I could tell right away that this Pew research wasn’t done in South Carolina: 50 percent having a positive impression of the word “liberal,” as opposed to only 39 percent negative?
Not around here, where it’s the most common epithet hurled — so common that it seems inconceivable to me that it has any sort of force any more. I mean, in communications from such people as, say, Joe Wilson, it’s used more or less as often as commas.
Of course, even nationally, “conservative” is viewed as positive by a larger margin — 62 to 30 percent.
What struck me was that “progressive” — which is used synonymously in this country with “liberal” — is viewed positively by an even larger margin, 67-22 percent. (Again, I suspect “conservative” would poll better in SC than “progressive.”)
No wonder it’s so popular among liberals. Oh, and get this — the major difference in attitude between “liberal” and “progressive” is among Republicans. For years, I’ve wondered why Democrats think the other side is dumb enough to fall for such a minor semantic change. I guess it’s because of surveys such as this one.
Oh, and in a development that Pew apparently thought was significant, “socialism” remains unpopular…