I don’t think Don Imus is a moderate. I don’t think moderate means what you think it means.
Look back 40 years. Back then Ronald Reagan was described as an extremist. Liberals and conservatives existed in both parties — New York Republican Jacob Javits was far to the left of North Carolina Democrat Sam Ervin, while Maine Republican Margaret Chase Smith was more liberal than Nevada Democrat Howard Cannon.
The political spectrum, such as it was, was defined by region and history. It was not the hard left-right divide we see today. In fact, observers at that time warned against even thinking in those terms. Only real ideologues did that, and most people knew better.
Yet underneath it all, we know now, this change had already taken place. The 1968 election went 57-43 for the right, the next one 60-40. And, given differences in the quality of candidates or their records, that’s been the ratio ever since. That is the assumption analysts live with, and they don’t let facts get in the way of it.
Go back to the previous American political crisis, in the early
1930s, and you find that Republicans were generally considered the
liberal party, Democrats the conservative one. Democrats united
Catholic machines in the North with Southern populists. Republicanism
was the home of the black voter, and Herbert Hoover was considered a
The point of this exercise is simply that at a time of crisis the political spectrum
can change radically, and official analysts always miss those changes.
Political analysts in 1967 did not see the ideological divide that was
even then making itself felt. Analysts in 1931 could not conceive of
something like the liberal Democratic Party which emerged from the New
The same sort of thing is happening today. This is the mark of a
political crisis, when folks’ opinions change for good, and new
alliances are possible. It’s where analysts should be earning their keep, and where they are failing miserably. My word for these people — vidiots.
Every poll I’ve seen this year shows a solid majority of Americans wants the U.S. out of Iraq. Approval of Congress is rising even as it becomes more confrontational. Yet so-called analysts continue to insist that the President has a political advantage, while he rejects any serious discussion of the war.
Despite this every TV network, every newspaper pundit, and every
magazine analyst has ingrained in their head the formula that 40% of us
are conservatives, 40% are conservatives but can be persuaded to vote
moderate, and only 20% of us really agree with the Democrats.
Vidiots may not learn from history but the rest of us can. And as we
do, we should be pushing these so-called analysts and experts out the
door. Because vidiots is all they are.