The Editorials of E. Desiderius

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Failures of the Democratic Party

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The Democratic Party once stood for something: Progressive values, cultural pluralism and civil rights, unions and labor, social security and the New Deal, education and equal opportunity. These were pillars of the party’s liberalist ideology, and the Democratic party represented a nearly-perfect intersection of two of its ideology’s dominant strains: the progressive tendencies of the reform liberals and social democrats, and the embrace and acceptance of free-market enterprise by classical liberals.

But in the post-Clinton, post-9/11 years the Democratic party has increasingly met with the criticism that they are fading into obscurity, as their traditional economic and social agenda is being pushed aside and rejected by voters in the fear-laden national security and wartime climate of the new century.

Unfortunately, in the race to exploit the fear and xenophobic tendencies of the schizophrenic voting population, the Democrats have truly become what they hate. In their haste to score national security credentials on the Dubai ports deal, they traded away their progressive and tolerant mantra for exploitive and borderline racist jabs on foreign ownership. In their passive sad resistance to Mr. Bush’s dubiously legal spy program, they traded away their concern for due process of law and the constitution out of fear of being dubbed soft.

Watching the party stumble around for a safe message for the past six years has been painful, watching their inept congressional and party leadership beat around the bush on delicate issues has been agonizing. Watching them churn out two lifeless, unappealing presidential nominees in a row was no easier. Watching the party allow the Republicans paint them as soft-on-terror, weak on the military and ineffective on almost every issue was just as repulsive. And watching the party put up but token resistance to reckless government spending, to reckless fiscal policy, to dangerous limits on civil and constitutional rights, to a dangerous foreign policy, and to reckless dismantling of the social safety net and to billions of dollars in corporate handouts has been truly sad.

It its truly time for a return to form; a time for a robust and energetic Democratic party with ideas and policy prescriptions, with the best and brightest young minds working in government jobs; an aggressive party that stands for something. Any less would be simply more disappointment.

-E. Desiderius

Full Disclosure: This author is a possible delegate for a Democratic state gubernatorial convention, a small-time contributor to a local Democratic congressman and to the 2004 Democratic Candidate for President, and supported both the Kerry and Gore campaigns for President. This author also pledges to disclose any and all information that may affect objectivity.

Relevant Articles:
The Nation: The Democrats: Still Ducking

Posted by George Gordon | Sunday, March 19, 2006 | E-mail this post

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