Yes, a Massive Ideological Shift Has Happened in the USA

News & Politics

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's speech last night was yet another example that, despite vast Democratic gains in the 2006 and 2008 elections, conservatives do not believe that this partisan shift has been accompanied by an ideological shift.

Jindal's Republican response read from the exact same conservative script about government is part of the problem, rather than part of the solution, that we have been hearing for decades.

Although David Brooks referred to such a belief as "a form of nihilism," Jindal is hardly the only conservative clinging to this false hope. The numbers these commenters rely upon are the post-election ideological self-identification numbers from Pew, showing that significantly more Americans still self-identify as conservative than liberal.

However, the simple fact is that when polling firms stop asking Americans abstract questions about what vague ideological term they call themselves, and start asking Americans about what they actually believe, an enormous ideological shift is apparent. For example, last month the Harris poll found a huge popular shift in favor of government programs over the last three years:

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