There is little doubt that the November elections will see the Republican Party take control of Congress; the only question is by how much? This may get me a ton of hate mail, but this next statement needs to be said.
The Dems need to get their heads smacked in a little bit.
Come on, everyone – let’s face facts! The Democrats have been getting “fat and sassy” for a long time now. President Obama’s own failing and stupidities aside, the Democratic Party, in its current state, is just about out of fresh ideas. Where the Republicans are akin to a car dealer pitching the sleek sports car while figuring out how to get you to buy the overpriced beater, the Democrats’ platform reeks of produce being sold which is way past its shelf life. As much as they may claim it, the Republican Party isn’t the source of imitable vision – quite the contrary. Still, the Dems are in need of far more than a simple reboot of 1960s and 1970s-era counterculture-based “solutions” which are little more than repackaged buzzwords which make Yogi Berra’s quote of “It’s deja vu all over again” seem plausible.
Pardon the carpentry analogy, but the Democrats need to strip the termite-ridden boards from their platform and get some fresh wood.
Screaming class warfare and waving the “us versus them” flag is not working anymore. Yes, it gets the base out to vote, but the base isn’t growing, it’s shrinking. Worse, it’s getting more radicalized every day. The only difference between the Democratic base and fundamentalist religious fanatics are that Democrats don’t understand they need this country a lot more than the country needs them. The Democratic Party could, quite literally, fall off the edge of the earth and there would be several groups ready to step in and pick up the banner of the loony left. That, folks, is not a good thing to stick on your political resume.
Now that begs the question – how can the Democrats actually begin to right their own ship? This party is much like a football team infected by an attitude of individualism and losing. Eventually, everyone looks out for themselves and, at some point, the coaches (or in this case, party bosses) lose the locker room. Nobody listens to anyone else, authority is, at the very least, ignored and often questioned and challenged, and whatever unity was once there degrades into an complete abandonment of team principles. It goes from “what can I do for you” to “what’s in it for me?”
This question is how far the Democrats have fallen – most all the party faithful simply ask “what’s in it for me?”
By looking at the question, the party can actually begin to course correct. There are some very simple, and quite effective, means of turning the Democrats from a loony-left-leaning conglomeration of hippies and moneyed counterculture fanatics into a genuinely common-sense party. It starts with a basic American concept – CAN DO!
Common sense: Nobody has all the answers, and nobody can claim to know everything. Rather than try to find an ideological solution to everything, focus on what simply makes sense. Just because you say it’s not fair doesn’t mean it doesn’t work – sometimes, unfair works better because “fair” robs everyone of the opportunity to achieve. A little competition is good for the soul, figuratively speaking. Not everyone will be able to perform the same work, and nobody is truly created equal physically or mental – the goal should be to find the right fit, rather than force a square peg into a round hole. Keep in mind this – what works for Sweden, Japan, Finland or another nation, might not work for America.
America has good points: Rather than being self-hating, be willing to talk about what our nation does right. This isn’t rah-rah, jingoistic stuff – it’s just simple, common sense knowledge. America isn’t all bad, that much is for sure. Has it made mistakes? Of course, which nation hasn’t? We aren’t right 100 percent of the time, but our nation is a heck of a lot better an option than most others. Rather than encouraging hatred of our nation because of what we have accomplished, let’s focus on taking those accomplishments and doing good for others.
Neighborly attitude: This is where the Democrats can really set themselves apart from the GOP. Many on the far right espouse ideologies which border on social Darwinism. The ultra-left screams “revolution” and “class warfare” rather than “love your neighbor.” It’s not just a Christian principle, so those of you in the “freedom from religion” camp, please put down your torches and pitchforks. Loving your neighbor is about doing right by them – helping someone with a flat tire, buying a hungry kid a lunch, and giving someone a hand-up and showing them the dignity achieved from working, even if its volunteer work to help “pay back” any government assistance they receive. It is about community – and please, quit associating a good message with a hated messenger (ditto for the GOP – it got old ten seconds after you started doing it!)
Drive innovation: America is sorely lacking in innovative technology. We’ve rested on our laurels, and it has shown. Rather than being a driven society of self-starters, builders and dreamers, we have allowed ourselves to become a nation of distracted, vapid folks who worry more about who wins a football game or singing competition than how fast we can get off any sort of fossil fuel, cure a disease, or develop advanced travel technologies. What is wrong with wanting to end our dependence on any sort of oil or coal? Granted, we can’t just go “cold turkey,” but we sure can make it worth the investment in transitioning to a solar/hydrogen economy. The party itself can be innovative – find a way to balance regulation and innovation! Government can’t be run like a business, as much as stalwart conservatives say it should be – the two concepts are fundamentally incompatible and invite a corruption akin to the graft and greed of socialist bureaucracy. There is nothing in our toolbox which says it can’t be done. This is why space exploration is so vital to the national interest – we’ve always been a nation of “Go Big, Or Go Home.” Now, we are a nation of “it’s my money, and I want it now!” It’s bearing a bitter fruit.
Finally, the “O” of “CAN DO”
Opportunity must be cultivated for everyone: This doesn’t mean quotas or guarantees (though it may be necessary in instances of systemic discrimination). This means a genuinely open society in which we realize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of someone being judged by the content of character. There are simply too many people who are so sick of political correctness and government-mandated programs enforcing artificial standards, they have forgotten ours is a nation of people who, by and large, truly wish to see the best in anyone. By forgetting this, we succumb to the banal attitudes of might-makes-right, survival-of-the-fittest, and “tough luck, pal.” This attitude will eventually end America as we know it.
So, that being all being said, can the Democrats actually adopt this acronym based philosophy of action as opposed to rhetoric? Based on those currently in power, that remains to be seen. The only thing which is certain, at this point, is the fact Democrats everywhere are confused, upset, and disillusioned and, should November seen a GOP takeover in Washington, that may be just what the doctor ordered.