In Washington, you tend to hear a lot about how great moderates are. According to newspaper editorialists and other professional centrists, if only we listened more to moderates, we’d be able to find that comforting middle ground between that horrible, no-good class war politics of the left and the hardline conservative politics of the right.
Well, I’m all for listening more to moderates but I know something that most professional centrists don’t: The typical moderate is actually quite progressive — you might even call them a class warrior. Take these just-released data from Gallup.
One question asked whether distribution of wealth in the US is fair or whether it should be distributed more evenly. By a very healthy 59–33 margin, the public thought wealth should be distributed more evenly. But those sentiments are too wimpy for moderates who call for a more even distribution by a substantially wider 65–29 margin.
Another question asked whether government should redistribute wealth by “heavy taxes” on the rich. The public endorsed the heavy taxes idea by 52–45, the highest level of support since the question was first asked in 1999. But once again moderates are made of sterner stuff: they call for heavy taxes on the rich by a more robust 55–41 margin.
So the next time you catch someone yammering on about how moderates are alienated by class war politics, remind them of what moderates really think instead of what they think they think.