What we consider the “center” in the United States is considered right-wing conservatism internationally. Any call to move back to the center is inherently a call to move so far right that the Democrats in America will be more conservative than the Conservative British Prime Minister Theresa May and the Tories, or German Conservative Angela Merkel and the Christian Democratic Union Party.
In fact, America’s political spectrum is so far to the right, the British Conservative Party hired Barack Obama’s former campaign manager, Jim Messina, as a political consultant. Jim did not have to betray his political beliefs because they aligned perfectly with British conservatives. More directly: the American political spectrum is so skewed to the right that American Democrats including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are as conservative as British Conservatives.
This reality is not just an intellectual exercise. The implications of America’s Overton Window being so ridiculously skewed towards the ultra-conservative right carries significant material differences.
In America, we are arguing over how many people should die for lack of healthcare insurance. Conservatives in the UK look at us as if we were barbarians as they argue over how to better fund their National Health Service, which provides free healthcare to all citizens of the Kingdom and reasonable rates for visitors.
The conservative-led Germany offers free tuition to public universities not only to its citizens but also to American students who wish to study abroad. Meanwhile, American students are saddled with a lifetime of college debt.
What we fearfully call “socialism” in the United States is simply being able to go to the doctor in the UK without going bankrupt or going to college in Germany without taking on a lifetime of debt. And these are the “conservative” positions abroad.
The death penalty has been abolished in all member nations of the European Union with Belarus being the only exception. Yet, in the United States, the Democratic nominee for President outlined why she still supported the death penalty.
On issue after issue, the United States exists in a right-leaning proto-dystopic society compared to other developed nations. So again, any call for American Democrats to “move to the center” is inherently a call to move further to the right than Britain, Germany, France, and any number of other nations whose conservative parties genuinely look at the United States conservatives as so ridiculous, they endorsed the real international conservative — Hillary Clinton.
Furthermore, the very people trying to convince Democrats to move further to the Right than international conservatives are the same “thinkers” who led Democrats to lose to Donald Trump. So if those so-called thinkers and high-priced consultants are screaming for Democrats to move to the “Center,” then clearly the answer should be the opposite of what you paid millions to them just to lose.
To the Left, Democrats; to the Left!