Daily Kos members think they are the Center
No offense to Daily Kos but they in general are not in the political Center. Having polls showing you are in the majority or even large supermajority on some issues does not automatically equate to being in the political Center.
I understand the desire to move the Overton Window, in which case constantly trying to spread the case of being "centrist" is not bad as long as you are aware that you are spreading propaganda. Regular, useful propaganda but propaganda nonetheless.
Being in the political Center on the other hand is not the same as being in the Mainstream of the political thought. Majorities on both Right and Left are in the Mainstream which to me technically means adhering to acceptably (by majority of the American public and Elected Reps) non-radical views that are within range of our American political sphere.
The various dkos ideological polls show that 90%+ of them are Liberals/Progressives. Why is that not Centrist you might ask (though plenty of you know you are not) if majorities of Americans agree with you on important issues? It is all about where your emphasis and priorities are. If your emphasis is on fighting for helping the poor, corporate social responsibility, healthcare as a right for all, greater social acceptance of minorities, gays, etc, and you have a great personal interest in seeing our country move in that direction, you are on the Left ideologically regardless of how much of the country generally agrees with you. US Left that is since US is very different politically from the rest of the World.
Some of them say that the country has moved too far to the Right in the last few decades which in turn abandoned you "formerly moderate" and made you look like the Left. In what sense has that happened? On the Social front moving towards greater equality and acceptance of women, minorities, and homosexuals in most areas has made great strides in the last few decades. Social Conservatives have been losing clout and have almost nothing to point to as achievements while the Left can show many States moving towards greater tolerance. On the Economic front the government never stopped growing in both discretionary and entitlement areas which only accelerated under Bush. It is true that we do not have Universal HealthCare but we never had that so no one can claim we moved to the Right on that.
Oh, but they want to redefine the Center to fit what the majority of them believes to swing the pendulum back? It's a nice thought but the reality is that the core of their ideology is still of the Left (nothing wrong with that) and even if the country will swing further towards their preferences it would be a farce to call the Left's ideology centrist no matter how much in ascendancy it would be. Same for the Right.
What makes someone Centrist is not the fact that the person does not prefer any Liberal or Conservative views but that the person has at least some of the following:
- A healthy mix of the views from both Right and Left
- Absense of zeal towards moving the country into a particular ideological direction
- Your priorities and emphasis are simply not on changing the ideological status quo in a great way
- You do not think that your side's views are good and the other side's views are evil
- A desire to listen to solutions to problems without initially having preconcieved notions on the best ideologically correct solution
- Dislike for extremes of either of the main existing ideologies
I think it is ok to try to sell the American public on your being mainstream, centrist, moderate, or whatever else they want the American Public to believe as long as you do not kid yourself. What's wrong with being on the Left anyways?