and that is green - people who make money must be, to some extent, indifferent to difference.

So conservatives are not so much about status quo - nobody cares about preserving methods which no longer even exist - what they are is paternal; they often find themselves in the paternal role. And from personal experience, I can tell you, that those paternal are often correct. Because I have always been the rebellious one, determined to challenge and try every new trick in the book; I push the very limits, and I did it my way. This school of hard knocks forces many eventually into a more conservative framework; we are destined whether we like it or not, to become the paternal ones.

You want an interesting measure? Look at American music - it's "progressive," meaning ever changing, it incorporates new sound, new strings of tones, it devours everything of any source, ethnicity means nothing at all to music... or it becomes the "status quo"; it becomes static and meaningless and unappealing. Human beings will not allow this. And yet music retains certain things, certain structural tenets; it is therefore a progression. And this subliminal language is the most accurate assessment or representation of the cultural mindset you will ever find; this is America. Forty years from now will some once young and now ancient still be listening to Rage - definitely - and suddenly they will be the conservative, paternal ones. Unless of course, you are "slick willy," and you have an overwhelming desire to remain current, appealing to, and needed by, young people; very few can afford this image socially or financially.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

I don't think the thrust of the article was about lifestyle. As you point out, there are very few differences there. Rather, my interpretation was that the article was pointing out political ideology differences. In that regard, I can't see much change (unless I have completely missed it somehow) in conservative ideology since Reagan. It's the tax-cut song, big business, small government, and "anti-ism" (anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-immigration, etc.).

I accept that you believe Conservatism is not about status quo, but change. But what kind of change? Change that asserts the rise of Conservatism over Liberalism? Change that asserts the assention of the aristocracy over the middle/poor classes? What specific changes are you claiming Conservatism is all about?

[-] 0 points by CitizenofAmerika (-71) 9 years ago

The current polling has been total bullshit. Don't pay attention to it.

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 9 years ago

I wonder about it. When the pollsters call my house I'll tell them anything.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

More drama from an election that was over about a year ago.......

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

Check your voter registraions

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

How can I do that? I am not god.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

Suck it up.....get a big straw.... here is a clue from someone that has already been through it all...

It was ALWAYS going to be Romney. And it was always going to be Obama over the R.

Coem talk to me on Nov 7th and tell me Im wrong. I dare you.


[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 9 years ago

A slightly different view - I think the most imprortat debate element will not be Obama or romney.

It is the "moderators" -
Will they let willard & paul get away with NON-ANSWERS

"Mr. Romney, are you afraid to answer the question ?"


[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

"Hopefully"? this shit is a lock dude...The R is fine with Obama....hence Romulus...hence the entire scheme.....

The bombs are still dropping, the banks are still robbing....


[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 9 years ago

Whatever you need to convince yourself that Obama isnt the choosen one dude,,,whatever it takes man,....

[-] -2 points by yobstreet (-575) 9 years ago

I place liberals in the three to five percent category; the rest are economically motivated.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 9 years ago

Could you elaborate please and, if possible, supply sources to support those assertions? Who are "the rest"?