It’s difficult to list the things that are broken with our form of government, mostly because said list stretches miles long. I’m by no means a legal or political expert so attempting something comprehensive would surely end in failure.
I made the comment recently that everyone likes fascism if it’s their ideology. With that in mind, I’d like to outline some of the better and worse points of the four major political parties in the United States (yes I’m counting the Greens and Libertarians) to illustrate that the solution isn’t just to let the Democrats run everything.
- The party most interested in governing for the widest section of people that can actually win elections. This is the only pro but it covers a lot of ground. The truth is the Democrats are the worst political party in the country…except for all the other ones.
- More interested in the party’s power than actual liberalism
- Spineless, cowardly and unable to play as dirty or as partisan as the Republicans (See: Garland, Merrick)
- Often favor bipartisanship over constituents
- Reactionary, not proactive
- Well organized. It’s like they meet every week on Sundays to get on the same page, or something.
- Speak best to rural voters.
- Racist, Homophobic, Misogynist, Ableist, anti-semetic and Islamophobic
- Wear willful lack of education like a badge of honor
- More interested in personal biases and emotions than facts
- Only serve wealthy elites
- Small government is a good goal when applied right to the right places
- Wholly lacking any pragmatism that would lead to achievement of the above
- Ignorant on the contribution of limited government to systemic inequality (aka super- everything the Republicans are)
- Incapable of winning a national election
- Led by geographically challenged Gary Johnson (although I thought that was good spin)
- Most inclusive, planet-friendly platform
- Condemn corporate campaign donations
- Led by narcissist throw shit at the walls and see what sticks Jill Stein
- Incapable of winning a national election
- Unable or unwilling to invest down-ballot
- Willing to embrace eco-bullshit like the anti-vaccination movement
Interestingly they all picked the biggest schmuck to represent them at the national level in 2016 and then proceeded to commit gaffe after gaffe after gaffe in what appeared to be a concerted effort to toss the election to someone else.
While Donald Trump proved to be the biggest piece of shit among them, he also alienated the fewest of his constituencies by not:
- picking Tim fucking Kaine as a running mate
- treating liberalism like a soiled diaper as the so-called liberal candidate
- pandering to the most anti-science segments of the population while coming from the party that purports to be above that bullshit. (Seriously, fuck Jill Stein.)
- claiming to be a better alternative to the GOP and then Rick Perrying on Aleppo. Admittedly, it was pretty satisfying to watch the collective smugness of libertarians slowly turn to embarrassment. TURNS OUT YOU’RE NOT THE PARTY OF CONSERVATIVE INTELLECTUALISM AFTER ALL HAHAHA!
So he won and we’re all worse off, the already worst off of us being especially worse off because Donald Trump and much of the Republican Party only derives strength from picking on those they identify as the weakest.
The truth is that it’s easier to win over and organize conservatives than it is liberals because conservatives are largely monolithic and share interests and liberals are largely diverse and have many interests. Unfortunately that leads to a lot of infighting, like whether or not the election was more about sexism or racism when it was about intolerable quantities of both and also a host of other shit.
It’s also easier to dupe conservatives into voting against their best interests because you can win them over if you hit a few key things, like being approachable and hating women, LGBTQ, and non-white people.
Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama were relatable. George H. W. Bush, Al Gore, John Kerry, and Mitt Romney were not. John McCain and Hillary Clinton were also largely not but also had the disadvantage of being long-tenured political retreads in a country that tires of that sort of thing pretty quickly.
Relatability is a pretty fucking stupid way to pick a president. The best campaigners find a way to tailor their message to each group they court without changing it or seeming like they’re changing it. The worst float by on relatability. The very worst do neither. (Hi Hillary Clinton.)
What Democratic candidates seem to fail to understand is that altering the same message so it relates to different groups of people is not pandering. Ironically most of these candidate are guilty of pandering by altering what they talk about to different groups. Instead of highlighting how the same message can help their various constituencies, they talk about each specific groups’ individual goals and act like those are the most important aspect of their campaign. This is why Hillary Clinton sounded like she was saying a completely different thing depending on which group of people she was talking to. (This is also how you end up praising Nancy fucking Reagan of all people for AIDS activism while you’re deluding yourself into thinking moderate Republicans might swing your way.)
The Democrats also spent too much time trying to damage Trump’s reputation for being a terrible human being and not enough time trying to damage his relatability to the constituencies as a lying corporatist who would sell them out as soon as possible. Or better, not enough time ensuring that their message related to these voters better than Trump’s. (And, you know, not enough time fighting the Republicans on all their vote-suppressing bullshit because the Democrats are more interested in bipartisanship and looking good than doing the right thing.)
Ironically, where the Republicans had convinced themselves in 2012 that their message was good, their tone just sucked, the Democrats have convinced themselves that their message is bad but their tone is okay. There are already calls to abandon various minority groups and tack further center even though liberal policy performs well even in red states. What the democrats need to do is craft their tone so that it resonates with people instead of sitting back and relying on policy (and not being awful). If they can be accused of living in a bubble it is one of metropolitan affluent whiteness as opposed to the conservative bubbles of rural and suburban whiteness. Minority communities get shunted to the side when they should be the ones leading us forward because they are the most well-equipped to fight for the key planks of liberalism.
The most powerful democrats should be the ones from rural and minority communities. People like Keith Ellison, Raul Grijalva, Heidi Heitkamp, Tammy Baldwin, Mazie Hirono, Kamala Harris. Instead people are turning to Chuck fucking Schumer, a NY-born, NY-raised exactly the problem who took a short detour to attend Harvard. Schumer leading the Democrats into the future is a good way to solve absolutely nothing.