The wave of leftist liberalism is sweeping America, and it’s here to stay. A recent Gallup poll found that more Americans than ever are identifying themselves as social liberals. Conversely, the number of Americans who said that they were socially conservative were the lowest they’ve been since the polling began in 1999. The two are now tied at 31% each- with the remaining population identifying as moderate or no opinion.
It’s a trend thats only going to increase as the crises in America come to a head in the 2016 election. The wave of conservatism that swept the country and ushered Ronald Reagan into the White House is receding, as the right becomes more and more extremist in a way that is pushing moderates and centrists the other direction with their distasteful bigotry and aggressively exclusionary worldviews.
The Washington Post attributed the switch to both the popularity of liberalism as a political philosophy and a leftward swing inherent in the attitudes of Americans on socio-cultural issues. In ten years, the number of Americans supporting same-sex marriage has jumped from 37% to 60%. In that same period, the number of Americans supporting the legalization of marijuana has rolled up from 34% to 51%. Abortion is still a bit of an uncomfortable issue for many Americans.
The stigma of liberalism that arose during the Reagan and the Bush eras has faded away. It’s time for a new era in America, a nation where we look to the future and embrace change for the better. Conservatism has done nothing for our nation but turn it into an oligarchy where the wealthy control our politics and the working man suffers for it.
It’s time to reclaim the legacy of John F. Kennedy and bring liberalism back into American politics. It’s time we elected, as JFK put it, “someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties.”
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.