This was the case a short
60 years ago. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Democratic
Party commanded such popularity that there was no state
where they weren’t competitive. When FDR concerned
himself with the social issues of the times, the conservative
Southern Democrats threatened his agenda more than any
The Democrats were in power and they can be in power
again. Unfortunately, the current strategy of the Democratic
Party seems ineffective at combating the ever-dominant
social issues. Try to explain the Democratic Party’s
stance on same-sex marriage in under 30 seconds with
enough time to explain how you’re going to provide
health insurance for all Americans. While the Republicans
have simple, conservative answers on abortion and school
prayer, Democrats flounder in the center with no one
to represent the left. By swinging to the left, the
Democrats can deliever short, simple positions on these
controversial social issues, giving them time to turn
the subject to what Democrats have always won on–economics.
When Democrats were at their political prime of power
and popularity, they created the New Deal. Even if the
Republican exaggerations regarding Social Security were
true, it will last for almost one hundred years before
problems begin. While Republicans call Democrats tax
and spenders, the last Republican to even propose a
balanced budget was Eisenhower. Both Clinton and Johnson
balanced the budget, while Reagan ran a higher deficit
Clinton’s New Democrats had the right idea by
trying to compromise. Unfortunately, not all decisions
work perfectly. Author Thomas Frank attributes Clinton’s
melding of Democrats and Republicans on issues like
NAFTA and welfare left social issues as the only major
differences voters have to choose candidates by.
Democrats: stop suffering through that babble about
opposing gay marriage, but supporting civil unions that
grant the same rights as marriage, but it isn’t
marriage and that’s okay, though let’s not
pass an amendment to ban it in case we change our minds.
Instead, try telling Tim Russert that you favor gay
marriage—and then have enough time to ask why
the Republicans don’t put the cops they fired
back on the streets. Instead of finding the middle-ground
on opposing abortion but being pro-choice, say you support
Roe v. Wade—and then ask why Republicans
cut child care programs.
While the polarized liberal views on these social
issues will alienate some voters, this would still do
more good than bad. Firstly, the more conservative voters
are already voting Republican. You will never convince
a true-believer that abortion is helpful to society.
The Democrats are already looked at as the party that
is pro-abortion, pro-gay, and pro-destruction of all
that is moral and good. You don’t give people
a reason to vote for you by being the same as the people
they are already voting for. That’s why
the more Democrats move to the center, the more Republicans
move to the right.
Democrats need to change the conversation. They have
no chance to win on social issues. But pushed far enough
left, these issues become one line explanations that
give time to bring up issues that matter like the three
E’s— education, employment, and enforcement.
These are the things that matter in every person’s
daily life. Education is obvious. Employment includes
minimum wage, unions, outsourcing, and farm subsidies.
Enforcement encompasses public and military services,
including the environment, police, and business regulation.
And while public opinion may not agree, historically
Democrats are better at each.
Democrats need to go on the offensive, and provide
proof that their alternative is better. Honestly pointing
out that Social Security only needs minor tweaks looks
timid and weak. Call for a raise in the payroll tax
for the top 1% and show you’re looking out for
the workers, not Hollywood, who’s getting the
Democrats spend so much time defensively stumbling
over the social issues that they have no chance to control
the conversation. By simply answering the social issue
questions, Democrats can bring up the issues Republicans
don’t want to talk about. Like when was the last
time Congress had a serious conversation about the state
of public education.
Our nation’s educational system requires a major
revamp. School vouchers are admittedly a postponement
until solutions can be found. Since Republicans would
rather build a Star Wars missile defense program than
classrooms, let Democrats take the reigns. Like the
Republicans on Social Security, set up a task force
of Democrats to develop a new educational plan absent
of vouchers and creationism. Let a mid-level Senator
take point on this. If the program takes off, you make
an unknown a star. If the program doesn’t fly,
few will hate someone for trying to fix education.
By putting forth such an ambitious program, you start
the debate. Whatever the Democrats propose would require
compromise with Republicans, meaning the conversation
will change. If Republicans try to change the conversation
back, Democrats only have to ask why Republicans care
more about Massachusets gay couples than kids in their
own district. By unifying quick, simple, though liberal
answers to the social issues, Democrats find time to
change the conversation to the important social matters
that are being ignored in the public discourse. Education
will affect the most people meaning if Democrats turn
every conversation to education, eventually Republicans
are going to have match wits.
How do I know this will happen? Republicans need an
enemy. Even with every branch of the government wrapped
around their gas pumps, the liberal elite still triumphs.
Moral decay continues as gays pass along homosexual
germs and New York bans only the Christian Bible. Republicans
present these not as logical arguments arguments, but
as “proof” they are the victims. If they
were the victims, then why aren’t they fixing
the problems? Democrats need to start asking these questions.
A freelance writer and editor, Michael can be contacted
or through his website at http://mikecs.95mb.com/.