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CaughtintheMiddle1990
06-04-2011, 12:00 AM
Let's say there was a Presidential election; one candidate was centrist both by word and record, the other was a liberal by word and record.

Would you pick the centrist, even if you disagreed with some of his views and he wasn't a full blown conservative?

Some notable, recent centrists:
William H. Taft (center/center-left)
Warren G. Harding (believed in Laissez-Faire economics and low taxes, but also insituted the first federal welfare program; center-right)
Harry S. Truman (center-left by today's standards)
Dwight D. Eisenhower (as non-partisan as any President in modern history, true center)
John F. Kennedy (center-left)
Richard Nixon (more a pragmatist than anything else; center-left or center-right depending on how you review his record)
Gerald Ford (center-right; began deregulation)
George H.W. Bush (center-right; conservative in some areas, liberal in others)
Bill Clinton (whether or not he was forced to act more centrist by the Congress, the end result was he still governed as one., center-left)
George W. Bush (center-left; Cut taxes yet also created Medicare Part D and signed TARP into being)

Rockntractor
06-04-2011, 12:07 AM
Let's say there was a Presidential election; one candidate was centrist both by word and record, the other was a liberal by word and record.

Would you pick the centrist, even if you disagreed with some of his views and he wasn't a full blown conservative?

Some notable, recent centrists:
Warren G. Harding (believed in Laissez-Faire economics and low taxes, but also insituted the first federal welfare program; center-right)
Harry S. Truman (center-left by today's standards)
Dwight D. Eisenhower (as non-partisan as any President in modern history, true center)
John F. Kennedy (center-left)
Richard Nixon (more a pragmatist than anything else; center-left or center-right depending on how you review his record)
Gerald Ford (center-right; began deregulation)
George H.W. Bush (center-right; conservative in some areas, liberal in others)
Bill Clinton (whether or not he was forced to act more centrist by the Congress, the end result was he still governed as one., center-left)
George W. Bush (center-left; Cut taxes yet also created Medicare Part D and signed TARP into being)
That isn't accurate You have two things to consider, social and fiscal. You really aren't comparing apples to apples here.
Kennedy for instance, fiscal conservative and social liberal could equal center.
Bush fiscally liberal and socially conservative, could equal center.
You could call them both centrist but they actually have opposite attributes.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
06-04-2011, 12:29 AM
That isn't accurate You have two things to consider, social and fiscal. You really aren't comparing apples to apples here.
Kennedy for instance, fiscal conservative and social liberal could equal center.
Bush fiscally liberal and socially conservative, could equal center.
You could call them both centrist but they actually have opposite attributes.

Yeah but Bush for example was fiscally liberal in a major area: Cutting taxes. Isn't cutting taxes a conservative stance?
And actually, for his time, Kennedy was kind of a social moderate. In his private life, sure, he did some crazy shit, but politically, the man didn't take the cause of civil rights seriously until 1963, when the Marchers were almost at his doorstep. There was no serious women's right at the time and no other socially liberal causes to speak of at the time, so on the main social liberal cause, civil rights, he was a moderate, Of all the Kennedys, if there was one truly interested in civil rights, it was Bobby and even he was flawed with that.

There are some Presidents who are very much mxed bags. Like Nixon. He was a big time social conservative, hated by liberals, and even to himself was a fiscal conservative, but did things for political expediency which would be called liberal, yet his major platform was returning rights to the states--New Federalism. He was kind of a reverse Clinton: Nixon wanted to do really conservative things, but was hamstrung by a liberal Democratic Congress and had to enact some Liberal policies in order to get more conservative ones through.

So yeah, I tried to make the list as accurate as possible by taking those Presidents' whole records into account.

Rockntractor
06-04-2011, 12:35 AM
Yeah but Bush for example was fiscally liberal in a major area: Cutting taxes. Isn't cutting taxes a conservative stance?
And actually, for his time, Kennedy was kind of a social moderate. In his private life, sure, he did some crazy shit, but politically, the man didn't take the cause of civil rights seriously until 1963, when the Marchers were almost at his doorstep. There was no serious women's right at the time and no other socially liberal causes to speak of at the time, so on the main social liberal cause, civil rights, he was a moderate, Of all the Kennedys, if there was one truly interested in civil rights, it was Bobby and even he was flawed with that.

