It has been a while since I posted here... and there have not been many things I have been sufficiently passionate about to write a rant. Well, the other day a fine reader of the 100 Hour Board asked:
Dear 100 Hour Board,
What are some virtues of the Democratic party?
This was my response:
The Democratic party does have a lot of virtues. Recently, they don't seem to be implementing or pushing those virtues very well.
Democrats have always been the champion of those without a voice... the little guy. They have effectively courted groups that represent the poor or afflicted: Unions, ACLU, blacks (although this is changing... more blacks voted for Bush in '04 than any other previous Republican), and the environment. They have also actively courted liberal women by promoting abortion and women's rights. Generally Democrats also believe that government can more effectively manage an economy rather than leaving management to free market forces. This usually applies to more universal health care benefits.
A friend of mine just said: "THIS incarnation of the dem party has done a shoddy job of things." And that friend is exactly right.
Recently the Democratic party seems to have lost its vision. It has spent a lot of time trying to put together a majority from a variety of minority interests. In the 2004 election, John Kerry lost because nobody could figure out what he believed. Democrats hate the word "flip-flop," but it is the buzz word that lost them the Presidency.
According to Karl Rove (who I found to be a surprisingly charming fellow), today's Democratic party has not articulated a vision of where they want the country to go. They are playing defense constantly. Check out the 2005 State of the Union by President Bush and then the response by Harry Reid and Congresswoman Plasti-Girl (Nancy Pelosi is her real name... but she looked like a stretched plastic doll that day). Bush talked a lot about a bi-partisan vision of going forward... even quoting prominent democrats (for which he was booed by the Democrats). The Democratic response was all defensive, offering no real view for where the country should go... only saying that "President Bush is wrong, we can do better."
So, historically speaking, the Democratic party has a lot of virtues. The most recent incarnation of the party, however, seems to be focused only on bringing down President Bush at all costs. And, to me, that isn't good enough. Give me a vision of where you want to go... and lets talk about it.
This leads me back to a rant I wrote in my http://horatiotastic.blogspot.... in March. Political parties reflect the beliefs of those who are most active in them. They represent the aggregate beliefs of those who participate. If we don't like the way a party is moving, we need to get involved. Right now, the uniting force of the Democratic party seems to be: Get Bush. The Republican party at least has a direction: spreading democracy around the world.
Giving the option between taking out the Commander in Chief during a war and a broad vision of spreading democracy... give me democracy. I may not agree with all the methods, but I like the direction they are going. Then, it is up to me to get involved and make sure my ideas are known.
There is my rant on Political Parties. Believe and vote as you will.
That is all.
Horatio the Political Junkie