Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Why the Democrats are going to keep losing elections
It's the minorities, stupid. Or to put it more clearly, it's the fact that the people currently running the show are determined to re-define any demographic other than "soccer mom" or "NASCAR dad" as a minority that can be marginalized and ignored with impunity.
Let me explain. Anyone paying attention to the lefty blogosphere in the last few weeks will have noticed The Great Rape Debate. For those who somehow managed to miss it, this debate started when vacationing teenager Natalee Holloway vanished in Aruba, presumed raped and probably murdered, and the MSM decided that this was a far more interesting story than America's ill-fated attempt at colonialism in Iraq. Several bloggers posted about this story, and this quickly turned into a discussion of how women are just so silly to walk around drunk on tropical islands, and that's why they get raped. Of course many women quickly jumped into the discussion to point out that when a crime is committed surely the person who is to blame is the criminal. These women were immediately shouted down by a chorus of supposedly liberal guys who INSISTED that the conversation return to the more proper subject of how many ways we can find to blame the victim for her own rape. Most of this was couched in terms of the men just wanting to HELP us poor misguided women, who apparently are simply not bright enough to realise that wearing miniskirts is dangerous, dammit!
The reason that I highlight this particular discussion is that it's a perfect microcosm of what's happening on the left as a whole. The straight white guys are insisting on their RIGHT to make policy for everyone else. They are apparently deeply offended by the very suggestion that anyone else should have a say in how the party is run. The blow-up over the pie-fight ad at Kos was another perfect example of this. What got most of the women so pissed off wasn't so much the ad itself as it was Markos's snippy and condescending way of responding to criticism. The basic gist of it was how DARE the women think that they had any right to complain about something that offended them. Why, they were acting like they actually had some role to play in the movement other than serving coffee and making cookies. They were acting is if their opinions mattered. Perish the thought!
The saddest part is that Markos clearly still doesn't get why so many women are so angry with him. The reason is that he, and many other people on the left, have apparently decided that any issue that predominantly concerns women is a "minority issue" and not something that the boys who set the policy need to concern themselves with. Many male Democrats are starting to do the same thing with abortion, dismissing it as a minority issue that doesn't really need to be part of the party's platform. We heard the same thing about gay marriage in the aftermath of the last election, with far too many liberals complaining that Gavin Newsom lost the election for the Democrats by allowing a few thousand gay people to get married in San Francisco.
I call bullshit. Women, gay people, labor unions, people of color - these are not "special interest groups", they are what smart strategists commonly refer to as the party's BASE. No Democrat will ever win a national election without the support of these groups. And you know what? If the Democrats continue to marginalize their own base they don't deserve to win. If we don't care about abortion, gay rights, support for the poor, the labor movement and support for racial minorities what the hell do we stand for anyway? What you're left with is a half-assed version of the Republican Party, and who really wants that?
If a movement is to have any meaning, and any hope of succeeding, it has to stand for something. If the Democrats keep on selling out their own constituents in an attempt to win over the elusive swing voter why should anyone support them at all?
So if you guys, and I do mean guys, want to keep selling your own allies down the river go right ahead. Just don't assume that you can count on us to shut up and accept our own marginalization for much longer. We're all getting mighty tired of listening to you pontificate about how any issue that doesn't affect you personally isn't really that important and can be used as a bargaining chip to appease the religious right. If you want our support you need to earn it. You can start by actually listening to what we're saying instead of just lecturing us about what "the important issues" are. Because you know what, the way you're discussing the abortion issue is making your contempt for anyone you deem to be a minority and thus unimportant absolutely crystal clear.
If half of your party is telling you that something is important do you know what that means? It means that it really is fucking important, and it's about time that you started acknowledging that, or risk seeing the progressive movement splinter into a thousand pieces and lose any chance at taking back the White House in 2008.
You have been warned.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! »

Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read »