Clues to a Democratic Platform
A while ago I read an article (can’t find it, but it stuck with me) by a person who used to be a religious conservative and who wrote about the people who still support Trump. Regardless of your opinion of them, you have to accept that they support him because they are getting what they want. The evangelicals have a President and party that will confirm the judges and politicians who will support their anti-abortion, anti-gay and pro-gun goals.
Further, the rich have their tax cuts.
And those that fear the erosion of white power are comforted by seeing Latino immigrants deported and caged, Muslims banned (unless they have money and support the rich here), anti-Semitism, sexual exploitation of women and oppression of blacks — only strengthened by the intersection of each group where there are common interests.
Finally, nationalism and disdain for foreign intervention has taken hold to the point where military leaders are suspect, and dictators are held in high regard.
Whether you think this is racism, anti-Christian, or hate, they support it because they are getting what they want.
If the President uses his position to line his pockets, engages in crime and has uncivil discourse toward those who oppose him only to further his narcissism, it’s fine with them, because they are getting what they want. Some people are still looking for some other explanations to avoid accepting that the people who support him are really who they appear to be and want what they are getting.
The betrayal of Christian values particularly in regard to selling your soul for fetuses, gays and guns made me think of not just how democracy is being destroyed, but Christianity too — how many of the 10 commandments are being “rewritten”?
- You shall have no other gods before Me, except fetuses
- You shall make no idols, and sleeping with the same sex is idolatry and gay
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, and it is not Allah like the Muslims think
- Keep the Sabbath day holy because we like Jews’ money, but not how they treat Christ
- Honor your father and your mother, and the land of your birth where the military cannot act — dictators are good
- You shall not murder, unless they are foreign looking and you “fear” for your life — you can use your guns
- You shall not commit adultery, but you can grab women by the pu#$y and engage in “consensual” rape
- You shall not steal, and tax cuts for the rich benefit everyone
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor, but immigrants do steal, rape and are lazy
- You shall not covet like the blacks who want everything in the country for free, or they’ll steal it
I hesitate to post negative assessments because I really want to focus on solutions. And that’s the real purpose of this post. Really — I’m getting to it. But this exercise really crystallized in my mind why his support is so solid — every member of a large constituency is getting what they want. Sometimes you have to take a cold hard look at the bad in order to ask the right questions and find the solutions.
So, what about Democrats and their candidates? Do we have a platform where the major constituents are getting what they want? Haven’t seen it. Could we? Progressive, centrist, Blue Dog, LGBTQ, women and People of Color?
One digression. Republicans really do learn from their electoral defeats. I’m not sure Democrats do. Republicans’ biggest fear wasn’t Obama, but the Obama Coalition. A large coalition of diverse interests which if it stayed together, could have swept and kept conservatives out of power. Stopping Obama at every turn was the fastest way to discourage, disrupt and hopefully chip away at enough of that coalition so they could remain in power. It worked.
And the practical thing Republicans learned is to make their takeover of Government complete. Stopping President Obama and regaining Congress was not enough. The Judiciary still gave Obama wins. Notice the Republicans have a full court press on placing as many conservative and even unqualified judges in place as possible. Judges who will still enact their agenda long after Trump is gone.
The biggest and best thing that has happened on the Democratic side is the formation of groups that are doing smart, effective actions that should be performed by the party, but aren’t. Indivisible, Swing Left, Run for Something, etc. Obama won because he organized, not just mobilized (Marshall Ganz). Target specific seats to regain power. Have a bench of people who are willing to serve in office at all levels, not just focus on the Presidency.
But we really haven’t learned the lesson of Obama — it’s about power (of which representation is a tiny piece). And frankly, we haven’t learned the lesson of Trump either (people worry more about what you say than what you do. I’m glad Trump has a big mouth. Otherwise he’d be getting away with a lot more).
But a platform that brings that coalition back together, despite the candidate; just like the right has a platform that excites its voters, despite the candidate’s flaws…something for everyone to get excited about, or at least for which they’re willing to work. A start —
- Religious Freedom and Women’s Choices
- Equal Human Rights: LGBTQ, Environment
- Foreign Policy: Middle East, Asian and African Cooperation
- Separation of Big Corporations and State
- Restore Government Checks and Balances, Voting Rights and Fair Representation
- Safe Neighborhoods and Reduced Incarceration
- Combat Sexual Predators and Target Traffickers
- Livable Wages, Upwardly Mobile Jobs, and Education
- Path to Citizenship
- Healthcare, Maternal Safety, and Opioids
Continue reaching across the aisle on criminal justice reform