In the US, many people think that the Republican and Democratic parties represent widely different ideologies when in reality, they are very much in agreement except for a few, mainly social, issues. This is not a new development. In the British comedy sketch review Beyond the Fringe from 1961, Dudley Moore tells his friends that he is going to the US and asks them to fill him in on what to expect. You can see that sketch below and the comments about America hold up depressingly well.
At the 2:55 mark, Jonathan Miller tells Moore that the US has two parties: the Republicans that are the equivalent of their Conservatives party and the Democrats that are the equivalent of their Conservative party.
This obliviousness of many Americans to the narrowness of their political spectrum was shown last week when an American conservative Ben Shapiro stormed off the set of a BBC news program, accusing the BBC and his host Andrew Neil of being leftists, much to the amusement of Neil who is a prominent UK conservative and co-owner of the right-wing magazine The Spectator.
Shapiro later realized that he had committed an own goal and apologized.
Neil later defended his line of questioning, saying, “I tend to take the opposite position from those I interview. It’s a useful way to test their positions. It tells you nothing of my own views. What do American interviewers do?”
I can answer that. When it comes to mainstream politicians, US interviewers go out of their way to avoid seriously challenging them, allowing them to filibuster and slide away, so that they will agree to appear again. They are only aggressive when interviewing leaders of foreign countries that are considered enemies of the US . This is why US interview shows are so vapid.