Opinion

The Great Debate

What America’s leftward shift means for elections

With each new poll, it’s becoming clear that the United States is shifting to the left. A majority of Americans now supports same-sex marriage.  And legalization of marijuana.  And normalization of relations with Cuba.

Gallup reports that, in 2013, the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as liberals reached its highest level since 1992. True, it’s only 23 percent. Conservatives, at 38 percent, still outnumber liberals. But the trend has been slowly and steadily upward for liberals since 1996, when it was 16 percent.

This shift is due entirely to Democrats becoming more liberal — 29 percent of Democrats in 2000, 43 percent in 2013. At the same time, Democrats have won the national popular vote in five out of the six presidential elections since 1992 (all but 2004). Barack Obama won a majority of the popular vote twice — something Bill Clinton couldn’t do.

The New America has come to power. It’s a coalition of 10 Democratic constituencies that united to elect and re-elect Obama: young voters, working women, single mothers, African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Jews, gays, educated professionals and the “unchurched” (the nearly one in five Americans who have no religious affiliation). Eight of those 10 constituencies — all but Jews and African-Americans — are growing as a percentage of the electorate.

Democrats now have the advantage in presidential elections. You can’t say Democrats have a lock on the presidency, however. There are too many other factors involved, like the state of the economy and the appeal of the candidates. But Democrats are well positioned to keep the White House.

from The Great Debate UK:

Slavoj Zizek on resurrecting the Left

Soon after the global financial crisis erupted in 2008, treatise "Das Kapital" saw a resurgence in popularity throughout eastern Germany.

The 1867 critical analysis of capitalism by Karl Marx became a bestseller for academic publisher Karl-Dietz-Verlag, as a rejection of capitalism set in following intense financial turmoil.

More than a year later, questions over the validity of the capitalist economic system remain in focus amid ongoing concerns about the cost to society of bank bailouts, high unemployment and stimulus measures.

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