College Students Identify Progressive Views as Centrist Views

Dec 2010
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Opinion: College students in shifting middle - Anne Johnson - POLITICO.com

Are college students moving to the middle, or are the progressive policies they support becoming more mainstream?

In a survey recently released by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute, 47 percent of college students identify their political beliefs as “middle of the road,” up from 43 percent in 2008.

While it may sound like millennials are becoming more centrist, the truth is that they are still very progressive. What’s changed is that Americans are embracing progressive policies as core beliefs. As these progressive values become more mainstream, their supporters naturally see themselves in a similar light.


In the survey, college students’ progressive beliefs are clear: a full three-quarters of incoming freshmen support marriage equality, 64 percent agree that wealthy people should pay more in taxes and 61 percent support reproductive rights. Additionally, 64 percent of young people strongly support the DREAM Act and 71 percent are concerned about climate change and support alternative energy.

These positions are becoming more widely accepted, or middle of the road, by the country as a whole. Today, more than half the country supports marriage equality, 67 percent believe the wealthy need to pay more in taxes, 54 percent support reproductive rights, 70 percent support the DREAM Act and 80 percent see climate change as a serious problem.

As the study notes, while about half of students identify their political beliefs as middle of the road, they have “decidedly more progressive” beliefs when it comes to specific issues.

Young people have been strongly progressive for years and, as the country embraces these values, they will be seen as mainstream beliefs and pave the way for moving our country forward. Millennials clearly made the difference in the 2012 election and will continue to do so for decades to come.

Read more: Opinion: College students in shifting middle - Anne Johnson - POLITICO.com

The political spectrum is skewed so far to the right in this country, it's not even funny. And yet the Tea Party is still convinced we need to move further to the right, as if the Democrats and Republicans weren't far-right enough. Unfortunately for these old Republicans, who believe centre-right presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are far-left socialists, the new generation sees through their bullshit.

Today's college students rightfully identify things like supporting marriage equality, believing in science, addressing climate change, and taxing the rich more heavily, as sane, mainstream, centrist positions, not left-wing in any way. This is the new centre in this country.

And that pretty much puts the Democratic Party in the centre/centre-right, while the Republican Party is so extreme as to have fallen off the spectrum. The GOP is completely out of the mainstream of America. Republicans are going to have to start moving to the left- back toward reality- if they want any hope of competing in the future. If they continue in their vain search for some "True Conservative" hero to save them, they are going to render their party completely irrelevant within a decade or two.
 
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I was entertaining radical ideas when I was in college.

Now my views vary between Social-Democrat and Moderate.
 

Rorschach

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Aug 2012
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[If the Democrat Party is "center/right," then the Communist Party is "moderate...."

The DNC is every bit as far to the Left, as the GOP is to the Right. The "Centrists" from both parties have either been chased out, or, shouted down, by their own.
 
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Pampered college kids always think liberalism is a good idea until they grow up and get a job. This is old news.
*Yawn*

Conservative angry old men will live in denial until the bitter end, no?

[If the Democrat Party is "center/right," then the Communist Party is "moderate...."

The DNC is every bit as far to the Left, as the GOP is to the Right. The "Centrists" from both parties have either been chased out, or, shouted down, by their own.
Nope, sorry, no matter how much you might have convinced yourself of that in the bubble by listening to Rush and watching Fox News...the Republican Party is far to the right of where America is right now, whereas the Democratic Party is pretty much right in the centre. Obama is a centre-right president. The Republican Party cannot survive long-term if it doesn't change.
 
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Rorschach

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Aug 2012
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"Nope, sorry, no matter how much you might have convinced yourself of that in the bubble by listening to Rush and watching Fox News (I SELDOM listen to Rush. I have virtually nil respect for Rush. I watch as much CNN as FOX)...the Republican Party is far to the right of where America is right now (The GOP is to the RIGHT, not the FAR RIGHT. IF you watched something other than MSNBC, or, read something other than Huffpo, dailykos, or moveon.org, you would realize that), whereas the Democratic Party is pretty much right in the centre (LEFT of Center). Obama is a centre-right president.(ROFLMAO!!!! That, alone illustrates that you are WAAAAY off base as to what "left, center and right" are. That is, quite simply, a ludircrous statement.) The Republican Party cannot survive long-term if it doesn't change (Remains to be seen, but, based on the rest of your statements, I think...you are full of it!).
 
