According to their tastefully red-white-blue website decorated with stars and stripes, the Center for American Progress is “a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action.” They have hijacked the words “progress” and “innovation” and explain their “work builds upon progressive ideals put forth by such leaders as Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, JFK, and Martin Luther King,” and “draw from the great social movements of the 20th century—from labor rights and worker safety, to civil rights and women's suffrage” to “translate those values into new ideas and action firmly rooted in the economic and political realities of the 21st century.” That's just so you know what page we are on.
The results in the report are based on 1,400 interviews with adults 18 years or older. They have put political ideologies on a sliding scale from 0 to 400 with 0 being the most conservative position on the continuum and 400 being the most progressive (according to their report “an innovative categorization of ideology”), and calculated the score from responses to 40 statements about government and society.
They find a mean ideological score of 209.5. Interestingly, Americans are apparently most progressive about the role of government and least progressive on cultural and social values. Ideas about economics and international affairs fall in-between. Less surprisingly for what is essentially a two-party system in which every party is trying to adapt to the popular opinion of the day, they find there really is no “far right” or “far left,” but rather “far center-right” and “far center-left.” Do I need to add that a one-dimensional sliding scale with a pre-chosen notion of “progressive” for political, economical as well as social questions doesn't quite accommodate plurality either?
As a PS to my recent post on The American Dream, let me quote these replies in regard to the present economic situation
“The economic recession is clearly affecting many Americans. A full two-thirds of Americans (67%) report that their family’s income is falling behind the cost of living, with 23% saying their income is staying even and only 6% saying it is going up faster than the cost of living. The belief that family income is failing to keep pace with rising costs is uniformly held across ideological, partisan, race, and income lines.
Despite the harsh climate, many Americans continue to believe that they have achieved or will achieve their own understanding of the American Dream in their lifetime. More than one-third of Americans (34 %) say they have already achieved the American Dream and another 41 %believe that they will achieve it in their lifetime. Roughly one-fifth of Americans (18 %) say they will not achieve the American Dream in their lifetime.”
You can read the full report here, and find out your own score here. Readers of this blog won't be surprised that apparently I'm “extremely progressive”
Humor me and leave your score in the comments.