America Doesn’t Have A Left Wing…Why not?
Written By Habibi Bridges
One of the biggest myths in existence is that there is an American Left. You’ll hear people on Fox news claim that the Biden and Harris administration is leftist. Rich Lowry, current editor in chief of National Review, wrote an opinion piece titled “Biden is the most radical left-wing president in US history, period” for NYPOST, which is an absolute joke since nothing could be any further from the truth.
Have you ever taken a political compass test? If the answer is no, allow me to give you a quick introduction. The political compass is a 2d typology graph that measures two things– economic ideology and social ideology. Below is an example of a political compass: The bottom right sometimes is represented using either the color yellow or purple–the others are standard representing each ideological quadrant.
Since FDR, despite him being the most popular president in US history, the United States has been shifting slowly to the right.
America, for one, has never had a radical leftist president. The most left-leaning president in US History, interestingly enough, was also the most popular president in US History: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served three consecutive terms and would have won a fourth election (died a year afterwards) due to his popularity. FDR wasn’t a radical leftist though, to be honest, he wasn’t too far left from the center. Since FDR, despite him being the most popular president in US history, the United States has been shifting slowly to the right.
What made FDR the most beloved president? He was elected during the Great Depression, and developed several social services which helped the country restore its economy, as well as its morale–and entered World War II. His great uncle, Theodore Roosevelt also consistently ranks in the top five most favorable US presidents, while a centrist through and through, he leans to the left as far as US politicians go.
Abraham Lincoln, who was of the Republican Party, was also more left leaning than any of the Democratic presidents we’ve had in recent history (i.e. Obama, Hilary)
The myth of the American left has been touted by mainly right wing political commentators, acting as some sort of remnant of McCarthyism. This revulsion and fear towards anything on the left, callously labeled as communism by the right wing seems to resemble Cold War era fear tactics. (Unless its a corporation getting bailed out)
So where is the American Left? Well, while smaller leftist factions exist (i.e. The Green Party, Socialist Party, Workers World Party, etc)–there is no major leftwing political party in the United States. In fact, no seat in all of Congress has ever been won by someone from a left wing political party. The leftmost leaning politician we currently have, which comes to no surprise, is Bernie Sanders who is an independent member of Congress from Vermont.
Are there any American programs that are essentially “socialist?” Of course there are. Stemming back to FDR’s legacy, we have ‘The New Deal’ which was a series of social programs, economic reforms and regulations, and public work projects which were enacted by Roosevelt between 1933 and 1939 to stabilize the country after the Great Depression hit. Some of these programs exist today, such as Social Security.
Why is America’s political climate so skewed to the right? From its inception, American has had center-right affiliations; however, things took a sharp to the far right since Reagan took office. Since then, all subsequent US presidents have placed in the upper right quadrant of the political map (leaning conservative and authoritarian). Everything in the US seems to put us on a path ultimately toward fascism.
I’m hoping that doesn’t happen, but it might…