The “Political Industry” is Polluting Our Politics
There are two types of people in politics- people there to get votes and win elections, and people there to make money. If you can’t tell the difference on your own, let me help you- politicians need to form a broad coalition that gets them 50.1% of the vote, entertainers just need a core following. If someone is in question, the easy test is this- are they on the radio, TV, or internet doing a show? They are there to make money.
I loved Michael Moore when I was in college, but a wise old Democrat reminded me- Michael Moore is not there to represent the American people, he’s there to sell films. Hillary Clinton got just shy of 66 million people to vote for her, and still came up a little short of what she needed, but a film maker can make a ton of money with just five or ten million people coming out and buying tickets to their film. This is true of Rush Limbaugh, The Young Turks, Sean Hannity, or even a former elected official who is now a pundit. When you can make lots of money off of a much smaller audience, it frees you up to say things that someone trying to get elected cannot say. It allows you to take positions that someone who wants to get a majority of public support simply can’t do. Taking rigid ideological positions doesn’t hurt someone who is there to make money. Appealing to small niche audiences doesn’t hurt a television personality. It is not in the best interest of a political party to chase entertainment personalities as far out to the political poles as they can- but unfortunately, some seem to want to do so.
There are some in the Democratic Party’s leadership who seem intent on letting entertainment personalities drive us on policy, and even populate our “unity” commission to decide the pathway forward. I have no doubt that some of these folks have good intentions, and honest positions, but others among this group of invaders are nothing more than two-bit grifters that have no intention of helping the party win or govern in the future, but simply to continue to tear down the party to sell books, podcasts and television appearances. We have seen what this has done to the Republican Party, while in power, and this is not a road that we should travel. While this may excite small bands of activists, this is no road back to a governing party, and in fact could lead us to a long tenure in the wilderness. There is no doubt that the Democratic Party could use some moral clarity and backbone on some of it’s positions, but capitulation to un-serious people is not an answer. Agreeing that the Democratic Party is worthless and a waste, to appease entertainers and the cult followers who don’t understand their true intent, is a road to ruin.
Actual elected Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act. Actual elected Democrats passed the Family and Medical Leave Act. Real Democratic politicians passed the Dodd-Frank banking regulations. Actual Democratic leaders pushed through Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The 2009 Stimulus, the 1993 Budget, and other landmark Congressional Acts were pushed through by Democratic Presidents, with Democratic Speakers, and Democratic Congresses. This doesn’t make Democratic politicians perfect, or frankly even always acceptable. What it shows though is that people who have to get elected actually have to get things done. They have to represent a majority of Americans. The moon-howling crowd that is making money off of slamming the party are not the people we need to be following right now.