i was talking with a friend today about the political landscape in america and we came to a realization of sorts. the realization is that the left in america seems to only formulate policy initiatives as a reaction to the policy initiatives of the right. the right wing in america have such a strong and cohesive agenda when it comes to formulating public policy. it’s a flawed and anachronistic and dangerous agenda, but it’s very forceful and clearly defined. the left on the other hand just seem to be flailing around and either borrowing some ideas from the right wing or reacting to some of the other ideas put forth by the right wing.
it’s such a shame (especially as i’m somewhat of a lefty).
for the left in america to remain viable they’re going to have to come up with some policy initiatives that are dynamic, and not just the old luke-warm stuff that they’ve been coming up with for decades. it’s sad, but most people usually end up voting for democrats just because they’re so afraid of republicans. no one ever seems to vote enthusiastically for a democrat, but boy do the rabid republicans get enthusiastic when voting for their own.
cos what do democrats stand for? the truth is that democrats traditionally stand for some pretty great things: social justice, money for education, civil rights, funding for the arts, environmental protection, gun control, a womans right to choose, controlling the abuses of big business, and so on.
it’s just that the democrats always seem so, so, well, watered down.
why can’t a democrat get fired up about protecting the environment and enacting gun control legislation just as right wing republicans get fired up about making sure that children have access to assault weapons and banning ‘the catcher in the rye’ and ‘harry potter’?
the democrats and the left in america could potentially have a dynamic, focussed, ethical, rational, and vote-getting agenda if they would just show some passion and commitment to issues that people actually care about. you’re not going to win an election by espousing the virtues of redistricting and proposing moderate reforms to medicaid. you are going to win an election by protecting the environment and protecting consumers and protecting workers and promoting education and keeping assault weapons out of the hands of 9 year olds and protecting freedom of speech and freedom of expression and restricting the abuses of big business, etc, etc.
a smart, passionate, democrat who’s not afraid to speak up about these issues will win the next election. a watered down, fearful democrat who tries to cater to all of the democratic special-interest groups will hand george w. bush a second term in office.
well, that’s my opinion anyway. i’m just tired of the democrats being so wishy-washy.
can you imagine how the republicans would handle a democratic president who had been the captain of his college cheerleading team and had been a cocaine user and had basically dodged the draft during the vietnam war and who was best friends with the ceo of an energy company who were lying to the government but who were helping to formulate energy policy and who lost the election by 500,000 votes and who referred to africa as a ‘country’ and who avoided new york after it was attacked by terrorists and so on and so on?
george w. bush did all of those things, but the democrats are mute.
and the democratic leader of the senate was the first one to make excuses and justifications for trent lott after trent lott sang the praises of racism and segregation.
why can’t the democrats show some strength and backbone? why do they always seem to lie down in the face of struggle? it’s very frustrating, and it’s why the democrats are so steadily in decline. they lack inspiration. and lacking inspiration they fail to inspire. and that’s sad, cos it basically leaves the country wide open for anachronistic and dangerous right-wing republicans.