Let’s discuss politics. In particular, let’s discuss some elementary aspects of politics your neighbors do not understand. Political parties are simply jerseys. Red, blue, or mauve, the colors and logos are immaterial except as identifiers. And like their textile counterparts, political jerseys do not possess native attributes. Rather any core philosophies they espouse are imbued strictly by those presently wearing them. There is nothing inherently conservative about the Republican Party, nor liberal about the democrats outside the personalities presently animating them. And those change.
Like the US constitution, political parties are neither custodians nor defenders of any particular values. And those who embrace them with that intent are destined for bitter laments. That doesn’t mean they aren’t useful tools for those who want to advance their own raft of policy preferences. For that is precisely their reason for being. And as leaderships and constituencies perpetually shift, so to will the inviolable, carved-in-stone, core values of each party. As jerseys, they seek nothing more than dollars for their manufacture and bodies to wear. Any constituents expecting loyalty should practice drawing these strange repeating glyphs on a bank draft: 0000000.
Each of the two primary competing jerseys in America cultivates its own discrete fields, while always attempting to encroach on its opposition–sometimes quite successfully. Southerners used to be staunch democrats and blacks equally inclined republicans. And while both till different ground, it’s striking how increasingly similar are their tools. Consider potential 2016 nominees Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. What topics these two could find to argue about in a debate is a matter of some uncertainty. Which has had sex with more swarthy women could fill the balance of one engagement, I suppose. Though few other items of disagreement come to mind. So it’s quite interesting that a party drawing its support from the country’s traditional core of white families, and the opposing party pulling from society’s encircling elements would both choose a corporate, interventionist, neo-con politician sans borders as its standard bearer. That’s big tent politics taken to its apotheosis.
All of which is just musing preamble to the item of discussion: Democrats remain highly vexed by the 2014 election results.
After losing elections to Republicans in races across the country in November, DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz ordered Democrats to establish a task force to explore the party’s problems. Republicans underwent a similar effort in 2013 after the party failed to oust Barack Obama from the White House.
The DNC said Saturday’s 9-page report is preliminary, and the task force will produce final recommendations by mid-2015.
Since 2008, the report says Democrats have lost 69 House seats, 13 Senate seats, 910 state legislative seats, 30 state legislative chambers and 11 governorships.
I could have spared Ms. Wasserman Schultz a great deal of time and expense, in producing a far more accurate and succinct report. Here are its findings: in foraging ever further afield for non-white racial bloc votes, the tone and rhetoric from democrats has become so luridly hostile to whites that it has alienated a substantial portion of that (unfortunately still present) demographic.
The party can address this in one of two ways.
1) Suffer now for total victory later. Resign yourself to a series of electoral rebukes as whites increasingly comprehend the party’s antipathy. Though do so with the knowledge that white migration away from the party has a hard ceiling, whereas voter importation does not. Eventually the process of white out-movement will be swamped by millions of nuevo democrats, and elections can be secured with vanishing white minorities.
2) Restrain your wild-eyed enthusiasm for white disembowelment and compete for their votes immediately. This doesn’t require actual advocacy or even the slightest support–as Republicans offer neither themselves. Simply veil your sentiments to the extent that they no longer engender such intense voter revulsion. Love blacks in public; hate whites in private. And while many would be unreceptive to overtures as recipients of lifelong scorn, there does exist a tantalizing populist opportunity to reach the great many who are disgusted with republicans. Two high value gestures would be in conspicuously rejecting perpetual war and defending the American worker. Though not being invited to participate in the task force, I’ll offer the party no more free advice out of spite.
And believe me, sound advice is at a premium. Note these remarks…
It is clear that Americans overwhelmingly support the people and issues that the Democratic Party fights for everyday.
Followed after one sentence by:
We have suffered devastating losses at all levels of government since 2008.
The counterintuitive means by which Americans express “overwhelming support” is via “devastating losses.” Any organization capable of producing these sentences in such proximity suffers more profound deficiencies than mere tactics.
Though there was more to mine from the report. One of the key values it identifies is the party’s commitment to “Provide every citizen with the opportunity to participate in government.” What a fascinating concept of citizen sovereignty upon which to alight. What of those many citizens who relish the opportunity to not participate in or deal with government whatsoever? Those concerns didn’t quite make the working draft, I’m afraid.
Under the heading of Create a Values Based Narrative comes self assessments such as the following:
It is strongly believed that the Democratic Party is loosely understood as a long list of policy statements and not as people with a common set of core values.
The left crafting narratives? That’s a novel idea. Though I couldn’t disagree more with the conclusion. The party’s core values are on ample enough display, I think. Eric Holder put them on display in Ferguson. As does Biden in waves that never stop. And if Obama had a son, he would also display core values ably I’m sure.
Perhaps it is not the shrouding of party values that has repulsed certain voters, but their frank openness.
The party must reclaim voters it has lost, including white southern voters.
Perhaps Southerners have simply been confused in thinking the party was just a long list of policy statements instead of a common set of core values. That’s one hypothesis. Another would be that Southerners perceive an implacable hostility and subsequently reject democrats everywhere they are given opportunity. Who can say which is closer to the truth?
Though I’d like to take a final moment to note contemporary political principles. When the democratic party appeals to white southerners in the interests of democrats, it is–what was the term again? oh yes– creating a values based narrative. However, when white southerners appeal to the democratic party in the interests of whites in the south, it is HATE. As narrative values sometimes succumb to the vagaries of nuance, it is the chore of democrats to always maintain such clarity.
So we’ll eagerly await the final evaluation, particularly as it pertains to courting the South. I’m looking forward to Tim Wise taking point on the democrats’ flattery offensive.