Wednesday, October 12, 2005
The Politics of Polarization
During the Clinton administration, the Clintonites began the current practice of the politics of polarization. I see them as the Democratic equivalent of the Nixonian Republicans.
Nixon used the "Silent Majority" to pit against his enemies. The Democrats run scare tactics attempting to frighten the populace with the specter of the religious right, big business, homophobes, etc. The problem for the Democrats is that there are more of the people you should be "afraid" of than there are liberal Democrats that have taken over the Democratic Party.
Major points that Barone notes:
- "There are more conservatives than liberals."
- "The myth of mobilization: that if you bring out the base in large enough numbers, you win.
- The myth of demography."
- "The myth of language,....substance is the problem."
- "The myth of prescription drugs..."
- "...38 percent of Republicans say they used to think of themselves as Democrats, while 22 percentÂa substantially smaller numberÂof Democrats say they used to think of themselves as Republicans."
- "The Democratic Party..."is made up of liberals who reject values and positions held by large majorities of Americans. "
- "61 percent of liberals oppose displaying the Ten Commandments, versus only 22 percent of all Americans. A remarkable 80 percent of liberals favor gay marriage; less than one third of their fellow Americans agree."
Although I have gone Republican most elections in the past 20 years, I would love to see a stronger, healthier Democratic Party. It would be healthier for the country as both parties would have to focus more strongly on serving the needs of the populace. Currently, The Democratic Party is so far "out there" it lacks the voter base to gain any significant power. If enough Democratic politicians could let go of the issues of gay marriage, quit race baiting, and show some respect for religion, they could gain popularity.
Liberals and conservatives need to read Barone's piece and the paper if they want a morin depthth look.
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