Politicians and pundits in recent years have harped on the tired adage of “real America”, though the term is as uncertain as climate change. That is to say, it’s a very clear metric, but staunch conservatives are just in plain denial. Real America is middle America, that vast, empty swath where pack animals and gays have learned not to tread in the open.
But there’s a bigger middle to America, one that isn’t restricted to population density and the ratio of American flags on Fords – it’s the political center of America. Not middle America, but Moderate America.
Gallup reported in 2009 that 39% of Americans self-identify as moderate.
The Census Bureau reports 207,643,594 eligible voters as of 2008, of which39% would make up almost 81million people. That’s as many people as there are in Germany, or ten-times the population of Switzerland or Hong Kong. That’s a lot of moderates.
One can argue the Glenn Beck Rally to Restore Honor only attracted the most conservative, and that with backing from the largest news network and a number of well-funded astroturf organizations it made those conservative voices heard. One can likewise argue that the labor rally only attracted the most liberal supporters, and with the support of large, well organized unions, made the most liberal voices heard.
But what about the moderates? They are a huge chunk of the population, even if they object to being referred to as “huge chunks”.
The satellite rallies popping up in cities around the country are not supported by corporations, PACs, or individual candidates, and the only real air time they get is on Comedy Central, a channel whose highest rated show still reaches less than 1% of the American people.*
These moderates (along with their more pinkish cousins, the liberals) have self-organized into real grassroots organizations. With 8,634 donors giving $401,538 dollars to DonorsChoose.org, and non-Comedy-Central-sanctioned events springing up around the country, this is the very definition of moderate America in action.
Add to moderates the 20% of the population that self-identifies as liberal (another 41-million,) and it’s a 59/40 advantage over conservatives. That means that, while there are 80-million American conservatives, there are 120-million American moderates and liberals.
This is the biggest chance for moderates to have their say in politics since, well, since forever. Join the twin rallies in Washington DC or another city around the country, and get your friends involved as best you can. This is the biggest shot the “real” average Americans have to have their voices heard, so don’t take it idly.
* Tosh.0 was the leading show for the quarter with 2.7 million viewers. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report both topped-out well under the 2-million mark. (Citation)