"Center-Right Nation" Watch

by: David Sirota

Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 10:57


In my newspaper column this week, I noted that the term "center-right nation" is now the word du jour for the elite media and Punditburo. We are being told that no matter how big a progressive landslide Tuesday may bring, our country nonetheless will always be a "center-right nation." The latest to invoke this is Charles Krauthammer in a column titled "McCain Offers Center-Right Nation a Center-Right Choice."

Anyhow, I flag this just to give everyone a heads up that we can expect this term to be used incessantly all the way up to and after the election. If the right does anything well, it is repeat catchphrases with the propagandistic discipline of a communist country's Ministry of Information. Now, fearing that the election is going to be a wholesale rejection of their ideology, conservatives are ramping up that propaganda like we've never seen.  

David Sirota :: "Center-Right Nation" Watch

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I hope you used ... (0.00 / 0)
If the right does anything well, it is repeat catchphrases with the propagandistic discipline of a communist country's Ministry of Information.

That phrase in your column .. since I haven't read it yet


Combatting the Ministry of Information (0.00 / 0)
I couldn't agree more with the series of posts you have been making about the right ramping up the propaganda to hide the complete rejection of their ideology. I also see great opportunity as well with the fact that the Republican party is in such flames that they do not realize the failure of this effort to prevent this, and that in fact they are creating a mandate that is probably to the left of what even Obama would want.

This is ramping up by the day, and here's a link to McCain saying today that Obama would be a "redistributor in chief": http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

What is funny to me about all of this is that they probably believe that repeating "redistribution of wealth" or "spread the wealth around" will propagandistically create the very negative connotation they are striving for. However, people like McCain now have so little credibility with the country that perhaps even a majority of our nation automatically wonders "what is so good about this policy that the Republicans oppose it."

I know you skin has thickened plenty enough that you don't need this kind of support, but really keep up the phenomenal work on this controversial subject! There is extremely little in politics right now more important than exposing this propaganda campaign to a high enough degree and in enough time to prevent them from masking the mandate that Obama will have. The pundits, whether it's subconscious or not, are already repeating center right nation ad nauseum out of fear that the dirty hippies really might take over. What's most funny to me about all this is that we haven't heard this term at all when our country was being governed as if we were a radically right nation, but they truly believe that now is no time to talk about such things as we need to come together with the sort of bipartisanship that the Republicans have been ridiculing throughout the Bush administration as well!

Beyond Iraq: A Time to Break Silence


Center-right is utter BS, but used by the chattering punditry (4.00 / 1)
to excess.  Brokaw uses it all the time, and he is the big beef on NBC, so until he retires it will be used over and over.  One would have thought that they pick up on the strong movements that have occured across the board, the left's ideas on health care, education, the economy (trickle-down anyone?,) even foreign affairs, taxes, etc.  

It is incumbent on us all to push back whenever it occurs.  You, David, are in a unique position to do so.  When you are on the air and hear "center-right country" used by the host or other guest be sure to interrupt and protest, stating that the 2006 and 2008 elections are clear mandates for a new center-left alignment.  If it corrected often enough the old viewpoints fade and become stale, replaced by the new meme of a left-of-center country with conservatives so far removed from the mainstream of America that they are relegated to a more radical minority status from here on out.  


Krauthamer is obviously full of shit (0.00 / 0)
but I think that calling even a landslide by Obama a mandate for a New Deal will be just so much spin.

First, on Krauthamer:  he basically ignores all of McCain's actual campaigning, and just asserts that "he sees government as a Rooseveltian counterweight (Teddy with a touch of Franklin) to the various malefactors of wealth and power."

Then, in listing the things that make Obama so non-centrist, his first point is...card check!!  After that, it's the fairness doctrine, crazy judges, and an "expansion of government power."

So, again, Krauthamer shows his hand here: it's all about suppressing democracy and maintaining the Right Wing's tenuous hold on power.  It's pathetic, craven, revolting, and utterly unsurprising.

Now, as to whether the American people are actually center-right:  first, Obama has not run on an Edwardsian theme of recognizing the class war for what it is and joining it in earnest (and even Edwards pushed that theme pretty softly), nor has he taken policy positions (e.g. the bailout) that make it fair to infer that approach.  Second, I'm not particularly impressed with opinion polls -- people can opine on whether they want Single Payer or an end to the War all they want, but the question is always going to come down to, "What are you willing to do about it?"

Obviously, millions of people are willing to get involved in the Obama campaign, and have been and will be willing to vote for him.  But what next?  Will American workers confront the institutions of power directly that threaten our interests?  Will we shut down commerce, go on strike, occupy government buildings?

Americans can have whatever opinions we want.  But we don't hold the power in this country, and those who do hold power don't give two shits about what we claim to want, unless we prove to them that we will shut down the society that makes them so rich and powerful unless we're satisfied.  That, in the end, is where the rubber hits the road.  If we do those things, we'll know we're a more leftwing society.  If we don't we'll know that, for practical purposes, we're not.  No election, not even the one this Tuesday, will persuade entrenched, institutional power to give up what they've got.


Infrastructure/Health Care (0.00 / 0)
Well, an overwhelming number of center-right citizens supports single payer health care and reviving the WPA.

Why can't we all just get along? - <i>Rodney King</i> (0.00 / 0)
Obama is a "uniter."  Bottom line, he will own the bully pulpit for four years.  

Dr Strangelove, protected by the First Amendment, no matter what Sarah Palin says, can say anything he wants.

I believe what most Americans want is a "united" country.


Howard Fineman (0.00 / 0)
Howard Fineman was in town here on Wednesday, I got one question to ask him, I chose this specifically (it was a group at the local Jewish Comunity Center that he was adressing).

Anyway, my question:

Why do we constantly hear you pundits talk about how this is a center-right nation, when poll after poll on the issues shows that this is clearly a center left, or left nation.

He took about 5 minutes of his talk responding to my question. He basically agreed with the premise, and he further went onto say that this is the whole essence of the Obama Campaign, but that he is not using those specific words.


Center right? (0.00 / 0)
I've always thought this country was center right. However, the other day I looked at electoral maps dating all the way back to 1968. Back then, there were maps almost solidly red. Its only been in the last 20 years that blue has begun to creep in and become more prevalent. Dare I say, maybe this country is moving center left.

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