Dec 2010
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"Nope, sorry, no matter how much you might have convinced yourself of that in the bubble by listening to Rush and watching Fox News (I SELDOM listen to Rush. I have virtually nil respect for Rush. I watch as much CNN as FOX)...the Republican Party is far to the right of where America is right now (The GOP is to the RIGHT, not the FAR RIGHT. IF you watched something other than MSNBC, or, read something other than Huffpo, dailykos, or moveon.org, you would realize that), whereas the Democratic Party is pretty much right in the centre (LEFT of Center). Obama is a centre-right president.(ROFLMAO!!!! That, alone illustrates that you are WAAAAY off base as to what "left, center and right" are. That is, quite simply, a ludircrous statement.) The Republican Party cannot survive long-term if it doesn't change (Remains to be seen, but, based on the rest of your statements, I think...you are full of it!).
Um, can you use the quote feature? That's what it's there for...this post of yours is a mess.

However what I said in my previous post was accurate, and it's reflected in what the studies are finding of what younger Americans believe.

The Democratic Party is firmly in the centre, for supporting progressive taxation, marriage equality, addressing climate change, ensuring reproductive freedom, believing and teaching science, and addressing the immigration issue fairly. The Republican Party is way off the spectrum on all of these issues, holding the entire country hostage over a few percentage points in the tax code on the richest Americans, viciously opposing marriage equality and any other effort at promoting LGBTQ equality, denying the existence of climate change and encouraging climate-destructive actions, forcing raped women to have their rapists' babies and even banning contraception, believing that Creationism is a valid scientific theory that should be taught in schools, and proposing that tens of millions of hardworking people from Mexico and Latin America be rounded up and deported.

The GOP is a far-right party. The Democratic Party is a centrist party. There is no left in American politics right now.
 
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Rorschach

Former Staff
Aug 2012
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Sorry.

Your OPINION is exactly that.

MY opinion, is, exactly that.

It is MY opinion that to label Barack Obama as a "Center-RIGHT" president is absolutely LUDICROUS and, completely without any sort of supporting merit.

I think, your problem is that you are very liberal (nothing wrong with that, whatsoever), but, you honestly believe that YOU are the "centrist," and that anyone to the right of you is FAR Right.

Either way, this discussion is pretty worthless for the both of us. We obviously disagree on the actual definitions of "Liberal, Conservative and Centrist," and neither of us is going to alter our understanding of each....
 
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Dec 2010
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Sorry.

Your OPINION is exactly that.

MY opinion, is, exactly that.

It is MY opinion that to label Barack Obama as a "Center-RIGHT" president is absolutely LUDICROUS and, completely without any sort of supporting merit.

I think, your problem is that you are very liberal (nothing wrong with that, whatsoever), but, you honestly believe that YOU are the "centrist," and that anyone to the right of you is FAR Right.

Either way, this discussion is pretty worthless for the both of us. We obviously disagree on the actual definitions of "Liberal, Conservative and Centrist," and neither of us is going to alter our understanding of each....
No, sorry, this isn't a matter of opinion. Words have meaning. To say that Obama and the Democratic Party are "left-wing" is to make that term, and all forms of political classification, completely devoid of meaning. The Nazi Party was an extreme far-right party even if its members believed they were mainstream. Their opinions didn't change the facts. Republicans today are delusional if they think their views are anything close to the centre and the American mainstream.
 
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Rorschach

Former Staff
Aug 2012
53,875
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#10
No, sorry, this isn't a matter of opinion. Words have meaning. To say that Obama and the Democratic Party are "left-wing" is to make that term, and all forms of political classification, completely devoid of meaning. The Nazi Party was an extreme far-right party even if its members believed they were mainstream. Their opinions didn't change the facts. Republicans today are delusional if they think their views are anything close to the centre and the American mainstream.
I think that the "delusions" are yours.

You have offered nothing BUT opinion, and, proclaimed it TRUTH.

I have offered OPINION, and proclaimed it as such.