The Line of thinking that could lose the Presidency for the Democratic Party
We are at a critical point in our nation’s political development and have reached a tipping point that will lead to the downfall of our two-party system. The conventional wisdom from the Democratic Party shushes this strongly and implores its voters to hold strong and wait for the other side to crumble. There is a sense that we are at the precipice of real progress if we can merely hold the line long enough to abate this last desperate charge. It is a compelling argument, but there is one less-and-less subdued argument that can undermine the whole process. Democrats have to stop saying that Republicans and Christians are too stupid to know what is good for themselves.
The existing political dichotomy in this country is not representative of our true values. The conventional wisdom says that there are two polarized viewpoints and you either pick one or become a destructive waste. There is a huge chasm is the middle where most people actually live, between the times they are forced to choose a side or opt to sit out of the process because it is inherently unrepresentative. The great task of our newly technological society is to engage and grow from the inclusion of all citizens in our political process. The Party that will set our future political course will be the one that gets over its special interests and dedicates itself to speaking for a broader audience.
Wealth disparity is the common unifier. Find a political topic more rife with potential for popular engagement. Most of our nation’s wealth is concentrated in the top 2% of our population and everyone else is left to argue about how to fairly distribute the scraps. The problem is that both sides of our political discourse are driven by rich interests fighting to get richer through exploitation of the masses. A candidate dedicated to rectifying this societal ill should be able to garner the support of 98% of the general populace because they stand to help an overwhelming majority of people through thoughtful financial reform. It is an easy sell if you present it correctly. The problem is, both parties are terrified that they will be the one that crumbles and leave their better unified counterpart to drag the country in the wrong direction.
America is tired of Demagogues! Most people can’t define that term, but they know it when they see it. They recognize that both sides are run by people who are smarter than them, crafting arguments to win their support for policies that will ultimately hurt them and their communities. It has become the understood norm for politics and has driven many people away from participation. Bernie Sanders is sitting on a platform that speaks to 98% of people in this country, but they are conditioned to not listen. Part of this is longstanding and deeply engrained resistance to certain concepts based on a misunderstanding of their nature. This is why everyone over 35 shudders at the word socialism. This disconnect can be remedied by education as to the societal implications of these policies. Explain the simple practical benefits and let people determine whether they want to live in the more equal nation available to us.
The problem is that, some have lashed out in irrational frustration and put forth destructive arguments for why there is not greater popular engagement. For some inexplicable reason, the GOP has coopted the Christian, small town agenda. It is not representative of your interests. It may promise the social conservatism you feel needed to maintain harmonious and healthy communities, but it is unfairly lashed to economic policies that will keep most of you poor for the rest of your lives. This is the balance we have found in our two-party system. Those who merely want to instill their local communities with their values are forced to pursue this at the expense of their and their children’s financial futures. The table is set for a candidate that will work towards more personal freedoms and less financial inequality within the federally maintained systems of wealth. Bernie Sanders could be that candidate, but part of his constituency is submarining his hopes.
The line that could undo the Democrats is a simple one: Republicans and Christians are too stupid to know what is good for themselves. They think they have to abandon people of strong Christian faith and those which see potential for waste in social programs because they simply cannot understand the systems they are purporting to support. This is a false line of thinking and could compromise Democrats ability to set the course for our future. Most Republicans and most Christians are not bad people and they are not stupid. They have simply seen the negative impacts of local efforts being ground up by larger political gears. They want a smaller government not because they think our national challenges do not merit meaningful investment. They want smaller government because they have seen decisions from higher levels that thwarted their own influence on their communities and they are tired of paying for all of our national endeavors out of their own meager resources.
This is where a candidate like Bernie Sanders has an opportunity to speak to 98% of the American people and maybe win over 65% of them. Government is not too big, but it is focused on the wrong things and it is funding itself from the wrong sources. Tell us how you will leverage the top 2% to make all of our lives better. Tell us how you will use technology to hear our voices and use them to inform your policy initiatives. Stop letting your simple-minded subordinates tell large swaths of the American public that they are not intellectually fit for driving progress in our nation. If you turn this into a battle between the programs that are academically correct and those which are popularly digestible, you will lose. This defeat could be catastrophic for our nation and I hope that the narrative changes to one of greater inclusiveness.