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Rank-and-File More Moderate than Expected—In Both Parties

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The Wall Street Journal conducted an August poll meant to show the two parties as hopelessly divided, but the actual results of the survey indicate that most people on both sides lean toward the cautious center.

Despite the strident activists who rally behind the slogan “Black Lives Matter” only 28 percent of self-identified Democrats describe themselves as “supporters” of that movement. Meanwhile, Al Gore must feel heart-broken that less than a third of Democrats want “immediate action to address climate change.”

Meanwhile, despite the GOP’s backing of gun rights, only 34 percent of Republicans say they support the NRA, and only a minority favor “the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.” Meanwhile, nearly half of Republicans—and 80 percent of Democrats—agree that “immigration strengthens the US.”

Sure, the parties differ on most issues, but this survey demonstrates that the rank-and-file of both parties is more moderate than the activists and true-believers of the partisan base.


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  1. Ty  •  Sep 13, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    This is why I want PEW to do the same type of extensive polling for liberals and conservatives in the US that they did for muslims in multiple countries. A poll that dives deeply into peoples real thoughts and attitudes and policy preferences.

    I actually consider myself quite moderate in most things, with only a handful of more radical prescriptions for society on the left leaning side (universal healthcare + Basic Income experiments and implementation if those are a success).

    I think much of the thrust of the black lives matter movement is misplaced and counterproductive. I do want action on climate change, but shifted more towards subsidies for new energy development and storage and fusion plant research and battery research. I very similar thoughts to the anti malthusian/Paul Erhlich crowd that we will find technological solutions to many of our climate problems where we can have it all, cleaner environments AND lower energy costs with enough research and development. But here I want us to use TAX money to fund some of this research. I think that is a social good for society, some conservatives think not. Also, once we have enough clean and cheap energy options, I'd be MUCH more willing to shut down industries like Coal plants that are no longer needed, so long as we have a sort of process like we engage in with imminent domain to make sure the people whose property you take are compensated. If we as a society use the government to shut down industries because we no longer want to tolerate their pollution, I think it's reasonable to compensate industry players and the workers that are displaced and need to be retrained.

    This is part of the problem with more RAW and PURE forms of capitalism and creative destruction left alone. We need it, but whether by government fiat, or cheap natural gas from fracking, industries get disrupted and people who made perfectly reasonable life choices get caught flat footed. I want society through government to have better guard rails for people so that the floor is higher off the ground.

    Too many conservatives seem to think the consequences of failure or bad behavior need to be more severe to have some effect. I don't think that's true in many if not most cases.

  2. Nani Tavares  •  Sep 14, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Recently, I've notice two things about liberals.

    1- They will claim to be moderates which automatically puts them in the fair category and you as unfair if you continue to disagree with them.

    2- They will say that BOTH sides have things to be ashamed of doing. Now doesn't this sound so FAIR? And "olive leaf" like? One has an instinctive desire to give the liberal the out; we BOTH have sinned and have come short of goodness.

    Problem with number 1: There is nothing "moderate" about wanting to shut down those that disagree with you, who won't accept YOUR mantra of racism, fascism, and intolerance, and who won't embrace your solutions for the problems of the world. There is nothing moderate in finding nothing to love about this nation or to blame her for the sins of humanity. There is nothing moderate in absolute single payer, regulations and taxes that puts everyone in one communal pot to be controlled by an elite few.

    Problem with number 2: BOTH sides did NOT endorse slavery, inequality, and civil disobedience. In fact one side created a whole party to do away with slavery. One side were abolitionists and introduced laws for equality. One side that fought for meritocracy instead of race based advancement. One side that believed that ALL had the ability to succeed, no matter what their past and the obstacles they and their parents faced. Only one side truly believes in fairness and compassion for ALL, not just a chosen minority; only one side demands the best from ALL despite the color of their skin or their gender. Only one side that values the strong and refuses to become the victim. Only one side that strives for the respect and gratitude of the culture we ALL share: Americanism.

    It may not be "peaceful" or nice, but it IS the truth. Liberals are NOT the same as conservatives and if we do not share, it isn't because conservatives don't want to. It's because Liberals are still pretending that we are already do just that.

