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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Xtremehkr, Dec 15, 2004.
GOP has a lock on the South, Democrats can't find key
Time for a reinvention of the party yet?
As long as it's not toward the right. The article mentions that the GOP started making inroads when the DNC stopped supporting Jim Crow and playing to the South's racism. I wouldn't consider that a shining example to follow.
The GOP now plays to isolationism, "security" (their version of it, anyway) and the legislation of morality. These themes played very well in the South, but the Dems shouldn't follow. They'll never beat them at their own game, trying to play up security and morals. Certainly not if they continue to let the GOP define both. They need to redefine the rules or the perspective. Giong to the South and preaching to the prejudices there won't get them any more votes - not with the GOP playing that game so much better.
I would argue it is more of a time for a real 3rd party!
Two words for you: so what?
Can I see a similar breakdown of Northern states? What about Democrats lock on the Northeast and Northwest? What about the fact that, in a country of 300 million (give or take), the popular vote was nearly a 50-50 split between the two major parties?
Reading this article, I get the impression that the author intended to convey a feeling of urgency for the Democratic party. "Capture the South or die," was the feeling I got from this article. I would say that is far from the case. Given two different candidates, Florida could easily have swung Democratic in the last election, and that would have resulted in a Democratic victory.
I don't see reason for alarm, here. I see a need for Democrats to take principled stands on issues and reframe the debate in such a way as they aren't portrayed as flip-flopping, godless, moral-less wimps.
Is the momentum increasing, or decreasing Taft?
Who has government? Who continues to win more power in politics? When do we decide that something needs to be done?
At what point?
Vote Libertarian Stu.
They have some very strong points no doubt. They will reach critical mass within a few decades and when more people are aware of their platform, grow significantly
And then will become just another political party. Thier platform is refreshing though, "Give us government so we can do away with it", sounds like what the Republicans used to promise doesn't it?
What "needs" to be done, exactly? Should the Democratic party give up their ideals to "reinvent" themselves into office? Or are we talking about procedural changes (new ways to get nominees, etc.) I could agree with you on procedural/democratic type issues (like Stu says, I'd like to see a third party), but would really object to any ideological changes.
I really think you are overestimating the extent of the conservative momentum right now. Get back to me in two more elections and if the Dems have continued to loose seats and power, we'll see if there is a problem.
I would ask you how you could consider the "purple state" analogy propoganda. Was the population not evenly split over Bush in the last election? Does not 1 part red + 1 part blue = 2 parts purple.
I think you are really overestimating the problem and UNDERestimating the American people.
From USA Today
"Democrats had great success in state legislative races this year, even as they fared poorly in the presidential race and campaigns for Congress. Many Democratic gains came in the heart of Republican territory."
"Colorado Democrats took control of both the House and Senate for the first time since 1974. Montana Democrats won the state Senate and could control the state House, depending on the outcome of a legislative race that finished in a tie and is the subject of a court battle."
"Overall, Democrats gained control of seven legislative chambers and earned a tie in the Iowa Senate. Republicans took control of four chambers and added legislators in Southern states that have been shifting to the party for 20 years."
"Nationwide, Democrats added 60 legislative seats....now outnumber Republicans by two: 3,658 to 3,656."
Oregon, home to the nations only VOTE ONLY BY MAIL system, took control of one chamber, while the Republicans still control the other chamber, in a state that also gave its electoral votes to John Kerry.
In North Carolina, Democrats won control of the House and increased their lead in the senate.
"A lot of voters in North Carolina are not comfortable with the national Democratic Party, at least as represented by John Kerry, " says state rep. Joe Hackney, the House Democratic leader. "But they are comfortable with state Democratic leadership as represented by Gov. Mike Easley."
The sky isn't falling... yet. It takes time to build the kind of organization the GOP has right now.
Admitting that there is a problem would be a realistic start. Understanding why people are voting the way they are would be the next step. Developing a means of countering the message and effectively winning the support of the people again.
Every party needs to reinvent itself from time to time. I have great faith in people also, but let's face it, the message being put out is not honest and the side that dominates the media tends to dominate government.
The Elephant Echo Chamber is vastly superior to the DNCs attempts to "get the message out."
Are you denying the trend of the last 25 years that has shifted power to the Republicans? Suggesting that this is just going to go away soon without anything being done?
