What’s a conservative anyway?

So mostly this post is just me paraphrasing a Huffington Post article and Gallup poll results.

A May 2010 Gallup poll asked respondents to identify themselves as conservative, moderate, or liberal.  The results:

42% Conservative

35% Moderate

20% Liberal

With all the attention Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party have been getting, you might think that sounds about right, but if you look at a breakdown of the issues in the very same poll, most Americans take moderate or liberal positions.

47% referred to themselves as “pro-life” but only 19% oppose abortion in all circumstances.

65% believe civil liberties should not be violated in efforts to prevent terrorism.

Half believe protecting the environment should have priority over economic development.

70% say gays should be allowed to be to be out in the military and 67% support giving same-sex domestic partners the same employee benefits as spouses.

Only 12% want less strict firearms laws.

59% believe research on stem cells from human embryos is “morally acceptable.”

In separate Gallup polls this year:

Even 32% of those identifying as Republicans think the Bush tax cuts should expire for people making over $250K/yr.

67% think it’s a “good idea” to tax ALL income for Social Security rather than setting a cap.

So maybe the Republicans have succeeded in making “liberal” a dirty word, but liberal ideals are alive and well in the American people.

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