Two Party Politics: The Fall of the Democratic Party
America’s Democrats have spoken but the party is still not listening.
Despite President Trump’s claims to the contrary, the now President did not receive overwhelming support last November. Yes, he won the Electoral College but not by the margin he thinks. While he and the Republican Party have tried to tout his victory as the will of the people, that is simply not true. What is true however is this, Democrats handed this election to Donald Trump. Lock, stock, and barrel.
I know that’s probably not a very popular opinion but its the truth none the less. Everyone knew Hillary Clinton was going to run. No one who remembers the run up to the 2008 election had any doubts about that. Prior to the Democratic National Convention in 2008, Mrs. Clinton was leading over President Obama. Then, for a variety of reasons and with the promise of full party backing in 2016, Clinton stepped aside. The decision would ultimately prove disastrous for Clinton. From the events in Benghazi to emails, her fall from American politics firmly began there and then.
A campaign doomed to fail.
In 2016 when Clinton announced she was running for President, it was immediately obvious to anyone observant of politics that there was not nearly the excitement there had been for Pres. Obama. That fact, right there, should have sent up massive red flags for the party. A female candidate for President should have been an enormously historic moment that ensured a Democratic victory. If it had been any other woman, it probably would have. But this was Clinton.
The trust factor was an immediate issue. Not because of Benghazi or even her infamous emails. No, this was because of her. There are entire websites devoted to the scandals involving Mrs. Clinton. Whitewater, Travelgate, Asia Fundraising Scandal, and Vince Foster‘s death to name a few. Then of coarse, her husband’s infamous philandering and her reactions to it, including repeatedly demonizing the women he had been with. Add to this her back and forth record on LGBT rights and questions of just how “colorblind” she truly was…she was destined to fail with millennials. And she desperately needed millennials.
Feeling the Bern.
Just 18 days after Clinton announced her candidacy bid, so did Senator Bernie Sanders. In recent years, Sanders had become immensely popular with millennials. His consistent voting record, ideas on civil rights, education, healthcare, and resorting to violence were immediately popular with a group that largely embraces more socialistic values. Plus, Bernie had one other factor working for him. He was not a member of “same old Washington politics”. Bernie Sanders is to the Democrats what Trump is to the Republicans.
Sure, there were others who ran on the Democratic ticket but the real race was always between these two. Hillary represented the status-quo Democrats but Bernie was the new radical. Millennials loved him. Then, Hillary began making colossal campaign mistakes.
In February 2016 during an interview, feminist icon Gloria Steinem insulted every woman who did not support Clinton in a way no woman ever should by suggesting the only reason young women were supporting Sanders was because they wanted to meet me.
“When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’ ” Ms. Steinem said.
The next day at a campaign event, Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, said, “We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done,” Ms. Albright said. “It’s not done. There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”
If Clinton would have had any sense at all she would have immediately distanced herself from those comments. Instead she laughed, clapped, and stayed silence. In that moment, she lost any woman who supported Bernie once she gained the nomination.
Failure to learn.
As I said, it was clear from the beginning that no matter what any other candidate did Hillary was going to get the nomination. The Party and the media all played a part in ensuring her victory which further alienated younger voters. So when election day came around, Democrats stayed home. Unfortunately for America, they stayed home in areas where it mattered for the electoral votes the most. Though it is hard to say for sure, most people feel that had Sanders been given the nomination, America would have a very different President right now. One would think the lesson would have been learned. It hasn’t.
Instead, Democrats are now behaving like nursery school children. Their tactics of standing up to Trump and the Republicans are not seen as such. Instead, it looks more like temper-tantrums. Those tantrums are also changing the nature of politics in a dangerous manner. The recent use of the “nuclear option” to confirm Justice Gorsuch is a good example. Democrats are blowing an political capital they have. Not to mention they now seem guilty of the same thing Republicans were accused of for the last two years. These people refuse to do their jobs. They take on battles that no one cares about and have little effect on the “war” for the heart of American citizens. Basically, the party is crumbling.
The most troubling, and telltale, sign the party is in trouble is fundraising. Democrats are not bringing in the funds they need. Especially heading into a midterm election. The party’s own members are disenfranchised. While they all agree on their disgust of Trump, they do not agree that the Democrats are their savior and this spells big trouble. If the Democrats fail to make large gains in the midterms it will be disastrous for moral.
I don’t think it’s hard to see that if party leadership does not find a new plan soon, removing Trump from office in 2020 will more likely be cause by an in-party challenger than a Democrat.
What does all of this mean? That part is simple. There is a new base in the Democratic Party and the leadership needs to develop a plan quickly to engage them. They are a group that wants actual equality. Race equality, gender equality, and income equality. A country where a coal miner to get the same top-notch healthcare as a billionaire. They want paid family leave. Policies of inclusive immigration. True religious and expressive freedoms.
In short, they want the world. And they aren’t taking no for an answer.