It's your party and you'll cry if you want to

Posted

In the wake of the triumph of President-Elect Trump and the secured Republican advantage in the federal legislature, the Democrat party is beyond a state of flux. They are despondent, distressed, and burdened with disbelief regarding the results of the election. Democrats are not sure what they can do to develop a new palatable identity that would renew American confidence in their party’s ability to govern once again.  As a result, Democrat officials are spiraling in their reactions to the outcome and are wondering why they were not perceived as valiant idealistic champions of goodness and progressivism.  Analyzing the post-mortem of this sea-change election will be the pensive task of the Democrat National Committee (DNC) over the next few months. Contending with a GOP administration and a Republican majority, in both the upper and lower chambers of Congress, will be the almost insurmountable task of the Democrat minority of representatives and senators who will serve in the next congress. The final results belie the well-anticipated Democratic victories in the senate. Sorrowfully for the donkeys, those who were thought to prospectively win actually lost and some with incredibly large margins. Naturally, the first step in this contemplative process is to assign culpability to ascertain why the great election losses occurred. How much of the blame should reside with the present President of the United States Barack H. Obama? How much responsibility should be hoisted on the Democrat nominee Secretary Hillary Clinton? Or how much of these disappointing results are the fault of the misfiring DNC? Also, why had the politics and policies of the Democrat platform not resonated and even perhaps alienated the electorate?  All these questions must be contemplated along with the development of new strategies not only to entice wandering Democrats to come home, but also to galvanize independents to consider supporting Democrat candidates once again.  Moreover, Democrats must deduce what specifically attracted voters to cast ballots for their Republican competitors and how they can once again be perceived as the traditional choice of the middle-class and the working-class. The election of Donald J. Trump certainly shocked the Democrat party simply because their expectations were not only that they would occupy the Oval Office, but also that they were likely to retake the majority in the United States Senate. However, the beckoning herald of “Drain the Swamp” referring to Washington DC, which was famously built on a swamp, whipped up a storm of descent against the status quo.  Following Trump into office were several Republican candidates who were not expected to prevail according to the polls. In Missouri, Roy Blunt was supposed to lose to Democrat Jason Kander, but Blunt retained his senate seat by 2 points. In Florida for weeks, incumbent senator and former presidential primary candidate Marco Rubio was following in the polls versus Democrat Pat Murphy, yet Rubio won. In Pennsylvania incumbent Pat Toomey was presumed a loser to up and comer Democrat Kathleen Mc Ginty, in what may have been the most expensive senate race in campaign history. To many political expert’s surprise, Toomey prevailed by 3 points. Republican Ron Johnson surprised Wisconsin political pundits by beating former senator and stalwart Democrat Russ Feingold by 4 points.  Also shocking were two races in which early on the eventual winners were way behind and yet ended up winning by large margins. Once trailing, incumbent Rob Portman of Ohio slaughtered Democrat Ted Strickland by 21 points and North Carolina’s Richard Burr came from 3 points behind to win over the popular Democrat Deborah Ross by 6 points. These results beg the question of how did voters become disillusioned with the Democrat Party so much so that they would pick Republican candidates in what were originally thought to be surefire Democrat winning seats?  Although President Obama currently holds a 57% approval rating according to the Gallup Organization, his apparent popularity did not transfer to down- ticket Democrats. The overwhelming sense of national stagnancy seemed to affect traditionally Democrat inclined voters with apprehension about insuring the continuum. Thus, they may have voted GOP in order to substantiate change for change’s sake. However, even some Republican incumbents who were thought likely to be defeated succeeded in the end perhaps due to riding the coat tails of the Donald.  Speaking of coat tails, Hillary Clinton did not have any. Besides losing in the Electoral College, Clinton lost all the rust-belt states and most of the farm states. Her lack of identification with rural Americans, lower middle-class Americans and working-class Americans who have had their standard of living diminished now for the last eight years spurred the overall losses for her Democrat brethren.   Clinton spent most of her campaign stump time decrying her opponent rather than clarifying her goals for restoring the standard of living of economically challenged citizens. That misspent opportunity added to the number of expected Democrat voters who crossed over the line and supported the GOP. Adding to the plight of the Democrats were the missteps of the DNC. Former DNC Chairwoman Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FLA) was unceremoniously cast aside during the inception of the Democrat National Convention. A call from President Obama became necessary to get Schultz to exit stage right after it was revealed that she had helped engineer a Clinton primary win over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. With an abundance of evidence to confirm arrangement of “super delegates” and “undue convention rules pressure” to favor Clinton’s ascension to the Democrat nomination, Schultz exacerbated the situation by refusing to leave gracefully. Her actions further stirred Sanders supporters who felt cheated out of the nomination of their candidate by nefarious political acts. Exit polling statistics confirm that a substantial sum of these alienated Democrats did in fact vote Republican in the general election as a matter of protest.  Additionally, the final Democrat platform established at the convention incorporated many of Bernie Sanders’ far left ideas which were contrary to the more moderate and more universally agreeable concepts that appeal to a broader swath of the electorate, especially independents. So, the attempt to pander to disenfranchised Bernie enthusiasts further propelled moderate voters and independents to jump ship. More exactingly, the past glory of the Democrat Party was directly tied to the idea that the Democrat Party was the workingman’s party and the Republicans were only concerned with guaranteeing the advantages of the affluent.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover on the basis of that identification in 1932. As did John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1960, he tagged Richard M. Nixon with the characteristic of being in the pocket of the power elite. Considering JFK’s connections and heritage, that definition of Nixon was ironic. Further, in 1992, Bill Clinton did his best to paint incumbent George Herbert Walker Bush as an indifferent Ivy League elitist only concerned with his “Skull and Bones” brothers. Hence, Democrats have a long history of projecting kinship with the struggling of our society and strangely in this election year that perception was turned on its ear. Trump incredibly became the working man’s billionaire. For Democrats to turn this tide, they will have to extract themselves from their adoption of globalization as prime policy. They will have to fight for vast national infrastructure programs that will bring masses of workers back to gainful employment. They will have to resolve to modify trade deals to reinvigorate domestic manufacturing. Also, they will have to advocate a more reasonable balance of environmental concerns that directly impede gross employment projects like the Democrats’ objection to the Keystone Pipeline. Simply, if the Democrats want to succeed in further elections they must attune to what we Americans are truly concerned about. Americans want to restore opportunity and we are more concerned with our nation and our fellow citizens than the rights or conditions of the rest of the world.  Specifically, Trump prevailed because despite his erratic and outlandish behavior during the campaign he presented himself as a nationalist. Right now, at this juncture in our country’s history, this ideal is more important than any other. Democrats must realize this as a predicate to any possible resurgence. It is your party and you can cry if you want to. Or you can return to what made your party successful for decades, and truly remake yourselves not as the sustainers of the stagnant status quo, but as the real defenders of the workingman! 

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment