What is Liberalism?

An Ideology leaning left on the political spectrum in the USA.

The term was first used in the 1930s to describe support of the New Deal and voters and politicans who are more politically progressive, supporting change and intervention in the political and economic system to improve citizen's lives andcreating greater equality and social justice.

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Principles associated with the Democrats

Principles the Democrats Stand for:

  • Commitment to federal action rather than state action.
  • Equal Rights' programmes such as Civil Rights, Womens' Rights, Gay Rights.
  • A more 'pro-choice' stance on abortion and more in favour of gun control, immigration, environmental factors/protection and ending the death penatly.
  • The introduction of social welfare programmes such as Obamacare to promote greater equaltiy.
  • A more 'dovish' foreign policy, internationalist in seeking diplomatic soltuions to problems.
  • A more activist, international government in regulating and managing the economy in the interest of the people.
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Who do the Democrats attrack support from?

Who do the Democrats receive support from?

  • Blue collar workers, trade unions and less affluent public sector workers attracted by its economic views.
  • Minorities attracted by its commitment to equal rights.
  • City dwellers in the 'blue' states
  • Interlectuals and radicals attracted to its liberal agenda.
  • A majority of Women's voters (due to policies on gun control and abortion)
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Divisions in the Democratic Party -BLUE DOG DEMOCR


Traditionally divided between Southern Conservative Wing and North-Eastern Liberal Wing:

  • Blue Dog democrats are the modern equivelant to the 'Dixiecat'.
  • Democrats elected from Southern States would hold Conservative views on issues and were never reliable Democrat voters.

These fiscally Conservative/Soically Conservative Democrats numbers 47 in 2009-2011 Congres:

  • The majority voted against Obama on healthcare reforms!

They were labelled DINOs (Democrat In Name Only) by the Liberal Wing of the party:

  • Many suffrered defeats in the 2010 Mid-Term elections and numbers fell to around 23 in Congress.
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Divisions in the Democratic Party - THE NEW DEMOCR


A new group emgered in the 1980s: THE NEW DEMOCRATS! They are associated with Clinton, Al Gore and the Democratic Leadership Council.

  • They were seen as 'modernisers' to the party whose aims were to rid the party of the Liberal tax-and-spend image that had damaged presidential hopes in the past.
  • They wanted to win back more Conservative Blue-Collar and Southern Voters who had moved to the Republicans in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
  • Southerns such as Clinton and AL Gore was vital to the success 1992 and 1996!
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Divisions in the Democratic Party - DEVEOLPING THE


Like 'New Labour' in the UK, the focus was on regaining the centre ground on US politics by developing 'Third Way' and 'Triangulation'.

  • This exemplified by Clintion's 1996 Statement and his restrictive Welfare Reforms:

"The era of big government is over."

  • It remains to be seen what it will be long-term for Obama: his victory in 2008 and controlling both Houses in Congress which led to 'Obama Coalition.
  • HOWEVER...Losing the 2010 Mid-Term elections would suggest no new realignment has taken place.
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