Jeremy Truitt

An attempt to understand the world of current events, finance and the economy on a level that allows me to teach it. I'm a journalist. Oh and the occasional post about family, life and kids!

Liberal America Has Arrived And It’s Not Going Anywhere

Credit: MotherJones

Yet again I am trying to break down a political concept without talking politics! Why do I do this to myself? At either rate, listen up! This one’s a good one.

The title says it all….America isn’t the conservative state we once knew. The growth of the millennials, the aging boomer population and the much more inclusive and tolerant nature of society is helping usher in (in my opinion) one of the most massive shifts in society you or I will ever see.

With President Obama’s huge win in the 2012 election, the Democrats gaining even more in the senate, the realization by many that climate change actually is occurring and most importantly, the acceptance and small victories in marriage equality are collectively anchoring this shift. I believe when everything is compared, America is largely changing. Not just changing, but transforming progressively into a newer America. Good or bad, it is happening. Agree or disagree, it will continue.

Obama’s reelection has effectively ensured the survival of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). He has effectively implemented a liberal government in motion (no value judgement, I’m just stating the fact) and this will continue for a very long time. His ideology commands him to rely on a more government-centric society, one where the government does much more than his conservative counterparts would prefer. We see that in the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), we see that in Obamacare, we see it in tax increases on the rich and the expansion of social programs. I’m not saying this is bad or that I disagree, I’m saying this is the new norm. Progressive America. Do I think Obama is a bad guy? Nope. I believe he’s very sincere, he’s a very ideological Democrat and he believes wholeheartedly in what he is doing in office. Am I a staunch Obama supporter? Also nope.

Credit: AP

Think I’m wrong? Let’s look at reality. He was widely elected in 2008, sweeping the McCain/Palin ticket (remember them?). His platform “hope and change” mobilized a nation. He has since passed a very divisive Obamacare, he pledged hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus that increased the deficit to over $16 trillion and social programs are now more wide than ever in history. Then what happened? He got reelected….by almost 3 million popular votes. By 126 electoral votes. He won every swing state except one. That is America loud and clear: “We want Barack Obama.”

Where’s the Tea Party? I have no idea, please let me know if you see them. They’re non-existent to a large degree. Sure there’s some die-hards out there but they have began to evaporate. Again…don’t believe me? Then look at fact. The Tea Party wasn’t even mentioned at the RNC this year. Why? Because even the Republican party doesn’t appear to believe in it or want to be associated with it. It’s a sinking ship.

What else is important? How about the fact that America now has its first openly lesbian senator? Tammy Baldwin was elected in Wisconsin while openly lesbian, big change. How about marriage equality? It passed in Maine and Maryland, the first states to ever pass such legislation endorsing gay couples. Climate change? I would argue that Sandy helped Obama big time there. Not to trivialize the loss of life but the facts show scientifically that our climate is changing. Be it from our use of its finite resources or other factors is up to you to argue, but it is changing. How about the ballot measures in Colorado and Washington state that legalized marijuana consumption and growth for personal use? This is further evidence that the new era of liberal America is at hand.

One more tidbit….most colleges are much more liberal than conservative. Here at the University of Missouri, the student-run newspaper The Maneater openly endorsed every single democratic candidate on the ticket and they’re not alone. (Correction: The Maneater endorsed Missouri Senator Kurt Schaefer, a Republican). The millennials are largely liberal. How will this play out historically? Anyone can use deductive reasoning to answer that, just look at what President Lincoln said.

“The philosophy in the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” –Abraham Lincoln

I thought it was very intriguing how CNN described the Republican party….

“The problem with the Republican party in today’s environment is that it’s too old, too white and too conservative.”

Boom. I couldn’t agree more. Especially with Obama getting over 70% of the Latino vote, over 90% of the black vote and 73% of the Asian vote. Further, he won 60% of the “aged 18-29 year old” vote compared to Romney’s 36%. How about the LGBTQ community? I can’t say specifically but it’s a known fact that community usually leans liberal.

This is a harsh, harsh wakeup call. Republicans: Wake up. This is America in 2012, not America in 1960. If you don’t evolve with the changing landscape of the country, of MY country, of YOUR country….you will continue to lose. Did you know that a Republican has only won the popular vote twice in the last 25 years?

