new report says America more liberal than assumed listen06/13/07 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:
2 progressive organizations have teamed up with a new report that they say refutes the perception that the U.S. is a majority conservative in its political philosophy.
The report comes from 2 groups â€“ The Campaign For Americaâ€™s Future, and Media Matters for America.
Paul Waldman is from Media Matters, and is a co-author of the report, entitled, â€œThe Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Mythâ€ (roll tape#1 o.q.â€all the timeâ€)
The groups said they collected their data from what they said were from non-partisan, â€˜unimpeachableâ€™ sources, such as reports from the American National Election Studies maintained by the University of Michigan and the General Social Survey maintained by the University of Chicago, as well as data from the Pew Research Center and Gallup â€“ and polls conducted by CNN and the New York Times.
Citing as proof that Americans are more progressive than given credit for, Media Mattersâ€™ Paul Waldman says Americans reject the idea that government should be as small as possible. He also says huge majorities support raising the minimum wage, which Congress just approved for the first time in a decade.
And he says the public is also there when it comes to health care (roll tape#2 o.q.â€progressive solutions on Health Careâ€)
And as further proof the country is more progressive than has been acknowledged, Media Mattersâ€™ Paul Waldman cites the case of Howard Dean, who when he ran for President 4 years ago , was considered â€˜radicalâ€™ in some quarters, because of his signing a bill in Vermont that allowed for Civil Unions to be recognized for same sex couples. Now, he says, thatâ€™s a mainstream position (roll tape#3 o.q.â€ insanityâ€)
Waldman continued on, saying issues like abortion and the environment , the majority of American support the progressive point of view.
He admits that polls have consistently shown that more Americans call themselves â€˜conservativeâ€™. But he says thatâ€™s because the word â€˜liberalâ€™ has been demonized by the right so much in the past few decades, that lots of people just donâ€™t like that label (roll tape#4 o.q.â€progressive on issuesâ€)
Next week The Campaign For Americaâ€™s Future will be hosting a 3 day conference in Washington, where an estimated 3,000 activists will be attending.
Robert Borosage is Co-Director for the group. He says now is the golden age for the Progressive movement (roll tape#5 o.q.â€et ceteraâ€)
Next weekâ€™s meeting will feature dozens of panels with progressives from all across the country meeting in Washington, including appearances by Democratic candidates for President Barack Obama, John Edwards and Bill Richardson.
But on a nationwide conference call today, journalist and filmmaker Danny Schecter questioned whether the Take Back America Conference next week would highlight a growing economic justice problem â€“ the issue of millions of families now facing foreclosures on their homes and in deep debt due to the mortgage industry collapsing.
Roger Hickey from the Campaign for Americaâ€™s Future and said that issue will definitely be addressed (roll tape#6 o.q.â€and throughout the conferenceâ€)
TO read the new report, â€œThe Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Mythâ€ you can go to the Campaign For Americaâ€™s Futureâ€™s website, ourfuture.org.