Tuesday, April 12, 2005
"Values Voters" And A Proposed Direction For Dems
It says that all those Midwestern and Southern lumpens in their gauche sweatpants, flannels and crucifixes are slow-witted, pious, fragile and afraid. They of the patriarchal sky gods and the cult of the football just want to be assured that somebody's running things and will discipline anyone that gets out of line. The Dems just have to show that they can be stern in order to get right with rightwing voters.
This is just bullshit, as anyone who's ever been to a Harley rally in Milwaukee or a hunting lodge in the U.P. will surely know. Blue-collar Midwestern and Southern culture is as sacrilegious as it is sanctimonious and as libertine, if not much more so, as it is buttoned-down. Those suburban and exurban true believers in the Bush cause? We don't know them. They're friggin' pod people, those God people.
So how to connect with these everymen, the sort of guy who can crack off a few dirty jokes in the coffee room or utters some four-letter words after hitting his thumb with a hammer, but still goes to church every Sunday?
So if the Dems wanna steal some of the GOP's market, they might start by revisiting the party's proud libertarian tradition. Remember? The party of JFK? The one that kept business in line but trusted the American people to take care of their personal lives? The party that spent its time trying to figure out how to better invest our tax dollars rather than handing them all to Halliburton and catching the Red Eye to Florida for the latest Passion Play? There's hay to be made here in Middle America - if the "safe and sensible" centrist Dems would only pull their drooling heads out of Jerry Falwell's ass. And the best part is, they don't even have to come up with their own talking points - just borrow the Republicans'. Tell them to get Big Guvmint out of their bedrooms and keep Big Business out of their wallets.
I've been waiting a long time for someone to propose this - it seems like such an obvious direction for the opposition party to move in right now, considering that a lot of folks across the entire political spectrum are feeling pretty trampled-on by the Republicans right now. And there's recent history that supports this - the Republicans themselves took control of the House in '94 in large part due to their appeal to those who where feeling overwhelmed by the Democrat's attempts to push through a bunch of big-government legislation during the first two years of Clinton's term.
The party in power is always going to go on a power grab, and I think the American public has a limited tolerance for such behavior. I think it'd be in the Democrat's best interests to drag themselves towards libertarian positions, but I don't see that happening - they're still too enamoured with their desire for bigger government, and I simply cannot see myself voting for any party who takes that position.