Credit: tbann.com

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. The future of the Republican party as we know it today will largely be dependent on how adaptive it becomes in the very near future. As the party stands now, it’s on the wrong side of history.

As the title says….This is Liberal America, and it’s here to stay. Good or bad.

14 comments on “Liberal America Has Arrived And It’s Not Going Anywhere

  1. Elise Moser
    November 13, 2012

    Hey Jeremy! Great post. Two things you might want to add/change: Washington state also legalized same-sex marriage by popular vote, and The Maneater actually endorsed Republican Kurt Schaefer for Missouri state Senate.

    • Jeremy Truitt
      November 13, 2012

      I love the fact checking! I didn’t include Washington in the same-sex marriage point because it’s not certified yet. Although it will be in December. Thank you for pointing out The Maneater’s endorsement of Schaefer, I did not know that. Thanks again!

  2. Peaches
    November 13, 2012

    I think you navigated a political post without making it partisan quite well. Congrats.

    I just have one question. Do you have any more personal opinions about this (not necessarily political) shift because I’ve heard most of the rest of it in other commentary already. You’re there on the ground, in the heart of it, you must have some insight I can’t get from Cable News.

    • Jeremy Truitt
      November 13, 2012

      Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. I will say I most definitely have an opinion! Being in the media (even such a small market as central Missouri) requires a very specific skill: Playing devil’s advocate and withholding personal opinion. My goal is to incite constructive argument and debate! I will say i’m very troubled by the amount of debt the country has. That’s non-partisan. Bills must be paid that we cannot afford, that’s an economics issue not a political issue. I also believe in the ingenuity of America. It’s a tough one :). Thank you again for stopping by!

  3. roseylinn
    November 14, 2012

    Some of the items listed as “facts” and “reality” could be considered to be opinion and conclusions based on faulty facts that additional fact checking would reveal.

    • Jeremy Truitt
      November 14, 2012

      Hi there! Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it! Please help me understand…what facts are faulty? I ask that sincerely, no sarcasm. Everything I pulled came from the Pew Research Center, the Congressional Budget Office, certified election results and the U.S. Department of Labor. Additionally, my inferences are based on simple deductive reasoning based on the cultural shift already being reported by economists regarding the millennial generation and social change. Can you provide me with this “additional fact checking” you mention and reveal where i’ve gone wrong? Thanks again, I hope to hear from you!

      • roseylinn
        November 15, 2012

        I do agree that there is a cultural shift going on in America. The last election did outline the difference between two philosophies in the country. The real challenge is how to bring both sides together after such a long lasting nasty election. Both sides have valid points of view, opinions and points.

        Those are good sources. History is also a source of information.

        For example:

        TARP. That was part of President Bush’s Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. TARP was to combat the subprime mortgage crisis. President Bush also passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 that contained additional tax cuts and a payroll tax credit for anyone earning less than $75,000. All of those were due to the cumulative result of policies, two wars, going back to President Reagan. It included stimulus measures aimed at keeping America from entering a depression. President Obama did continue the stimulus and TARP.

        Expanding social programs are a result of Baby-boomers getting older, and under President Bush poverty rose for individuals from 12.2% in 2000 to 13.2% in 2008 and for families 9.3% in 2000 to 9.7% in 2008. That expanded the need for “social programs”. The current poverty rate is higher.

        It was the tax policies of President Reagan’s 1986 tax reform, President Clinton, and President Bush that accounted for a larger percent of American’s having low, to no, federal income tax liabilities. No one pays federal income tax on Social Security benefits unless they earn over $25,000 from another source.

        Under President Reagan for a family of four the Median Income Average Tax Rate for 1981 was 11.79% the rate then lowered, raised, and lowered until it ends in 1989 at 9.36%. Twice Median Income Average Tax Rate for 1981 was 19.11%. It too went up and down until it stopped at 15.28% in 1989. After he lowered taxes when he first took office he scrambled to raise them again, including four times in just two years. He realized that the tax cuts were too much and had cut revenue too deeply. After his 1981 tax cut unemployment soared to 10.8%.

        President Reagan also grew the federal government and it’s role in society. President Reagan didn’t fight womens rights, bailed out Social Security in 1983 after an attempt to privatize the program, increased military spending, gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants, wanted to free the world of nuclear weapons, ended the cold war, illegally funneled weapons to Iran, vetoed the anti-apartheid act, and funded Islamist mujahidin fighters in Afghanistan; etc. President Reagan is held out to be the prime example of conservatism and a conservative approach to government.

