The FT has an excellent article today discussing the differences in perception in politics in the US and UK. As it notes:
Over three decades, America's conservative movement has so deftly shifted the boundaries of debate to the right that even modest adjustments to the market system can be cast as the second coming of Marx without anyone blushing.
As it adds:
[It's] depressing .. that many Democrats fall into the same trap, worrying that a Thatcher-Cameron agenda in America will frighten suburban swing voters, rather than asking themselves how they might win the argument over the direction America needs to take. At this rate, Americans will be lucky to catch up a decade from now to today's social policy consensus in the UK. Meanwhile, Brits and others will have moved forward on a new generation of ideas to help citizens find security and opportunity in a global economy.
The article's worth reading as evidence of just how absurd politics in the States has become, and how hypocritical too. For example it notes that John Edwards (who is considered left wing in US terms) has:
question[ed] the received wisdom that "free trade is good no matter how many people get hurt", but here again, this is not as "leftist" as some seem to think. We know this from the recent American debate on immigration, where not a single market-loving economist made the case for unfettered immigration of unskilled workers. Why not? Because of the social havoc it would cause.
Precisely. The US Right is only pro-market when it suits it. Most of the time protectionism suits it very well indeed.
But what's the real significance of this piece? Well, the fact that it's in the FT is the important bit. Because right now the FT is the paper to read in the US, and you can be sure that now Murdoch has the Wall Street Journal the FT's influence will grow. So articles like this are really important. Something has to shake the US out of its absurd mindset, and every contribution helps.