--- On Mon, 7/6/09, Marv Gandall <marvgandall at videotron.ca> wrote:
> Democratic party. If the
> crisis deepens, it wouldn't surprise me if the timid Obama
> doesn't survive past this term, and disillusioned American
> especially younger ones hardest hit by unemployment,
> replace it with a
> Republican one decidedly to the right.
[WS:] This seems to be happening in EU, as far right parties gain popularity. The Left, otoh, does not have much to offer and it is virtually invisible, as much of the liberal left is part of the establishment anyway, at least in EU. In that situation, far right seems as the only anti-establishment alternative.
US may be a bit different, because the establishment moved so far to the right, that left-leaning policies may be seen as anti-establishment and thus gain popularity, if , and that is a big IF, they are offered by the political establishment.
Another point - historically, economic downturns typically result in increase of fascist, totalitarian, xenophobic and nationalistic sentiments - they almost never lead to increased popularity of liberal left.
My hunch is that if the Obama administration could outmaneuver/bypass the Congress and introduce "radical" policy initiatives with populist appeal - such as single payer universal health care system - its popularity would skyrocket, recent opinion polls notwithstanding. In my view, survey questions about general views and attitudes are useless, they the so-called "sin and motherhood" items (anyone is against the former and loves the later) that do not tell much about where the respondent would fall in a concrete situation.