        In 2009 tax bills for everyone, including corporations, were at the lowest levels since 1950. That is still true today.

        President Obamas policies are responsible for approximately 8% of the debt. The bulk of the remainder falls to President Bush, and Presidents prior to him.

        • Jeremy Truitt
          November 15, 2012

          Thanks again for commenting. Let me start by saying I made a glaring mistake in choice of words. I did not mean TARP, I don’t even know how that got past my three proofs lol. I meant the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act). TARP had nothing to do with Obama, so my apologies for that. We can scratch the whole TARP discussion!

          On the topic of social programs, we can find common ground that what we’re seeing now is absolutely not only on Obama’s shoulders, but the point of this post was highlighting the cultural and social shift we are seeing, not to crunch numbers and figure out who’s fault this is.

          It’s a fact that the liberal school of thought holds social programs and entitlements in much higher regard than a conservative thought-process. (As a disclaimer, I don’t consider Medicare or Social Security to be “entitlements,” I really only count welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing, etc).

          Again, we can argue all day about and debate fiscal, monetary and social policies but that’s outside the scope of my intended post. I really appreciate you being well-educated as many simply spew opinion.

  4. Game Delver
    November 15, 2012

    As a very politically-interested millennial with a background in philosophy, I can never see myself voting for the Republican Party as a whole in any conceivable fashion. I certainly get their economic message as being deeper and more nuanced than simple trickle down economics like my liberal brothers attempt to paint it, but signing a Norquist’s pledge to not raise taxes ever makes all Republicans look stupid and unyielding, which is perceivably worsened more by the fact that they are the current opposition party as well.

    Simultaneously, the social issues and Republican Party’s reliance on the Christian right have also contributed to making them look far worse and even more out of touch. Reihan Salaam made an excellent point the other day on On Point With Tom Ashbrook when he said Republicans need to start arguing that these social issues are more states rights issues than anything that needs to be focused on at the national level.

    And last, there is a definite branding issue with conservative talk radio and Fox News. I’ve been appalled at how many pundits on the right are framing this election as a loss because of people who felt entitled and how Obama is the one who promised to hand out the gifts. I won’t go so far as to say it is outright racism, that’s too easy a shot to take. I will say however that as one of the richest and most powerful nations in the world, helping people pay off their student debt, feed their kids, and go to the hospital is a necessary and moral duty of our nation. I also wholeheartedly agree that people should pull themselves up by their own boot straps, I just think the government has an obligation to hand out boot straps for anyone lacking shoes.

    And yeah, we can argue that Republicans aren’t against those things, because they aren’t. But the more you demagogue those institutions and the people that use them, the more you will be perceived as being against them entirely.

    In the end, everything needs reform, but I’ve got little faith in the reformers, Democrat or Republican. I especially have little faith when half of those reformers are so backward and focused on many social issues, unwilling to really put everything on the table to negotiate/compromise, and have a nasty image issue of being angry, hateful, and spiteful.

    • Jeremy Truitt
      November 15, 2012

      Thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate your depth of knowledge as opposed to simple opinion. Robust debate is what we need.

      • Game Delver
        November 15, 2012

        No problem! I’ve just seen a lot of prejudice with older generations who think that mine knows nothing about anything. I grew up on the Internet: if I don’t know it yet, give me 5 seconds!

  5. roseylinn
    November 15, 2012

    Replying to your last reply. :) No problem I called the President Bush Economic Stimulus Act of 2008; the President Obama American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009. I proofread a few times as well. :)

    The “liberal” school of thought does hold social programs in higher regard.

    The republican party of President Reagan is not the republican party of today that we see. It has changed and the extremists of the party have pulled it farther right. When that happens even moderate policies that in the past both parties supported and voted for, can seem incredibly “liberal”. There is also an unwillingness to bend or compromise as both parties seem locked in propaganda that has labeled the other as the enemy. The moderates are stuck in the middle between two bitterly divorcing parents that can’t stop blaming each other.

  6. Pingback: The Evolutionary Psychology of Liberals & Conservatives, an Idea « Jeremy Truitt

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