Friday, November 25, 2016

The so called "experts" want to finish off the Democratic Party

By SJ Otto
Now that the Democratic Party has been voted out of nearly every part of the country, members are getting advice from every corner of the country. For example:
According to  MARK LILLA of The New York Times:

One of the many lessons of the recent presidential election campaign and its repugnant outcome is that the age of identity liberalism must be brought to an end. Hillary Clinton was at her best and most uplifting when she spoke about American interests in world affairs and how they relate to our understanding of democracy. But when it came to life at home, she tended on the campaign trail to lose that large vision and slip into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop. This was a strategic mistake. If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded. Which, as the data show, was exactly what happened with the white working class and those with strong religious convictions. Fully two-thirds of white voters without college degrees voted for Donald Trump, as did over 80 percent of white evangelicals.

Most of the advice is likely to be like this. Jettison all liberalism. Get rid of the politics of minorities, Blacks, Latinos, women, gays, and go for those so called Reagan Democrats—those Archie Bunkers of America, those conservative and some-what bigoted white working people. Win them back from the Republicans and we can win elections.
Every time the Democrats lose an election they move to the political middle—or they move to the right. There really are no liberal Democrats left in politics and haven't been since Ted Kennedy and George McGovern. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama are centrists. They are not liberal or left at all. Hillary was clearly a centrist and at times as conservative as Trump. But did she lose because she was too liberal?
Just look at the Democratic Primary. She nearly got beat by Bernie Sanders, a socialist. He brought out young people in droves to vote for him. He won in such conservative states as Kansas. He is not right-wing or centrist. It is not a surprise that many of the young people who voted for Bernie Sanders refused to go out and vote for Clinton. I know of many who voted for the Greens rather that Clinton or just didn't vote at all.
Thomas Frank, author of "Listen, Liberal," said of Hillary Clinton:

She was the Democratic candidate because it was her turn and because a Clinton victory would have moved every Democrat in Washington up a notch. Whether or not she would win was always a secondary matter, something that was taken for granted. Had winning been the party’s number one concern, several more suitable candidates were ready to go. There was Joe Biden, with his powerful plainspoken style, and there was Bernie Sanders, an inspiring and largely scandal-free figure. Each of them would probably have beaten Trump, but neither of them would really have served the interests of the party insiders.
And so Democratic leaders made Hillary their candidate even though they knew about her closeness to the banks, her fondness for war, and her unique vulnerability on the trade issue – each of which Trump exploited to the fullest. They chose Hillary even though they knew about her private email server. They chose her even though some of those who studied the Clinton Foundation suspected it was a sketchy proposition.
To try to put over such a nominee while screaming that the Republican is a rightwing monster is to court disbelief. If Trump is a fascist, as liberals often said, Democrats should have put in their strongest player to stop him, not a party hack they’d chosen because it was her turn. Choosing her indicated either that Democrats didn’t mean what they said about Trump’s riskiness, that their opportunism took precedence over the country’s well-being, or maybe both.

So the Democratic Party went for a traditional candidate who they felt they owed the spot on the ballot. They could have been more supportive of Sanders, but he wasn't a party hack or insider. That is a major reason Clinton lost.
It is unfortunate that lesser heads are bound to prevail. The Democratic Party keeps moving to the right and keeps imitating the Republicans hoping they can hi-jack the ultra-right message without losing their liberal base in so called identity politics. To jettison that base will prove dangerous. They will have to win back enough redneck white guys to make up for the loss of blacks and gays. Or they may just not mention identity politics and hope that those people will just assume that the Democrats are their natural allies. They have had that attitude in the past. It is the idea: "What are you going to do? Vote Republican!" But that attitude may wear thin if the Democrats keep moving to the right. There are a lot of young people  who are uninterested in right-wing bigoted politics. They want someone to vote for. They will not vote of Democrats who will offer up more of what they are sick of. They Democrats can get a clue or continue to slide into irrelevancy. One thing they should not do is listen to the crop of so called "experts."

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