Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
The state of the party
Kristof's op/ed in the NYT today makes a good point about the Democratic Party: somehow it has lost touch with the working people of the heartland who seemingly vote against their own economic self-interest, voting with a party that gives tax cuts to billionaires because they agree with the party's "values". The Dems have totally lost the country's values, or rather (which I believe) the country has shifted dramatically to conservative values.
We need to change this, and I really want to start a discussion about how. How can we teach people not to be scared of something different from them?
posted by CB @ 1:08 PM
The thing here is the big R word. My extended family are all working class. if you added my dad's three syblings' salaries together you would not get to 200k. They come from a long line of unionists in New Jersey. My grandfather voted for FDR in 1940 and never went back. he was born the same year as JFK and was always proud to point it out.
His kids except for my dad are all strong Bush supporters for the following three reasons: religion religion and religion. Not being particularly religious myself i have a very hard time understanding this but it really governs how they vote. they are the people the dems have lost. People who by all logic should be democrats (2 school teachers and a truck driver) but feel that their values like anti-abortion are ignored. I mean what the hell do we do. In Bill Clinton's autobiography he talks about 1968 as the culminating year of 37 years of progressivisim dating back to FDR taking the White House in 1932. He talks about all these old fashioned democrats watching on TV as a bunch of snot nosed college kids threw things at police in Chicago and denigraded soldiers and religion and "values." Since that time we have been swinging back to reactionism and have been working to undo many of the acomplishments started by FDR and brought to fruition by Kennedy and Johnson. My worst gut feeling is it gets worse and worse until we have a Chicago like moment that pushes us back to progressivsm. Like Vietnam, I think Iraq may yet be that moment but we have four more years to sweat it out.
More exit poll respondents -- about 22 percent -- called "moral values" the election's most important issue then cited the economy, terrorism or Iraq. Those expressing this sentiment backed the president overwhelmingly, 79 percent to Kerry's 18 percent. Bush did similarly well among the 19 percent who identified terrorism as their top issue. From CNN.com
This will be the major discussion point coming out of the election. How do Democrats reclaim the moral high ground? We should have it - opposing a war in Iraq that kills thousands of Iraqis and Americans; pursuing scientific solutions to diseases; pursuing equal rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation. But a vast majority of the country thinks Democrats lack any morals whatsoever - as my wise friend Steve Ruckman says, they see the choice as morals vs. no morals, and even if they don't believe in everything Republicans do they have no choice but to vote for the one with at least some morals.
It's our challenge as Democrats to find a way to talk about morals - both within the religious context and outside of it.