When I was in high school government, our government teacher gave us a ten question test to see where we would land on the political spectrum. I remember thinking that test was bogus back then and that point was rammed home more so when my classmates (and teacher) labeled me as a liberal leaning communist anyway. See, I grew up in Clear Lake and in Clear Lake you are automatically a liberal if you vote Democratic. I went on to TCU where I was also a liberal for voting Democratic.
In fact, I've spent my entire life feeling the need to apologize to a lot of people for my politics. Of course, I don't really apologize, but it just seems like I'm on the wrong side of the coin everywhere I've been. That changed in the summer of 2008 when I went to my local precinct to vote in the primary. There were about two hundred people there. 197 of them were for the Democrats and three of them were for the Republicans. I remember the days when the situation was reversed.
These are confusing times for all of us. On the one hand, we have a majority in the House, Senate, and White House that is/was sizable. On the other hand, it seems like loud-mouth rednecks are dominating the airwaves these days. You have a Republican party that Abraham Lincoln and even Barry Goldwater wouldn't recognize and you have right-wing yahoos that dominate talk radio and cable.
I suppose the point is that it's hard to say what is up, down, left, or right anymore. More importantly, it is hard to say what is in the middle anymore. Most Americans don't think in terms of donkeys or elephants. A higher percentage of people are independent than belong in either party individually. JKugler's blog today talks about Bob Dole's call for bipartisanship. The problem is that we are beyond partisanship. We are into cut and run, win at all costs politics. Most Americans see issues. Most politicians see coalitions and midterm elections.
I always thought of myself as a moderate, but now I don't even know. The center in American politics seems to have moved so far to the right that's it's hard to say what anything is anymore. If you read the bios of the bloggers here you will note that I am one of the few that is not a former Republican. I don't know if I will ever vote for a Republican candidate for president in my lifetime. The way things are going it seems like the odds of that happening are less and less. Does this make me a liberal? I guess that's your call. I really don't care anymore.