the terms "left" and "right" were born in congress.
"leftist" is a word assigned to those who sit
on the left of the aisle in the house of representatives
and senate floors respectivley- with "rightists" conversely
sitting on the right.
dems. sit on the left and as such are leftists
reps. sit on the right and as such are> rightists
maybe youre confusing "leftists" with something else?
i dont know.