Following the election of President Obama, it became fashionable for conservatives to comment that we remain a "center-right" nation. A recent "Dear Wingnut" column by token right-wing and pseudonymous guest columnist Glenallen Walken underscores the point. Interested readers might find the comments section to be interesting, albeit skewed heavily to the left.

I added the following comment and am interested to hear what others on the DF think about not only "where" we are with respect to values, but whether or not there's even a "where" to pinpoint.

Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach at
The notion of a "center-right" country (or "center-left," for that matter) only makes sense if our values somehow lined up on a one-dimensional left-right spectrum.

They don't.

In fact, two or even three dimensions aren't nearly enough. Rather, values represent an n-dimensional "space" where n turns out to be a pretty large number.

I suspect that any one of us would have a hard time mapping where he or she fits in values-space; mapping us all is a fool's errand.

Of the Wingnut columns, this is by far the most interesting. But as fascinating as it would be to try to map values-space and plot our position within it, the real issue here is one of marketing.

Author Drew Westen's "The Political Brain" does an excellent job of fleshing out the right's seemingly perpetual dominance in defining the debate. He goes further to suggest approaches to counter this dominance. In my opinion, the real value that the Wingnut column offers is the reminder of the importance not just of the battle of ideas, but the battle of the naming of ideas.