Talk:Political ideologies in the United States

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Couple of quick suggestions[edit]

If you moved this to "Political ideologies", the first sentences in the lead would be a little more straightforward:

"Political Ideology in the United States refers to the various ideologies and ideological demographics in the United States. Generally persons in the U.S. classify themselves either as liberal, moderate or conservative. Yet, these classifications may fail to accurately reflect the ideological diversity of American society."
"Political ideologies in the United States vary considerably. While persons in the U.S. generally classify themselves either as liberal, moderate or conservative, these classifications fail to accurately reflect the ideological diversity of American society."

Btw, also seems relevant to bring up Religion in the United States and its impact on people's ideological stances. MrZaiustalk 00:45, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Great suggestions! I've adopet them, thanks for your input. Regards, Signaturebrendel 01:34, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

The chart[edit]

Shouldn't the left and right be on the left and right sides of the chart, respectively, instead of reversed. Very confusing. Savidan 00:46, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't hurt to swap 'em around, but the chart is readable as is, and was apparently set up to mimic the Pew source. MrZaiustalk 01:17, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

I think the chart is too big. Is there a way to make it flexible? __earth (Talk) 02:55, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

The chart regarding education and voting rates is misleading. The multiple groups in the source material were not represented in equal numbers, so showing the total college graduates as a percent of total respondents is of no value and serves only to provide the illusion that Liberal respondents, for example, hold college degrees at much higher rates than, say, Enterprisers. In truth, as per the cited source material, 46% of Enterpriser respondents have college degrees, while 49% of Liberal respondents do. The actual difference isn't anywhere as huge as the chart makes it out to be. The chart should be revised to reflect the actual rates of education and voting between groups. RWScissors (talk) 13:22, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

What do the colors mean on the chart? This needs better explained, and also it would be nice if it had the nice click-to-sort thing that other tables on wikipedia have. (talk) 05:50, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

This chart is confusing to read. As others said, left-wing voters are on the right and right-wing voters are on the left. There is no key to make sense of the green, white, and yellow colors used. Plus, the percentages don't seem to add up in an easily recognizable way. TimelessWind88 (talk) 02:39, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

The Words Liberal and Conservative[edit]

The article uses the words "liberal" and "conservative" in the sense that these words are used in mainstream US media, but which does not match the more global meanings (and which does not match the Wikipedia articles). I understand that Wikipedia articles should have a more global viewpoint, even though this article is about the US, so should the article's usage of these words reflect the global meanings or the American ones?

Specifically, "liberal" in the US is more economically interventionist, and may be called "New Liberal" or "American Liberal," especially elsewhere. Globally, liberalism is more free-market oriented, and may be called "classical liberal" or "libertarian" in the US.

Today (7/28/2007), the Wikipedia main page's "Did you know..." section says "...that in terms of political ideology, American economists tend to be liberal?" The pointer is to the article on liberalism (meaning free-market) rather than to the article on American liberalism. That's what got my attention. (But this article continues the confusion, which is why I'm bringing up the subject.)

