Two-thirds of Americans think government should do more to fight the effects of climate change. At least 60 percent of Americans support raising the minimum wage and providing tax credits to low-income workers. Eighty-two percent of voters and 70 percent of Republicans would like to consider legislation to expand paid family and medical leave.
It’s commonly said that in the age of polarization the Democrats are moving left and the Republicans are moving right, but that’s not true. As Charles Blahous and Robert Graboyes of the Mercatus Center show, both parties are moving left, it’s just that Democrats are moving left at 350 miles an hour while Republicans are moving left at 50 miles an hour.
To show how the whole frame of debate has shifted, Blahous and Graboyes list the policies that are commonly discussed among Democrats now but that would have been too far left to get a hearing at the Democratic National Convention of 1996. They’ve come up with many examples, including canceling college debt, more than doubling the minimum wage, shutting down coal-fired plants and guaranteeing every American a job. Then they look for current Republican policies that would have been considered too conservative for the 1996 Republican National Convention. They couldn’t find any.