I guess I make a distinction
(I think your original thread read:
- the terms "left" and "right" were born in congress.
- dems. sit on the left and as such are leftists
reps. sit on the right and as such are rightists)
On the semantics.
Sure, the analogy of right aisle/left aisle in the US Congress as broken up by party does imply (regardless of the terms' historical origins) that democracts are "leftists" and republicans are "righties".
But I'm suggesting that it's a bad analogy because, in my own estimation, I don't consider democrats to be leftist.
When I think leftists or (the Left Wing), I consider the terms to imply more radical politics. Not militancy, mind you, but definitely farther left than the standard democrat (who, these days, I'd say is actually center right). But as this thread has proven, everyone has different conceptions of the terms Left and Right and the degrees of political leaning they connote.
Democrats once were more progressive, more radical than they are today though, that's true. For example, any contemporary democrat who dared propose something as radical as the New Deal would likely be pelted with freedom fries and be branded a "goddamned communist" or a "terrorist".
Hey, but good discussion, thanks for raising the points you did.