More and more I've become convinced that most "Left-wing," or "Progressive" Americans are driven primarily by personality, NOT ideology.
They despised G. W. Bush's "smug, frat boy" style. His lazy, word-inventing political "strategery."
They reviled Ronald Reagan's easy confidence and his purported "style over substance." BUT despite the fact that Reagan was a JFK-styled tax cutting, anti-Communist, the Left STILL despised him because he "wasn't on the Blue team."
They reviled Nixon's deep-seated paranoia, despite the fact that Richard M. Nixon's the guy who started the EPA, birthed racial preferences/quotas and opened up China to trade.
Conservatives seem primarily ideologically driven. They support reduced tax rates for ALL, knowing that high income earners benefit the most. They support unfettered free speech, easy access to guns, absent a felony record, or a documented mental/emotional problem. They support restrictions on immigration. Many support a return to the pre-1965 immigration rules. They support less regulation for business and industry. They support mandated workfare, NOT welfare. They support equal OPPORTUNITY for ALL, special PRIVILEGE/preferences for NONE. They support Fair Trade deals NOT "Free Trade" that drive U.S. jobs offshore. They support harsher sentences for violent offenders and they vehemently oppose In-Sourcing cheap labor via ILLEGAL immigration and H-1B Visas, as well as Out-Sourcing our jobs offshore.
Perhaps that's why instead of staking out what they believe in, we mostly hear American Leftists vaguely taking issue with the way Conservatives put things. For using, "code words," like "law and order meaning racism to Leftists, "free speech" meaning no sanctions against "hate speech" (OK, lucky guess on their parts on that one) and "pro-business" meaning "anti-environment."
Virtually EVERY "Progressive" American I've ever met has defined "socialism" within the Capitalist confines of private property rights and the market-based economy. That is they all believe that Socialism recognizes private property rights and isn't tethered to the Command (government-run) economy.
Of course, THAT'S NOT "socialism." That "melding of the best aspects of Capitalism, with the best aspects of Socialism" is called Corporatism, which is what we have now.
Perhaps that’s why it seems to be all about personality with "Progressives," they don't, so much, disagree with Conservative Corporatists, they merely want to tinker around the margins.
I've always sought out the views of Leftists, etc. and STILL find myself looking for an ideological "Liberal"/"Progressive" who's NOT primarily driven by personality...or "style over substance."