SkyDot 03:57, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

This article isn't confusing at all; it is called Political Ideologies in the United States, indicating that everything to follow is U.S.-specific information. For a global discussion of liberalism, see that article. This article, as the name indicates, only discusses political ideologies in the United States, in an American context. This article is not intended for discussing ideologies world-wide. As for liberalism, the section starts by stating that American liberalism is a form of social liberalism with some ordoliberalism. American liberalism is obviously the only type of liberalism that is going to be discussed in a U.S.-specific article. A discussion of global liberalism would be out of place on this article. The DyK person did make a mistake and should have linked liberal to Liberalism in the United States. Regards, Signaturebrendel 18:19, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Actually, what I was thinking was that it would resolve the issue expressed above/in the worldview template to explain in article that the terms are used differently in the US in layman's terms - It doesn't require a great deal of depth, assuming it's covered elsewhere as well. That said, I can see that there is some discussion of the topic in the article already, even if it is slightly inaccessible to one unfamiliar with the terms you link to above. MrZaiustalk 18:27, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think political ideologies in the U.S. are presented in such a manner as to make them understandable to a global audience. Take the liberalism section. THe first sentence states that "Liberalism in the U.S. most commonly refers to a form of social liberalism and progressivism, with a strong (if frequently unrecognized) Ordoliberal streak" - this clearly states where American liberlaism lays on the global spectrum. I personally cannot see how to make the article clearler. So if you have any suggestions please don't hesitate to tell me. Regards, Signaturebrendel 18:43, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
PS. Liberal in Europe can mean something quite similar to liberal in the U.S. - see social liberalism
The fact that the subject of the article is limited to the US does not change the requirement that the article itself be written from a global viewpoint. The opening paragraphs of the article use the words liberal and conservative without links or explanations, so a non-US reader could reasonably believe they refer to their global definitions. You make a good point that the later sections try to explain the meanings of various terms, but they come too late to avoid confusion. I would suggest two things. (1) Give a brief explanation of terms the first time they are used (and link to American Liberalism, for example). And (2), always use the terms "American Liberalism," etc., rather than just plain "liberalism" throughout the article. For what it's worth, even as an American, I often don't know what other Americans mean when they call themselves liberal or conservative, since those terms carry so much baggage here. SkyDot 16:58, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Now I understand what you had in mind. From my viewpoint the article was written from a global perspective and did not see anything in this area to be improved upon. Thank you for providing me with specific suggestions on what should be improved upon. I have implemented your suggestions. Regards, Signaturebrendel 17:27, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
I like the new first paragraph. Now if you can just change the phrase "right wing" to something more clear and less inflammatory....  :) SkyDot 06:40, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Done. Thanks for your suggestions and input! Signaturebrendel 06:43, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Oops. I just followed the link to Social liberalism and learned that it is not to be confused with American liberalism. It says: "The term 'social liberal' is also commonly used in North American contexts to describe those favorable to the preservation or furthering of human rights, social rights, civil rights and civil liberties, in contrast to ''social conservative''. For the latter usage see social progressivism." Is there a better link, or could the list of human rights, etc., be given directly, along with a "see also social liberalism" note in parentheses? SkyDot 06:55, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
That headline actually needs to be changed. American liberalism is best described as a type of social liberalism that incorporates social progressivism, cosmopolitanism and ordoliberalism. We have to seperate articles discussing two similar concepts; one U.S.-specific, one global. Stating American liberalism to be a form of social liberalims is the easiest and shortest way of defining it. I'll try and fix this source of confusion until tomorrow. Signaturebrendel 07:20, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Update: I have tweak the wording in this and the Social liberalism article. Please let me know if have removed any confusion. Thanks, Signaturebrendel 07:36, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Liberal Media?[edit]

Neither the Washington Post nor the New York Times claim to be liberal. Many conservatives believe they are liberal, but that is more about the alleged liberal bias. Neither of thesse papers are openly progressive like the Nation.

The editorial teams of both papers have taken positions that are congruent with those taken by most modern American liberals, including yours truly. Signaturebrendel 23:23, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Studies of both of those publications have shown a liberal bias. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dunnbrian9 (talkcontribs) 17:01, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Copyright violation[edit]

I deleted the following because it was copied and pasted from the Pew website onto Wikipedia. If it was done by its copyright holder or someone empowered to act on their behalf then it's under the GFDL; otherwise, it's restrictively copyrighted, which is unacceptable for Wikipedia.

The typology of the voters can be broken into nine groups:

'''Enterprisers''' are staunchly conservative and have perhaps... Members of this heavily female, poorly educated group are highly pessimistic about their opportunities in life, and also very mistrustful of both business and government. Nonetheless, they support government programs to help the needy.<ref name="Pew"> </ref>

SteveSims (talk) 06:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

One source?[edit]

Is it really acceptable for the entire article to be based on one set of classifications that is not very common? -- (talk) 07:47, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

No, it isn't. This article could use a complete rewrite. Or perhaps a renaming to "Pew Research Center political classifications". (talk) 05:56, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
I agree completely. Very misleading, very narrow.Armandtanzarian (talk) 19:40, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Most of the other problems on this discussion page stem from this over-reliance, and would be solved with a more diverse discussion. As long as the article is, it would probably be more efficient to rename it to "Pew Research Center Political Typography" (which already redirects to this page!), and then begin a new "Political ideologies in the United States" section. In addition, as of 2010, Pew revised their entire typography, and most of the numbers and groups discussed are no longer accurate. By renaming the article and starting over, the edits to the "Pew Research Center Political Typography" article could focus on updating information, and the new Ideology article could expand its base of sources. I don't know how to implement either, so someone more Wikipedia-savvy will have to take action. Durang Dorad (talk) 21:19, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Anarchism in the United States?[edit]

Is anarchism so minuscule in the United States that it does not appear at all in an article about political ideologies in the United States?