That's positive, but in the meantime, we face the possibility of having a stacked Supreme Court and Constitutional Amendments that are discriminatory and divisive. Control of the national policy and budget remains in the control of Republicans, which means Social Security is going to be gutted. And if this flat tax is imposed, things are really going to change.
I don't think that it makes up for what is happening at the Federal Level.
Democrats ought to stop hand-wringing over the Southeastern states and look to the Southwest. The best place for them to gain ground would be in states like New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and Colorado. If the Dems really want to pull ahead, they should worry more about the desert and mountain states instead of moaning about the glory days when they could carry Alabama.
In reference to the USA Today article about Democratic gains in GOP strongholds, I find hope in that, and perhaps the future.
After all, local level government is more receptive to the mood and needs of the immediate community at hand, and somewhat less beholden to finances.
As to the future, it is likely that governance (at least in directly effecting peoples lives) will increasingly move towards urban pods, which tend to be democratic as the number of people crowded together and resultant problems/stress usually requires democratic solutions or they are merely wanted as a result of the regional pluralities.
This turns the GOP states-rights issue on it's head.
BTW, I read a very interesting snippet in Time the other day. There was an interview with four retiring Senators, and they explained that to ensure re-election, they had to fundraise EVERY day, even starting the day after the Election, with them having to bring in roughly $10000 a day, in order to finance their next campaign. They mentioned how this makes it difficult to listen to your constituency or act on their behalf effectively.
I found it obscene. Left or Right, it is hard to argue against limiting Campaign funding.
meh. sorry, I have the flu.
Sorry to hear your feeling sick BF. You're right about the money in politics though, and the sick part is that the system is set up to reward the people who excel in raising money, not those who govern well.
Thanks for the thought, mac...damn all those old people, children and Canadians getting all the good drugs...oh well.
As for your statement concerning money, I see your point, but I was particularily disturbed by the realization that the need/priority of raising money precludes any possibility of governing well.
Forgive my naivete (it's the nyquil talking), but why couldn't we just put a cap on how much money can be spent? Guarantee a certain amount of TV, Radio and Print space for the candidates and otherwise allow only a modest amount for logistical expenses.
The great thing is, not only would the playing field be leveled for the introduction of more candidates, but people would be forced to actually put some effort into researching and understanding candidates and issues. It is a win-win situation.
While of course many interests do not want that to happen, would not most people, right or left, agree that money competing with them for their representative's attention is a bad thing? And mobilize that opinion?
meh. I am going to medicate and pass out now. see ya in the manana..
That's actually where I was heading with that thought. Since the system rewards those who do well at fundraising, it stands to reason that those who aren't doing it all the time are not competitive with those who are. Ergo unless you spend damn near all day every day raising money you are at risk of being outdone. It's just good, sound, pre-emptive fundraising.
It doesn't seem to occur to some in this thread--and to the DNC leadership--that it's not an issue of "getting out the message". Hell's bells, the message has been out there for several decades, and people are now beginning to reject it.
The idiocy of yapping about "Southern prejudice" is ludicrous. I lived in the south all my life (except four years in the army, with several buddies there who were black, as if that matters) until I went to work for Chevrolet in Detroit in 1962. I encountered more active hostility of white against black than I had ever seen in the south.
(This is not to say there weren't Kluxer-types in political power in the south, but that's almost beside the point. The average southerner was not ACTIVE in any racism, as was more common in the northern industrial areas.)
Sure, Georgia is conservative. Trouble with this "everybody knows" political stuff is that there are mayors and county commisioners who are black. A helluva lot of the middle class is black. The middle class tends to be on the conservative side, wanting lower taxes and wanting to preserve whatever wealth they've accumulated. Jim Crow is gone, gone, gone.
Back 25 or 30 years ago, federal law didn't really impact the daily life of people in general. That has been of continuing change, with many laws either restricting people's actions or raising the cost of living. Most of these have been intitiated by the Democrats, and that's just part of the word that the Republicans have been "getting out".
No offense, Rat, but that BS and you know it. "People are now beginning to reject it." That's bloody rich.
Tell me, what do you call a Republican congresscritter spending like a drunken sailor? A Democrat light? A "conservative liberal"? They cerntainly don't seem to espouse the ideals of a small government or staying the heck out of people's lives, as classic conservatives believe. So what are they?
