Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bully Pulpit Shifts U.S. Opinion

Theodore Roosevelt
It was Teddy Roosevelt who coined the term “bully pulpit.” The actual quotation was: “I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit,” and it was by preaching that President Barack Obama most recently made effective use of the “bully pulpit.”

The Obama presidency overlaps the significant shift in U.S. opinion to the left on a host of topics. The Gallup Poll recorded after the President’s speech and the violence in South Carolina that a majority of Democrats (58%) now see the Confederate flag as a racist symbol. Among Democrats, there was a 16 point drop in people who saw the flag as a symbol of Southern pride and an 18 point increase since 2000 in those who see it as a symbol of racism. Republicans have not significantly changed their views.

Also, it was the rapid shift among Democrats that fueled the recent surge in support for gay rights, although, there was some movement among all partisans.

Today, only 27 percent of Democrats believe it’s right for southern states to display the flag. This fight is only beginning, and it will be one of President Obama’s legacies, mostly due to his use of the pulpit.

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