Not just anarchism. What about communism and socialism? Agtrheeeinsm (talk) 14:38, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, anarchism, communism and socialism play absolutely miniscule roles in modern American political discourse. In fact, it is one of the distinguishing charachteristics of American history that political discourse has taken place over a relatively narrow band of the political spectrum. The nation has no experience with fascism, communism or socialism of the european model. These labels, along with anarchism, are used almost exclusively as "boogeyman" epithets by the two major parties (especially "socialism" these days) and the legitimate political organizations that actively espouse these terms or ideologies are very miniscule indeed. However, these facts are noteworthy and should perhaps be mentioned in the article, which seems to be heavily fixated on the pew terminology.Armandtanzarian (talk) 19:50, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
This actually is false. In fact there's a substantial real "hard left" in the United States. Although certainly in the low single digit millions and very diffuse and disoriented, as well as largely ignored and invisible to the MSM who will regularly trot out Chomsky or some bogey of the day to represent the "hard left", it nonetheless exists and Anarchism is a strong current in it especially for those under about 35. While it exists it's almost entirely co-opted by the so called liberals who are taken to fully occupy the entirety of the left of the political spectrum and discourse. Once you look a little below the superficial, in the Academe for example, this changes radically. However in a country with less than a quarter college educated, 85% functionally illiterate (as measured by the NAAL test for full proficiency) it's hardly surprising that the myth of there being no real left is substantiated with the kind of stuff in the obverse text. (talk) 02:32, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
To be clear though, these I think correspond to what this article terms "Disaffected/Disenfranchised/Bystanders". Although text clearly states that these are outside of and refusing to participate in the conservative-liberal paradigm, they are nonetheless split between the center and the left. Clearly the Disaffected and the Bystanders belong together as the group rejecting the paradigm in its entirety. I will make this change in 2012 if not addressed by then. That group would naturally be the missing far left. (talk) 04:37, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Error in the graph[edit]

In the Typological groups section (second table) I have noticed a few mistakes:

  • The percentage of Social Conservatives by race is equal to 107%;
  • the percentage of Pro-Government Conservatives by race is equal to 110%;
  • the percentage of "Upbeats" by race is equal to 107%;
  • the percentage of "Disaffecteds" by race is equal to 103%;
  • the percentage of Conservative Democrats by race is equal to 110%;
  • the percentage of Disadvantaged Democrats by race is equal to 113%;
  • the percentage of Liberals by race is equal to 107%.

I could go on.

If it's due to contradicting sources, then at least leave a note or something. However, I'm sure some would prefer the table to make sense rather than having it sourced to the highest standards. --Kris159 (talk) 17:10, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

This needs cleaning too, so placing an appropriate tag on the article. (talk) 04:40, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

A logically consistent division given the Pew Categories[edit]

  • -
    • Disaffecteds
    • Bystander
  • Right
    • Enterprisers
    • Social Conservatives
  • Middle
    • Pro-government Conservatives
    • Upbeats
    • Conservative Democrats
  • Left
    • Liberals
    • Disadvantaged Democrats

Perhaps it's the American worship of mediocrity and the middle that causes editors to try to fluff it up and at the same time a right wing bias that causes them to leave out its natural constituencies. The lumping of people who are defined as having opted out of the system as part of the middle is especially conspicuous. The last two having been defined as being outside the paradigm an alternative would be:

  • Right
    • Enterprisers
    • Social Conservatives
  • Middle
    • Pro-government Conservatives
    • Upbeats
    • Conservative Democrats
  • Left
    • Liberals
    • Disadvantaged Democrats
  • Disenfranchised
    • Disaffecteds
    • Bystander

hmmm, the real contradiction is in saying you think you're exceptional and actually practicing mediocrity, isn't it? The two other logical arrangements are to put the whole disenfranchised group in the middle as a distinct group on the center left and to split it putting the Disaffecteds on the far right and the Bystanders on the far left. (talk) 05:22, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to see more sources.[edit]

The Pew Source is broken, and I can't find a mirror anywhere. The whole article should be cleaned. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rymmen (talkcontribs) 01:52, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

It seems short and some of the language is not quite neutral in my opinion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dunnbrian9 (talkcontribs) 17:11, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

That pie chart from the Pew Political Typology needs updating.[edit]

It is based on the 2005 Typology Report. The 2011 version has different categories. (talk) 00:08, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

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Reference 7[edit]

I'd like to start by saying that I first made an edit to this article but then switched it back to instead make this post for an edit request on this article.

Reference 7 in the article uses the term "populist" outside of its actual definition. For more clarity on the subject (and if reference 7 is kept) I suggest that there is a change made where using "populist" here is instead "statist". Furthermore, the statement made in the article is not validated by reference 7, the article states that: "Beyond the simple left-right analysis, liberalism, conservatism, libertarianism, and popuslim (also known as authoritariansim or statism) are the four most common ideologies in the U.S., apart from those who identify as moderate." The executive summary of reference 7 states that they grouped these different ideologies together, then studied and labeled them themselves.

To prevent misconceptions about actual populist ideology being confused with authoritarian ideology I suggest that the article be changed to be more clear.

Thank you. S2LL7 (talk) 16:05, 27 January 2017 (UTC)