There are some Presidents who are very much mxed bags. Like Nixon. He was a big time social conservative, hated by liberals, and even to himself was a fiscal conservative, but did things for political expediency which would be called liberal, yet his major platform was returning rights to the states--New Federalism. He was kind of a reverse Clinton: Nixon wanted to do really conservative things, but was hamstrung by a liberal Democratic Congress and had to enact some Liberal policies in order to get more conservative ones through.

So yeah, I tried to make the list as accurate as possible by taking those Presidents' whole records into account.

It's pretty hard to put them in a box like you did, especially considering the expanse of time they cover and how definitions change.
I remember Hubert Humphrey, a presidential candidate when I was a kid , he was a flaming liberal then but compared to the Democrat party now, he would be fairly conservative.

Apache
06-04-2011, 12:42 AM
Yeah but Bush for example was fiscally liberal in a major area: Cutting taxes. Isn't cutting taxes a conservative stance?
.

Bush spent too much money trying to get the Left to like him...

No child left behind.
Prescription drug plan.
TSA.
Dept. of Homeland Security...
Katrina.


That's just a few. Fiscal conservative? I think not...

Apache
06-04-2011, 12:47 AM
Oh, and to answer your question from the OP, if America had wanted a "centerist", it would be President McCain....;)

CaughtintheMiddle1990
06-04-2011, 12:48 AM
Bush spent too much money trying to get the Left to like him...

No child left behind.
Prescription drug plan.
TSA.
Dept. of Homeland Security...
Katrina.


That's just a few. Fiscal conservative? I think not...

1) TSA -- I think both liberals and conservatives alike are up in arms over the TSA. The only ones who seem to be for it at the apathetic and the far leftist, nutty types.
2) Dept of Homeland Security seemed to be really unpopular with the Liberals I was around, and I don't think he created it to please Liberals so much as to reform our national security and intelligence networks, which severely failed us on 9/11 and the months/years prior to it. The CIA and FBI always had a feud and withheld info from each other and it hurt a lot of things...So I don't think he created it to get Liberals to like him so much as to ensure a safer country.
3) Not sure what you mean by Katrina I remember him getting blasted by the Left for Katrina...
4) Prescription Drug Plan--Yes, liberal thing.
5) No Child Left Behind--I won't comment on this one because I genuinely do not know enough about how that whole system works to comment on it honestly. I do remember hearing Ted Kennedy supported it, which would make it a very Liberal idea, but I'm not even sure if my memory is correct on that...

CaughtintheMiddle1990
06-04-2011, 12:51 AM
Oh, and to answer your question from the OP, if America had wanted a "centerist", it would be President McCain....;)

McCain was painted as being a psycho war hawk who'd "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" and who was out of touch with "regular people" due to his age. He was called "McSame" by many Libs and picking Palin I believe only harmed his chances--which were already hurt by dissatisfaction with President Bush--and gave the media a person they could zoom in on and destroy his campaign with, due to her mistatements or whatever.

So, I don't think McCain losing was a matter of him being centrist so much as it was that the Media decided to go into attack mode on him because they knew they wanted Obama in office.

Basically it was a very similar tactic to that of 1964. Goldwater too was painted as a war hungry nutbag who'd dismantle America's safety net.

Remember, early in the campaign, Obama presented himself as a moderate.

megimoo
06-04-2011, 12:53 AM
It's pretty hard to put them in a box like you did, especially considering the expanse of time they cover and how definitions change.
I remember Hubert Humphrey, a presidential candidate when I was a kid , he was a flaming liberal then but compared to the Democrat party now, he would be fairly conservative.
His either or choices are flawed....Centrists are as much liberals as far left liberals.They're certainly not Conservatives.
Politicians are always compromising their stated pricnciples,Thats how they get elected .The gradual creep to the left has been going on since the second world war.The country was largely conservative and patriotic with a love of country and GOD that was unquestioned.

We went to war with Germany and Japan, when attacked,and never faulted in our national patriotism .Truman and Kennedy,though Democrats,were far more Conservative than most so called Conservatives are today .This fine tuning of the distinction between parties all leads towards a ' come let us reason together' approach to creeping liberalism .

