The only people who believe that Left-Right political analysis matters anymore are journalists and politicos. To your average person – to Joe and Jane Frontporch – life just isn’t that cut and dried. A person can favour slashing government spending, but not for any of the programs they like. They can support getting tough on crime, while shrugging about a mayor who smokes crack. They will be enthusiastic about more and better transit, but not ever about finding ways to pay for it.
People – voters – are walking, talking contradictions. They don’t ever classify themselves as on the Right or the Left, but they certainly swing from one side to the other, all the time. Without thinking they’re hypocritical, without being the least bit concerned about a lack of consistency.
Left and Right are concepts for the chattering classes. Which is why the chattering classes so often get the masses wrong.