I'm going to clip out a portion of something that I typed up (on another forum) in response to a topic about political parties in the United Kingdom. but it gave me an idea for something to discuss here in general. so it should be clear that the point of this thread is universal; it's not just about the UK or the US or anywhere in particular. I feel like the theme is common enough amongst Western politics to be appropriate across numerous states and governments.
what it comes down to (globally, not just in the US) is that the Left has been slowly disappearing. Liberal progressiveism tends to come in these leaps and spikes throughout history... generally speaking. you've got the abolition of royalty, abolition of slavery, civil rights, equal rights, etc. but as the pendulum swings back towards the Center we experience a severe vacuum of reason and common ground.
now speaking for the US: aside from the slow crawl of gay marriage and the 2 states that are trying to legalize marijuana, there's no such thing as Liberalism in our country. let's just take quick stock of the American political spectrum @ a glance. you already know what R ('publican) and D ('emocrat) stand for, so I'll use X as the example of what's missing.
R = f*ck yeah Jesus is amazing. all Jesus all the time. if you're not in church then you're Commie Pinko scum. stop attacking Christmas. f*ck Muslims. teach Creationism in biology class.
D = Jesus is ok I guess. let's just try and be as moderate as possible and never mention religion. instead just remove all the Christmas trees in any public space because we don't want to offend anyone accidentally or otherwise because we're passive-aggresive pussies. but make sure to keep swearing on the Bible during all public government events even though Congress shall establish no endorsement of a particular religion. did I mention we're passive-aggressive pussies?
X = there's no party and no candidate that actually stands for atheism let alone rational secularism or even humanism.
R = if we're not spending money on tanks and bombs and jets and drones and missiles and aircraft carriers and bases and forts and prisons and bunkers then we're bending over to the terrorists. f*ck yeah 9/11 never forget how that sh*t made you feel. can't wait to nuke Iran just gimme' the word and I'll push the button.
D = war is ok I guess. let's just keep going to war sometimes because it still creates jobs in my district and I'm totally afraid of looking weak on bad guys. we definitely still need those black site prisons overseas and massive funding for the standing armies of Egypt and Japan and Germany despite the fact they've been our f*cking allies for decades.
X = there's no party and no candidate who actually talks about putting an end to large, wasteful, unnecessary swaths of our military industrial complex; dismantling the Empire and reducing our negative footprint on global diplomacy. stop meddling in the affairs of the Middle-East and Africa and Asia and India and South America. stop pretending to be 'World Police.' we just look like the world's douchebag but no one will say it. you even try to mention it and you're labeled unpatriotic.
R = f*ck yeah guns are amazing. all guns all the time. from my cold dead hands! arm teachers in schools. arm everyone. the 2nd amendment is sacrosanct and cannot possibly be regulated because it's special. like Jesus.
D = guns are OK sometimes I guess. let's just outlaw the scary looking ones and move on, ignoring any honest discussion on the any of the intersecting issues at hand.
X = there's no party and no candidate that actually stands for serious restrictions on gun access (ala the UK or Australia or Germany)
these are the 3 planks which affect virtually all other aspects of domestic and foreign policy today. but there's no X factor. and there's NO middle ground. it's killing the entire political process and it's ultimately killing government. there's just the Republicans hanging out on the far Right and losing control of the fringe, the Democrats stumbling around in the Center and occasionally tripping over their own feet into the Right, and NO ONE standing for a clear and objectified Left or Liberal point of view. it's dead. and the US isn't the only nation suffering under this complete lack of real choices.
that's the gist of it.
keep in mind that I'm only referring to major political parties and key political leaders. of course Liberalism still thrives in individual communities and people, but as far as true Liberal ideology and policy making is concerned there is no one promoting the far Left on the national stage with any real support. extremism of the far Left doesn't even begin to compare with the kind of volume, intensity, and certainty that is produced by extremism on the far Right.
what happened to the balance? did it ever exist to begin with?
or have national politics always been trapped in this Right vs Center rather than Right vs Left?
do you see the balance stabilizing or getting worse?
I think that's what I'm getting at.