CaughtintheMiddle1990
06-04-2011, 01:00 AM
His either or choices are flawed....Centrists are as much liberals as far left liberals.They're certainly not Conservatives.
Politicians are always compromising their stated pricnciples,Thats how they get elected .The gradual creep to the left has been going on since the second world war.The country was largely conservative and patriotic with a love of country and GOD that was unquestioned.

We went to war with Germany and Japan, when attacked,and never faulted in our national patriotism .Truman and Kennedy,though Democrats,were far more Conservative than most so called Conservatives are today .This fine tuning of the distinction between parties all leads towards a ' come let us reason together' approach to creeping liberalism .

The country was much more Liberal since WWII?
What about the three elections of FDR PRIOR to WWII?
Or the election and re-election of Woodrow Wilson?
Just to name two examples.

The creeping liberalism you speak of is IMO a creeping CULTURAL liberalism. As you said--There was a love of God and country, I'd say until about the late 1960s. Even FDR and Wilson were men who believed in God; Wilson himself was a fervent believer in Christ.

I'd argue this nation since the 1970s has moved more and more to the right wing than to the left. Clinton practically governed as a conservative because he HAD TO and many far left liberals hate him for it. We've been deregulating the economy increasingly since the mid 1970s.

Socially, we have become more liberal, but in terms of economics we seem to be moving in a more conservative direction.

Consider that the 1956 political platform for the Republican Party would probably be called a "Communist" platform by today's standards and somehow I doubt Ike or the GOP in 1956 were Commies.

What once was Liberal is now Communist; What once was moderate is now Liberal; What once was conservative is now Moderate.

I've heard that Obama's own health plan--the Obamacare--is almost a rip off of the healthcare reform alternative introduced by Bob Dole and the GOP of the mid 1990s.

Rockntractor
06-04-2011, 01:02 AM
His either or choices are flawed....Centrists are as much liberals as far left liberals.They're certainly not Conservatives.


I tend to agree with that, when it comes to a major issue the centrists normally vote with the liberals like the so called centrists in the Democrat party did on health care.


One other thing that is curious, with a few exceptions most liberals don't admit to being liberals, they all want to claim varying degrees of conservatism, like liberal is a bad word or something. this is especially true among liberal Republicans.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
06-04-2011, 01:11 AM
I tend to agree with that, when it comes to a major issue the centrists normally vote with the liberals like the so called centrists in the Democrat party did on health care.


One other thing that is curious, with a few exceptions most liberals don't admit to being liberals, they all want to claim varying degrees of conservatism, like liberal is a bad word or something. this is especially true among liberal Republicans.

I would've voted against the healthcare bill and I'm a Democrat....
I don't think any person, outside of die hard ideologues for whom ideology is everything, is truly 100% liberal or 100% conservative.

Apache
06-04-2011, 01:21 AM
1) TSA -- I think both liberals and conservatives alike are up in arms over the TSA. The only ones who seem to be for it at the apathetic and the far leftist, nutty types.
2) Dept of Homeland Security seemed to be really unpopular with the Liberals I was around, and I don't think he created it to please Liberals so much as to reform our national security and intelligence networks, which severely failed us on 9/11 and the months/years prior to it. The CIA and FBI always had a feud and withheld info from each other and it hurt a lot of things...So I don't think he created it to get Liberals to like him so much as to ensure a safer country.
3) Not sure what you mean by Katrina I remember him getting blasted by the Left for Katrina...
4) Prescription Drug Plan--Yes, liberal thing.
5) No Child Left Behind--I won't comment on this one because I genuinely do not know enough about how that whole system works to comment on it honestly. I do remember hearing Ted Kennedy supported it, which would make it a very Liberal idea, but I'm not even sure if my memory is correct on that...

TSA was created to "fill the gap" of private airline security, an idea of the Left. The problem was, all those box-cutters used WERE LEGAL...
There was no gap! Now we have an army of Federally employed knuckle-draggers who can't be fired...

DHS doesn't just encompass the FBI/CIA breakdown (which thanks to Clinton) culminated in 9/11. FEMA and the TSA fall under that broad umbrella, as well as many other agencies...

Katrina. Bush directed that money be thrown at LA in the media aftermath. Trailers that, to this day, sit unused because someone is too damn lazy to open a door! Cash vouchers, just say I lived in NO...:rolleyes:

Prescription drug plan, all Bush did was water down the Left's idea...


No Child Left Behind... Teddy Kennedy....'nuf said.