A New Year’s Resolution for Democrats
The Democratic Party could get a great deal done in Washington, and in hearts and minds across the country, if it could be a little more inclusive in the ranks. Can Democrats learn to be tolerant of those less liberal than themselves?
Liberal beliefs have become increasingly reductive. For some liberalism is being used as a virtue and is worn like a merit badge.
Very-liberal Democrats need to learn to tolerate the moderately-liberal Democrats. Moderately-liberal Democrats need to be patient with the merely-liberal Democrats, who need to accept plain old-fashioned Democrats. Even blue-dog Democrats need a place at the table.
The Republican Party (now the Trump Party) has also driven out of its ranks traditional and moderate Republicans (both elected officials and voters) and those who do not support Bannon’s and Trump’s nationalism. Many now consider themselves Independent or disenfranchised Republicans who voted for Democrats in the last election.
Star power representing Hollywood and the music industry (Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon, Taylor Swift, Beyonce) has always been and continues to provide ardent support for the Democrats. Deborah Messing is embroiled in an ongoing Twitter feud with Susan Sarandon over the latter’s failure to fall in line behind Hillary Clinton. Sarandon supported Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the 2016 Presidential race. However, lest we forget, President Ronald Reagan also emerged from this industry.
Although there are many celebrities who support Republicans, the most vocal support for Trump seems to be broadcast by Evangelicals like Jerry Falwell Jr. and Franklin Graham who have forgiven Trump his sins as long as he supports their pro-life policies and appoints conservative judges.
Women’s March Cancelled
The original Women’s March was to call attention to the fact that women were demanding “a seat at the table” whether in the Board Room or as elected and/or as appointed officials. The #MeToo movement was most likely also a component.
However, the Women’s March appears to have lost its focus this year as disparate groups and causes vie for ascendancy.
Women’s March organizers, who should be making every effort to make their movement more inclusive. Instead, they seem to be choosing to make it less so. This tone-deaf approach shows a complete lack of understanding for U.S. demographics. If white women with the means to do so want to use their privilege to speak up for those too marginalized at this time by poverty or society to speak up for themselves, they should do so and many do.
Hillary Clinton: Not Liberal Enough to be President
“I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken particularly by leaders like Angela Merkel, but I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part and must send a very clear message — ‘we are not going to be able to continue to provide refuge and support’ — because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic.” – Hillary Clinton, 2018
Hillary Clinton was widely criticized by the left for these remarks, but she had a larger point.
“The use of immigrants as a political device and as a symbol of government gone wrong, of attacks on one’s heritage, one’s identity, one’s national unity has been very much exploited by the current administration here.”
“There are solutions to migration that do not require clamping down on the press, on your political opponents and trying to suborn the judiciary, or seeking financial and political help from Russia to support your political parties and movements.” – Hillary Clinton, 2018
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN): Not Liberal Enough
Outgoing Sen. Joe Donnelly warned his party: “When you talk ‘Medicare-for-all,’ you ‘start losing the people in my state.’”
“We have not made enough of a connection…that the people of my state understand culturally, we (Democrats) want to make sure you succeed. But when you talk ‘Medicare-for-all’ …you start losing the people in my state. When we start talking about, ‘Hey, we’re going to work together with the insurance companies to lower premiums,’ that’s what connects. The talk on the coasts just doesn’t get it done in the middle.” – Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Perhaps the more liberal branch of the Democratic Party should recognize that incremental steps might be a more effective way of achieving their ultimate goals.
Reflection is the Beginning of Reform
Democrats, whether elected officials or the “rank and file” voters recognize that they have ignored “flyover” American voters. Can they bring them back into the fold? Only time will tell. Maybe Democrats do own the moral high ground but they will never sell these policies to the “flyover voters” if they do not spend time sincerely listening to their concerns.
If you're interested in writing for International Policy Digest - please send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org