    • Jim Bird  •  Sep 15, 2017 at 9:05 am

      Excellent analysis, Nani. Tie's sighs are unreadable, nonsensical claptrap which require psychological analysis. His rambling incohererant rants bears no resemblance to political commentary.

  3. Jim Bird  •  Sep 15, 2017 at 9:56 am

    The voters who elected Trump and the additional voters, like myself, who will vote for him in the future, are not interested in "the moderates" polling stats. We are interested in the Republican base crime cartel in DC getting off their pompous collective ass and doing something extremist. Stuff like, oh I don't know, restoring rule of law, restoring following our founding documents and not siding with the Leftists across the aisle.

    I must say though I applaud Trump for meeting with vermin like Pelosi and Schumer which shines the spotlight squarely on the Republican leadership. Michael, is socialism better than liberty, freedom? Is socialism/Marxism better than a Civil War?
    You keep saying "we don't have it so bad compared to other countries" – does that make you feel good? Why not get Lannie Davis and John McCain on your show today to explain why giving up to Leftists is the best thing to do for the country right now. That will soothe the electorate's fear and rage I'm sure, I'm positive. After all, that's the moderates way.

  4. Rizzo  •  Sep 16, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Pop Quiz, you ahistorical jackass.
    When in your lifetime have you ever experienced anything that even resembled a "RAW and PURE form of capitalism"?
    I would like to try an experiment that would at least be a step in that direction.
    I mean jeez, it only helped to create the most prosperous, greatest nation in word history.

    • Ty  •  Sep 17, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      How about the 1940s? When republicans were more…. wait for it… LIBERAL!

      Talk about history? you arrogant punks have been taken over by libertarian radicals, you don't even know where you come from, you think the republican party today is of the same mettle as the past? Eisenhower backed the interstate highway system, can you IMAGINE a republican backing that kind of big government project today and gaining the support of the freedom caucus? Of the Ted Cruz wing?

      And you dare, you DARE come to me talking about ahistorical? YOU are the tumor on the republican party, YOU are the barnacle that no one wanted to form. People with your attitude changed the republican party from a party of liberals to a conservative party. There were always elements of both, and now we see which side is ascendant. I wanted Cruz to win the nomination so we could see the avatar of the freedom caucus wing go down in flames so the BAD side of the conservative movement with wither and wane, but Trump got the nomination and won, now it's all a cluster.

      I've never lived in a time of pure capitalism, and I am grateful for it. I want capitalism + redistribution. I want both, not either or. We have states with less regulation, less redistribution, and if it were up to me, I'd give them more autonomy because I WANT to see you implode society within a conservative state when your presumptions have to meet reality. I want to see that smirk of certainty in your own views wash up against the rocks of the real world, where presumptions actually have to prove themselves, not just sound nice and comforting to a man who measures such things based on how well they align with ideology. And I want you to see the fruits of placing ideology over results, and let you taste the bitterness and ashes of choosing the wrong goal to strive for.

  5. Ty  •  Sep 17, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    So Ty, after all your nonsensical blather, the answer to my question is…… Wait for it…..
    NEVER…. NEVER IN YOUR LIFETIME HAVE WE HAD ANYTHING THAT RESEMBLES "RAW AND PURE CAPITALISM". So please take your pathetic YouTube, Wikipedia education somewhere else, where people might appreciate it.

    Why are you so scared, to even take one small step in the direction of freedom?
    The answer is because you are a lunatic leftist. The pendulum can only swing in one way. The answer to EVERY QUESTION has to be MORE GOVERNMENT, LESS INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, DESTROY TH CONSTITUTION.
    You people are pathetic and sick!

    • Rizzo  •  Sep 18, 2017 at 9:18 am

      Obviously, but so there is no confusion, the above post is from me (Rizzo) to the historical illiterate (Ty).
      You know, the guy who wants both capitalism+redistribution, as if the US government doesn't already redistribute BILLIONS already… Not only is this guy clueless regarding history, but he has no idea of his current reality. He actually thinks we don't redistribute enough, and that if anyone suggests that maybe we consider cutting back on these FAILED, IMMORAL policies, then we are advocating for a "pure capitalist system".
      What a complete MORON!

