Establishment Democrats Clinging to 20th Century Priorities are #1 Deterrent to 21st Century Resurgence

by johndavis, May 31, 2017

Establishment Democrats Clinging to 20th Century Priorities are #1 Deterrent to 21st Century Resurgence May 31, 2017        Vol. X, No. 4        10:13 am Part 1: Seeing Public Life through the Prism of 50 Years Ago   Democrats have a bright future here in North Carolina and around the nation, assuming they can get beyond their
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Establishment Democrats Clinging to 20th Century Priorities are #1 Deterrent to 21st Century Resurgence


May 31, 2017        Vol. X, No. 4        10:13 am

Part 1: Seeing Public Life through the Prism of 50 Years Ago

 

Democrats have a bright future here in North Carolina and around the nation, assuming they can get beyond their strategy of inclusiveness that excludes everyone except minorities and liberals; if they can come down off the political high ground of ideological rigidity and shift their focus to casting a net of economic opportunities wide enough to rebuild a winning coalition.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, said as much at the Stanford Graduate School of Business on February 6, 2017.  Emanuel said that Democrats would rather be right than win. (In my 40 years as a political professional, I have never heard that expression used to describe anyone but Republicans.)

"Winning's everything," implored Emanuel. "If you don't win, you can't make the public policy. I say that because it is hard for people in our party to accept that principle. Sometimes, you've just got to win, OK? Our party likes to be right, even if they lose."

Today’s establishment Democrats are losing because they are clinging to 20th Century strategic priorities like civil rights, women’s liberation and Great Society poverty programs as if no progress has been made in the last 50 years; as if nothing should be as important to today’s emerging generations of Democrats than yesterday’s agenda.

But, what could be as important as civil rights, women’s liberation and poverty programs?

African American talk show host Tavis Smiley, in a conversation with Alyona Minkovski on HuffPost Live on January 15, 2016, stated, “Sadly — and it pains me to say this — over the last decade, black folk, in the era of Obama, have lost ground in every major economic category.”

Despite the tough times for African Americans and middle class white voters under Obama … higher poverty rate, lower median household income, declining net worth, widening wealth gap, and the lowest labor force participation rate since those numbers have been kept … the Clinton campaign failed to prioritize economic opportunity.

"This is the first campaign that I can recall where my party did not talk about what it always stood for, and that is how to maintain a burgeoning middle class," said former Vice President Joe Biden at the University of Pennsylvania, March 31, 2017 .

Instead, Clinton focused on old-school racial pandering.  “You know,” she said, “to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.”

Biden, who has spoken about the “elitism that’s crept in party thinking” when arguing that working-class Trump voters are not racists, told the audience at Penn, "They're all the people I grew up with. And they're not racist. They're not sexist. But we didn't talk to them," Biden said.

So, how did that elitist strategy of inclusiveness that excludes everyone except minorities and liberals and fails to address the economic concerns of middle class voters work out for Democrats?

During President Barack Obama’s administration, yesterday’s agenda yielded nothing but one catastrophic political loss after another.  A net loss of 1,024 seats at the state and federal levels: 13 fewer Democratic governors, 9 fewer U.S. Senators, 63 fewer U.S. House members, a whopping 949 fewer state legislators and 29 fewer Democratic-led state legislative chambers.

Lost the U.S. Senate and House, the White House and, worst yet, the U.S. Supreme Court.

North Carolina Democrats need to have a planning retreat and discuss why only 53% of 18-to-25-year-old voters turned out to vote in 2016 with Hillary Clinton as their nominee.  Why only 57% of African American male voters bothered to turn out last year.  All likely Democrats.

Democrats need to huddle up and figure out why their party, traditionally the friend of the blue-collar worker in America, lost working class voters in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, culminating in the defeat of Hillary Clinton.

Democrats have a bright future, because emerging generations of voters lean Democratic.

Whole new generations of multi-cultural, socially tolerant young voters are poised to flex their political muscle.  Cities are teaming with predictably Democratic-friendly young voters.  North Carolina’s universities, healthcare institutions and major corporations are attracting young, progressive thinkers from around the nation.

Republicans in Raleigh and Washington D.C. are pushing the new generations of voters to the Democratic Party with their own ideological rigidity.  Yet, new generations of likely Democrats are being turned off just as much by older generations of out-of-touch Democrats who do not know when to take their old-school priorities and exit stage left.

It’s time for old school Democrats with their 20th Century priorities to let go.  Yes, that includes Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Despite all that they have accomplished, they have also exploited their positions of public esteem for hundreds of millions of dollars in personal wealth.  And, they have maintained their grip on power through sneaky, behind-closed-doors establishment politics such as the schemes exposed by DNC WikiLeaks emails to undermine the nomination of Bernie Sanders.

Simply put, younger generations will never follow old-school pandering politicians who cheat to get ahead.  Nor will they follow establishment Democrats who espouse the elitist strategy of inclusiveness that excludes everyone except minorities and liberals and fails to cast a net of economic opportunities wide enough to rebuild a winning coalition that includes middle-class voters.

Establishment Democrats clinging to 20th Century priorities are #1 deterrent to 21st Century resurgence of the Democratic Party.

It’s time for them to let go and allow a new generation to lead.

 

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