To a large extent, this has nothing to do with liberal vs. conservative ideals. I voted primarily Democrat in the last election, but do I think that represents true liberal ideals? I'd be a fool to think so! Just as any of you would be a fool to think that Bush represents true conservative ideals. True conservative don't INCREASE descretionary spending, they make government smaller.
So what are the Reps and Dems? Panderers. People looking for votes to get themselves power. They cater to the people that will give them cash or votes. What percent of bills in congress are devised because of the latest hysterical "think of the children" cause? Do those bills in any way represent the ideals of conservativism or liberalism? They are reactionary legislation pandering to a public who wants a nanny state. Think of the children!
This comes in the form of those beating us over the head with their own morality. This comes in the form of people who expect the government to protect them from their own stupidity. This comes in the form of laws designed to get corporate money for the next campaign. But the bottom line is you'd be a fool to think this only comes from liberals or their ideals. Out political culture has been corrupted and both parties are reaping the profits, ideology be damned.
There is a lot of talk of America rejecting liberal ideals lately, but where do you see that? 1-2 million votes seperated the two candidates in the 2004 election. Out of well over 100 million. Is support for liberal ideals declining? How do you measure such a thing? Its only been 8 years since Clinton trounced Dole. Do the last eight years make a trend or are they a product of circumstance? I'd say its far too early to tell.
There are a lot of conservatives feeling pretty comfortable that their ideology is the most popular right now, but I think that is a conclusion devoid of any factual backing. American opinion on the subject has not changed that drastically in the last 15 years.
And for those who find the current "momentum" leaning toward conservative ideals, I ask you the following:
When, in the history of the US, were we at our most conservative?
My answer? Somewhere around 1776. Small Federal Government. States ran the show. Low (no?) taxes. Relatively free trade. No "safety nets" (SS, national healthcare and welfare. Etc. Etc.
Liberal ideals have slowly been injected into our way of thinking and our government has changed to match that mentality. If anything I think the trend favors liberal ideals.
Personally, I'd prefer a balance. But that's another topic of conversation.
Does GWB personify the conservative message? Rat.
The republicans are selling greed and people are buying. Democrats had just a little too much faith in people, most people learn things the hard way, I guess that is part of the reason things are cyclical.
Nah, the passive involvement worked well enough for most of the south.
Desertrat, the prejudices I was referring to were not racial. I just couldn't come up with a better word for the idea that the Republicans were pandering to the "moral", "conservative" South. Those are the prejudices I was speaking of. I can see how you could have misinterpreted that, though.
The problem with restricting campaign money is one of the first amendment and free speech. Until the 70's there was no regulation at all on campaign fund raising, because it was, and still is, a free speech issue. eg) If I believe my candidate is the best for the job, why should I not be allowed to support him to the fullest of my abilities? If I choose to give all the money I can afford, who's to stop me?
If anything, I would get rid of corporate donations to campaigns, PAC's, and 527's. If the people who run these companies want to further their interests, let them do it with their own money. The idea of a company having the same rights as a person is stupid. On a practical level, and in this particular circumstance, it means that regular people get swamped out of the political process by the deep pockets of Big Business.
All the Democrats need are better candidates. It's hard to promote someone I myself can't stand. How many of us voted against Bush, instead of for Kerry? I didn't much care for Al Gore either, though in hindsight, I should have voted for him (I abstained that year, but I was going to make a protest vote for Nader, who I also have lost faith in). Or better yet, have some Republicans who are real Conservatives, not the faux moral majority hypocrites trying to pass themselves off as for the people, when they are anything but. But McCain in the race again, I'd vote for him.
Give me a McCain/Dean ticket, and I can die a happy man. Not that we'd ever see it, of course. That would be a good thing.
And say what you want about Dean being a social liberal, look to Vermont's balanced budget and you see a better fiscal conservative than Bush could ever hope to be. Say what you want about Clinton too, give me a guy like him (minus the libido), and I'd feel better about the direction of this country. I like having a President I can criticize without being called a traitor, but thankfully rarely had to.
Again, minus the impropriety.
Technically, the Democrat Mascot should have beaten GWB.
But the media was flooded with Swift Boat Veterans and so much other propaganda it made the difference.
Dean/Edwards would have been far better. Kerry's a bore.