      • Ty  •  Sep 18, 2017 at 2:49 pm

        I don't think we redistribute efficiently. Much of the money already spent is spent poorly, and in some cases, we might need more redistributed. I'm quite open and explicit about this, I am not playing hide the ball with my views.

        When you say you want to get rid of redistribution, you are making a harder case against the entire enterprise. IF that is not what you mean, then be more precise. Don't be like a talk radio clown and fire an array of shotgun blasts towards "big government" that Sounds like you want it all to come down.

        And you need to stop pretending you give a damn about results if that is a secondary concern of yours.

        Are you for smaller government because you think that is the best path to lead to more prosperity and a happier life for more people? Or are you for smaller government whether better outcomes follow from them or not, because it is more "moral" to have smaller government and unethical to redistribute? Because if people do worse, it's not societies fault (true, but irrelevant)?

        If the latter is the case, then results don't really matter to you, at least not as much as the ideology or more limited government. Some of us have preferences that place better outcomes for more people higher than the specific path to get there. If that's less government in some cases, that's fine with us, if it's more government restrictions and redistribution to get to some more optimal balance of shared prosperity, that's fine too. But the north star, the end goal is the RESULTS, not the "righteous path" of ever more limited government. That last does not CARE if people are better or worse off, it makes people like you SLAVES to process, empty unthinking automatons down on your knees in the service of the wrong goals in life.

        And the RESULTS we are after as liberals is NOT that everyone is equal, that is impossible, we just want a better balance in society where the consequences of being on the bottom or lower middle are less severe. We want to see MORE people do better, and are less… faithful that just leaving more of everything up to the market will get us to that higher ground. We do not place most of the evils of society and life in government, like genuine fools. The faults are in mankind, not government, whether they are in government or not. This basic confusion and emptiness and misplaced rage at government is one of the greatest mistargets of human civilization.

      • Rizzo  •  Sep 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm

        "We want to see MORE people do better", what system in world history has produced better results than the US free-market system? We have raised the standard of living for the world, you moron.

        This is what I mean… you are totally ahistorical. You have ZERO interest in facts, logic and reason.

        I agree, government flaws are the flaws of humans. But, government, is ALL-MIGHTY, and that's why government must be LIMITED. The flaws of man are MAGNIFIED when given the power of governmen. The flaws of man are reduced with individual freedom, divided limited government, states rights, etc.

        Are you that G.D. simple that you can't understand this basic and fundamental FACT.

        Please, go read a book on US HISTORY. You are an embarrassment!

    • Ty  •  Sep 18, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      A study of a malignant subsection of republicans (the more die hard Trump supporters)

      (warning, video from a LEFT wing outlet, Leaving the conservative bubble, WARNING !!!! – for those too delicate to withstand such analysis, fair though it may be, just search for a Ted Cruz speech or go watch Steven Crowder to sooth your fragile sensibilities)

      This is what Michael missed in a previous article, he talked about how Trump had a more broad cross section of support, but that was mostly based on partisanship trumping.. Trump rejection. When you focus in on the people that likely supported him in the primaries, and what REALLY animated MANY of them, you see a subsection of the republican party that is not moderate or laudable.

  6. Rizzo  •  Sep 18, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    A study of a malignant subsection of democrats (the more die hard Bernie supporters)
    (warning, video from a REALITY wing outlet, Leaving the leftist dream-world bubble, WARNING !!!! – for those too delicate to withstand such analysis, fair though it may be, just search for a Chuckie the Schmuckie Schumer speech or go watch Stephen Colbert to sooth your fragile sensibilities)

    • Ty  •  Sep 19, 2017 at 4:23 am

      Yes, there are idiots on the left that are eating their own and shouting down someone that is basically on their side. I can see that clearly. One of the reasons the left is mad at Nancy Pelosi is that she has not come out and supported single payer, and they hate her for it and call her a corporate democrat. They hate her because they are confused children of men. Nancy is wrong, not evil, but they cannot see past their fury at policy disagreements.

      Now run along and pretend the right is all sunshine and roses, that there is not a massive difference of opinion between people like Michael and Arthur brooks that are in favor of enshrining DACA into law, and some of the people that called into his radio show earlier today that wanted nothing to do with illegals that have been here since age 4. I heard one of the beasts/callers, he did not care what they've done since. Spend that 75 dollars on a bus ride back to Mexico where they were born was all he could be bothered to hold out as a solution. Decades spent here? NOT an issue to that puke stained vermin of a man. With a clear conscience he would snap his fingers and have all the illegals, ALL of them rounded up and bused back.

      Don't pretend that faction is not massive and strong among conservative ranks. And THOSE are the people who are most hostile to both illegal and legal immigrants. I'm sure more of them would be pushing for much stricter standards for legal immigration too, they just don't want mexicans to come here or be here.

      You have any problems with that faction on the right Rizzo? Are are you one big happy family with them? Oh? They want to deport some service member or student who was not born in the country? FINE by them, fine by you too? No compromise given, not with those radicals. Nativist SCUM is what they are. It's a vicious, hateful, pustule of humanity that lives on the right. They love to hide behind law and order, use that as a shield to divert attention away from their true desires, to see the "others" gone, as many as they can have excised away from the nation. Because THOSE are the "takers"

      I do not hate Nancy, but when I think about the people who would flippantly advocate for a policy that uproots people who've made a life here in the US as if they were little more than some throw away refuse, I have to fight my own animus and hatred for them as people. There is a scale of callousness and viciousness coming from that section of the right that genuinely enrages me.

  7. Rizzo  •  Sep 19, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Yes, how dare anyone standup for the rule of law. How dare any US citizen demand that our elected officials represent US citizens. And most appalling of all to democrats, is how dare anyone suggest their potential loss of future voters.

    And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…. Don't confuse LEGAL immigration with ILLEGAL immigration.
    NOBODY that I know, or have ever encountered opposes LEGAL immigration. I know you would love to make the convenient, typical leftist argument, that we conservatives oppose people coming to our country because we are racists and don't like the color of someone's skin, but that's just another PATHETIC LEFTIST LIE.

    So, now that we ignore immigration law, what other laws should we ignore?

    We are not supposed to enforce US immigration law, we can't deport "dreamers" whatever the F that made-up term means, we can't deport the parents of "dreamers", who came here illegally… How do you suggest we enforce the law? Leftists, like you Ty, support a lawless, borderless, anarchical society. It's PATHETIC!

    Now, go be a slave, along with Nancy Pelosi, to people who are NOT even suppose to be here.
    It is so fun to watch the anarchy, which is supported by the lunatic left, turn on itself.

    • Ty  •  Sep 19, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      You do not need to ignore the rule of law, especially not when you have leeway for the consequences of law breaking.

      Scenario 1 – illegals are intercepted crossing the border, like the burst a few years ago from central America of children fleeing crime ridden regions, send them back. Try to set aside some funds to help settle the children back into the country of origin safely.

      Scenario 2 – illegals that were brought over as young children, before any sensible age of consent, that have lived most of their lives in the US and have never been in serious trouble with the law, offer legal status for residency. You want to tack on some fees for that, fine.

      I'm not going to back deporting those people. That is a solution, but a vicious one. And the reason so many conservatives choose not as the ONLY tolerable solution is that they are vicious hateful people who have trash priorities.

      I can imagine the type of conservative person calling in demanding all the illegals be bussed back to their home country during ww2. His hateful indifferent rule of law ONLY ethos on full display. Imagine he is the neighbor to a family that is hiding Ann Frank. Such an action is against the rule of LAW!

      I can see his kind of fevered logic of extremes in the minds of affected people recreating that scene from the ten commandments of Moses winding back the stone tablets to hurl at his fallen people and committing mass murder.

      If you will not Live by the LAW, then DIE by the LAW!!!

      Consequence free attitude there. There is only the law, there is only obedience and submission, there is only one tolerable recompence to law breaking. Instant deportaion.

      Only to a twisted conservative nativist mind.

  8. Rizzo  •  Sep 19, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    You know what, moron, if not deporting illegals was some form of realistic and legitimate enforcement of the rule of law… Why did you leftists push for DACA? It's because the rule of law requires the deportation of illegal immigrants. If not, this entire DACA discussion is pointless.

