“There’s no there, there.” The Democratic Party seemingly has few core values it will stand and fight for. Instead we get endless and craven compromise. Worse, the Democratic Party, having abandoned its traditional values, no longer appeals to those who would have supported it in the past.
The lack of message from the Democratic Party was made clear to me this weekend at a family event while talking to two relatives. We agreed the system is corrupt, the economy is in dire condition, bankers who should be criminally indicted haven’t been, way too much federal money has been used to bail out Wall Street without helping Main Street, and so on. Their anger was palpable.
This should be fertile territory for the left and the Democratic Party to organize and recruit in. But instead, both of my relatives are hardcore Romney supporters, see him as an agent of change, and Obama as a puppet of financial interests.
A few decades ago they would have been Democrats. But that was before the Democrats pissed in the face of their traditional constituency of the poor, unions, working class, and minorities and instead reinvented themselves as tepid, gutless alternatives to the Republican Party. But the Republican Party has deftly taken populist anger and directed it into their party. Meanwhile Democrats ramble on about making government bigger and how we need more taxes. And that’s no message at all, or at least not one that resonates.
One of those relatives I talked to is a high level tech executive, the other a systems consultant. They are smart, savvy, and well-informed. And they think the Democratic Party is composed of idiots and that Obama will lose. In the 1960’s, they would have been Democrats.
The rising populist anger in this country should belong to the left. But instead the collapse of the left has allowed the right to hijack this rising tide of discontent.
I’m a populist and discuss politics with people on all sides of the spectrum. We populists get along with just about everyone. Guess what, plenty of right wingers are pissed about the same things that liberals and progressives are.
But the Democratic Party is oblivious to this anger and what to do with it. Plus they have no real message.