Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Shorter Version

Years ago, I gave my late dad a 150 page book called "How Hitler Could Have Won WWII" and he read it and said that he had a shorter version: "Don't invade Russia." That was pretty good.

Here is a one page article from the Wall Street Journal today entitled: "How Democrats Can Come Back".

I have a shorter version: "Stop being ultra-left".

Odds of Democrat party gaining a significant number of elected offices in next 8 years, absent the somewhat expected Republican screw-ups: Nil. I don't think they are even going to try to make the party and its candidates more popular with voters in a majority of states.


I don't know how the Democrats are being "Ultra-left", but I couldn't disagree with this more, Given that it was Trump's populist rhetoric that likely won him the election. It's their shift into elite liberalism, this right wing economic policy mixed with some token scraps thrown to the minorities and identity politics crowd, that lost them the election. The numbers kind of back this up too (republican voters largely stayed the same, while democratic voters sat home or voted for someone else). I don't know how you can look at this election, with Trump's historically low approval rating, and significant loss just looking at the popular vote, and think that he has a mandate on his policies. People still overwhelmingly support "Ultra-left" policies, like universal health care (not the bullshit obamacare version, but true single payer), and the Democrats' failure to embrace those policies over the years is what sunk them, not the other way around.
This has nothing to do with Trump. Trump didn't cause the 1000 plus loss of Democrats in elected office over the last 8 years. He just added one to that number.
People do not overwhelmingly support ultra-left policies in America and the more lefty the Democrats become the less popular they get with voters. I'm sorry to have to play the "I'm older and I know more than you" card, but I can remember what the Kennedy and Johnson era Democrats were like. Pro-American, anti-American enemies, willing to spend less and lower tax rates, not ever eager to expand the size and cost of the government. After VietNam was over, with McGovern, the Democrats moved to the left and have never stopped. But I don't want you ever to abandon the Democrats lose because they are not lefty enough world view you have. Tell your friends, tell everyone that the Democrats have to embrace ever more socialistic policies. Will you do that for me, son?
Again, you have this weird binary view of the world, which doesn't quite fit with reality. I don't know how you explain Bernie Sanders' rise from nothingness and near primary win, but you really are deceiving yourself if you think a large portion of Americans don't want affordable access to quality jobs, health care and higher education. Democrats' losses over the years can best be summed up by the Chuck Schumer quote, “For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin.”

You may very well be right that Democrats will never win anything meaningful again for a long time, but it will be because they failed to own up to their mistakes and failed to offer a better alternative for voters than simply "not Trump", not because they were "ultra left". You're just wrong about that.
Good luck with Schumer's outreach, such as it is.

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