Mr. Ryan, Isn’t The Democratic Brand Defined By Thier Values and Beliefs?
Why is a political party that is blatantly in support of conserving the wealth and position of the economically privileged able to get votes from those who are often times the same people who are negatively affected by their legislative agendas? Because they portray their brand as upholding the core American value of Individual Freedom. It is just the simple tag line of Freedom that gets them votes.
Democrats can justifiably argue all day long about how the opposing party hinders freedom for average Americans, and still not swing support to their party. Why? Because at the end of the day, Democrats don’t give a clear opposing definition that all Americans can relate to for Individual Freedom. Because of this, when they argue against the policies of the opposing party, they end up sounding more like they are against Individual Freedom. If Democrats would just take a step back and look at their core values and beliefs they would realize how from the outside, their brand looks like it is Dependency. Many of the policies that Democrats pursue rely on central planning to carry them out, which is why to many, the Democratic party is regarded as the party of elitists who think they know what is best for ordinary working Americans. Even though ironically, many of those who support the opposing party, are often times economically dependent on the institutions that are at the center of Democratic policy.
I would argue that most Americans don’t want handouts, they don’t want to depend on someone else to provide them with what they need, and they most certainly don’t want to beholden to anyone. I would argue most Americans would prefer to determine the course of their own lives. Which is why many Americans still hold that pioneer mentality of “Rugged Individualism”. However, the vast majority of Americans are dependent on a job/paycheck paid by someone else to “earn” a living. Which is why so many people equate a job with freedom. So because most of those who are in positions of economic privilege are the same people that write the paychecks for the jobs that many Americans depend on to “earn” a living, the opposing party is viewed as the party of Individual Freedom. They are the party of “job creators”.
If you are still reading, I hope you are asking yourself the following. If the central goal of the policies pursued by the opposing party is conserving the wealth and position of the economically privileged, and most Americans are dependent on the paycheck written by the economically privileged, then why is the Democratic Party viewed as the party of Dependency? I would again argue, it is because the Democratic Party does not have a clear definition that all Americans can relate to for Individual Freedom.
So before the Democrats move forward, I suggest they take some time for self-reflection, and figure out the answer to the following question.
What is your personal definition of Individual Freedom, and how does the current state of our Union afford this freedom to ordinary citizens?
If you have trouble answering this question, here is a little food for thought.
A society that equitably allocates access to the natural resources and education needed for individuals to freely provide themselves with their most basic of human needs, will also afford an equal foundation for individuals to build an independent level of wealth, wellbeing, and status their distinct potential allows, which then promotes a high degree of freedom in choice, speech, thought, and economic mobility. A society that forgoes a discourse on the evolving definition of individual needs and wants will constrain equality and freedom through a rule of law that is easily corrupted by those who have the means to acquiring the controlling share of their private property.
“Standing on his own land with spade in hand and flintlock not far off, the American could look at his richest neighbor and laugh.” - Edmund Morgan.