    And please spare us the bible lessons, allusions to Nazi-Germany and your accusations of viciousness. As a self-proclaimed Godless Heathen and supporter of baby-killings, your words ring hallow.

    • Ty  •  Sep 20, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      We choose how to enforce laws, and the laws can be changed.

      Do you remember that story about about a case of statutory rape in Georgia?

      Here is the key section:

      "The jury acquitted Dixon of rape, battery, assault and false imprisonment but because Brown was only 15 at the time of the incident found him guilty of statutory rape and aggravated child molestation. Because of this Dixon was convicted at the mandatory amount under Georgia law, 10 years imprisonment.[16] If he had been found guilty of rape, he would have faced a much less severe punishment."

      Now, if I was a conservative who's had several shot gun blasts take out chunks of my Brain, I'd do what YOU do, and go on about:

      Rizzo: That's the LAW !!!!!!! I don't CARE if he was acquitted, if the details REQUIRE a DECADE in prison because the girl was 15, he should serve that time. The LAW is the LAW is the LAW !!!!!!!!!!!!

      Prosecutorial discretion? What about congress changing the law to alter the consequence? If you just want to do the latter and let the dreamers stay, fine, but if you want to KEEP the SAME consequence for them, you are a monstrous human being.

      I do not absolve you and people like you for your gleeful desires to see those people cast out of the nation. I judge you. I don't care if you don't care, it's past time a mirror, a black mirror is held up to Bestial conservative malice and hatreds to show them how awful they can be. The so called christians. ALWAYS choosing execution over grace, the most retributive vengeful class of people the world has ever known. If you were living in the middle ages you'd be cheering Torquemada on for stepping out of line of Holy law. Because the law is the law is the law. Bend and yield to the consequences, whatever they are, and LIKE IT. Even if you have the power to mute those consequences when it is warranted, NEVER bother, NEVER yield, maximum penalty because We, as conservatives wear our HATREDS on our sleeves.

      • Rizzo  •  Sep 20, 2017 at 5:00 pm

        Another story from the pages of Wikipedia…. Go get a real education, and actually learn something worth knowing.

        You are an embarrassment.

  9. Rizzo  •  Sep 20, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Ty…. Moron…. Did you know that D.A.C.A. is actually an acronym?
    Do you know what an acronym is?
    D is for deferred
    A is for action
    C is for childhood
    A arrivals
    It's an American immigration policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country illegally as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action. And guess what that action was, WAIT FOR IT…….. Deportation.
    Do you understand, moron? The LAW OF THE LAND IS DEPORTATION.
    You are a supporter of lawlessness. You are a supporter of mob-rule, anarchy.
    And you leftists are starting to reap the rewards… and by rewards, I mean the anarchy, which you leftists have created and supported, is starting to turn on you… as it always does.
    You are successfully turning America into a third-world, banana-republic.

    • Ty  •  Sep 20, 2017 at 4:49 pm

      A small fraction of the nation wants the action for those people to be deportation. YOU do, because you're a hateful little man who just wants the mexicans gone. But most of us want congress to do its damn job and come up with a fix with less drastic consequences than deportation and having their lives uprooted. But we keep coming back to this, you do not WANT a fix with less drastic consequences. If congress altered the LAW to allow such people to stay, YOU would be up in arms, it would not matter that they were now LEGALLY here, because the effing LEGALITY was NEVER what truly bothered you you LIAR. Lie to yourselves conservatives, I keep telling you NOT to lie to my face. I will keep slapping those deceits to the ground.

      Nothing short of deportation will do for you sections of the right. Even if they became legal, you would be mad they were not deported before. You just don't want "those people" here.

  10. Rizzo  •  Sep 20, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    I don't give an F if they are Mexican or Scottish or whatever, you race-baiting hate-monger. We are a society of laws. I stand for the rule of law. You, you stand for divisive, hateful, lawless, mob-rule.

    You are so GD stupid, you don't even know what the law is. Just like a typical leftist, walk around blissfully stupid, until a problem arises, then come up with the most simple-minded, least thoughtful solution possible. And then pretend to be compassionate, all the while destroying our society.

    You are dangerously stupid. I'm glad you live in your Mom's basement, where you can't do any real harm.

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