In what ways could President Clinton be considered a New Democrat? A liberal? A conservative?
1- john hall
I’ve never heard of “New Democrat” until this post prompted a response. When Bill Clinton was cutting taxes and dodging impeachment, the hardest choice I had was what cereal do I want for breakfast that morning. After skimming through a few articles, seems that “New Democrats” are a moderate group within the Democratic Party. Some ideologies they support are cultural liberalism, economic liberalism, fiscal conservatism, and social liberalism. Below I’ll break down these major idea’s shared by New Democrats.
Cultural Liberalism: as long as you’re not hurting anyone, be yourself and do what makes you happy.
Economic Liberalism: associated with free markets and private ownership of capital assets and means that individuals or households run the economy vs. large groups or corporations.
Fiscal Conservatism: low taxes, lowered government spending, and smallest amount of government debt.
Social Liberalism: regulated market economy and broadened political and civil rights.
So, how could Bill Clinton, a politician that took an unusual stance within the Democratic Party, take some good from each major party and win a presidential election. He did so by doing the following:
- The multi-lateral free trade deal NAFTA with Canada and Mexico (economic liberalism/fiscal liberalism)
- The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell ban on openly gay people serving in the Armed Forces (cultural/social liberalism)
- The Religious Freedom Restoration Act federal religious discrimination statute (cultural/social liberalism)
- Major reforms to the American welfare system (democratic-type characteristic).
The one aspect which Bill Clinton could be viewed as a “Republican” was raising taxes on the 1.2% of taxpapers in 1993, known as the New Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. While it cut taxes on 15 million low-income families, it aslo made tax cuts available to 90% of small businesses (Republican characteristic).
Therefore, while Bill Clinton was a New Democrat in the ways he blended traditional Republican and Democratic beliefs. After Republican presidencies in the recent past, he devised a way to win votes and steal middle class white votes from the Republicans by taking the pro’s of each party and making them into one. He was liberal at times with how he handled social aspects in America at the time, and conservative by cutting taxes and reducing spending.
2- I will included tomorrow.