Republicans support a single payer
Is the Democratic Party really a left party? [closed]
Before I go any further, let me just tell you for too long, haven't read: the premise of the question is wrong, but the premise of your question is wrong for all the right reasons.
So the terms "left, right, center / center" are used to describe politics in a regional context. If you look up the definition, American law doesn't have much in common with European law. An American Republican and a European Republican want different things. A liberal will be different from different people. Much of the political rationale is based on the lack of a common frame of reference for what the terms mean. And America is a whole wrench in itself.
Let's first look at the left-right paradigm:
The term "left" is derived from the politics of the representatives who sat on the left side of the French parliament, from the presidency perspective, generally advocating social justice, democracy, egalitarianism, liberalism, progressivism and a number of ideas that produced this (like socialism, which was not a thing then but is now).
The term "right" came next from the opposition, which sat on the left side of the French parliament. They were authoritarian, royalists, reactionary, supported social hierarchies (aristocracy), institutions like church and crown, nationalism and conservatism. Here, too, there are other similar ideologies (fascism, which did not exist at the time).
Centralism / Middle Aisle / Third Way are harder to narrow down to one ideology, but usually they are about compromising the ideologies and taking advantage of the good points on both sides and getting rid of the bad points. Sometimes this works (like American liberitarianism that lingers on social and economic issues) and this is biased because I like American libertarian ideology, so take that with a grain of salt. Some compromises are very bad ideas, a self-described German Third Way representative advocated the nationalist views he loved on the right and some of the socialist views he loved on the left and gave what I'm pretty sure of people in the pile to world Nazism would say American libertarianism is a much better ideology than Nazism. Also ... middle and middle don't refer to seating beyond that if you're compromising it is less physical work to sit in the middle ... but the physical middle of most legislations is reserved for the party leadership.
So ... in the sense that the Democrats stay in the presidency and the Republicans sit on the right of the presidency and thus the party of the right ... but this is an ideological question.
From here I have to emphasize that I will speak about these terms as neutrally as possible. I am well aware of my prejudices and will try to limit my comments to places that I can refer to on Wikipedia and to reduce my opinion. I will shake all ideologies fairly and definitely take note of my opinion when I say things like "National Socialism sucks (my opinion)". But I have to say this because I'm going to say some things that seem too nice to people who disagree with the ideology ... or to harsh people who agree.
The reason the Democrats seem to be to the right of the Republicans on some issues and to the left on others is because of a dirty little secret. See, if you don't look at the definitions of the list of left and right beliefs, you might be forgiven for repeating myself ... but other than listing royalists a couple of times ... I didn't repeat myself ... these terms mean different things and there are some guidelines and subschools for ideas about how to germinate each other that limit some fairly broad beliefs and others they marry.
For example, a liberal can also be authoritarian. In fact, John Locke's ideal liberalism was led by an authoritarian but liberal absolute monarch. Monarchies aren't always authoritarian, but monarchies are never republicans, but republicans can be authoritarian (Soviet Union, Nazi Germany) ... except in America, where republicans mean something else. Not all democracies are liberal and monarchies can be democratic (England and Japan). Almost all liberal democracies are constitutional, but exactly two are not (England and New Zealand), and constitutionalism rejects some core MPs tenants, but not all (nonetheless, the rejection was one of two major tentative ideas that gave rise to the War of Independence and a presidential government a parliamentary government cannot be in one country, but they are not against each other ... those who are trying to get a half-presidency that has no hard rules other than trying to do both, and similarly, have one Federalist, a Confederalist and a Devolutionist Differences, but all are against a Unitarian, but agree with Unitarians (Okay, I came up with unitarialist as a word for people who support a unitary state. Unitarians follow a certain religious movement). All communists are socialists, but not all socialists are communists (except he in America, where they're all filthy, filthy Pinkos ... that's an opinion ... America has thrown out a historically hard core for both ideologies). And democracy is compatible with communism (who actually loves democracy), progressiveness and liberalism, but a democratic progressive liberal communist just can't be. Two of the four terms are completely and completely incompatible. Oh ... and conservatism is compatible with any and all of these ideals listed in this paragraph, except for one and only one.
So ... that's a lot to process to explain why sometimes Democrats appear more right than Republicans and sometimes they don't. And it has nothing to do with the strategy of the south, although this is often attributed to it.
The dirty little secret of the American left-right divide is ... the American right has more in common with the European left than it has ever with the European right. America was founded on great ideological consensus of ideologies. They had a romantic love for Greco-Roman democracy and republicanism (which they understand was not pure or direct democracy, but a democracy with borders ... or what the rest of the world calls Representative Democracy, which is part of the United States putting it into practice there was no term for the concept ... so they called it republicanism because they had it in Rome during the republic, they had a problem with the Whiggory elements of Parlemenatrianism (i.e. Whiggorism was the concept that Parliament The ultimate law of the country, constitutionalism is explicitly against it, as the last word in the law should be well documented and difficult to change by anyone was a session of the legislature and restricting what the government can and cannot do).
The most basic ideal, however, was liberalism, a fairly new school of thought that Americans absolutely loved since liberalism was a very pro-individual, pro-small government, and pro-limited government, all situations that worked well in America as the seat of government an Atlantic away from them and to this day most of the nations are very rural and largely undeveloped. The essence of all liberalism is that the purpose of the state is to protect citizens' rights to "life, liberty and property". And if this phrase sounds familiar, there's a good reason why it should. Thomas Jefferson not only plagiarized Locke. Locke's summary was well known, but Jefferson's paraphrase added a twist from his own philosophy that made the statement about the memorable "life, freedom, and pursuit of happiness" we know today. Jefferson subscribed to a simple Epicurean philosophy that is not only a great line in a 1975 song, but also the ideology that an individual's primary concern should be their own happiness and the best judge of what will make you happy , you are yourself. This also created a sort of idea of Jeffersonian democracy, or neoclassical liberalism, that government should only be committed to protecting civil rights and nothing else. Hence, it should be small as it limits its ability to regulate social ills that people don't wear I don't like it, but it doesn't really harm other people. It was also very business-friendly liberalism that favored deregualization and less taxes (dropping Locke's property was also a foretaste by Jefferson and Ben Franklin of all property that should be taxed by the government ... because it wasn't specifically protected should ... you could still have it, but you have to pay the government to get it in. You weren't against taxes ... just massive taxes that the governed didn't want but parliament said they had it too and couldn't beat Parliament.). And when I say that democracy is compatible with progressivism, communism and liberalism, it is the later two who do not get along well. Liberalism is inherently capitalist and communism is by definition against capitalism.
Basically, you are on the right track with your assessment that there is something strange about the left and right divisions ... but it's mainly because American politics by and large rejected European right wing politics and kind of theirs has its own. Basically, America is a nation so obsessed with an important political ideology as if seeing "Back to the Future" with two physics nerds in a heated and heated conversation about whether the flux capacitor is capacitance or flow capacity flows. .. to the point that they have lost none of the nature of time travel. There is nothing wrong with having this devotion. It can be amusing ... but it's actually quite strange and will lead to strange incongruences.
There might be changes ... but that's long and somehow comes to a foray and I have to end it for now.
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