RWN Interview With Michael Barone
John Hawkins conducted an e-mail interview with political analyst Michael Barone, a transcript of which appears at Right Wing News.
A representative exchange:
John Hawkins: On the whole, the US seems to have been moving slowly, but steadily to the right over the last 25 years. Do you agree that’s the case and can you tell us why you think that is?
Michael Barone: Slowly to the right in many ways, yes; but not on everything. The Democratic party is weaker in congressional and state elections generally than it was 25 years ago, but it’s arguably stronger in presidential elections; Democratic presidential nominees in the last three elections have won more popular votes than Republican nominees. Bill Clinton won 49 percent of the vote in 1996 and Al Gore won 48 percent in 2000; current polls show John Kerry running as well or better. On some issues abortion, gay rights–the electorate has moved well to the left in the last 25 years.
This is exactly right. It’s true that the Republican party has moved from permanent minority status to a slight plurality in the last 20-odd years but that’s largely a function of white Southern Democrats switching labels. On most social issues, the national trend has been inexorably to the left.